My mom greeted me with a warm smile and open arms that hugged me tight when I got home early that Sunday evening. She wanted to know about my weekend in detail. Setting out a tray of her special brownies (mixed with pudding that made them moist and gooey) on the table we sat down and I started telling her about Big Bear. It was as if she was making me feel more comfortable so I could tell her the stuff that had my mind spinning for most of the drive back to LA.
Keith was so great during the drive back - as were the all the Hundser’s. Everybody was telling me how it would be good to tell my mom about my sexuality. I felt sort of like a rookie pitcher getting psyched up by the team before standing in front of a crowd of thirty thousand to throw my first professional pitch during game seven of the World Series. We caught up with each other’s weekend and, after finishing my third brownie, I asked mom if maybe she would like to dance with me again, like we had that one night after we first moved in. She asked me about girls and stuff last time, maybe she would leave me an opening to tell her the truth.
She smiled saying, "You enjoyed that, I could tell. You’ve got natural rhythm, not like your father’s two left feet. I wonder who you’ll want to dance with after me?"
I asked, "What CD would you like to dance to?" and walked over to her collection.
"Last time we did the Cha-cha and waltz. Would you like to try something more contemporary? I think you can handle it."
"Sure, have you got a favorite in mind?"
"Put on Elton John’s Greatest Hits. It starts out with a ballad then speeds up from there."
I knew this CD really well. She didn’t know it but she picked a better CD than I could have. I put the CD in and turned around to face my mom. She was already swaying before the music even began. Taking my hands in hers she positioned them so we could dance close but still have some space between us. The soft piano melody began and when the vocals started I began singing along.
"It’s a little bit funny
This feeling inside
I’m not one of those who can
Don’t have much money but
Boy if I did
I’d buy a big house where
We both could live"
"He’s such a talented man," my mom commented, "it’s sad that he’s queer."
"Why is it sad?" I asked, forcing the words out of my mouth. "It’s his life and it's not like he has much choice."
"You’re right Preston. It's just my old Texas conservative upbringing shining through," She said, and rested her hands on my shoulders.
I winced saying, "Ma, move your hands back down ok? I'm pretty sunburned."
"I'm sorry sweetheart." She said, and moved her hands back to my arm and waist.
"Mom, have you known any gay guys?" I asked as the song ended.
She looked puzzled for only a few seconds then answered, "Yes. A few around Sherman and I work with one now."
I walked over to the stereo and advanced the tracks to "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me".
She giggled, "Oh, so you want to concentrate on slow dancing do you?"
My one-track mind was racing at hundreds of miles an hour so I ignored that question and took her in my arms to start dancing again. "Were those gay guys friends or acquaintances or what?"
"Mostly acquaintances. One was and still is a good friend. You've met him once or twice but I won't say whom. Your father didn't like him of course," She said with a crooked smirk.
Her facial expression was slightly suspicious from time to time. I didn't want to dance anymore but I continued, occasionally glancing down at her feet and back to her face. Really, I was watching her feet more than looking in her face. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to tell her. Do I tell her I like boys first and then, if that goes all right, tell her that I love Keith? Why is this so hard? I screamed at myself, just say something! The song ended and I hadn't said another word. We were just standing there holding each other loosely. Shit!
She reminded, "This is a fast song dear," and then asked, "You didn't really want to dance, did you?"
Dropping my hands, I sighed, "No."
"What’s bothering you honey?" She asked and then turned off the stereo. Taking a seat on the sofa, she said, "Come sit by me, sweetheart. Did something happen during the weekend that you haven’t told me?"
I went and sat next to her. "Yeah," I replied, "something happened, something that makes me really happy but…"
"Then tell me!" She interrupted.
"But I’m not sure it will make you happy," I finished.
"Anything that makes you happy will make my day, sweetheart."
She was making this easy for me but the words just weren’t coming out of my mouth. I turned to look at my mom and she looked the same but not quite. It was almost as if she were much younger, a schoolmate or a friend of a friend. She took hold of my hand and waited patiently while my nervous system went crazy and my stomach tied itself in knots. I took a deep breath as the sentences formed in my mind then it all came rushing out. "Mom, I like boys more than girls. I’m as sure as I can be that I’m gay."
Her smile faded only slightly. "Preston, you’re not sixteen yet. How can you be so sure?"
