At 39 years old I am quite a bit older than most of the other students on my course. Having left the army with few qualifications that would be of any use in civvy street, I needed to make a serious career decision. I applied to start a social work training course to gain a qualification and hopefully open up a career opportunity that I could enjoy. I knew that I would have to put in a lot of effort because I was desperately out of practice with academic endeavours. Most of the other students had recent experience of formal education but my school life was almost 20 years behind me.
To my surprise I found that the first project paper I handed in received a very positive assessment from my tutor. The course was mainly classroom work on a non residential basis, but this was punctuated with a number of residential blocks during which we stayed at the college for a week and were allocated simply furnished study rooms.
A feature of the residential blocks was to work in small teams on a research project. The teams each had to plan their time and decide how best to tackle the project, sharing the tasks according to how team members rated their own and their peers’ strengths. There were three of us in my team. Myself, Robert (Bob); Vivienne (Viv) aged 31 and Adrian, 23.
I’d noticed Viv early on the residential block. The entire course, about 30 aspiring social workers had to join in a warm up exercise. First we had to be trees. Our feet rooted to the ground while our upper bodies swayed in a make-believe breeze. Self consciously I looked around to see what others were doing. I noticed Viv, her lithe body was the trunk of a sapling swaying over to one side. Her arms were thin branches and her fingers twigs, each bending in the wind. She wasn’t imitating a tree, she was a tree.
Then the tutor demanded that we all became machines in a factory. I made a few awkward movements and glanced over to Viv for inspiration. Her arms were pistons energetically following the dictates of invisible gears. Her neck was a spring that jerked her head back and forth and some invisible cam or sprocket caused her left leg to shoot out to the side at regular intervals. Then her piston arms morphed into wheels and took on circular movements.
During the coffee break I said to her “You were well into that Viv. I was most impressed with your moves.” Viv, it turned out, was a teacher wanting to retrain as a social worker. Her specialty was dramatic art, so the tree and machinery interpretation exercises were second nature.
When the time came to sort ourselves into project groups, Viv and I got together and Adrian asked us if he could make up the threesome. Adrian was a good-looking lad, with collar-length blond hair. He wore cords and a denim shirt. Adrian had gone from school to University but had dropped out of his course and was working as a volunteer at a home for people with special needs.
Our allotted project concerned local demographics, population changes and planning considerations for meeting future needs. Adrian, Viv and myself each took on an element of the project and agreed we would meet at Adrian’s room after the evening meal to consolidate our work and prepare a report for the course.
There was some animated discussion during our meeting in Adrian’s room. Viv had been involved in similar exercises during her teacher training and tended to lead the conversation, but Adrian and I didn’t let have everything her own way. Viv was very physical, waving her arms about, gesticulating and the way she kept crossing and uncrossing her legs was quite distracting. She was wearing a rather shorts skirt and I found myself waiting for an unintended flash of underwear. Unfortunately it didn’t happen. Viv was skilled in providing teasing glimpses without giving anything away.
Finally our group project had reached a stage when the three of us felt confident that we could present to the full course the following day. “Well, I think we make a good team,” I announced.
“I totally agree. I reckon we all deserve a drink.” As he spoke Adrian reached under the bed he was sitting on and pulled out a six pack of Carlsberg.
“Oh sorry guys,” announced Viv, glancing at her watch. “I hadn’t realised how late it’s got. I really have to go now. See you tomorrow.” She left Adrian’s room murmuring something about a phone call and hurried off down the corridor in the direction of her own study room.
My face must have registered my disappointment at Viv’s sudden departure because Adrian laughed in a good natured way. “I think you quite fancy her, don’t you Bob?” He handed me a can of Carlsberg.
“Am I that obvious?” I asked, cracking open the Carlsberg.”
“I’m afraid so, Bob. Your face was a picture. You looked like a dog that had just had it’s bone taken off it.”
“Well, Adrian, I have to admit I wouldn’t mind getting my leg over. I bet she’d be good in the sack.” Then I stopped. “Oh, sorry Adrian. That was thoughtless of me. Do you like her too?”
Adrian laughed “No Bob, I’m afraid Viv isn’t my type.”
“Really, I would have thought that most blokes would quite fancy Viv.”
“No Bob. You don’t get it. I’d prefer you to Viv. You’re more my type.”
It took several seconds for Adrian’s remark to sink in.
“You mean ... But you...”. I stammered.
“What you’re trying to say, Bob, is that I don’t look queer? We don’t all go around with flowers in our hair and talk in high pitched voices.”
“Yes, of course Adrian. Sorry no offence intended mate.”
“None taken. It is just as well that I look straight. I still live at home with my parents. I will probably emerge from the proverbial closet one day, but I’m not ready yet. The big disadvantage, of course, is that I can’t take any guys home with me. Well not like that, I mean.
I took a gulp of my Carlsberg, not quite sure how to react to the surprise disclosure. Adrian’s next remark caused me to splutter the lager down my shirt. “So Bob, if you need a blow job, then I could oblige you. Adrian said it in a way that could be dismissed as a joke, but I knew he was serious.
“Thanks for the offer Adrian, but I don’t think I’m ready for that.”
“Okay, Bob, but if you change your mind, I’ll be here. And don’t worry, I won’t molest you. You’re quite safe.”
We both laughed and I finished my Carlsberg and wished Adrian a good night and made my way back to my room.
As I got ready for bed my mind was in a turmoil. I still found it hard to believe that Adrian was gay. There must have been some signs that I had missed, but I couldn’t bring anything to mind. I had been hoping to get somewhere with Viv, but that hadn’t happened. And what about Adrian’s offer of a blow job? What an insult! How could he have thought for a single moment that I was desperate enough to have a bloke suck me off, just because Viv had disappointed me by hurrying off? No way, Jose! Not in a fucking zillion years.
After I’d tucked down in my bed my mind turned to Viv and her super flexible body and I could imagine what a fantastically animated shag she would be. But then I thought of Adrian. He was a good looking guy and to be fair, forgetting for a moment he is as queer as a clockwork orange, he is one of the nicest people on the course. I had to admit that I liked the bloke. He couldn’t help it if he fancied other blokes. Supposing, just supposing, that he did suck my cock, I could always shut my eyes and imagine that Viv was sucking me off. That wouldn’t make me a puff would it?
It may have been my imagination, but I got the impression that Viv was more coquettish than ever, seemingly flirting with several of the other course members. Our presentation to the group went very well with Viv acting as the main spokesperson with Adrian and myself making contributions. I met Adrian in the student bar later.
“Our project worked out pretty well,” observed Adrian. “It’s important for me to do well on this course. I’ve already flunked one course. I can’t afford to mess this up, otherwise I’ll finish up living with Mum and Dad for eternity.”
“And no chance of any extracurricular activity, huh?” I joked.
Adrian smiled ruefully. “You’ve got it mate. Here I am with some private space for once in my life and unable to take advantage of it.”
I looked round, making sure our conversation was not overheard. “I’ve been thinking, Adrian. Perhaps I should be more open minded. After all, you shouldn’t knock it until you’ve tried it...”
“Yes, Adrian I’d like to try it, if you’re still up for it.”