Roomate, The


By Richard Jasper

That afternoon it rained, as it often does that time of year, so instead of going to the beach we headed to the Naval Air Station to visit the new Museum of Naval Aviation and then swung by the newspaper to say "hello" to my parents and take a quick peek at the newsroom. Both Frank and Thad had worked for The Hustler, Vanderbilt's student newspaper, as I had done.

That night we went downtown to Seville Quarter, where we listened to Dixie Land for a while, then visited the disco, and finally wound up on the patio under the banana trees.

Through it all, Frank hadn't been able to take his eyes off of me. And Thad had watched Frank watch me the whole evening. I was might have felt a bit self-conscious but, dammit, I *liked* having two good looking guys paying a great deal of attention to me.

"You know," Thad said, yawning widely, "I think I need to get back and grab some sleep. We did get up awfully early this morning. But if you two want to come back..."

Frank jumped on it.

"No, I'm ready to go anyway," he said. "It's a little too sticky, actually..."

I rolled my eyes.

"I told you about Gulf Coast humidity but you wouldn't believe me. Not exactly Santa Barbara is it?"

He shook his head.

"It's better at the beach, though, especially on a night like tonight," I added.

He gave me a sidelong glance.

"Let's get Thad home," I murmured as we headed for the car.

We did and as he was getting settled, Frank piped up.

"You know, I'm really hyped. What about you, big fella? Want to go back out...?"

I nodded. "I didn't get up as early as you all did. Sure, let's do it."

Thad looked from one of us to the other, then rolled over, a bit huffily I thought.

"Have fun," he muttered.

Back in the car, I asked him.

"Well, how's Thad?"

"He's OK," Frank replied. "A really nice guy. But I think he wants more from a roommate than I can give..."

It was my turn for a sidelong glance.

"How is that?" I asked. "I thought you were a fine roommate."

His hand settled on my knee.

"Ah..." I murmured. "I think perhaps I see."

"It's not that I can't give it to anyone," Frank said, picking up the last thread in the conversation. "It's just I want it to be someone special. This is a little embarrassing, but the fact one's copped my cherry yet!"

I eased off onto the beach road and as I did so rested my big, powerful hand at the back of his smooth, slender neck.

"You may not believe this," I said in return. "But we're in the same boat..." •

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