An English Teen, Circumcised in the USA
by Riley Jericho
"Luke! Wait up!" Ryan Alexis hurried across the grass, pushing through the crowd to catch up with Luke Summers. The way his friend was motoring, you’d think the school cafeteria was giving away free food. "Slow up, can't ya?"
With a silent groan, Luke accepted the inevitable. So much for his intention to eat fast and slip away quietly! Reluctantly, he slowed his pace and tried not to let the irritation show, as he waited for Ryan to catch up. He tended not to eat at the cafeteria much, perhaps a sandwich or salad if he ate at all. Why would he, when his Mum's cooking waited for him at the end of the day?
Today, however, even a sandwich felt like too much!
His mum would be here soon and, having hardly eaten any breakfast, he knew he would regret it in an hour or so, if he didn't grab a bite of something.
"What the hell’s gotten into you today?" Ryan scowled at him, adjusting his badly balanced backpack.
"Nothing's up with me. Why would anything be up with me?" Luke realized he was sounding defensive and softened his tone. "I just wanna eat - no law against that is there?"
"So why the rush?” Ryan demanded, suspiciously. “Don't tell me you've got a detention - you’ve been acting weird all morning!"
"Don't be ridiculous, why would I be in detention?" Luke said, walking normally now, as they strolled over the lawns towards the cafeteria block.
Ryan looked sideways at Luke and shook his head - not for the first time. Brits! Strange people! Who could understand them?
Luke had always compared the school cafeteria to a rather posh version of a motorway service station; predictable and overpriced - as if the school didn’t already get enough money from their tuition fees. And GOD FORBID if you should forget to clear your plates away!
The pair joined the line, selecting only a simple sandwich to eat. Everything esle on offer looked…well, enough said. They found an empty table, then made room for Simon and his friends Toby Skerrit and Marcus Quince.
Luke picked at his ‘meal’ with little of the healthy enthusiasm Simon had for his enormous plate of fries. Toby, as usual, had brought his lunch, but was currently helping Simon with his fries anyway. The Summers brothers exchanged a few covert glances, before Simon checked his watch. Their mum would be arriving soon.
“I watched the game last night,” announced Marcus with his mouth full. “Man U v. Liverpool!”
‘Grinny Boy’ as Luke often referred to Marcus, was into soccer big time, despite having only discovered REAL football four months ago now that UK Soccer League games were available on cable. A nice-hearted kid who smiled at everyone, he had an older brother, Todd, who was a classmate of Luke and Ryan. Luke rolled his eyes, hearing Marcus talk about ‘Man U’ like some seasoned professional, but Simon picked up the topic and the two discussed the game.
After a few more minutes, Luke covertly peeled back his jacket sleeve to check his watch and muttered, to no one in particular, "I just gotta go do something - I'll catch you guys later." Knowingly, his brother, Simon, nodded and watched him disappear through the door, before turning back to the others to continue the soccer lesson.
Ryan studied the brothers with a tinge of exasperation. Brits! Strange people, he mused. And who cared about soccer anyway?
Checking that nobody was following, Luke hurried to his locker in relief, knowing that Simon had understood and would keep Ryan occupied for a while yet. Gathering up his gear, he quickly stuffed it all into his backpack. It was time, and he went straight to the reception area where his Mum, true to her word, was already waiting.
Buckling himself into the family minivan, he began what he hoped would be the final leg of the journey started three years ago and thousands of miles away.
* * *
Three years since they emigrated – actually, going on four now. He’d been twelve and well into year seven - his first year of senior school. An ordinary kid from an ordinary suburb, Luke Summers lived what he felt was an ordinary, but perfectly acceptable life. That is, until his Dad had totally RUINED it!
He vividly remembered the day when they – his mum and dad – sat he and Simon down, and calmly informed them that they were moving.
‘Where?’ he’d complained, wondering if he’d still be able to walk to school, or whether he’d have to take the bus.
His dad worked in the overseas finance department of a bank and had been asked to take over some obscure department on the US side. He and their mum had decided to accept.
‘It’ll be good for all of us,’ they had both said. ‘A new start; a better life.’