Okay, now to drop the other shoe. "Because I’ve fallen in love with Keith and he loves me too. He told his whole family about us this weekend."
"Keith is gay?" She whispered, as if not believing it.
"Yeah, and I care so much about him and about being with him that I finally got the nerve to tell you what I was thinking and feeling."
"I don’t understand," she said.
I reminded her of the dancing we did a week or so ago and that I knew then I was different. Then I told her exactly why Justin ended our friendship and that I had been watching boys for as far back as I could recall. I wrapped up my little speech by telling her that there would have been no way I could tell her these things if we were still living in Texas with dad. He didn't like the fact I was a "sissy musician type" so this certainly would have caused a major uproar.
She listened quietly while I talked. When I was done she leaned forward and kissed my forehead. "Preston, I’m a bit shocked. You’re my only son and I'll always love you as much as any mother loves her child but this frightens me. It pains me that a friend of yours hurt you years ago, it scares me that Keith might hurt you. I’m scared of AIDS and all the other things that people think of when thinking about homosexuals." Not once did she try to let go of my hand and I could feel her trembling slightly. She really was frightened.
"What can I say to make you less scared, ma?"
It took her at least a full minute to answer. "The first thing is you can tell me Keith’s phone number. I’d like to talk with his parents, if not tonight then very soon."
"That’s cool mom because they want to meet you too," I said, then gave her the phone number. She glanced at the clock and saw it wasn’t yet eight o’clock so she got up and dialed the phone. It took her only a few minutes on the phone to say what was going on and ask if she could meet them soon. The next thing I knew, we were in the car on the way to the Hundser’s. During the ride there I asked her what she was going to talk to the Hundser's about. She reminded me that although I've spent the last week with Keith that she had only met him that one night and she wanted to be sure her baby wasn't falling in love with some creep. Yeah, she was being overprotective but I guess that from her perspective I was all she had left after divorcing dad so I didn't argue.
Mrs. Hundser answered the door and the whole family was gathered in the living room. Mrs. Hundser introduced her family to my mom and we sat together briefly there making small talk for a short while before our parents excused themselves to go to the den to talk.
As soon as they had left the room, Keith got up, took my mom’s place on the loveseat beside me and kissed my cheek. Good lord! How is it possible that he makes me feel like king of the universe? What magic spell is he casting on me?
Keith asked, "How'd it go with your mom?"
"Pretty well, I think. She's definitely scared, probably confused too. I'll bet she's wondering lots of things right now."
"Give it a few days, Prez. Talk with her and reassure her you're still very much the same person... with one exception."
"Yeah," I grinned, "I've get a boyfriend!"
Smiling widely, Keith said, "I do like the sound of that; especially when you say it."
Within moments, Keith and I were melting into one person on the loveseat. Drew and John announced they were leaving us to go play video games. The second they had left the room, Keith was kissing me deeply as if it had been days or weeks since we last kissed. We very nearly forgot where we were as our mouths and tongues explored and battled. As soon as Keith thought we had kissed long enough and broke our lip-lock, I was diving back for seconds. The next thing we knew, Keith’s dad was coughing loudly on his way to the kitchen and we broke it up but the damage had been done. Both our cocks were straining for release and tenting our shorts. Just being held by him and kissing him made my dick hard. God, how I love him!
Keith stood up, adjusted himself then nodded for me to follow him into the kitchen. Mr. Hundser was making coffee and preparing a tray to take back to the den. I was really tempted to ask how things were going but thankfully I didn't have to.
Mr. Hundser said, "Your mom's pretty baffled by this Preston."
"Yeah, I know. I could feel her trembling when I told her."
Keith asked, "There's nothing to worry about, is there, dad?"
"So far, nothing that I know of," Mr. Hundser answered, "Your mom suggested that I make coffee, which was my queue to take a hike so they could talk alone. This is what your mom's best at."
Keith said, "I wish there were some way I could help."
"Your turn in the limelight will be soon enough, Keith. You're lucky she thinks you're a well behaved young man." Mr. Hundser chuckled, "How she got that idea, I'll never know!"
Keith laughed, "Hahaa! Fooled another one."
"Oh don't worry," Mr. Hundser said, "by the time we're done with her tonight, she'll know all about your wicked ways."
