The Build-Up

The Build-Up

Zack and I snuck into his dad’s room, which was also my momma’s room, and found the stash of porn under their bed. It was in the drawers under Eric’s side, Playboy’s on the right, VHS-tapes on the left. This was the first time, so we just took one magazine, carefully, from the drawer, and went into the living room to flip through it. There were women with large breasts and spread legs, all of them making Zack hard. I could see the fabric of his cargo shorts shifting at the zipper. He adjusted himself and I pretended not to look. We were brothers now, and I couldn’t like him anymore.


When I went to visit during fall break, Zack and I were stuck in the same room—the loft upstairs that left us totally open to unwanted guests. On the first night, Zack mentioned getting a physical for football, and he said the doctor told him his dick was above average. I didn’t know a doctor would say such a thing to a child; Zack didn’t see himself as a child, since he smoked and drank and fucked any girl he wanted, but he was fourteen, which felt like a child to me. I told him I wasn’t sure if my penis was big or small, and we went to bed.

The next night, Zack said he was horny, and after an hour, when he must’ve thought I was asleep, I heard the sound of lotion being squirted into his hand, and then of that lotion capturing every motion, up and down. When he realized I was awake, he said to do it, too. I did.


Zack convinced me to follow him into an old house, because he liked having an accomplice when committing his crimes. He’d broken a side window and climbed in, and then unlocked the front door. I had my arms crossed, reprimanding him from the front yard, and then because I was worried and also felt like I was missing out, went inside. Then I saw a new bottle of Jergen’s lotion and said there was no way this house was abandoned. When the police came, I fessed up, maybe throwing Zack under the bus since everyone already knew he was a bad kid. We had to sit in the back of a police car for a few minutes before the man whose house it was agreed to drop any charges as long as Eric fixed everything that was broken.


I pretended to ejaculate whenever we came, because I was almost fourteen and I thought I should have done it by now. I wondered if all those times I’d asked God to let me be a girl had gotten me stuck in limbo land. I thought I would never ejaculate.


We watched a video where this girl masturbated with a banana. Halfway through, her brother caught her. He was wearing a baseball uniform and he asked if she needed help. She said yes, and they fucked. I imagined myself as the girl with the banana.


I started dating this girl named Nichole, hoping to prove that I was straight, that I was a boy. That I was the things I was supposed to be. But I didn’t think about her when I masturbated. Instead, I imagined Zack in his football uniform, which I had yet to see, fucking me inside the locker room.


Zack and I found a fake vagina in the drawer of the VHS tapes. It had been inside an old USPS box, and when Zack took it out, he laughed and stuck his finger in like he was going to make it come. He said it felt real, and since I had never been with a woman, and was desperate to be straight, to be a man, I said I wanted to try it. He told me to stick my finger in. Then he grabbed a tape and we went out to the living room. He fucked the fake vagina, letting the head of his dick peak through the top hole that I guessed was to prevent too much suction. When I said I wanted to fuck it, he said, “Dude, it’s my dad’s pussy.”

I snatched it from him, saw his dick, and dropped the fake vagina immediately. I was always too scared to look for too long, because I knew it was even more of a sin than the things we already did. But then Zack zipped up and told me I could give it a try.

I went to our parents’ bedroom, and I pulled out my penis. Then Zack busted through and I felt my heart leap out of my chest. I was terrified of him seeing my penis. I slammed the door on him and said to stay out. He knocked. I peeked through the door, and he said, “Sorry, dude, was just trying to show you how to fuck it. I know you ain’t been with a girl yet, was just trying to help.” Then he explained that I needed to stick two fingers in my mouth, wet them, finger the fake vagina, and then it would be ready to fuck. It was like he was teaching me for the real thing, not just to get off in this moment. Was this what big brothers were for?

When I looked down, I had lost my erection.


When Zack found out about me dating Nichole, he messaged her on Myspace and flirted with her. She flirted back. She told me he was hot. We broke up.


Zack and I were masturbating and talking about penis sizes at the same time. I made a joke about how he was probably ashamed of his, partly because I wanted to see it. He had a little flashlight keychain and he used it to flash the light on his dick. He said, “I’m not ashamed of this,” and then he flashed it at my dick, and said, “You ashamed of this?” and did it again and again, making me laugh so loud that Momma hollered from downstairs for us to go to bed.


Zack and I got in trouble for something, I can’t remember what, and when he eventually stormed off, he called me a faggot. The way he said the word—it sounded like: fag-it.  His accent was so strong sometimes. The word stung. I hated him. I wanted him to like me.


Zack and I got into a fight—I was being snobby, he was being rude. He rode off on the four-wheeler. I got stung by a wasp and screamed for him. He sped back and rushed me to the house.


My granny gifted Momma and Eric a pool, some busted up above-ground pool that we all put together over an afternoon. The pool turned green after a week.

One day, after it had stormed real bad, Zack and I went swimming and he pretended to be a shark. I laughed and shrieked and I told myself not to swoon over him like this, because it wasn’t appropriate. But I fell in love with him, then. And I thought about how fun it would be if we weren’t brothers, if I was a girl.

Eric came out and said that him and Momma had to go help out a friend with a flat tire and that they’d be back in a bit. He stood at the edge of the porch, a t-shirt and ill-fitting grey briefs. Zack pointed out that Eric had a hole at the backside. Eric turned around and flashed his balls through the hole and Zack groaned, grossed out. I pretended to be grossed out, too.

