Kaimoana Tales

by Kiwi

Lachlan & Gary

Part 59

Gary lay on his bed in the caravan watching TV. It was something to do, but it was boring. He was bored. Lachlan was right, he was wasting his life. What was Lachlan doing?

No, he was being weird. What about Peter de Groot's cute cousins? They definitely didn't look boring. It was a shame that he didn't know Peter well enough to just drop in on him, then he'd get to meet the new boys. Could he do that anyway? No, he'd just look stupid.

What to do? It was too early to eat and Joel was eating at Virgil's tonight. Joel was great and Virgil was all right. No, he was better than all right, he was great too. They were good friends, but they were so into each other, he always felt he was on the outside. He'd met a few people, but those two were the best friends he'd made. Them and Lachlan.

Shame that he was being weird, he did like Lachlan really. Actually, he liked him a lot - when he wasn't being weird.

Dammit! Life was out there, somewhere. Nothing was going to happen while he was lying around watching dumb afternoon TV programmes. He put his sneakers back on and went out for a walk.

He went out of the caravan and out of the yard, to the road. Joel's Uncle Doug was working on an engine outside the big front-door.

He stopped what he was doing and looked up at Gary. Gary smiled and nodded and went the other way. Doug was always friendly enough, but there was something creepy about him. He always felt that he was undressing him with his eyes. Creepy.

Back along the road, he passed in front of Lachlan's house. Lachlan was there, down the end of the driveway, splitting wood. The kid was always exercising in one way or another. Should he go in and talk to him?

He stopped walking and watched him. Lachlan hadn't seen him there, he thought. He was standing side-on to him and focused on chopping the wood.

There was an old saying about how firewood warms you twice, once when you cut it and once when you burn it. Looked like that was working. Lachlan had slipped his shirt off and was wearing nothing but his ugly, baggy, low-slung jeans. His top-half was not ugly though, he was looking good. He had a good tan and the sweat he'd worked up was making him glow in the sunshine.

All the hard work he'd been doing was paying off, the kid was developing a damm fine body. If he saw him in the street and he didn't know him, he'd have a second look. The boy and his bod were eye-candy. He looked good.

More that that, even if he was a dog, which he was not, he'd still want to know him. Lachlan was a good guy.

It was a shame that their relationship had developed the way it did. Maybe it was time that they had another look? Could they start again? Sure they could, if the kid stopped being weird.

He walked in off the street. Lachlan stopped and watched him coming.

"Hey, Lachlan."

"What do you want? I'm busy here."

"I can see that. You're doing good."

"Someone's got to do it."

"I guess. It's doing you good too."

"There must be a catch. What do you mean by that?"

"No catch. I mean it. You're getting a good work-out and it's doing you good. You're looking good."

"Really? I thought I was a Fat Boy."

"Maybe you were once, but you're not now."

"Yeah?" Lachlan looked at him suspiciously. "C'mon, Gary, drop the other shoe. You've thought of some new way to insult me, haven't you?"

"No I haven't. I've been thinking, Lachlan."

"Gee, wow."

"No, don't. I don't want to do that anymore."

"You don't want to do what anymore?"

"Talk shit all the time. Lachlan, can we stop the insults and just be mates?"

"There's got to be a catch somewhere. No more Fat Boy jokes?"

"No, none. I'm sick of that. It's not funny and it's not real anyway. I like you, Lachie. You're the best friend I've got around here, around anywhere really. I don't want to lose you."

"Umm. Are you for real?"

"For sure."

"Yeah, okay. I'll give it a go if you will. You're not a bad guy really. So, what about the cute cowboys? Met any of them yet?"

"No, I haven't. They don't seem to be getting involved with anyone."

"I noticed that. They're sticking close together and walking around, posing."

"They are. Maybe they're just a pack of posers. They do look good, but that doesn't mean they're worth knowing - not like you."

"Here we go. Are you saying that I'm nothing to look at?"