There'd been no discussion; they already had plane tickets that would take him from his comfortable way of life, in the south of England, to make a new one in Atlanta, Georgia.
What the hell was wrong with the OLD life – the one where HE HAD ONE!!
Luke had been furious at the time. ‘NO! Tell them you WON’T DO IT! They can't MAKE you!’
‘It's already decided,’ they said firmly.
‘It’s all about you isn’t it!’ he’d raged impotently. ‘It’s always about you! What about what I want – or Simon? Why do I even bother being in this family?’
None of it had changed the inevitability of seat 23D on the Delta flight from Gatwick to Atlanta. He’d never flown before, but refused to enjoy even THAT. He gave them the silent treatment the whole flight, eating the crappy nuts and ignoring the even crappier movies.
The four of them – himself, his brother Simon and their parents – had touched down at Atlanta Hartsfield airport, around nine hours later, with the sum total of eight cases and four pieces of carry-on. Nearly two hours in the queue to get through customs didn't help his mood. The one ray of hope was when the official at the customs desk looked through his spanking brand new passport and stared at him, intently. Luke glared back defiantly. Go on – throw me out – do us both a favor! But, instead of putting him back on a plane to where he rightly belonged, he’d brought his stamp down in final judgment.
Sitting for nine hours and then waiting in endless lines, had been exhausting. By the time they’d taken the packed underground train and been herded up the escalator into the main terminal, even HE was glad to see the man with the sign with their name on it.
On their behalf, the bank had already arranged temporary accommodation. Recovering their eight cases from the conveyor belts, they were driven from the airport through an unfamiliar city, straight to the house. They rented there for several months, before eventually buying a home of their own. The rest of their belongings were either being held in long-term storage or were to be shipped by container.
But stuff was just stuff. What had really pissed him off was being made to leave all his friends, his school, and the familiarity of his world, to be dropped there just north of Atlanta.
Maybe 'dropped' didn’t cover it.
DUMPED was better! Dumped where he had NO friends and NO life.
Now okay, eventually even he’d had to admit that the house they finally bought wasn't bad. It wasn’t that their family had lived in some pokey three-bedroom semi in the UK; far from it. He'd always thought their old house was pretty good, but this…?
Compared to ‘normal’ houses in the UK, this was SOMETHING ELSE!
They'd sold their UK home easily enough. With the comparative housing market values and a good exchange rate, his Dad had been ecstatic.
They did the rounds with realtors, looking at properties and, by this time, even Luke showed some enthusiasm when it came to deciding which one they would buy. His dad had been all for ‘investing’ in something that was only still on the market because nobody else wanted it. ‘Do-er Up-ers’, he euphemistically called them. That way, he told their mum, they’d reap the benefit of taking the chunk of change that would be left and investing it for the future.
She wasn’t interested. She ‘suggested’ three that nearly made him choke!
But she got her way and they ended up in a BIG place - and, by big, Luke meant detached, with an enormous backyard and a lawn that actually needed a ride-on mower to cut it all. They even had a huge airy basement with more square footage on that one level than in most ordinary houses in England.
Their new house was relatively new, and, unlike the other wooden, flaky paint houses they'd toured, it was brick. Everything seemed more spacious and more open plan than iany of the places he remembered back in England. There was even a huge, open wood fireplace though, after they experienced the sweltering heat of a Georgia summer for the first time, he had no idea what the hell they would need with one of those. More importantly for Luke, it was in a sub-division close to where many of his newly made school friends lived.
Gone too were the days of queuing up to use the loo!
There was a big family bathroom but, on top of that, his Mum and Dad’s room also had its own en-suite and he and Simon even shared their own en-suite, set between them and accessible from either bedroom. Did everyone here live like this, he wondered? He didn’t really know, but grudgingly appreciated the house anyway!
At first, he had prayed that his dad's job would be temporary. A year, maybe? A year would be okay, he decided...with a trip down to Disney to top it off. After a year, he could still go back to his friends and his old life. Everyone would think it pretty cool and welcome him back like a well-travelled hero, letting him drop instantly into everything as it had always been. But the year passed; and another; and then more, until it was becoming entirely possible that they might be staying for good.