When they left, Zack sat on the pool ladder and asked if I noticed how many of their friends had flat tires. Momma and Eric went to fix someone’s tire at least twice a week, if not more. I just figured they weren’t making tires like they used to.

“You don’t get it?” Zack asked. I shrugged. “Idiot,” he said.


Zack did bad things, but I forgot about them so easily.


Momma had been making peanut butter oatmeal cookies, but then Eric got a phone call and they were off to help someone fix a tire. She asked me to take the cookies out of the oven when the timer went off. My stomach was full from all the batter I’d spooned into my mouth while she worked. Zack and I jerked off to whatever porn he’d put on, using purple latex gloves filled with Vaseline. I felt a rumbling in my stomach. Then I ran to the bathroom. I had diarrhea for the rest of the night. Zack took the cookies from the oven.


Zack stood by his rack of clothes, getting dressed, and I noticed I was taller than him. It helped soften the blow from the day before, when he’d come home smiling, showing off his newly braceless teeth. I ran my tongue over my own crooked teeth and stood closer, hoping he’d have to look up, ever so slightly, to meet eyes with me.


During one of the videos we watched, I commented on how both women had such small breasts. Zack, casually stroking, said, “Daddy always says if it’s more than a mouthful, it’s a waste.”


“How’d you learn how to jack off,” I asked.

We were washing the dishes.

“I walked in on one of my cousins once,” he said. “Trent. He had a bottle of lotion by his chair and when he saw me, he told me to come over. He squirted a bunch of lotion in my hand and said, ‘There you go, little buddy. Wack away!’”

“How old were y’all?”

“He was sixteen, I guess, seventeen. I was four or five. I can’t remember too well. It’s been a while.”

I made a hmm sound, because I didn’t know what to say.


“American Pie,” I said, though that wasn’t true.


I learned how to jerk off when I was nine. It was at day camp. I watched this group of teenage boys sitting at a picnic table, talking about sex. I befriended them. The last day of camp, the cute boy took out his penis, and I reached to touch it, and he thrust it into my hand. He said, “Why you jacking me, dude?”

“What?” I said.

He came.

When we waited for pickup, he said before that, he’d only ever done it to himself.

Before that, I had just humped my pillow at night.


“We should go skinny dipping,” Zack said. Momma and Eric had just gone to help a man named John fix a flat. I told Zack no, I couldn’t do such a thing. He laughed and said, “Come on, it’ll be fun.”

Zack shimmied out of his swim trunks and tossed them on the pool ladder.

“See anything,” Zack asked. I didn’t. “See. You’ll be fine.”

I ducked neck deep in the water and took off my shirt and shorts. I sat them on the edge of the pool and moved back to the center. Then they slithered off. Zack laughed and then leapt into the air. His body, sinewy muscles wrapped carefully around his body, took beads of water into the air with him. The water blurred the dark hair above his penis. I wanted to touch ever part of him. But wouldn’t.


Zack tickled me. He grabbed me and I fell onto the bed and cackled and imagined what life would be like if we were together. It was always moments like this when I forgot how much I hated him. When his face got close to mine, I closed my eyes and willed him to kiss me.


This wasn’t how things went, in the porn I downloaded from Limewire. In those videos, the stepbrothers fucked the very first time they had one of these encounters. I knew it was a sin, but I prayed to God that he would let it happen anyway.

Zack asked if I wanted to watch a video. He went into our parents’ bedroom and picked one out. I was always making sure he didn’t see my penis, but for some reason, this time, he could. I held my hand over me and said, “I don’t want you to see.”

“I ain’t looking at you, dude. I ain’t a faggot.”

Then he went behind the couch, and said, “Better?”

It was worse. Now I couldn’t see him but he could see all of me. But I knew I shouldn’t be looking anyway, and he was right, he had no reason to look at me. I pulled down my underwear and began stroking; pulling my penis taught so hopefully he would think it was bigger.

At some point, I caught him glancing over at me.

“You hiding behind that couch because you’re embarrassed?” I joked. It made no sense but I never did.

“Fuck no,” he said.

“Just wondering, since you’re the one hiding and I’m out in the open.”

“Here,” He walked from behind the couch and stroked it in my direction. I felt my face get hot. “You wanna blow me, faggot?”

I couldn’t stop looking at him as he stroked it. I wanted to cry. I wanted to say yes.

This was the moment I had been waiting for.

Zack would walk up to me and stuff his dick into my mouth, choking me, and I would swallow his load. That’s what was supposed to happen here. He would start waking me up every night by thrusting into me. We would get married one day, and we would never have time for anything but fucking. All of these thoughts, and more, went through my head in the moment he stepped forward. But because I was scared, because I never knew how to take things further, because I had Christian guilt, because I didn’t want him to be joking, because I wanted him to ask me sweetly, because I didn’t want him to kill me, I shook my head no.

He went back behind the couch. We didn’t jerk off together again the rest of the summer.


About the Author

Hunter McLendon is a writer and state worker. His work has appeared in Hunger Mountain Review. He lives in Florida--for now, with his husband, Tyler, and their dog, who has chosen to remain anonymous.


Image by Katja ____ from Pixabay