Alpha Bear on Campus Ch. 03

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Chapter 3: Forming a Father/Son Bond

The next Monday I took my usual seat at the end of the large conference table in the Gorman board room. It had been an awkward couple of days for me after the shower incident with Dean Parsons. I had already planned on giving President May an excuse for why I couldn’t join him and the dean for lunch. I wanted to allow more time to pass before I had to spend a significant amount of time with him. I was also determined to not give my body any reason to try and further embarrass myself. I decided to make an extra effort not to gawk at President May as I tended to do during these meetings. I sat there brooding in self pity for most of the hour. Until I heard my name called.

“John, you are one of the very people this decision could affect. What do you think?” The question had come from President May. I looked up and saw all eyes on me. I had no clue where we were on the agenda. I hadn’t been paying attention. I felt my face blush; my hands were instantly sweaty; my heart pumped loudly in my chest. I had no idea what to say.

“John, did you hear me? We wanted to get your input before making this decision.”

“I’m sorry Sir. I, uhh, I trust whatever decision the board makes.” My voice was shaking. It always does when I get nervous. I prayed this would be a satisfactory answer. It wasn’t.

“But John, we want some student input before making that decision. It’s okay if you are having a case of the Mondays. Frank, can you quickly bring John up to speed.” My face turned a deeper shade of red. Frank Minsky was the admissions director, a middle aged man in his late 40s, too skinny for my tastes but handsome enough.

“We are talking about a new outreach program to non-traditional students.” I remembered now. This had been talked about at several meetings before this one. There was a proposal to get rid of our liberal arts requirements (known as The Core) in order to attract more adults looking to return to school to get a degree. Currently, our undergrad classes were a deterrent to this demographic. Many on the university saw this as another source of revenue for the university but others thought it would devalue what a degree from the university meant.

I could hardly speak because of my nerves. My voice was still shaky and my heart was pounding. I tried to keep my answer as short as possible. “I tend to agree with the view that this would not be a good idea.”

“But the numbers show this would bring in huge revenue.” Minsky countered. “We could look to expand our infrastructure with the increased student body this new program would bring.” Eyes were on me again. They wanted me to respond. In my moment of uncertainty, I looked to President May. He was slouched back in his seat. His elbow rested on the arm of his chair, and his forefinger was pressed to his temple as always. He nodded at me and gave me a “you’ve got this” look. This lifted my spirits, and I felt my voice come back to me as air rushed to my lungs again.

“I don’t think we will attract as many students by removing The Core as some suggest. Bigger universities than ours already have such a degree and are more affordable. I would probably have gone elsewhere if not for The Core. Why pay more for the same education as the big State College down the road?” There was silence in the room. Had I insulted them? Had I made a complete fool of myself? I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard President May speak.

“I think John brings up an excellent point. We need to reevaluate these projections. They don’t seem right to me either. Let’s put out another survey and this time include a question about the point John brings up. Would our students have chosen to go elsewhere if we got rid of The Core.”

I was relieved when the meeting finished up shortly after this. As everyone got up to leave I pretended to play around on my phone hoping to avoid any small talk or interaction with anyone after that embarrassment. Soon it was just President May and me left in the room.

“Are you ready for lunch? I know I am!” President May drummed his hands on the table as if to give a marching beat to head to Willie’s.

“Actually Sir, I have a lot of reading I need to do before class tonight. I don’t think I’m going to be able to join you guys today.”

“Oh, nonsense. You’ve got to eat. Plus, Dean Parsons had something come up. It will just be me and you today. It will be a good chance for us to spend some quality time, one on one.” He stood up from his chair and walked toward me. “I was impressed with you in the meeting today.”

“I don’t know about that.” I looked at the ground shaking my head in a sulking way. “I think I made a fool of myself. I wasn’t paying attention, and then I could barely speak. That was pretty embarrassing.” President May placed his hand on my shoulder and gave me a little shake.

“Nonsense, Johnny. You brought up an excellent point. I agree with you on the matter. I think eliminating The Core would be a big mistake. canlı bahis And don’t worry about your nerves. You are in a room full of intimidating people. I’ve seen it happen before.” I kept looking at the ground refusing to look up at him. “C’mon! Let’s talk it over at lunch.” He used the hand on my shoulder to turn me around and nudged me towards the door. He wasn’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer. Reluctantly, I accepted the invitation.

