Loneliness - Moving On

by Andrew Foote

Chapter 7

By eleven that morning we had 'Spook' back to ourselves so I set to and got Christmas lunch on the go. Had my Mum provided a full sized turkey, we wouldn't have been eating much before four in the afternoon but she'd given us a turkey crown which would only take a couple of hours in the oven. We'd prepared all the vegetables the previous evening so it was just a simple matter of chucking everything into saucepans and wait.

Jus seemed sort of distant, conversation was difficult so eventually I decided it might be best if I let him work things out in his own way. Previous experiences told me that sometimes he needed space to allow him to think coherently but still it bothered me.

Lunch was really good! I has exceeded all my expectations on the culinary front, even Jus managed to crack a couple of jokes despite the dark cloud hanging over him.

Christmas pudding, cheese and biscuits with a glass of Port, much against my better judgement, well for me at any rate but then I noticed Jus hands were shaking almost spilling the contents of his glass over the table cloth, tears were cascading down his pretty face as he tried to stop himself from crying but it was a battle he was never going to win and he broke down in a fit of near hysterics.

I leapt from the table, grabbed hold of him and pulled him into a tight embrace.

"What Jus? Tell me, please tell me?"

"I…… I…… I'm ruining everything. It's all my fault. I wish I'd died up there at the tree. Everything would've been alright then."

" What are you saying!!? Nothing is your fault!!"

" Yes it is Alex!!

Last night. Had it not been for me, you would be safe from harm, happy in your own world but I came along, infected your life with my perverted sexuality, corrupted you, turned you into something maybe you were not meant to be. I want rid of this curse but it's going to haunt me for the rest of my life isn't it! Why don't you hate me? I want you to hate me!! "

"Hate you isn't in my lexicon! You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. Remember that first day? I wanted so much to know you. It was inevitable!! It was always meant to be!! "

"I can't let myself believe that Alex. You're a good guy, kind, thoughtful but then there's me. I'm a nothing by comparison."

"Not to me you're not! Wait there, don't move a muscle okay?"

Jus nodded his head. I left the table and went into our bedroom and on finding what I was looking for, rejoined him.

"Here. Happy Christmas."

I handed him a small package all wrapped up in Christmas paper.

"For me?"

"No I bought it for the fucking milkman! Yes of course it's for you!"

"May I open it?"

"Absolutely not! You're only allowed to look at it!"

Jus smiled.

"Okay. Nice paper."

"For God's sake Jus. Open the bloody thing before I wring your neck!!"

Jus doesn't tear parcels open, he meticulously peels back the tape, folds the paper making sure it doesn't get torn, it drives me crazy right up to the present day (no pun intended, sorry!)

Inside was a small jewellery box and looking at me with enquiring eyes, I nodded to him, indicating he should open it.

I had found a shop that had in its window a selection of gold pendants, most of which were a bit tacky but one caught my eye.

It comprised of a pair of hearts which over-lapped each other, small but with sufficient room on the reverse to have engraved 'Jus' on the one heart and 'Alex' on the other.

On seeing it, Jus swallowed hard and getting up from the table, went into our bedroom and then reappeared with a similar sized package.

"This is too weird. Open it Alex."

I did as instructed and inside was an identical pendant and chain to the one I'd given him but on the reverse, the names had been swapped around to read 'Alex' on the first and 'Jus' on the second.

My turn to hold back the tears!

"See, shit for brains? I told you it was meant to be? Nothing is going to take you away from me. I love you too much. Down House and all this crap will seem like a distant memory soon. Sure it's going to be hard but then life is hard but together we can do it. Bollocks to the washing-up. Take me to bed. I have a different plan and it involves your active participation!"

"You mean you're going to take advantage of a vulnerable little boy?"

"Little boy?? Ha-ha! Massively big enough for me and no. Actually I was hoping you'd take advantage of me!"

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