But, like all kids, he was more resilient than he realized. He and Simon had settled into their new life without really expecting to.
They settled into a new school, too. A private school – the Academy. An 'all boys' institution, the Academy had been chosen for them, based on a number of recommendations, through his Dad's contacts at the bank.
Schooling was high on their priority list he knew, and he learned, in time that it had been one of the key factors for them (particularly for his mum) in deciding to move the family to the States in the first place. Though he didn’t know it, she'd been quite reluctant to uproot the family, but education pressed all her buttons!
Back in the UK, they had been attending the local comprehensive schools in their town. The primary school had been okay and Simon had still been there of course. He was personally quite happy with the senior school, mainly because all his mates had gone there too, but his mum and dad were not impressed with it AT ALL! In the transition from primary to senior, they had tried hard to get him somewhere ‘better’, but ‘better’ was outside their catchment area and, much to his relief, was denied. However, after doing less than a year in the local place, they'd had enough.
They'd left the country in early June, and both of the boys had been pulled out before the end of the school year. At the time, the only benefit that Luke could see was that he missed the stupid end of year exams!
It gave them the summer to settle in. His dad was obviously being paid well in this new job, because they had enrolled the two of them at the private school. He and Simon were welcomed into the Academy seventh and sixth grades respectively, for new term beginning in mid-August.
However, at the start of the semester, he had been truly pissed at having to cut his hair!
The dirty blond locks were carefully tended to look unkempt, although he had to abide by his mum's rule that his hair had to be clean. Long, messy and slightly wavy, it had been his trademark look for years. He was Luke Oliver Summers and to his mates in England, Luke Oliver had been 'Lol', or more usually – Lolly. His hair was his look, and to be forced to have it cut down was a bunch of crap.
Worse still, both he and Simon had had to take an entrance exam and be interviewed prior to being admitted to the Academy. The idea that you had to have some kind of 'getting in' test to go to school seemed ridiculous – as if anyone cared enough to want to be there that much! And then to have to pay for that privilege each day too?
The test had been surprisingly ‘testing’. It took most of the morning, covering various subjects and putting to bed his belief that American kids were all Hollywood airheads. He felt he'd done pretty crap and, despite his distaste of being in that country, was disappointed with himself (particularly because he knew Simon had probably sailed through it, without even blinking).
Expecting the worst, it had been quite a surprise - and unexpectedly a relief - when they still accepted him.
At the interview and in the admission papers, it had been made clear that students at this school were expected to wear a uniform. BIG DEAL, he'd been wearing school uniforms all his life. They also pointed out that for all students, including him, hair had to be well off the collar.
CRAP RULE! It was NEVER like that at his old place, he complained to his mum. Still irritated by his previous educators, she'd said she wasn’t surprised!
Despite the draconian hair regulations, Luke had to admit that the school wasn't that bad. He quickly made friends with kids who were in awe of the British boy, who used to live near London. On the very first day of term his mum drove him to the main campus (Simon was still in the Elementary campus, several blocks away) and the Principal himself had met them at reception and escorted him to his new class. After being formally introduced, he’d sat down, embarrassed as hell; heads twisting all around the room to get a glimpse of him.
Even so, it surprised him how friendly they were. That would NEVER happen back in England! There, if a new kid arrived, it was better to treat them with a bit of suspicion until you found out what they were really like. New kids had to EARN the right to join existing friend-groups. It took weeks, even months!
Here, they almost fell over themselves to welcome him and help him out if needed. It was actually quite nice.
Living where they did just north of Atlanta, near Roswell, wasn't bad either. Usually his mum or dad drove them to school, or sometimes they caught a lift with someone else. Many of their friends from school lived near by and gradually it all grew on him. One day, for reasons he didn't remember, he realized he quite liked his life here; the people, the house, the friends, the school, the lifestyle, cable TV...even the weather!
* * *
Extract from Luke's Diary:
If you ever want to know about the weather then you could keep a Brit from the London area talking for hours. The weather in the UK was something I did NOT miss.
