When the queer boy was fifteen he glanced at his body in the mirror and saw that it was no longer childish. He was no longer narrow and bony; his muscles were now supple instead of thin. His hips were now articulate, and would sway and sashay, swinging back and forth like a ringing bell . He was the perfect mix of man and woman: his legs tightened and bulged when he flexed, or softened into feathery curves when he so desired. His lips could pout or project lust with a simple curl. His ass shook with tsunami waves when he jiggled it.
Before then, he was just a halfling of a boy. He was pushed and punched at school; neither masculine enough to be considered rugged, nor feminine enough to be considered charming. He’d lost his lunch to a thousand bullies because of his uncertain bowlegged gait. Girls pulled his hair calling it oily and stringy. Even teachers sighed when he raised his hand to speak because they found his voice grating, as if the queer boy were a burden, something unfit for class. But now that he’d become beautiful he knew that he could turn it on those who wronged him and weaponize it.
The next day he silenced the crowds as he floated past them in the school hallway. His resolve was so absolute, the students parted as he walked, afraid of what might happen if they bumped into him. Girls no longer giggled at his face because it had become spotless and radiant. Instead they trailed behind, hoping his very presence could pass along even a tenth of his luminous skin. The boys who bullied him were repelled by his new aura, his command of his blossoming body. They abandoned their untouched lunches in the cafeteria. The way he swished when he walked proved too sexual, too advanced for their meager making-out experiences. The ones that didn’t scatter were left red-faced in his wake, their book bags covering their crotches.
They lined up, cash in hand, outside the bathroom stall he used as his throne. They waited an hour just for a peek at his brilliance. It was almost too easy.
The female teachers who’d scolded him countless times for stuttering when he read aloud were in awe of his newfound confidence. They realized nothing they taught was remotely useful in preparing him for his adult life. Instead they asked for tips on eyeliner and one even begged for a lesson on the art of seduction. The queer boy was only too happy to oblige, feeling, for once, that someone finally recognized his value.
The male teachers, who’d often forgot to mark him present during attendance, just stared, their mouths agape, spending whole hours of class stammering out a lesson. His geography teacher once asked him to stop raising his hand. But now his face flushed and his head spun as the boy leaned over his desk, taut shorts straining against his ass, a pinky in-between his pearl teeth, and asked for help on a quiz.
“If Madrid were located here,” the boy pointed to his perky chest, “how far south would the Rock of Gibraltar be?” His hand slid lower and lower stopping at his belly button, finger circling it like a shark, before the teacher excused himself. The man was absent for a week with high blood pressure, and the queer boy was hailed by the class as a hero.
The queer boy had gotten his revenge, had become popular even, yet he wasn’t satisfied. After all, if his body could be used to get back at the students and teachers, could it work on others for something more? Could it get him more than straight A’s and free lunches from the red-headed boy with glasses? He grew restless with this comfort, grew tired of the amateurs around him—the children dumbfounded by his presence. The bumbling teachers frightened when they made eye contact and saw his disappointment. There had to be more the world could offer him.
The queer boy began spending his afternoons at the mall, using his looks on bigger prey. His body worked like a switchblade: sharp, sleek, shiny and could be turned on unsuspecting men with a flick of his wrist. At first, just the thrill of making married men blush was enough to kill the afternoon. But then he started demanding money from them like a mugging, and they handed it over all to quickly. He was so successful that, with an ass wiggle here, a suggestive biting of his lip there, the men came to him instead. They lined up, cash in hand, outside the bathroom stall he used as his throne. They waited an hour just for a peek at his brilliance. It was almost too easy.
Some bought the boy gifts: rose perfumes, lace panties, bitter chocolates. Area husbands grew sudden interests in buying feminine hygiene products for their wives at the pharmacy in the mall, using coupons where they could so that they could spend the rest on the boy instead. The boy accepted the gifts, but he never returned the slightest hint of favor. Now that he had the power he couldn’t give it back.
A security guard responded to complaints of heavy traffic at the restroom near the food court. He cleared his way through the crowd, ready to break-up a fight or drug deal, but instead found the boy sitting on a toilet: a princess before his suitors.
“Wh-what’s going on here?” The guard inquired, his voice shaking because he knew the answer to the question.
“What do you want to be going on here?” The boy shifted his shoulders so that his loose tank top straps fell down. The guard hesitated, his eyes transfixed by the straps slipping down the boy’s arms. “Buy-in is ten. Twenty for more.”
