The Burdens We Hide

This is my first BL novel project! These OC brought me back to the world of writing while also introducing me to BL novels, so I hope you grow to love them as much as I do. For this excerpt, it’s just from one chapter. However, thanks to the amazing Naeun, I have some character sketches🥰

Summary: Two outsiders. One with a strange name from abroad, and the other a social outcast. When Aoto Hoshino catches the new student, Chūshi Oshiba, in a compromising situation he lends a helping hand… and mouth. However, this small act of “kindness” sweeps both young men a whirlwind of passion that threatens to crumble Aoto’s world. Will he let himself find salvation or repeat the vicious cycle?


Aoto Hoshino couldn’t pinpoint when his curious habit started.

Like any normal child, he’d been warned about the dangers of crossing the street and to look both ways. He lived in a busier town due to its proximity to the city, so cars often sped past at a moment’s notice, often honking as they drove close enough to run you into the pavement. Being hit by a car was his biggest fear in grade school as a result, but whenever he expressed his fear to his family he became the punchline to dinner jokes. Now years later, his mother begged him to carry that same fear again years later.

“What’s the worst that could happen,” he’d ask of his mom on the other line, crossing a street fearlessly as usual. A loud car honk usually drowned his mother’s response out when they talked in the mornings. Death, they would both think. Unlike Mrs. Hoshino, Aoto didn’t fear nor mind meeting death. At least not anymore.

As a compromise he changed his departure time from home to coincide with a lull in traffic. He also planned on moving out that year and knew his mother would be more likely to say yes if he appeared more “responsible.” Initially he missed the thrill and symphony of car horns from his daring exploits in the morning. Leaving fifteen minutes earlier really does make a difference, he’d thought to himself the first week of his new schedule. But over time he grew to like the otherworldly stillness that seemed to take over the street on his way to classes. Sometimes he forgot that he was headed to school. Until the whispers started.

Even students from neighboring regions knew about him. Retrospectively, his reckless behavior from those few months leading to graduation gave people plenty more to discuss in addition to the initial incident. The irony of it all, which almost drove Aoto mad, was that nothing happened. He’d asked an upperclassman to meet him on the roof with a note he’d signed with the most popular girl’s signature. He planned on confessing his feelings, hoping something would happen if his gaydar wasn’t incorrect. 

But his choice of prey was too much of a coward to admit his feelings, much less defend himself nor Aoto once the rumors spread. Boys left and right began to harass him into senior year of high school. That wasn’t so bad seeing as Aoto wasn’t a pushover nor weak. However, he eventually caught a cruel teacher’s gaze. That was the tipping point for Aoto; not only did he start to fear something more than cars, he realized he liked being desired by a man, regardless of the circumstance.

One day after school close to Winter Break the teacher cornered him, and it would be the first of a few times that Aoto found a sweaty dick in his mouth. He knew if he didn’t do something soon of his own accord, he wouldn’t be able to control what came later. So he bit down, and managed to escape, spitting out musk and blood. I need to lose it, and fast.

His stunt bought him some time to find suitable options and it seemed to pay off. It turned out finding a gay bar wasn’t as hard as he thought. Aoto settled on a discrete one only ten minutes from his house a few days later. The interior was dark with dimly lit chandeliers hanging from the ceiling with a bar in the very back of the room with various bottles of sake backlit with blue lights and violet lights. There weren’t that many people there at the time—the sun hadn’t even begun to set, but this was the only time Aoto could easily sneak over, his cover being that he was at cram school. A bartender stood off center from the display of alcohol. He was tall with dyed blond hair that shined almost like gold. He looked up as Aoto approached and his light eyes glinted with humor, but also confusion.

“You know where you are?” His gruff voice sent chills down Aoto’s spine and blood immediately rushed downstairs. The man I’m looking for

“Yes, I do.” Aoto didn’t bother looking around, prey already in sight. He pinned the bartender under his gaze. “Are you a top?”

The bartender’s large hands fumbled with the glass they’d been holding. He managed to save it from shattering on the ground before placing it down. “You can’t be serious kid.”

“Look, can you do me or not? I’m already prepped.” 

It was true. Well, sort of. Since his teacher’s advances and during his “sick” leave, Aoto had read up on everything dealing with gay sex. He hadn’t been daring enough to try and buy a toy, but he’d managed with his fingers, though not for long and not many.

“… I’m thirty years old, kid; way too old for you.”That’s not a no… Better him than Sensei. Aoto tried his best to look charming as he leaned across the bar. “I’m not asking you to be my boyfriend. We don’t even have to go to a hotel, we can just go to the back.” He lifted the crimson tie the bartender wore. “What do you say?”

If you enjoyed reading…

Please leave a comment and/or like this post! Below I’ve attached the character sketches, including one character that wasn’t formally introduced here!

If you have more in-depth feedback, feel free to submit a message through the Contact page🥰

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Glasses: Aoto

Blondie: Bartender


2 thoughts on “The Burdens We Hide

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