Here, it was almost always sunny, about as sunny as it was wet in England, which meant going brown, not rusty! Mind you, sometimes it got TOO hot and sticky for comfort. Then, we were all thankful for air-con that kept the house cool and made it possible to sleep at night.
Water was a lifesaver – swimming pools, I mean. Sadly we didn't have a pool ourselves, but there was a communal one in our subdivision, and several of our friends had them in their backyards. It was all a million miles (well, not quite) from foggy London town where, with his passion for sailing, the only one who had ever spent much time on or in the water was Simon.
I didn’t plan on feeling settled at all – in fact, quite the opposite. It kind of snuck up on me! The cynical emails back and forth with my friends in London became less frequent, until they just dried up. Life became familiar: the days, the places, the routine, the friends. I remember during our second Christmas there, Mum reading out a bit of a letter that came with the card from her brother, asking us when we were next coming home.
It struck me then that we WERE home and I never really looked back.
Okay, the grass wasn't really proper grass – not like in England - and the red fire ants were minor demons, but other than THAT it had become where we belonged.
* * *
What came as a complete shock to Luke, was homework. Lots of it. All the time! Two or three assignments an evening and more at weekends and, what's more, they were expected to even DO it! In his old school, they were sometimes given homework but he and his friends always felt that it was up to them whether they bothered with it. It was personal choice. If you didn't get round to it, who cared? Certainly not the teachers.
At the Academy, his expectations were radically realigned!
A 'school learning contract' existed, though he never remembered being invited to sign anything. It was an ‘agreement’ between those who taught (the teachers), those who learned (himself) and those who should be minding their own business (his parents!). Outnumbered two to one, he didn't stand a chance.
It was utterly brutal! If you didn't get it done or started lagging behind, there would be detention and then parents got called in and 'measures' taken. They expected you to 'achieve' at the Academy - whether you liked it or not. By the following year, he hated to admit it, but his mates back in the UK wouldn't have recognised the Luke who studied hard and discovered he actually DID have the ability to stay focused and achieve. He even managed a social life with it!
In fact, he even began to enjoy it! How ridiculous was that?
But homework wasn't the only surprise. What Luke had been even less prepared was the world of the circumcised dick. In this respect he discovered he was unlike almost everyone else of his age that he encountered. In fact, until then, he had never even HEARD of the term!
Circumcision, not dick...keep up now!
It had been quite a shock when he got an eyeful of those funny shaped willys that turned up in the locker rooms. Three days at the Academy was all that it had taken to upend his world. Carting his brand new kit and following the class to the locker rooms for his first exposure to American Football, they’d stripped off afterwards and taken to the showers. It was then, through the shampoo, steam and lively banter, that he noticed his very first clipped cock.
Taken aback, he immediately thought the kid was malformed somehow! Where the tip was meant to be, the poor guy had a huge mass; a weird lump of some kind. Perhaps it was a growth, like a tumor, or perhaps he’d been born that way? Either way, it had to be impossible to pee through!
He’d looked away quickly, knowing that the kid must feel bad enough without having people stare at him but, as the mass of both black and white skin bumped and jostled for space under the shower-heads, he looked round further and it became apparent that they’d ALL been born that way!
Anyway – and forgive the pun – cutting a long story short, whatever it was about (and it took some time to finally figure it all out), it seemed that just about everyone, at least in HIS class, had as they often described it, been ‘cut’.
They called it circumcision and, while THEY all seemed to know lots about it, when it had been done to them, why and even how, he was completely clueless! Once the first weeks of politeness had passed and his school friends got to know him a bit more, he then found himself being ribbed for the rather long, dangly piece of skin that hung off him. It wasn't mean, just a bit of friendly cross-cultural teasing although the term ‘anteater’ wasn't his favorite!
To be fair, it turned out he wasn’t the ONLY one with a foreskin, but he was definitely part of a small minority. This was completely unlike his last school where, down there, absolutely everyone looked like...well, like him actually. A place where kids had normal willys. Willys that ended with the skin bunched tightly together at the end where you peed from. Conversely, most of them were just as surprised to hear that basically NOBODY – at least no kids he’d known – had been circumcised in his country!
