Cabin NightsBy: Ashley John
For all of the people who allow me to do what I want to do without judgement.
Ben knew his skiing wasn’t great. It wasn’t even good. No matter how many times his best friend, Jonny cried ‘Bend your knees’ it didn’t mean they were going to bend. Jonny had spent many winters on the slopes but it was Ben’s first and it showed. He dreaded the moment he agreed to tag along on the ski trip, knowing he would be wobbling and falling ungracefully on the slopes.
Ben knew he would dislike it even before Jonny dragged him on to the indoor slopes to show him how much ‘fun’ it would be. Ben’s practising had been almost as bad as the real thing.
Jonny, a born and raised posh boy, couldn’t understand how Ben had gotten into Oxford University, the oldest University in the English speaking world, without ever having to learn to ski. Jonny came up through the status and money and Ben came in through the side door, thanks to a grant from his Sixth Form college grades. While Jonny spent his summers and winters in the French Alps skiing with his parents, Ben would have been sitting in a chalet in Butlins, wishing it would stop raining so he could get on with his cheap and nasty holiday.
Ben should have called it off when he launched head first into the fake snow at the indoor place. He would have happily lost his deposit, no matter how many shifts in the Student union Bar he had worked to save up for the expensive trip.
Looking around as he attempted to bend his knees, he didn’t notice anybody laughing at him. Not yet, anyway. Jonny was in front, racing ahead in his perfectly snug skiing clothes. Ben knew Jonny would be too busy imagining how good he looked to notice how his best friend was coping at the top of the slope.
Ben wobbled, almost falling. Digging his heels into the snow, he managed to stop just as his goggles fogged over. Wiping them down, he looked for Jonny again. Jonny had stopped but he didn’t look like he was waiting for Ben. Jonny was chatting to a girl who was wearing a tight Lycra ski suit and his eyes were firmly planted on her chest. She didn’t seem to mind. She tossed her frizzy blonde perm over her shoulders while laughing silently at something boyish he had probably said. Ben knew Jonny enough to know it was probably something along the lines of: ‘Nice tits, love. Mind if I cop a feel?’. He would have said it in such a charming way that she wouldn’t be able to resist him.
Part of the reason Jonny had wanted to drag Ben along was to get Ben laid. He thought if he got Ben out of the country, he would suddenly attract women. They could probably sense that he was gay and Jonny was the only one in the world blind to it. Ben wondered if he had told him before the trip, would he be snuggled up at home with a book and a hot water bottle, getting ready for Christmas? A text from his mum that morning had told him it was snowing back home. Ben used to love the snow but it was suddenly starting to lose its appeal.
Ben moved forward a couple of meters, dragging his body along with the poles, never letting one leave the snow long enough for him to fall. Jonny edged closer and closer to the girl. Ben knew he needed to grow some balls so he could finally tell Jonny that he was gay, but he doubted Jonny would still walk around their student flat semi-naked. Ben secretly looked forward to the days that Jonny left the shower without a towel. Ben knew that Jonny didn’t even think his best friend would look, but Ben could always tell when he had been jacking off. He was not Ben’s type at all, but a man had needs and he was attracting as many men as he was women: none.
Sleeping with a woman had crossed his mind more than once, if only to get Jonny off his back. Whenever he got close, he always remembered what was between their legs and the idea jumped straight out of the window. Jonny probably never noticed that whenever he and Ben watched porn, Ben’s eyes were firmly focussed on the man.