On the way over we talked nothing of the meeting. I think President May sensed I wasn’t in the mood quite yet. It wasn’t until after Meaghan took our orders that President May was more intentional with our conversation.

“So John, let’s talk about the meeting.” My eyes turned downward, and I took a sip of my soda.

“Yeah, that wasn’t my finest moment. I get nervous speaking in settings like that. I know it’s something I have to work on, but I can’t help it. I get inside my head too easily.”

“Don’t be too hard on yourself. I was really impressed with your answer. That was a really good point you brought up. As far as your nerves go, I think that is something that will improve with age. You’re the inexperienced young guy in the room. It’s natural to feel sort of intimidated by the big dogs.” I nodded my head but still didn’t feel any better about it all. I did appreciate President May’s efforts and the advice he was giving me. I decided to take advantage of this opportunity and confide in the man.

“To be honest, sir, I have felt that way my whole life. Even around those my age. I don’t have much self-confidence.”

“Why do you think that is?” President May began to put on the role of a counselor. In truth, he had been my counselor and mentor the whole summer. It was just playing out in a more obvious way right now.

“I don’t know. I guess I’ve always felt inferior to others. I’ve never been able to shake that feeling.”

“Inferior? You’re a talented young man. I’ve seen your transcripts. You have outstanding grades! You’re a fit athlete. You played baseball, right?” I nodded my head while still looking at the table. “And you’re as handsome as any. I would think you’d have your pick of the litter in getting dates. Why do you view yourself in such a negative way? Johnny, you’re a stud.” The use of my childhood name made me smile internally. It did puzzle me a bit why he called me that. I would have viewed it as flirtatious coming from any other guy. But coming from him, I chalked it up more to his gregarious personality.

“Why do you call me ‘Johnny’ sometimes?”

“I know you go by John, but I imagine at one time growing up your parents called you ‘Johnny’.” He chuckled. “I’ve developed a paternal attitude towards my students as I’ve gotten older. I don’t mean any offense by it. I suppose here we are talking about inferiority, and I am calling you a boy’s name. I can call you ‘John’ if you prefer. I apologize.”

“Oh no, Sir. No need to apologize. I, uh…I kinda like it.” He smiled from ear to ear when I said this. “Being so far away from home, I think you have filled that paternal role a bit for me. You’ve been a great mentor and friend. That name speaks to that I think.”

“That makes me very happy to hear! I have no children of my own, never been married, and I’ve poured my life into my work. It’s rewarding to know that I’ve been able to make an impact and give back in some way.”

Before either of us could say any more, Meaghan came by with our food. We had both ordered a chicken sandwich with fries. I had copied his order. As Meaghan left our table, President May locked eyes with me and nodded his head at her departing figure, indicating he wanted me to check her out. I turned and watched her curvy figure walk away. She was a knockout. I’ll give him that.

“Johnny, I’m not trying to sound like Dean Parsons here, so please don’t take this the wrong way. But why not ask her out? She’s young and beautiful and so are you. Let’s start to tear down this inferiority complex today.”

“She’s not really my type.” I said dodgingly.

“What? Blonde and beautiful isn’t your type?” I shrugged my shoulders and took a bite of my sandwich to buy myself some time while I figured out what to say. “Okay, okay. What about one of those two TA’s you work with? You’ve got a brunette and a pretty Latina. Surely, one of them is your type. Why not go for one of them?” Again, I had no idea what to say. I know I had confided in the man earlier and mentioned I saw him as a mentor, but now he had the full court press on me, and I didn’t know how to escape. I sat there awkwardly, my muscles all tensed.

“John, can I ask you a personal question?”

“Sure.” I said hoping it would not be about anymore girls.

“Now, don’t take this the wrong way. It’s none of my business, and I really should not even be asking you this. But like I said, I have a big paternal heart. I care about you. I want to help you.” He paused and looked at me seeing if it was okay to continue. I nodded. He leaned bahis siteleri forward, so he could speak more softly.

