A young man walked along the beach carrying a rucksack. He was on his way home from a training session and was eager to share the latest news with his Dad. He was short in stature, but had an athletic build. He had his shirt tied loosely around his waist which showed off his well-toned physique. You would have had to look closely to even notice the now barely visible scars on his chest. You wouldn't stop to think that there was anything unusual about him. You wouldn't stop and think that he was once a girl. For this young man was Jason Costello.
Ten years had past since he had arrived in California and so much had happened since then. He had all but obliterated Jasmine from his life, there was no longer any trace of her. Jason had made a name for himself since he had arrived in America. He was now a pro-footballer, just as his Dad had been and he had moved out of the apartment that he had shared with his Dad and bought his own place. Jason was happy with life and it was about to get even better. Earlier that day, Jason had received an e-mail from Bart. He was coming over to see Jason and Bart had some news of his own. Bart McQueen was now a well-known street artist and was making a good living out of his art. He had come a long way from his school days when he was spraying graffiti on school property.
Jason was both excited and nervous at the prospect of seeing Bart again. The pair were constantly in touch via Skype and e-mail, but this would be the first time that the two lads had met up since Bart had visited ten years ago. Bart had been through Jason's gradual transformation with him. When Jason started on testosterone, he had shared the news with Bart. When he finally had his chest surgery done, Jason skyped Bart to show him the results. But being mates over a webcam is one thing, Jason was feeling uneasy about how Bart would feel when he saw him in person. He wasn't going to have to wait long to find out.
Jason went to meet Bart at the airport. He stood in the terminal in nervous anticipation. Jason could feel his heart rate increasing, and then...Bart emerged and was walking towards him. Bart was now sporting designer stubble on his face, but his general appearance and manner was unchanged. He walked straight up to Jason and gave him a bear hug.
''Alright, mate. I can't believe it's taken this long to get back here. How you doing, Jase?''
Jason grinned. His eyes sparkled as he looked at Bart. Bart looked back at Jason and realised that those feelings were still there. He still loved Jason.
Jason grabbed Bart's bags and asked him, ''What's all this for? How long are you planning to stay?'' ''I'll tell you all about it on the way back to yours.'' said Bart.
In the car, Bart explained to Jason that he had now made enough money to make his own way and that he had come to a decision.
''You know I said that I would come back when I could. Well It's more than that.'' said Bart. There was a sudden pause.
''Bart, out with it,'' said Jason.
''I couldn't carry on the way I was,'' continued Bart, ''Something was missing.'' Bart glanced over at Jason. Jason pulled over and stopped the car.
''Bart are you trying to tell me that you have dropped everything and come out here - for me!''
''Yeah.'' replied Bart, looking at the floor as if he didn't know what was coming next.
''You crazy...'' Jason stopped mid-sentence and threw his arms around Bart.
Then he looked at Bart's left hand, and there was the tattoo. Jason put his left hand next to Bart's, ''You've always got me, remember.'' said Jason. ''Always,'' replied Bart. Jason started the car again and they carried on to Jason's beachside apartment.
As they pulled up onto the drive of Jason's home, Bart jokingly remarked, ''Well there must be money in being a footy player then.''
Jason gave Bart a playful shove and showed him in.
''Come on in, I guess this is your home now,'' said Jason, unable to wipe the smile off his face. He had worried about how Bart would be towards him, but he needn't have worried. It was just how it had been ten years ago. Jason showed Bart around the apartment.
Then Bart asked, ''Which is my room then?''
''This one,'' and Jason showed Bart into his bedroom. ''That's if you are ok with that'' said Jason.
Bart smiled, ''No sleeping bag?''.
''No sleeping bag this time'' replied Jason, ''Just me''.
Bart stood looking at Jason and wondered to himself why he had taken so long to realise that he loved him. He felt that he had wasted so much time, but Bart was going to make up for it. The two lads headed outside and onto the beach. It was early evening and the waves were gently lapping against the sand. Sitting on the golden sand, Jason lent against Bart's shoulder and the two sat in silence listening to the waves.
After a while, Bart asked Jason,''Has there been anyone else in your life in the past ten years.''
Jason, shocked by this question, sat up and looked at Bart, saying ''Why did you ask that?''
Bart replied, ''Well you are a gorgeous looking bloke, there must have been someone.''
''Eh, no.'' replied Jason. ''I haven't really made a point of saying that I'm gay, because I haven't had to. There hasn't been anyone in my life, only you Bart McQueen.''
''Really?'' replied Bart.
''You're the one, Bart. I don't want anyone else''
''Jase, love you,'' said Bart and put an arm around Jason.
''Come on, let's go home. I've got training tomorrow,'' said Jason.
The next morning, Jason woke up and looked at Bart, who was still sound asleep beside him. Jason didn't want to move. He just wanted to stay there looking at Bart, his boyfriend. Yes, Bart was his boyfriend and Jason couldn't contain how he felt. He was just so happy. But he couldn't be late for training, people will wonder what's going on, he was never late.
''Oh well,'' said Jason to himself and headed off to get ready. Jason had never gotten tired of seeing his flat chest in the mirror and knowing that he would never have to use a binder again. He could look at himself in the mirror and be happy with the man that stared back at him. Then he saw another face in the mirror. Bart had snook up behind him.
''Morning, Jase.'' said Bart, ''Why didn't you wake me?''
''Didn't want to,'' Jason replied. Bart grabbed Jason around the waist and lent his chin on Jason's shoulder.
''Do you want to come and watch my training session?'' Jason asked.
''Sure, why not. I have been waiting to catch a glimpse of the Costello 'magic' in action!'' Bart said cheekily.
Jason finished getting ready and grabbed his kit bag. ''I'm gonna be late.'' Jason said, ''Come on!''
To Be Continued....