I had to laugh. I'll bet that few people knew just how wicked he could be. Keith looked my way and gave me his patented mischievous grin and stare that said, "Keep laughing, I'll get you my pretty!"
Getting more embarrassed, Keith reached into the fridge and got us a couple of Cokes then we went back to his room. Taking my Coke from my hand, Keith then put our drinks on the dresser and wrapped his arms around me in a warm embrace. He always knows what I need somehow and is ready to give it to me, I thought as we stood there swaying. It feels so right to be in his strong arms. I love it when he runs his fingers through my hair; it's so soothing. For a long while we stood there holding each other silently, both of us surely wondering what our mother's could be talking about. Drew and John were obviously playing a soccer video game and we chuckled with every "It's a shot... GOAL!" shouted from the next room. After a while we kicked back and sat on the bed to watch TV together. Keith had asked me to sit between his legs and I had just gotten into position and rested myself against him when Drew knocked at the bedroom door. Keith glanced at me for approval then invited Drew to come in.
Drew was pleased he had kicked John's ass in the soccer game, 4-1. Other than that he didn't seem to have a lot to say, just floating from one random topic to the next but he smiled at us the entire time. I asked him what he was smiling at.
Drew grinned, "I'm smiling because you guys are smiling. What are you guys smiling at?"
Quickly, Keith answered, "Because Prez is here, I'm holding him and never letting go," and then kissed my cheek. I nodded my head in agreement then reached back and pulled Keith's face down so I could kiss him back. It was a short kiss but no less electrifying than our longer lip-locks. I could tell by the dreamy look in Keith's eyes that he thought so too. More than ever it was getting easier and easier for me to show affection and to be seen in an affectionate position with Keith. The list of ordinary daily things that I loved to do with Keith grew with every passing moment.
John came in the room a moment later and laughed, "You guys are at it again? How can you hold each other so much for so long?"
Keith said, "When your turn comes around John, I'll be sure to remind you of your question."
"Come on Drew, lets play some more soccer," John said indifferently, and they both left the room.
Keith and I settled back watching TV and the next thing I knew it was one fifteen in the morning and Keith was asleep, breathing softly and deeply behind me. I'm sure my mom went home by now. She must have seen us asleep and left for home hours ago. I'll have to make certain I stay home tomorrow night and talk with her some more then. I shook Keith's leg until he woke, we got undressed, crawled under the covers and went back to sleep. A few hours later I heard the sounds of the Hundser's getting ready for work and snuggled up close behind Keith for a few more hours rest.
I woke again later to find myself grinding my briefs covered morning wood into Keith's boxer covered butt. I was embarrassed about my nocturnal fantasies creeping into reality and tried to release my hold on Keith but he held my arm in place, draped over his chest.
"Don't stop Prez," he whispered.
"I'm sorry I woke you," I said.
"It's okay, I was diggin' it. Ya know, umm... we could really do that."
"Oh man, are you sure? Won't that hurt?"
Keith rolled towards me on to his back and said, "I guess, but I think if we took our time and went real slow I bet we'd both like it. I really want to try this with you."
"What about your brothers?"
"It’s after 10AM." Keith reminded me, "They left about 20 minutes ago. It’s just you and me lover."
"I love you Keith." I said, and leaned over to kiss him, sucking and nibbling on his lower lip. The look in his eyes told me he was filled with love, passion and desire and that it was all there only for me. There was only one little detail I thought while tasting his sweet lips; I have no idea what the hell I'm doing! I resolved to stop the second he made any indication he was in any pain. "How do you want to do this?" I asked, breaking our kiss.
"You lock the door and I'll take care of the rest."
I kissed him quickly and got up from the bed to lock the door. Keith got two beach towels from his backpack and a jar of Vaseline from his nightstand then flipped the sheets and comforter down to the floor with lightning speed. Spreading out the beach towels, we met back in the middle of the bed and kissed passionately while we freed ourselves of our underwear. He broke our lip-lock and glanced down then back up the entire length of my body with a hungry look in his eyes. If his look was one of hunger, my eyes must've showed month long starvation with a feast before me.