“Johnny, are you gay?”

There it was. The question I had feared was coming. I had been too obvious in my avoidance of questions about Meaghan. He’d probably seen me checking him out before. Did the dean tell him about me getting aroused in the showers last Thursday? All these thoughts went through my head, but how should I answer his question. Do I lie or do I tell the truth?

I decided to throw caution to the wind. I looked him in the eye and nodded my head. “Yes Sir. I am.” I quickly averted my eyes. Why did I do that? I could never take that back. I felt tears start to come to my eyes. That was a mistake. I should have lied. But then, I felt a gentle touch on my forearm.

“Johnny, look at me.” I did. The smile on his face reminded me of a proud father. “You should have said so. That’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s perfectly normal. I am glad you had the courage to tell me. First, I want you to know I don’t think any differently of you. I’m actually more impressed by you now. You are safe with me.” He squeezed my arm as he said the word “safe.” I blinked away a few tears and looked back at him and returned a smile.

“Thank you. I have never told anyone that before.”

“Really? Wow! Do I feel honored now!” He took his hand off my forearm (I wish it would have stayed!) and touched his heart as if the flattery was too much. “I am glad you trust me that much. You can tell whoever you want. It’s not my business to share. Again, you are safe with me. In fact, to show you how safe you are with me, let me let you in on something very few people know about me.”

There was a short pause and he leaned back in close to me. “You’re not the only one at this table who is attracted to men.” My heart skipped a beat. Initially, I wanted to look around and confirm we were the only two sitting at the table. Of course we were. My mind raced in a million different directions. I didn’t believe my ears for a second. My mind jumped to all the dirty thoughts I had thought about him before. Those were all a lot more closer to reality now.

“Really? You Sir? You’re…”

“Yes Johnny, I’m gay. Why do you think such a handsome and successful stud like me has never married?” He puffed out his chest and laughed at his boasting. “I kid! I’m not that big headed.”

“Oh no, Sir. You are handsome and certainly have accomplished a lot. You’re the university president after all!” He waved off the unneeded praise from a twenty-two year old student.

“Thank you, John. I appreciate the kind words. I just want to let you know you are not alone in this.”

“Can I ask you something now, Sir?”

“Johnny, you can ask me anything!”

“Why me? Why are you telling me this? I am just some random graduate student?”

“Stop that inferiority talk. You are not a random graduate student. You are my friend, and I trust you. Also, like I said, I have a very paternal nature. I have grown to care a great deal for you this summer, and I want to help you in this. It’s not easy to carry around alone. There are too many people in this world who are not as welcoming and accepting as they should be. I’m guessing your parents don’t know?” I shook my head. “Johnny, you are like a son to me. You can always come to me if you need anything.”

I was floored by these words. He saw me as a son? My heart was warm. I also noticed things were a lot warmer in my pants.

There was a long silence as we both drank in the moment and appreciated this new bond that had been created. I started to wonder what else President May was thinking. His eyes had begun to look me over. But then he brought an end to the silence and looked at his plate.

“Perhaps that’s enough secret sharing for one day. I need to dig into this chicken sandwich before it gets cold.”

“Thank you again, Sir. Or should I call you ‘Dad’?” I laughed. I hoped that joke would be received well.

He laughed too as he finished a bite. “No, no. ‘Sir’ works just fine — for now.” And there was his patented eyebrow raise followed by a wink.

Meaghan came by to refill our drinks. When she left the rest President May switched our conversation to a lighter subject. The rest of lunch focused on more trivial matters. But, it was certainly a lunch I would never forget!

The week had started out on a good foot with that fantastic Monday lunch with President May. Things didn’t stop getting better from there. It turned out that the awkwardness I feared would exist between Dean Parsons and me was only a figment of my imagination. He made no mention or any indication of seeing my hardon in the shower. Maybe he didn’t see after all.

My run-ins with President May also became more and more special. He’d still ask his usual “How are you doing?” or “How is the dean treating you?” questions as he passed me in the hall or on campus. But now, they always had some sort of personal bahis şirketleri flare to them. He’d be sure to call me “Johnny” or give me a wink as he greeted me. A friendly pat on the shoulder was always included. We also had much more to talk about now on our car rides to Willie’s.