‘Why not?’ many had asked curiously. ‘Don’t you have insurance?’ The way they discussed him, he got the impression that they felt HE was the one that had the problem and that he should probably get it fixed.
Until then, Luke had never thought much about stuff to do with his dick. In fact nothing much to do with sex had ever entered his experience. Before the move he'd happily undressed and showered with his classmates, without ever giving it a second thought. Though he knew what a foreskin was, he’d never been friends with kids who apparently didn't have one! For reasons he was yet to discover, he still didn't know that the peculiar mushroom shape he was noticing, also existed like that inside all the skin that hung off his own appendage.
But, what he quickly decided was that here, showing that ‘head’ was the norm, being circumcised was the only way of getting to it, and it was him that was the odd one out! He actually felt quite self-conscious about the issue and tried to avoid showing his privates, when he could.
However, life had gone on. As they all began to pass through puberty and, as his dick seemed to get even more gangly, theirs filled out and, in contrast, the many well-cut dicks he saw were nicely shaped and (he had only latterly admitted to himself) were quite sexy looking.
In the meantime, he got on with school and with life. In many subjects, like science and math, he was on a par (or even slightly advanced) with the standard being taught. However, there were other areas in which he was a long way behind. History, for example, was all American history and Geography only related to the States. In those, he had a lot of catching up to do – but he did so, and began to fit into the country and culture.
* * *
A couple of years later they got a desktop computer at home with the idea that he and Simon would be able to use it for their studies. Because they had fought too much, arguing who’s room it should go in, it went downstairs. He had to be careful who might come in and see the screen but, like all teens, he explored a bit and found out things that his parents would NEVER think to tell him!
Because it still intrigued him, he used it to get more background on circumcision, careful to cover his tracks afterwards. Why it became such a big thing for him he was never sure but finally, after three years of living there, he decided that if he was going to grow up in this country (and it was looking increasingly probable they were here to stay), he didn't want to remain the odd one out. After all the frustration of being made to emigrate there in the first place, he had no desire to leave and what was crystal clear was that American guys were circumcised.
That was how it was done here. It was normal. They liked it and he liked it. It made them look right and he wanted the same.
So, eventually, he screwed up his courage and announced to his parents that he wanted to be circumcised, too. Even that took a few false starts as he kept chickening out before, apprehensively, he finally told his Mum what was on his mind.
Well, that didn't go down well at all!
* * *
“Excuse me?” Lucy Summers had picked up both Luke and Ryan from tennis practice. Simon was already home, so, after she had dropped off Ryan, it was just the two of them in the van. Luke had decided this was his moment and spoke up.
“Circumcision – I want to be circumcised,” Luke repeated.
“Circumcision,” Luke tried again. “It’s when you…”
“Yes I know what it is! Luke, for heaven's sake, why on earth would you need to do that?” Pulling onto the drive of their home, she killed the engine. “And what do you know about circumcision anyway?”
“Mum, I’m fifteen, not five!”
“I don’t know where you’ve been getting this from Luke, but the answer's NO – absolutely not!”
Following her inside, Luke threw his backpack on the kitchen floor. “But why not? I’m not a kid – why can’t I decide for myself what I want? What’s wrong with being circumcised? Everyone else here is!”
"Luke, I have to confess, I'm not at all comfortable with any of this,” she replied. “I hear what you’re saying and I realize most boys in this country are circumcised, but that doesn't mean you have to be.“
“Mum, that’s easy for you to say – but it’s not something you have to face! It’s what I want! Why are you making me wait 'til I’m old enough that I DON’T need your permission!” He tried not to make it sound like a threat, but he was frustrated.
His mother shook her head inflexibly. “Sweetheart, any kind of surgery, especially down there," she emphasized the word enough for Luke to twitch uncomfortably, "is never to be taken lightly. And most boys here are done that way when they are babies. What you're suggesting is completely different.”
Luke couldn’t believe his ears. What was her problem? He went to hang up his jacket and, when he returned, banged the kitchen door angrily. He saw her purse her lips, but when his she spoke again, it was in a different tone, one she used when she was trying to reason with him or Simon. "Luke, it's not like your dad and I don't care what you think…."