He handed me the Vaseline while moving into a sixty-nine and licked my stiffie from the head to my balls in one long, smooth stroke then crawled above me. With his legs spread wide above me, I had a clear view of his beautiful pink puckered hole. While Keith was licking my cock and balls, I grabbed a big two-finger dollop of grease and applied it to his hole. I watched it expand and contract while I spread it around the area in a circular motion, occasionally pressing against the opening. Keith was moaning into my sack, sending vibrations throughout my body. I pulled his cock back and sucked the head into my mouth. The next time my finger pressed against his hole it slipped right in to the second knuckle. Keith groaned softy and his muscle clamped down hard on my finger. He arched his back and my finger disappeared deep inside him. I was immediately rewarded with a flow of sweet precum across my tongue. Slowly I started to pull my finger out then slid it back in, twisting it around and stretching his tight muscle. After a short while, I slid in a second finger and Keith groaned really loudly, burying his face in my groin.
I let his cock slip out of my mouth and asked, "Are you okay babe?"
"Oh hell yeah," he gasped, "I don’t know what you’re doing but you keep hitting one spot that feels so great."
I bent my fingers down a bit, rolling them against his prostate and Keith moaned and shuddered. "That spot there?" I asked.
"Oh God yes! Do that again!" He wailed.
For a few more minutes I stretched his hot hole, pushing in deep when the muscle loosened and pulling slowly half way out before it clamped down again. When I pulled my fingers all the way out Keith turned around and kissed me deeply, practically sucking my tongue off its roller into his mouth. He reached over and got a generous helping of lube and greased my erection. The whole time he was stroking my meat he was whispering words of love and lust softly in my ear. Then he lay on his back, lifted his legs and grabbed his ankles while I got into position. I leaned over him with my cock aimed at his hole. Keith rested his legs on my shoulders and I pushed the head of my dick into him. His muscle clamped down hard on me and I waited for it to relax before pushing the remainder of my six inch shaft all the way in to his fiery hot ass. Keith’s breath came in short bursts and I stayed perfectly motionless while he got used to this new sensation. I don’t know what kept me from losing it right then and there. The feeling of his hot tight ass massaging my cock was thousands of times better than any hand or mouth could ever be.
Feeling his sphincter relax its grip I asked, "Are you feeling okay now babe?"
"Uh huh," he answered with a wide smile, "let’s go for it lover."
I leaned down and kissed him softly on the lips then started a slow grind. His ass gripped me tightly while I pulled out about half way then it would relax again and I’d push back in. The feeling was incredible. Keith was running his hands all over my arms and upper body as our love making started. The dreamy expression on his face was proof that he was not only allowing this for my pleasure but he was honestly enjoying it as well. I started to speed up my deep thrusts but it started to feel too good too quickly and I stopped for a few moments to hold off my orgasm then started slowly thrusting in and out again gradually picking up tempo. Our combined moans, groans, whines and squeals got louder and Keith reached back to hold onto my ass while I pounded into him. All of the sounds, sights and feelings of our lovemaking were driving us over the edge. Right after Keith announced he was going to cum, he shot a tremendous load that flew right over his shoulder and splashed all over the both of us like a fountain. I had never seen him cum before and this was one hell of an orgasm. It was so erotic, I knew right then that I wanted to see him cum again and again. Keith’s ass was gripping my cock like a hydraulic vice while he was shooting. Even though I was almost motionless the intensity of his orgasm and the look of pure bliss on his face pushed me over the edge and I emptied my load inside him. When I finally finished coming and my vision returned Keith had this contented little smile on his handsome face. He lowered his legs from my shoulders and my softening cock slipped out of him with a wet pop. I lay on top of my love and we kissed each other over and over, basking in the afterglow. We were sweaty and exhausted and our muscles ached.
Keith said, "I love you, Preston. I always will. Thanks for being so gentle."
"I'd never hurt you babe. Pleasing you is more than enough thanks."
"That's one of the things I love so much about you Prez. You always seem to think of me first."
"You do the same for me Keith. You're my first love and my best friend ever. You've helped me learn more about myself and made me complete."
"Yeah? Well, look what you've done for me. I feel closer to my entire family since you've been around. My mom and dad are treating me more like an adult and my brothers treat me like a friend. John was really uptight around me until you entered the picture. Just by being around you've made a big impact. I think it's your Texas accent. We all like that cute voice of yours."
"Speaking of voices, yours is fantastic! You can sing for me anytime babe. Everything you sing immediately becomes my favorite song! While we're at it, that voice comes out of the most handsome face I've ever seen."
