By Jose Useche

I. 

This is a real kiss.”  

He planted his hands firmly on my shoulders, and pressed against me. Instantly, he was so much bigger than me. His lips engulfed mine, his hands lion paws atop my sinewy shoulders. He grew inches, then feet, then yards over me. His mouth was cool from the Blistex I had watched him apply only moments ago, and while my teeth tingled with mint, my insides burned like neon. I felt blood in every part of me—my chest simmering, my crotch scrambled and ablaze. TV static in my jeans. It wasn’t until he pulled away that he shrank, and I remembered that he was actually shorter than I was. How had he towered over me like that? He smiled and jumped back up on the ledge of the  window we were sitting on.  

The boys bathroom was a frosty faded green, with spotted black-and-white stalls. Composition  notebooks erected for privacy. We met here every day for weeks, carefully spacing our bathroom  breaks during study hall for rendezvous. I had harped on an ofand comment he made about his  scene partner in Acting class: she was a bad kisser. As I repeatedly grilled him on the remark, the  subtext—in my mind—could not have been clearer. 

“How is she a bad kisser?” Kiss me. 

“Does it even count as bad kissing if it’s during a scene?” Kiss me. 

“Maybe you’re the bad kisser.” Kiss me. 

“What even makes someone a bad kisser?” Kiss me. 

Finally, he surrendered. As he grew smaller, and I gained consciousness, the door creaked open. Instantly, we scrambled, he claiming the urinal, and I claiming the sink. This was our usual procedure, but this time it was colored with far more guilt. I despised whoever it was who came in for interrupting our moment, and exited the bathroom in a flurry. Usually, once the potential snitch exited, he and I would sneak back in, but I walked back to class instead. Maybe I didn’t hate the interruptor as much as I thought. 

That would be the last time I kissed him, but not the last time we were intimate. Shortly after, he  grew bolder in his advances, somehow always managing to maintain distance. During class, he  reached over and tapped me on the shoulder. When I looked back, he motioned for me to look  under his desk. He had arranged his penis—hard—in his pants so that I could see its outline, and he  flexed it, showboating for his virgin audience. I laughed uncomfortably, and he smiled. I swallowed  pine needles and faced forward, pretending to be engrossed in my homework. When I looked back,  he had already lost interest. 

One night, he messaged me online. “Wanna video chat?”  

I ran upstairs to our attic, the only place in the house that offered true privacy. Boxes of files, a bare  mattress, and half-painted walls surrounded me as I lifted the lid of my laptop. There he was,  completely naked. Silently, he lowered his camera and I saw in detail what I had sampled earlier. As he began stroking, it was I who grew this time. My heart ballooned against my sternum, my cock betrayed me, and no matter how far I was from downstairs, I felt gargantuan above my mother’s bedroom. Surely she could hear me—now 10 ft. tall—clomping around in sin. My lungs brought my  collarbones to my chin, and fear spread across my face.

“Do you want me to stop?” 

I shook my head no.  

“Can I see yours?” 

I slid off my pants, my underwear slightly stained from precum. I slid them off too, and lowered the lid. I was embarrassed of the unfinished carpet my bare bottom now rested on. I was embarrassed of the dirty walls, a filthy backdrop for my filthy actions. I was embarrassed of my precum, slick and noticeable on screen.  

He smiled.

Jose Useche is an actor and writer from Queens, NY. As a writer, his web series pilot SLUT has received laurels from the Official Latino Film Festival, the Baltimore Next Media Web Fest (where it won best LGBTQ Web-Series), the Chicago Pride Film Festival, and Web Series Festival Global. Jose has written jokes and questions for SCRUFF’s in-app game show HOSTING, and does communications for several LGBTQ nonprofits including the Arcus Foundation, the Transgender Law Center, and PFLAG NYC. His personal blog, Manic Hispanic, has garnered over 10,000 hits in its lifetime.

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