“…it’s just that it’s such a big step. Think about it; you can't just decide to be circumcised and change your mind the next day! Why don't you give it time...and maybe, when you're a little older, you'll feel differently?"
"I HAVE been thinking about it. I'm not STUPID you know!" Luke raised his voice, unable to curb his anger. "I didn't just wake up this morning and make it up, you know! Are you telling me I can't have it done?"
"That's exactly what I'm saying, Luke,” Her voice hardened and he could tell she'd made up her mind. “So let's just leave it there shall we?"
"He can't do what?" Geoff Summers, Luke's father, walked in the door and slung his jacket over the back of a chair.
"Nothing," Lucy snapped at her husband. "And PLEASE, could you hang that up properly?"
"It's NOT nothing! “ Luke shifted his attention to his dad. “I want to be circumcised!"
Geoff's eyes flicked from son to wife and back, blinking several times, completely out of his depth. Lucy came to his rescue.
"Luke seems to think he needs to be circumcised.” She glared at her son, daring him to challenge her. “That's all."
“That’s NOT all,” ground Luke, taking up the challenge. “I’ve been thinking about it for ages!”
"Of course, I told him that it's totally out of the question,” said his mum, overriding him.“ Don't you agree?"
Realizing he’d stepped into a war zone, Geoff took a deep breath. He sat down and looked Luke in the eye. "I don't get it. Why would you want to be circumcised?"
"Jeez - thanks for the support, Dad! You don’t understand," Luke muttered.
“Then explain it to me.”
“I just want to be circumcised, that’s all. There’s no law against that is there?” Luke shrugged uncomfortably, less prepared than he thought for justifying his request.
"No law, no – but there is common sense and I think Mum's right.” His dad’s calm approach ate into Luke’s resolve and he slumped over the table, crestfallen. “Son, I've no idea where this has all come from, but in any case an operation like that isn't going to be covered by insurance and, like Grandpa always used to say, 'If it's not bust, don't fix it!'"
And that had been their last word on the subject.
* * *
Luke was disappointed, but if they hoped he would just grow out of the idea in a couple of days, they were going to be disappointed too. He picked himself up, refusing to budge from the journey he wanted to take.
Over the next months, he didn't let the topic die, but did his research and made SURE they got it; deluging them with papers and reasonable arguments about health and cleanliness, culled and sanitized from info he’d gleaned off the web.
Simon thought he was COMPLETELY NUTS!
He and Simon were quite close, with Si being just 14 months younger; but close in ways that were more than just a slim age gap. The pair had grown up to be the kind of brothers that actually liked each other rather than dropping into the usual sibling ‘ignore mode’. Open and frank about most things, neither had been that happy about moving to the USA and, for many months, the only friends they'd had were each other. That had changed as new friends began coming round, but he and Simon still remained close.
The pair were similar and you could tell straight away that they were brothers with their dirty blond hair and warm hazel eyes. Girls usually thought the boys were pretty cute - particularly when they heard their British accents, which seemed to elicit purrs of delight (at least in this country), from females 8 to 80!
Luke explained his reasons for being cut as best he could - well, at least he told him about the 'fitting in' bit. He brushed over the other thing that he tried to hide from everyone. The truth was, he thought about sex ALL THE TIME these days - and you couldn’t think about sex without bringing your dick into it!
It wasn't like Simon to ridicule people and their ideas, but after hearing some of the details of foreskin surgery, he did go for a bit of brotherly teasing.
"Crap...you'd let them go ahead and cut your willy off? Isn't it going to hurt?"
Luke rolled his eyes, but took it well. "Nah... it might be a bit sore for a bit, but it'll look great when it's done!"
Well, he hoped it would. If it ever happened, that was.
Simon wasn't convinced. "I'm hanging on to mine," he said confidently.
Simon would never admit it but, like many younger brothers, he often looked to Luke to decide things if they were important enough. Would this be one of those things, Luke wondered? Something like the day Simon had walked in on him when he’d been right in the middle of jerking? Talk about NUTS!
Give it a couple of years, Luke smiled to himself. We'll see…we’ll see…