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Baby-sitters Club The Next Generation #6: Byron and the God of California

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My mom calls us three boys with one brain. Adam, Jordan and I (I'm Byron) are triplets, and we're the same in a lot of ways.

We're all fifteen, and we are all about to finish up our sophomore year at Stoneybrook High School in Stoneybrook, Connecticut. We're all five foot six and skinny, with pale skin, blue eyes, dark brown hair, thick eyebrows, and freckles in the summertime. What I'm trying to say is that we're identical, except for things we can change like our hair. (In case you were wondering, Adam has spikes, Jordan's is kind of shaggy and long, and mine's a normal, boring kind of medium-short.)

We all like games and sports. Okay, so I think watching football on TV is dead boring (Jordan finds it riveting), but we all like to play something. Jordan's catcher for the SHS Tigers. He's really good. Adam's a first baseman. I'm on the intramural soccer team. We all play basketball for fun, but we're too short to make the team.

We're all good with kids. Aside from us, there are five other kids in our family (yes, that's a total of eight). Four of them--Vanessa, Nick, Margo, and Claire--are younger than us, so we triplets are old hands at playing pretend and sorting out arguments. We've all made some extra money baby-sitting around town. In fact, Adam's the president of a baby-sitting business, of which I'm an associate member (I'll explain later).

The three of us are also different in a lot of ways, though. Jordan is the best athlete and the only one of us with any musical talent. Adam's the funniest and most outgoing. I'm sort of clumsy and anxious, and my feelings get hurt more easily than the others'.

In the genetic lottery, I think I lost out.

There's one other thing. I almost hesitate to mention it. Adam has a girlfriend, and Jordan has had lots of dates, but I haven't ever even liked a girl. I'm starting to think the three of us are kind of, well, wired differently.

Here's an example of what I mean. The three of us have a computer which we share in our room (which we also share). I logged in the other day and a bunch of porno ads popped up. Ladies wearing only leather corsets or high heeled shoes (why? why? why wear nothing but shoes?) Women with breasts the size of soccer balls (how? why? is that natural?) The whole incident upset me for two reasons.

(1) Even though the computer is just ours--we saved up for it ourselves--it's pretty common for one of our sisters to ask to use it to check her MySpace or something. My littlest sister, Claire, is eleven. She doesn't need to see stuff like that.

(2) The pictures did nothing for me. Guys are supposed to be turned on by that kind of stuff, right? I mean obviously Adam or Jordan is (I suspect Jordan; Adam's better with computers and probably would have wiped the virus). That's not the kind of site I want to look at when I'm up late and bored on the internet.

No, I look at Jeff's blog.

I went there after I rolled back the computer to the last point before Jordan messed with it. Jeff still hadn't updated since April 21.

just saw the latest spy rogue movie. wow, plot holes you could drive a mack truck thru. good times.

Jeff Schafer is a boy who used to live in our town when we were all about ten. After about a year, he moved back to California to live with his dad. We've sort of kept in touch through email. We see him a couple times a year when he's here visiting his mom and stepfamily. And, of course, I read his blog.

I tried to keep a blog of my own for a little while, but I didn't have anything to say. Nothing I wanted people to know, anyway.

I scrolled back up to the infamous November 12 entry.

yes everyone who asked that was me at homecoming w/ jason. yes i know we are the first dude/dude couple in vista history. no we are not together, but yes i am gay (wink wink gentlemen)

The first time I read that, back in November, I thought it must be a joke. But when I read the comments, it seemed like his friends were taking him seriously.


gentlemen: don't listen to him, he is a crap date. didn't even offer to pay

that's b/c i knew you wouldn't put out

good for you kiddo


You and Jay were SO CUTE together. You should convert him.

maybe if he bought me a corsage i would consider his lifestyle!

Kudos on being open enough to come out on your blog. :) We're all really lucky to have you on the Gay Straight Alliance exec board this semester. Be true to yourself and keep on keeping on!

I've never had an openly gay friend before. Well, I'm not sure if you would even count Jeff as my friend anymore. The last time I sort of spoke to him directly was over six months ago, and that was just to say "ha ha" to a funny link he sent me and my brothers.

I scrolled forward to the December 24 entry, which was titled, "Jealous, East Coast?" and linked to a picture. I'd already looked at that picture a lot of times, but I clicked on it again, just for fun.

The image shows a boy in swim trunks, standing over a sand castle. He's about my age, tall and lean. He has deeply tanned skin and unkempt blond hair which is falling in front of blue eyes, and he's grinning a wide, dimpled grin. Droplets of water and sand cling to his arms and legs. The sea sparkles behind him. He looks like something out of our old Ancient Gods and Heroes storybook.

You're probably guessing now that I am gay.

I don't know what to tell you. I don't want to be. I don't want to be different from everybody else in my family and everybody else that I know. I don't want to cause trouble for Jordan and Adam, or for any of my friends. Guys at school already think I'm kind of sissy and weird. I can only imagine how bad things would get if they found out I really was a "butt pirate gaylord fag."

Plus, I'm a baby-sitter. Parents have a hard enough time accepting boy baby-sitters. I don't need another strike against me. I read about a Boy Scout troop where the leader was fired because a parent found out that he was gay. He hadn't even mentioned it to the boys, but the parent still got freaked out that he was going to recruit the kids or something. I don't think that can really happen (nobody recruited me), but parents aren't known for taking chances when it comes to their children.

I can't be gay. It's just not an option.

But when I look at that stupid picture, I get a funny, fuzzy feeling in my chest.

It's hard to argue with funny, fuzzy feelings.

I'm lucky in one way. As far as confusing, embarrassing gay crushes go, a guy on the opposite coast is pretty safe. It's not like anybody's going to find out.

I still had the picture up when the door flew open and Adam and Jordan tramped in. I instantly felt myself blushing to the roots of my hair. Luckily, neither of them seemed to notice. Jordan threw a basketball at me and said, "Hey, is that Jeff? Did we get a new email?"

"No. This is from the blog." I mean, it was no use lying. Tossing the basketball from hand to hand, I struggled to return to my normal temperature and color.

Jordan leaned over my shoulder. "Does he have a new entry?"

"Um, he saw Spy Rogue." I threw back the ball and hit the back button until I got the most recent entry, quickly skipping over the picture and the gay stuff.

"That's old," said Adam. Now they were both looking at Jeff's blog over my shoulders. I knew it was a public website, but I felt very exposed. I closed the window. The quicker we got off the whole topic of Jeff, the better.

"You know what? He's a fucker," said Jordan, punting the ball into his bunk. "You'd think he'd write a goddamn email when he had news. I guess we don't count as friends anymore."

"What? What news?" said Adam.

"You didn't hear? He's coming back. Mal heard it from Mary Anne. Dawn and Jeff are going to be here in Stoneybrook for the whole summer."