The boy had a routine for each man who paid twenty. He lifted his shirt to give them a view of his belly. Then he’d snap open his jeans to reveal the band of his underwear. He’d alternate between lifting his shirt and unbuttoning his jeans until just before the hem of his shirt exposed his breast, and right before the final button dropped his pants. They wanted to pay more but he never went further. He never exposed himself completely. He was sure there wasn’t a price for that. No price that he would sell himself fully.
The red was a color that said this man wanted more than a show, but the boy knew his body was designed like this car: it had curves that would prevent the man from taking hold of him.
The boy was invincible. Anything he wanted he got, as long as he used his looks. And what he wanted was money. Money was the objective score by which he could measure his power. And clothes were the trophies he could dangle in front of everyone else. He spent lavishly on them. When he found men’s clothes too boring, he spent the big bucks on couture blouses, camisoles, delicately cut leggings – he even wore a mini-skirt once and made double from the men in the bathroom. He bought a designer purse, which he paraded around the school. The girls only carried stuff from Forever 21 and didn’t understand what a Louis Vuitton was. They thought Jimmy Choo was the junior who won State in the 100-meter dash. They didn’t understand the adult things, the expensive things. They couldn’t appreciate him fully. To them he was an alien trying to show them an advanced technology they could never hope to fathom. He abandoned school altogether.
One day, the queer boy was smoking outside the mall on his self-imposed lunch break when a man parked next to him. A real man with a red Jaguar sedan. He called the boy over, but the boy refused. The men came to him, not the other way around. But then the man held out a twenty and offered it to the boy if he simply approached the car. The boy never realized he was so beautiful that he could make money by walking. He snatched it from the man’s hand.
“You the one causing the commotion?” The man said from behind his sunglasses. He was over six feet, dressed in an Armani suit, and had salt and pepper hair. The queer boy knew if he played his cards right he could walk away with everything he ever wanted.
“So, what if I am?” The boy shot back. He stretched his arms to expose his abs. The man licked his lips. The boy looked the car up and down the way men did to him. He put his hand on its elegant curve, a curve designed to peel away the friction of wind. The red was a color that said this man wanted more than a show, but the boy knew his body was designed like this car: it had curves that would prevent the man from taking hold of him.
“Fifty dollars to sit in your car.”
The seat was so luxurious that the boy never wanted to stand again. The smell inside was of leather and the man’s cologne—the smell of desire.
“What do I get for a hundred?” The man asked calmly. Normally, men who got this close were a sweaty mess. Their hands fidgeted with zippers, their voices cracked. The boy was a painting they could ruin with a single touch.
“You get to see my chest and my underwear.” The boy drew his hand from his chest to his crotch. This was the easiest money he’d make in his lifetime.
“What about two hundred more?” The man brought forth the money.
“It will be unforgettable,” the boy shoved the cash into his pocket.
He traced his fingers around his nipples and shed his shirt like old skin. He paused as the man unzipped his own pants, his boxers as red as his car. Only one man had done that and the security guard had exiled him immediately. But here the man paid so much, certainly he could allow this one indiscretion.
The boy reclined and thumbed off his pants. He shifted to all fours and shook his pink panties in front of the man’s face. He put a finger in his mouth and sucked, feigned a pout, and palmed his own crotch with a moan. He knew that men liked to be in control so he did his best to pretend it was the man who was directing him. He imitated the women in the sex scenes he’d seen, with a giggle, a slight apprehension, asking the man if he preferred to see the front of him or the back.
That’s when he felt the man’s hand slip between his thighs and tickle the hem of his panties. The boy tried to remove the hand, but it didn’t slide off the way he’d imagined. The harder he yanked the tighter the man squeezed until the man was lifting the boy onto his lap.
“No touching,” the boy slapped him. The sting on his cheek made the man smile more. The boy tried to regain control by posing as dangerously as possible: flexing his muscles, pumping out his chest the way men did at football games, scratching the ceiling of the car and growling like a beast. He tried to overpower the man, to show his strength by making a fist, but the man firmly gripped his thin wrists. Before he knew it, his panties were soaked by the lump rubbing against them. The man held him close for a moment, licking the boy’s ear, and then, without a word, discarded him into the passenger seat.
“That’s your best?” The man scoffed and handed him a silk handkerchief. The boy was wounded by the comment. He was the greatest thing these men had seen, they’d told him so. Yet, he didn’t feel beautiful right then. He slinked out of the car, walking funny because it felt like he’d pissed his pants. As he walked home, he dropped his eyes away from men instead of meeting them straight on. He no longer felt quick and sharp and ready to strike. He thumbed the money is his back pocket and the moist paper crumpled under the pressure. The queer boy covered his body.