Boy on the Towpath
by Andrew Foote
I remember that evening being in the house alone with mum. All we seemed to do was cry all the time although she did try to lighten the atmosphere as best she could but each time we so much as looked at each other our emotions were let loose once again.
I woke sometime in the middle of the night. I was laying on the couch and mum had obviously covered me with a blanket before taking herself off to bed and as I lay there I remember feeling surprisingly calm if just a little upset that the one time I needed Stu's cuddles and love, he wasn't there. Although I probably couldn't have put it into so many words back then, I did know that I had a duty towards mum and that I had to try and be strong for her but also I worried that I wouldn't be up to the task. Worried that my emotions would get the better of me and I'd make the situation much worse.
I took myself off upstairs and paused at her door which was slightly ajar. I could hear her breathing slowly and rhythmically, so happy enough with the fact that she was at least for the time-being okay, I went to bed and slept fitfully.
I also remember that I had one of those 'dreams' that Stu had told me about! We were laying together completely naked in front of the warmth of the stove and he was gently caressing my young body, getting me seriously worked up. He then slid his hand down to my little nail and oh so delicately fingered me and it was at that point I woke as a massive orgasm ripped through my pubescent young frame. I instantly wanted to close my eyes and relive it, maybe putting some more meat on it in the process but of course that never happens! The odd thing was, I'd never had those sort of dreams that featured girls and I was vaguely disappointed that maybe I wasn't going to turn out 'bi' like I'd hoped! Anyway, following that super-massive cum, albeit dry, I slept through 'til nine that morning when I was woken by the doorbell. I donned a pair of undies and went down to answer the door. It was Stu.
"Is your mum up yet Tom?"
"No. She's still asleep."
"Good. Let her rest and we'll make some tea and if she's not up by ten then we'll take a mug up to her."
We sat in the kitchen and I could feel Stu looking at me and that got me a little excited but I knew he wouldn't do what I so wanted him to do so I told him about my dream.
"I had a dream about you last night?"
"Hope it was a nice one?"
"The best! It was, you know, one of those dreams!"
"Wow! I'm flattered!"
I went on to tell him as articulately as I could exactly what had happened.
"And then I had a massive……..er…….."
"Yeah! And I wasn't even touching myself" I said proudly!
"Oh yes. The best ones for sure!"
"Do you ever dream about me?"
"Shit! Well yes I do as it happens."
"Like those sort of dreams?"
"Sod you Tom! Not like wet dreams as such but, how can I put this. Let's just say that what features in them is rather naughty! Hey I can't control my subconscious you know?!"
I remember how warm inside that made me feel just happy in the knowledge that maybe someday…….."
I arrived at the house only to find all the curtains closed and I guessed the evening had been a long and traumatic one but never the less we had limited time to get everything arranged for tomorrow and whilst I could be viewed that I was rushing Janet into things I knew that once everything was finalised, she could finally take stock of her own problems safe in the knowledge that the security and future of her son was safe and secure.
Tom took a cup of tea up to her just past ten in the morning and I saw nothing of either of them until almost eleven and I had been starting to worry that they'd succumbed to further emotional outbursts. I shouldn't have worried. They appeared hand in hand, Janet especially looking so rested and relaxed and Tom? Well, a little less so but it was very clear to me that he hadn't been crying at least.
"Good morning Stu. Hey I'm sorry but I overslept!"
"I think you're entitled Jan! You look great!"
"I slept like a baby, probably the best night I've had in ages. I left Tom down in the lounge as he just sparked out so I put a cover over him and went on up."
"Look I don't want to sound too business-like but a couple of things happened yesterday when I got back that I need to tell you about."
I went on to explain about the phone call from David and his insistence that he married us and also about a small reception afterwards."
"I've taken the liberty of calling your solicitor and also the family lawyer chap as we won't be able to keep those two appointments. Your solicitor was charming and said she would love to come to the wedding and conduct business at the reception but the family bloke said he could only make the reception but I did take the opportunity to tell him why we needed to see him and whist he thought a meeting would be a good thing neither did he foresee any complications."
"A church wedding. I've must tell you this Stu, that will be a first for me! Alan had been married before and so we had to get hitched in a civil ceremony so I'm not going to object!"
"Fantastic! There is just one other thing though. Tom? I know it's rude to whisper something behind someone's back so forgive me this once okay?"
