qvFeature Story

Amigos Desde La Infancia
Carlos recalls the memories of being best friends with another kid named Carlos. It was a time of innocence, but one where they shared great times together!

By Carlos Manuel

Carlos and I were childhood friends-amigos desde la infancia. Our families lived in the same small town in Michoacan's northern region. And since both our families were "familias de buen gusto," which actually meant our families were (and still are) rich in relation to the majority of the families living in the town, Carlos and I attended the only private elementary school in town.

I remember the first day of school when we met. He was crying because Dona Teresa, su mama, was leaving him behind in an unknown place surrounded by unknown faces. I, on the other hand, was happy to be left behind! I loved school from the moment I arrived there till this day.

As Dona Teresa and the rest of the adults left the building, a nun saw Carlos crying and approached him. "See this boy over here?" she said to him as she pointed to me. "He's not crying because he understands that little boys are not supposed to cry." If she only knew...

Carlos and I were placed in the same classroom and seated next to each other. Call it luck or call it destiny-all I know is that he and I became good friends from the first school day. And because we shared the same name, Carlos, as the years went by everyone called us "Los Hermanos."

By the time we reached fifth grade, both Carlos and I had developed different friendships with different students. However, because everyone started noticing that I was beginning to show a certain effeminacy, I began to be teased at school. Carlos and a couple of other boys were the only ones who never made fun of me, at least not to my face.

Although Carlos was my friend, we hardly spent any time together at school. He liked to hang around with the sixth graders-the guys who played soccer and followed girls around. I, on the other hand, liked to spend my time reading, writing, or drawing pictures of butterflies, rainbows, and flowers.

After school, however, it was different. I knew that once Carlos was done with his homework, he would come rushing down the street and knock on my grandparents' door, demanding that I come out and play with him. If he didn't do that, I would rush down his street, and politely asked his mother if Carlos was available. And it never failed. It was a routine that both our familias accepted and expected. Mi mama always used Carlos' visits as an excuse for me to go out and play with friends and stop looking at fashion magazines. And if he didn't show up at the expected time, mi mama would gladly let me out of the house so I could look for my buddy. I liked that routine very much because it meant Carlos and I could play by ourselves on the rooftop of his house or in my backyard. To me, that was the best part of our friendship-we were not just school friends, we were also barrio friends.

By the time I reached the seventh grade, I started seeing Carlos in a different way. On one particular Saturday afternoon, mi abuelo sent me to the pharmacy to buy some tonic he needed. I gladly accepted the assignment knowing that I would get to pass by my buddy's house. I quickly hopped on my bicycle and headed towards his house. Unfortunately, he wasn't there. But on my way back, I passed by his place once again and I happened to catch him as he was just arriving from a horseback ride. As soon as I saw him in the distance, my heart leaped with excitement-it was a feeling I've never felt before.

As I approached his house, I noticed he was not wearing a shirt. His smooth, young, and dark upper body was exposed in all its glory. I suddenly realized that the crying little boy I'd met five years before, had now turned into a beautiful, sexy 13 year old teenager. I was the same age as he was, so there was nothing sick or dirty about thinking that my best friend, my school partner, and neighborhood buddy was a sexy Adonis.

When Carlos noticed me, he smiled-but his smile was different. There was a certain "magical spark" in it that made my body tremble with desire.

"Hey, what are you doing around here?" He asked me still seated on his horse.

"Vengo de la farmacia," I mumbled, keeping my eyes fixed on his upper body.

"I see." He paused then asked me, "Carlos, do you think they would let you ride the horse with me?" he asked.

"I'm not sure. Let me take this home, and I'll be right back."

"Okay, but don't take too long." He shouted at me as I rode my bicycle home as fast as I could.
In no time, I was back at Carlos' house. His mama let me in and told me that he was in el corral playing with the horses. I quickly headed his way for suddenly, in my mind, every second wasted meant a lifetime without him.

I wasn't good at riding horses, but Carlos was an expert. That day, he showed me how to ride the horse and give it the necessary commands. He showed me how to talk to the horse and even how to feed it. All of these things, he taught me while we both rode the horse together. I was the horse rider while he sat right behind me, holding onto me like a child who is afraid of losing his mother.

After a good thirty minutes of riding the horse, which I enjoyed very much but not as much as having the shirtless and sweaty Carlos close to me, we fed the horses. And while they ate, Carlos and I sat in the barn and chatted about many different unimportant subjects.

