The Boy Who Cried Wolf is one of Aesop’s Fables. We all know the story, but that’s not the real story. This fable was based on an older one.
The original was quite different. A 16-year-old shepherd boy, tending his flocks, met a young, and quite curious wolf. The boy befriended the wolf by feeding him some mutton. The wolf transformed into a handsome 16-year-old boy and thanked him. The two became great friends and a strong, enduring love blossomed. Sometimes his friend was a wolf, running around with the him, other times he transformed, and they spent the night in each other’s embrace.
The villagers discovered this abomination against nature and came with staves, crying “Wolf! Wolf!” to drive off the wolf, but the wolf stood his ground, protecting the shepherd boy from the villagers. Then the shepherd boy turned and ran with his wolf following close behind, escaping into the dark night.
No one knows what ever became of the shepherd boy and his wolf.
—Apocryphal Origins of Aesop’s Fables
As Kato entered the dorm, Takahashi put his hand on Kato’s shoulder, bringing Kato to a stop. “It’s time for my uke to do his job.” Kato didn’t like the sound of this. An old niggling fear rolled around in his chest. “I want you to come to my wing after showers. Room 560, the last room on C Wing, at the end of the hall. Please be there around 7 o’clock. My roommate will be gone.” Kato gulped as he looked into Takahashi’s deadly serious eyes.
“Okay,” was the only thing Kato could whisper out. All the alarms and bells in his head were going off as his mind raced. I’m not ready for this. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to have sex with him. I don’t want him to hurt me. I don’t want us to be over with either. What do I do?
Takahashi patted him on the shoulder and said, “Okay, see you,” and walked off to his room.
Kato stood there, unable to move. Judgement Day, Kato thought. It all would end tonight, he reasoned. Three days of hell and his life would be cut short this evening. Then a thought occurred to him, wait a minute, who the fuck does he think he is? He can’t do this to me. Kato’s anger started to get roused up. He stormed off to his room.
Tachibana exclaimed cheerfully, “Yo, Kato-san!”
Kato replied, “Oh my god, will you just shut up?”
Tachibana laughed. “Easy, easy. What’s got your panties in a bunch?”
“I have to go to Takahashi-san’s room after showers tonight,” Kato said glumly.
“Ah. Going to service your seme, eh?” Tachibana chuckled.
Kato totally did not appreciate the lewd joke, but simply cowered a little and squeaked out an affirmative answer.
“Here, I got just the thing to cheer you up.” He reached into a bag on the counter, pulling out a package and tossed it to Kato.
Kato caught it, asking stupid question number one for the night, “What is this?”
“A bag of poisonous mushrooms. What the fuck does it look like?”
Kato looked at it. A bag of candy.
Tachibana pulled out two bottles of ramune and handed them to Kato. “Here, a proper housewarming gift.”
Kato was shocked. He replied, “Wow! Thank you! But, where did they come from?” Stupid question number two.
Kato wondered why the hell it was so hard for people just to answer his damn questions without the sarcasm.
“If you have family, they can drop off a bunch of groceries for you. Or they can also send money that will be placed in an account for you to spend. There’s a little book from a local grocery store on my shelf that has all sorts of stuff you can buy. Place your order on the little form on Monday and you’ll have it by Friday. Since you weren’t here Monday, I’ll give you a few things.”
Kato was happy but also a bit sad. I won’t be using that book anytime soon, he thought to himself. His mother had left him with some money but, due to some legal maneuvering of some tricky lawyers, almost all of it was gone. What was left was placed in an account that he would not be able to access until he turned 18. So, that left him penniless and at the mercy of this boarding school until then. The money would help him pay for college, but he would have to find at least a part time job while doing so. There wouldn’t be enough to make it all the way through otherwise.
As Kato was sadly contemplating his bleak future, there was a knock at the door. He put the candy and bottles on his shelf and opened the door. An errand boy with a cart of bags spoke up, “Here’s four more sets of pants and shirts, bringing your total to five.” He pointed to one of the large bags that had Kato’s name written on it.
“Thank you,” Kato said as he grabbed the bag off the cart. “I’ll be by in the morning to collect your dirty clothes. Please have them ready for the laundry.” The boy waved and pushed away the cart, off to his next drop-off location.
Kato felt like he was just getting in the way as Tachibana was trying to put his groceries away. He threw the bag on his bunk and left to the bathroom.
So, it finally happened. Murata found a seme. The whole dinner, Murata chatted on and on about Nakamura. Kato smiled, and joked, but inside he was quite unhappy about it. Not unhappy with Murata, but unhappy that he couldn’t have had a nice seme like Nakamura. Kato looked over at his own seme and saw him eating, happily chatting with his usual friends. Why can’t he laugh and joke like that with me? Kato internally whined. All he does is yell at me.