“Johnny, have you ever thought of coming out? Don’t feel like I am pressuring you to do so. You need to decide when you’re ready, but it’s not healthy to keep this bottled up your entire life.”

“Eventually, I need to. But right now, I don’t think I’m ready for it. The thought scares me a little.”

“Does anyone besides me know?”

“There is one other person who knows?” I paused thinking about the awkward night I had with one of my friends from high school. President May looked at me with a patient face that said ‘go on’. “I don’t know if its an appropriate story.” I said.

“Johnny, I may be the president, but I’m not a prude. I’ve been around the block a few times in my day. You aren’t going to scandalize my ears. It’d be good for you to get this story off your chest. I mean, who else are you going to tell it to?”

I proceeded to tell him about my buddy and how we had gotten handsy when we shared the same bed at a sleepover one night. We almost got caught by another friend who was sleeping over who burst into the room unannounced, but we played it off well enough to where he didn’t suspect any funny business was going on. Still, both of us were embarrassed and never spoke about the night again.

“So you’re a virgin.” President May stated matter of factly rather than posing it as a question. I tried to argue that giving a handjob to another guy counted as losing my v-card.

“That doesn’t count. You need to actually have sex to lose your virginity. It’s okay to still be a virgin. Just don’t remain a virgin forever. You have to start living your life at some point.” I sat there in silence dreaming about how great it would be to “live my life.”

Sensing my gloomy mood, President May patted me on the knee. “Here, let me tell you about my first time in the sack.” He drove past the entrance to Willie’s and took the car on another long spin of the blocks surrounding the restaurant. Evidently, he wanted more time to finish our chat. The rest of his story involved how he discovered one of his fraternity brothers had hidden a gay porno magazine under his mattress. This gave him the confidence to pursue the guy in a more flirtatious and seductive way. They ended up having sex at a small motel in town about a month later. “Hardly the romantic story, I know.” President May chuckled at the end.

The thought of President May having sex with another man filled my mind. “Sir, do you mind if I — if I ask you something else?” I treaded carefully.

“You can ask me anything, Johnny.”

“I’m not sure how to phrase this but….were you the top or the bottom?” I held my breath hoping that didn’t cross the line. President May gave me a sideways look. The right side of his face was turned upward in a mischievous grin.

“Young man, I have never bottomed in my entire life. I am what they call in our community, a ‘total top’. I fucked that guy right in the ass and many men after that.” He gave me another pat on the knee and said, “Pardon my French!” My cock was now hard and stuck to the inside of my leg. I sure hoped we would take another couple trips around the block before finally parking. Fortunately, President May read my mind and passed the restaurant once again.

“Let me educate you on something you may not know about our community. Unlike sex between a man and woman, the roles of who is active and who is passive are not clearly defined. Now, you will find guys that are ‘vers’ meaning, they like to both top and bottom, but commonly you will see a stronger preference for one role over the other. I, my friend, am a dominant top.” He looked at me to see how I was digesting all this exciting info. “Are you with me so far?”

“What do you mean you are a ‘dominant’ top?”

“Oh boy! I really have your interest peaked now! I shouldn’t get too deep into the many kinks of the gay world but let’s just scratch the surface of it. ‘Dominant’ means that I like to be in charge. That’s probably not a big surprise to hear. Sexually, that means I am the active participant in sex; I’m the top; I’m the man in the relationship. But I also like to be demanding. I want complete obedience from my ‘sub’. I’m ‘king of the sheets’ so to speak!”

“Sub? What is that?” I asked with a puzzled look.

This time he looked at me with his eyes rolled. “You’re a smart kid. You can figure that one out on your own.”

We were now once again back at the restaurant. President May started to slow down to make a right turn into the parking lot, but at almost the last second, sped up and went right past. I guess our conversation wasn’t over.

“The dean can wait a few more minutes. We’re in no hurry. Let’s talk about you, Johnny. You’re still a virgin, but I know a twenty-two year old mind isn’t pure and saintly. What do you see yourself more as: a top or a bottom?”

I knew the exact answer to that question, but I was too bashful to admit it. Instead, I just said, “I don’t know.”

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