When the horses finished eating, Carlos said he needed to take a shower. That's when it happened. Once again, call it luck or destiny, but his parents were gone, so he asked me if I wanted to shower with him. At first, I hesitated, but when I saw him taking off his dirty jeans, my blood rushed through my body so fast that I had no choice but to accept.

At first, we said nothing. We simply soaped ourselves and rinsed ourselves. Then, he shampooed his hair and I followed suit. I kept myself facing away from him because I didn't want him to see that I was getting excited by the event. I was seeing Carlos naked for the first time, and my body was not hiding my desire to touch him. Quickly, I got out of the shower, grabbed a towel, and went to his room to dry myself. As I was trying to put my underwear back on, he entered the room, a towel wrapped around his waist and his underwear on one hand. He looked at me and smiled. His smile silently told me, "Come on, Carlos, let's make love."

I don't know how, but as I smiled back at him, I extended my arms and reached out to him. He then walked towards me, and in no time, we were engaged in the most passionate kiss I ever had. In fact, it was my first kiss, and it was a very sweet, slow, and durable kiss-a kiss I have carried in my memory for many years.

After that long kiss, I felt I was going to faint, but he didn't allow me. He grabbed my hand and placed it on his smooth, young chest. Then he placed one of his hands on mine. Not really knowing what to do, we both let our instincts guide us: a kiss here, a rub there, a soft bite on the ear. Our bodies trembled with desire, and sexual ecstasies rushed throughout our insides. His breathing, as well as mine, became harder and faster. His heart and mine became louder. And without knowing how, we had sex. The pleasurable pain when the male sex enters you for the first time was experienced in me. It both hurt and felt good. It made me happy, and it made us both cry. It was the first time we ever talked about sex, but we talked about it without saying a word.

After that night, our friendship stayed the same. But we didn't say anything to each other about our encounter-for a long time. At school, he'd hang around with his school friends, and I would read, write, and draw. But after school, and once homework was done, Carlos and I would get together to play with our cowboys and toy soldiers. Of course, that is what we made everyone believe. The cowboys and toy soldiers were soon left behind. They were replaced with hugs, kisses, and love making. We were very young and innocent, but we were in love.

By the time I turned 17, Carlos and I had slowly drifted apart. Once in high school you find your interest and selective friends. Yet, once in a while, we got together to play a video game and make love.

It wasn't until he had to move away that I realized how much I was in love with him. The evening before he left, we got together and talked for hours. He gave me some of his most valuable possessions and the opportunity to love him once again. As we both said good-bye, we both cried. It was then that I knew what it meant to be in love and how much love can hurt. It was then that I discovered the meaning of life: to love someone and to be loved by that someone.

Ten years later, Carlos and I met again. But this time, I knew that there was not going to be any cowboys and toy soldiers for us to play with. Instead, he introduced me to his wife, Leticia, and his three children. The oldest had been named Carlos Manuel-which is my name, and which gave me a sign that his father, my school friend and neighborhood buddy, had treasured our times together and had loved me as much as he had said he did.

"Como has estado?" Carlos asked me in his baritone voice that reminded me why I had loved him so much-so many years ago.

"Fine! I'm fine!" I answered then asked, "God, how long has it been?"

"Too long, if you ask me," Carlos replied with a smile.

"Let's see, you left right after high school," I said. After thinking about it a while, I added, "It's been ten years since we saw each other, Carlos."

"Ten years!" He exclaimed almost in a state of shock. "Como dice la canción, el tiempo pasa y..."
There was a sudden moment of silence between us, a silence that was needed, that was necessary-perhaps required.

Carlos looked at me and I looked at him. His eyes still had the brilliant hypnotic effect that so many young girls fell for when we were schoolboys. I still had the idiotic look that made him laugh every time he caught me staring at him. He, then, noticed his wife in the distance.

"So," he broke the silence, "shall we go and see if dinner is ready?"

"Sure," I answered back.

We got up and started walking, and as we headed towards the front of the house, Carlos placed one of his arms around my shoulders. This friendly gesture was something I did not expect of him for it had been such a long time since we had last seen each other.

Nervously, I looked at him and smiled. In return, he smiled at me. I, then, placed one of my arms around his shoulders. And as I did, I suddenly felt I was once again his buddy, his confidant, his childhood lover. With no words to be said, we slowly strolled to the house.

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