"No, I'm not. I'm saying that you're someone worth knowing. Anyway, you do look good and getting better all the time. You've come a long way in the time I've known you and good on you for working at it. But what you look like doesn't matter so much, you're gorgeous on the inside anyway."

"Umm, well - wow! Thanks, I think. You really are Gary Stafford, aren't you?"

"Of course I am. Who else would I be?"

Lachlan grinned. "I thought maybe you had a nice twin brother."

"Shut up. There's only one of me."

"There certainly is! You're okay, Gary."

"Yeah? So are you, very okay. Can I give you a hand here?"

"What? Are you offering to do some actual work?"

"Don't, Lachlan. Yes, I am offering, I'd like to help you."

"Okay, sorry. Yeah, you could help. If you'll get the wheelbarrow from the garden shed, you could start taking the blocks to the woodshed and stacking them in there. Thanks."

"Thank you. It'll be good to do something."

They worked together until the job was done. Lachlan finished splitting the wood and took over the wheelbarrow, dumping the blocks in the shed for Gary to stack them away neatly. Finished, they stood back and admired what they'd done.

"Thanks, Gary. I thought it was going to take a couple of days."

"Yeah, we make a good team."

"We do. Come inside and have a drink while I have a shower."

"If you shower every time you get a sweat up, you must get a lot of showers."

"I guess I do really. Come on."

They went into the kitchen and got a couple of cold drinks - two large cokes - diet coke, of course. They took them into the living-room because Lachlan's sister and a couple of her friends were busy baking cookies and they filled the room up.

"Hey. You've got a piano!"

"Yeah, it's Gran's. No-one plays it, it just sits there, taking up space and gathering dust. Do you play piano?"

"Yeah, well, I used to. I had lessons for years and my mother had one. I haven't played since I left home, it's about the only thing I miss about the place."

"I wouldn't know where to start. I've got a guitar, an acoustic one, but I'm not very good at that either. Guess I'm just not musical. Are you any good?"

"I don't know if I'm good, but I can follow a tune and I enjoy playing, I used to."

"And you miss it? Why did you leave home anyway? You're young to be living on your own."

"I'm not that young. I'm 16."

"That much? I'm still 15. That's still young to be on your own. Why did you leave?"

"It's a long story. The short version is that they kicked me out because I'm gay."

"That's rough. Mind you, I wouldn't be surprised if my family did the same thing."

"They don't know about you?"

"Not likely! And I'm not telling them either. I suppose I'll have to, one day, but not until I'm good and ready."

"Might be wise. Anyway, if they do throw you out, you could come and live with me. I wouldn't kick you out."

"Yeah? Thanks, but I wouldn't want to live in that old caravan with you and Joel. There's not enough room in there for you two without me as well."

"Yeah, it's cramped, but you wouldn't have to live in the caravan. I'd buy us a house."

"How are you going to buy a house? You haven't even got a job. What are you living on anyway? Are you getting a benefit?"

"No, I don't need one. I've got some money."

"Yeah? Must be a lot if you can buy a house."

"It's a lot. I could afford it."

"Where did you get money? Did you rob a bank or something?"

"Nothing like that. I told you, it's a long story. I'll have to share it with you sometime."

"Sometime, but not now. I'm going to have that shower; I'll just be a few minutes. Have a play on the piano if you like. Just move all the junk on it onto the coffee table."

"Thanks. I'll do that."

"You're welcome. I don't know if it's in tune; no-one's touched it in ages. Try it anyway; I'll be back soon."

"Okay."

"That's it? No cracks about smelly fat boys?"

"Definitely not. Go away, Lachie."

Lachlan went to the bathroom. Gary cleared the family photos off the piano.

'Man, Lachlan was a nice-looking kid. Great smile.'

He adjusted the seat, opened the lid, sat down and spread and flexed his fingers. He ran his fingers up and down the keys.

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