Dear "J",

I know what you're going through. I've been through the same things, though it's getting harder to remember just what it was like. Thank you for helping me not to forget.

You get nervous when I walk in. You knock things over, excusing yourself as a clumsy adolescent.

You flirt with me outrageously, turning nearly every conversation with me into a double entendre.

You take great pains to illustrate to me just how much of a redneck you are, in the hopes (I'm assuming), that that will make you appear more masculine, or perhaps simply more mature, in my eyes.

You try so hard, but you always fail, to stop yourself from going to the window to watch me drive away. Sometimes, you even tell me goodbye by yelling into the intercom which broadcasts to the gas pumps.

You always want to know what's going on at my house. It's a small, friendly neighborhood after all, and you obviously must have heard some stories.

But most telling is that (not so little, it appears) lurch in the crotch of your loose-fitting and low-slung pants every time your hand touches mine when passing my change to me.

I've seen it every single time. Today, however, you noticed me noticing it. Your blush spread across your pretty face as quick as a desert sunrise. Your smile was shy, embarrassed, and hungry.

Stopping to chat with a friend I bumped into after completing my transaction with you, I noticed you excuse yourself to go to the bathroom.

Where you stayed for ten minutes. When you returned, the lurch had been replaced by a bulge, which slowly subsided as you helped other customers.

I know what all these things mean. As do you. I feel extremely complimented knowing that I can evoke such a primal reaction in you. We share a little secret, you and I, one that can never be openly acknowledged, not even just between us.

I hope you don't feel too much shame or guilt over these new and powerful emotions and physical sensations, though given the same-gender nature of your attraction, you probably have. Don't feel too bad. We all have them.

I also hope that you realize that the secret we share is as far as it will ever go. I won't ever invite you over to my home, or make an overtly sexual move on you. Not even if you flat out asked me to. We don't live in a world that would allow that. I'm twenty years older than you. You'd barely fall into the category I would call "young man". So please don't try to turn up the volume on what we have, because -- as you'll probably learn when you're my age -- it's sweet and special and sexy and ... innocent. Taking it any further, as you seem scared to want to do would cheapen the secret, and turn it into something tawdry and far too prosaic.

Let's keep things the way they are. I promise that I'll always remember you, and think fondly of you. I hope that the same will hold true for you.

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