Keith rolled me over on to my back, lying on top of me. "And your hair feels so soft and your eyes seem to look right through me." He paused and the biggest smile came across his face.
"What's so funny?"
Rolling off of me in hysterics, he shouted, "It tickles!"
"What? I didn't tickle you!"
He laughed harder then sat upright and wiggled his ass into the towel on the bed. Falling back he slowly regained his composure and looked at me with those enticing mischievous eyes.
I giggled, "What was that spectacle about?"
He laughed, "Your cum was leaking out of my ass onto my balls and it tickled!" We laughed for a long time about that, all during the shower we took together. Afterwards Keith loaned me a pair of swimming trunks. We got dressed then went to the kitchen where we methodically swallowed half the contents of the refrigerator. While Keith was hand-feeding me a toasted bagel he turned on the speakerphone.
"Who are you calling babe?" I asked through a half-chewed bagel.
"Derrick. If he's still home then Mike's not home from work yet and we can go down the beach." He waited for an answer. On the third ring, Derrick answered and Keith said, "Hey bud"
Derrick hollered, "Keith? Christ dude, where the hell have you been?"
While making me chase after the piece of bagel in his hand, Keith said, "We spent the weekend at Big Bear"
I grabbed his hand and stuffed the bagel and three of his fingers in my mouth.
"Mike and I thought you were with Preston," Derrick said.
"I was with Preston. He went with us."
"No shit? Cool! So umm... how is he?"
"He's the best. He's right here," Keith giggled, "licking my fingers."
"He's licking melted butter off my fingers," Keith giggled.
"Ok I see," Derrick laughed. "Mike and I never used butter but it sounds like fun."
"It's really sweet dude."
"I'll bet. Make a note, next time we do it in the kitchen," Derrick said, and we all cracked up. While we were laughing, Mike walked in to the room with Derrick. After a short humorous discussion about slippery substances found in the kitchen, we got back to the topic of the beach. About twenty minutes later Derrick and Mike pulled up in that gorgeous 442 and we were on our way.
Keith brought along some sun block and started rubbing it on me during the ride to the beach. Derrick, Keith and I were chatting away about our weekend and surf conditions but Mike wasn’t saying much. I guessed that since he worked that morning he wasn’t in a talkative mood. It was a lot cooler at Malibu than it was in the valley but it was still good swimming weather. Mike and Derrick rented some surf boards while Keith and I dove right in and started body surfing. It was my first time swimming in the Pacific and I loved it. The water was pretty cold compared to what I remembered of swimming at Galveston and the tide was a lot stronger, moving us at least a hundred yards down the beach every few minutes. Keith and I walked along the beach back to where we started and I stopped to watch all the surfers.
"Man that looks fun," I commented.
"It’s a rush, dude." Pointing to the far-left end of the line of surfers Keith said, "You see that guy over there? His name’s Russ. He taught Mike, Derrick and me how to surf."
"Which guy, the blond one?"
"Well yeah, but he’s not blond, he’s gray. Russ is in his late forty’s. He started surfing up by San Francisco back in 1967."
"Wow! The guy don’t look that old. He’s got some cool moves too."
"He’s surfed all over California, Hawaii, Australia and even in Europe. He’s very cool. First chance I get, I’ll introduce you to him."
"That would be great. What’s the deal with the different size boards?"
"Basically a short board is good for speed and maneuverability, long boards are good especially for beginners for stability and control. Russ is on a short board. Mike and Derrick are using long boards."
Keith and I did some more body surfing. It was like my first day at school. He had me pay special attention to the way the waves pushed my body around and told me that's what would be happening to the board. After a while, we went back to the towels and Keith dowsed me with another layer of sun block. Soon Derrick and Mike joined us. Once again the conversation was between Derrick, Keith and I while Mike shifted his glances between Keith and me. For the first time in a week, I was feeling out of place. I wasn’t sure if it was my imagination or not so I moved the conversation towards music. Mike could speak but his vocabulary was limited to "yeah, nope, maybe, uh-huh and cool". I looked over at Keith and shrugged my shoulders. Keith looked at Mike who was drawing in the sand, oblivious to the world. Keith looked at Derrick for some clue then Derrick looked at me and shook his head.
"I’m thirsty," Derrick said, "anyone want a cold drink?"