With Tom nodding his agreement, I whispered in Janet's ear.
"I need a best man and with your permission I want to ask Tom if he would do it. What do you think?"
"I think that is a beautiful idea! A real family occasion!"
"Tom? I've something to ask you. Do you know what a best man is?"
"I think so."
"He's the grooms like right hand man at his wedding. I want to ask you if you'll be my best man. What do you think?"
"Can I? Really? Oh Wow!"
"Can I take that as a yes then?"
"Definitely! That's just so cool!"
"Thank you! Now we've got some shopping to do. I took the liberty of calling your brother earlier Jan and he'll be here around two o'clock. He'll take you into Warwick so you can choose an outfit for tomorrow and stay with you tonight and in the meantime Tom and I will go and get us kitted out with suits and stuff. I hope you don't mind but it's tradition that the groom and the best man are together the night before the wedding so I suggest that Tom and I stay over on the boat. Another friend of mine, her name is Maggi Palmer will collect you and Stephen in what she calls her jalopy but is in fact a 1924 Alvis and take you to the church so please be ready for eleven tomorrow morning."
"Gosh you have been busy! I might be a little late but then that's my prerogative isn't it!"
I laughed. "Yes it is but don't be too late. You never know I just might get bored and go to the pub instead!"
Tom and I headed for Leamington rather than Warwick as we didn't want to risk a chance meeting with Jan and her brother. All I needed to buy for myself was a suit so we did that first. Tom however needed the works. Suit, shirt, tie and shoes as okay, he did have school shirts but they weren't what you might call 'smart' and his school shoes? Well despite his bike having brakes I think that his preferred option was... Let's just say they were very scuffed!
Tom stood in front of the mirror. God! He looked so damned smart, not a young boy but more a young man! Even the tailor made mention of the fact.
"May I say sir, your son looks really very smart. A very well turned out young man!"
At the mention of the word 'son', Tom looked up at me and grinned but we neither of us said anything!
With everything parcelled up I asked Tom to take them to the car while I
paid the bill and once he'd disappeared I went to the counter.
"There's just one other thing. I want a plain black tie to go with his suit please."
So with my bank account lighter to the tune of over £400 I joined Tom at the car.
"Did you manage to get hold of one of your mum's rings?"
"Yes, I found mum's old wedding ring. I've got it here."
"Good man! Come on let's go then!"
Janet wasn't what you would have called a 'jewellery person'. That much I had learned about her so choosing a ring wasn't that difficult. Plain and simple gold band but just a slightly different design to the one she wore when she and Alan were married. Now we had every base covered and I suggested that we went back to the boat and drop everything off.
That evening we got changed into something approaching smart and walked back into Headingly and ate at a rather nice Italian restaurant rather than self-cater. Fortunately Janet and Stephen hadn't had the same idea as I'm still old fashioned enough to believe it's bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other the night before the wedding!
As we walked back to the boat it started to drizzle with light rain.
"Is it supposed to be raining tomorrow?"
"I honestly don't know mate. When we get back we'll stick the TV on and check the forecast."
"It would be a pity though wouldn't it?"
"There's not much we can do about it but yes, it would be a shame."
By the time we got back, we were soaked through to the skin. I sent Tom off to have a shower, kicked the central heating into life and switched on the telly just in time for the news.
"A low pressure area has brought a band of rain with it and if you look at the rather tight isobars, it's accompanied by a fairly stiff south westerly wind. It's tracked up through Devon and Cornwall and is now sitting over the Midlands before continuing its journey up through Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire and Humberside before heading out into the North Sea. Overnight, this low pressure area will be squeezed out of the way to be replaced by this high pressure area to the south east of us and this will bring with it a warm front and we're expecting temperatures over the next couple of days to peak at somewhere in the region of between 26 and 28 degrees Celsius. In old money this equates to 78 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Tomorrow morning across the southeast, the Midlands and all of central southern England will start off misty with temperatures of 15 to 17 degrees with light winds. The mist will burn back readily this time of year to give a glorious day of almost wall to wall sunshine. For the West Country, Wales..."
I flicked the TV off.
"Hey Tom? Did you catch that?" I shouted.
"Yeah! Going to be okay I think."
"I'm going to open some wine. Would you like a small glass? It might just help you to sleep."
"Only if it's that Chateau whatever? That was nice!"
Dear God! He's turning into a wine snob!
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