“Kato?” Murata waved his hand in front of Kato.
“Huh?” Kato replied, pulled out of his daze.
“It’s uke game night. You gonna go?”
“No,” Kato growled. “I have to visit the wolf’s den.”
“Really? To do what?”
“I don’t know, he didn’t say. But if he tries to have sex with me—” Kato paused. “I may be in the infirmary all weekend.”
Murata gently said, “Come on, I don’t think he would really do that. You should see the way he looks at you when he thinks you aren’t looking.”
“How the fuck is that supposed to make me feel better?” he barked.
Murata almost imperceptibly cowered in fear, but still spoke up, “I mean, I don’t think he would hurt you. He seems to have a certain kindness in his eyes when he looks at you.”
Kato sighed. “Sorry, I am scared. I feel that either he wants to fight or fuck. I can’t figure out which. And I want neither of those, to be honest.” Kato spent the rest of the meal listening to Murata prattle on about his newfound seme while he contemplated his own doom.
After showers, Kato walked onto Takahashi’s wing. It looked the same as his. He saw a few boys starting to gather in the game room as he walked by them all on his way down to the end of the hallway.
Looking up, he saw the number 560 painted on the door in a yellow-orange color. He timidly knocked on the door, hoping that somehow maybe Takahashi didn’t hear it. No such luck. It immediately opened and Takahashi motioned him to come in.
Kato had not seen Takahashi in street clothes. He wore a black shirt with a large design on the front, and blue jeans. His hair was kind of unruly as he probably didn’t properly dry it after showers, Kato concluded.
“Stop staring and come on in,” Takahashi ordered. “I don’t bite. Unless you’re into that sort of thing.” Takahashi snickered.
Kato’s face turned white.
“Relax. What’s with you? It’s a joke.”
Kato tried to hide his fear with a nervous laugh.
“Anyways, I got a bunch of groceries. Too much actually. I need help sorting through it all and putting it away.”
Kato scanned the room and saw the bottom bunk was almost completely full of bags of stuff. He noted some posters on the walls of various bands, piles of papers on the desk, probably burying the alarm clock, and a guitar bag leaning against the wall.
“You play guitar?” Kato asked. Mentally he scolded himself for asking another stupid question and wondered whether it was some medical condition he should go see the doctor about.
“Yes. Music has always been a passion of mine. One of those things in my life that never lets me down, never gets mad at me, never hurts me—” Takahashi trailed off.
“Oh, I like music too, even though I can barely sing,” he replied self-deprecatingly.
“Nah, you got a good voice. Just need to learn how to use it properly. The teacher said so.”
“Thanks,” replied Kato.
“If you would like, I can give you lessons in both voice and guitar. We could study together.”
“I would like that.” Kato felt a little calmer with the friendly conversation, but he was still very aware that he was in the wolf’s den, with the wolf present and accounted for.
“Okay, so I need to put this food away up in the cubicles, and I have some extra storage under the bed. Let’s get started.”
So, Kato and Takahashi started opening the bags, sorting out the contents. There was candy of all kinds, soda of all kinds, and much more foodstuffs than he could count. The thought occurred to him that if Takahashi missed a meal because of some discipline, it didn’t matter much because he could just eat here in his room.
Takahashi opened one bag and took out a T-shirt. “This will fit me, and since I’m only a bit taller but not bigger, it should fit you too.” He handed the T-shirt to Kato. The shirt was black and had the logo of a band emblazoned with red flames on the back.
“Are you sure?” Kato asked. He mentally prepared himself for Takahashi to pounce on him for another dumb question.
“Yes. I have to take care of my uke.”
Kato didn’t really know what to think about that completely unexpected answer, but his heart felt a little warmer than it did moments ago.
“Also, this bag is yours.” Takahashi pointed to one last bag on the bed. He hadn’t realized that Takahashi was taking a little from this bag and a little from that and collecting it into one bag for him.
“I—don’t know what to say,” Kato looked at the floor.
“How about you just look up at me and say, ‘Thank you’?”
Kato looked up, staring into Takahashi’s eyes. He didn’t feel any fear anymore. But he couldn’t define the feeling that was roaming around in his chest, either. He hadn’t ever felt it before. He simply said, “Thank you, Takahashi-san.”
Takahashi chuckled, “You are so easy to train.” Kato felt embarrassed again. “Next time you come over I’ll sing you a song.”
Kato’s ears itched when he heard that. A chance to listen to Takahashi sing a song just for him. “I would like that,” he replied.
“Again, thanks for your help. You should take your stuff back and go to uke game night. I didn’t mean to keep you from it. Might be a chance to make some friends.”
“Thank you, Takahashi-san.” Kato smiled. He grabbed the bag of goodies that Takahashi handed him, put the shirt on top, and walked back to his room, happily.