I said, "Yeah, I’ll go with you bud."
Keith said, "Get me a Coke or something please Prez."
"Sure thing," I said, and leaned over to kiss Keith’s cheek. I stood up and joined Derrick.
Mike said, "I’ll go too."
"No Mike, you and I have to talk," Keith said, as Derrick and I walked off.
After we had gone few yards, I asked, "What’s Mike’s deal?"
"Don’t sweat it, dude." Derrick answered. "Mike’s just pissed because we haven’t seen Keith since last week. He told me the other night that he’s worried that you might hurt Keith."
"You don’t seem to be worried though."
"I’m just looking at things differently than Mike. When I met you last week you seemed cool. You and Keith sure got real friendly fast. Keith trusts you so I do too."
"Thanks Derrick, that means a lot to me. I wish that there were someway that I could get Mike to see that…"
"You dudes have fallen in love?"
"Yeah, very much."
"It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?"
"This requires a celebration," Derrick said excitedly. "Maybe later on tonight. How does that sound?"
"It sounds great and we really need to do that but tonight’s not so good for me. I have to spend some time with my mom."
"That’s no way to celebrate."
"I know, but I really have to. Last night I told my mom about me and Keith."
"Oh dude! Is everything okay?"
"Yeah, I think so but while my mom was talking to Keith’s parents we fell asleep and she went home without me. I’m sure she has more she’d like to talk about."
"That’s cool. Maybe Wednesday night then?"
"That would be great. I hope Mike is okay with it."
"I can almost guarantee he will be. Keith’s talking with him now and if he still has his head up his ass later, I’ll get him." Derrick paused for a second and a big grin came across his face and he was blushing. "Now that I think about it, I’ll get him any way."
Derrick and I stopped at the public men’s room then got the sodas and headed back to see how things were going with Mike and Keith. We talked about classic rock the whole way and listed out favorite bands and artists. I reminded him that I played bass guitar and he got real enthusiastic. He invited me over to jam on Wednesday afternoon. When we got back to our spot on the beach, the surfboards and towels were there but Keith and Mike weren’t. We looked around a little for them but didn’t see them close by. We knew they’d be back sooner or later so we kicked back and finished our sodas talking and laughing about our boyfriends and things we liked most about them. Keith and Mike came back laughing. The weird thing was we were all laughing about virtually the same things. Even better than that, Mike was talking!
Derrick and Mike returned their surfboards and we headed back home. I asked Derrick if he would drop me off at my place and for a few moments Keith looked like someone was about to tear off his right arm. I couldn’t bear to see him like that so I scooted over next to him so we could at least cuddle for a while. When Derrick pulled into my apartment complex, it dawned on me that I would be sleeping alone for the first time in three days. Just the thought made my chest hurt and my throat tight. My brain spun for a few seconds between my mom and Keith, my mom and my boyfriend, sleep alone or sleep with a friend? As I stepped out of the car and said my good-byes, I looked at Keith's lonely, sad expression. I new he was exaggerating but it made up my mind. I asked if he wanted to come in for a while and, without a word, he damn near flew out of the car! Derrick and Mike cracked up. I wrapped my arm around Keith and we walked into the house.
"Hi mom," I said cheerfully. "I didn't expect to see you home."
"Hi sweetheart, hi Keith," My mom said from the kitchen counter.
"Hi Mrs. O'Brian," Keith said.
"Is it okay if Keith stays for dinner?" I asked.
"I fully expected he would."
"Are you sure Mrs. O'Brian? If you'd rather, I could go." Keith offered.
"I'm positive Keith. I'm cooking extra already. Chicken Kiev, rice pilaf..."
"You didn't have to go to extra trouble." Keith said.
"It was no trouble. The chicken I made Saturday night and froze the uncooked portions, the rice is out of a box and the veggies are out of a can. What did you boys do today?"
"We went to the beach with Mike and Derrick," I said.
"Oh yes. Your parents mentioned them last night."
"Mom, what did you guys talk about last night?"
"Many things. Mostly about the two of you."
Keith and I looked at each other wide-eyed. We knew what that meant - all the baby stuff and the stupid stuff we did as toddlers and what kind of students we are and what our hobbies and interests are. Most of that we knew about each other already. Some of it I'm sure we'd be happy if no one ever knew. It was gonna be a long night.