Kaimoana Tales

by Kiwi

The Malloys

Part 4

Big Mike led the way into the house. The backdoor opened into a long hallway that ran right through to the front. From there they went, left, into the big old kitchen. It was hot in there! Nancy was sitting at the top of the table, spoon-feeding baby Paulie who was in a wooden highchair. Sarah was standing at the stove and Hori and a little girl were sitting at the table. There was no sign of Tommy, he was not there.

Michael was a bit disappointed, the whole point of coming here was to get to know his father. But, whatever, he was hungry.

"There you are," Sarah smiled. "That's your plates, over that side. Sit down and get stuck in."

They went around to the back of the table. Big Mike sat down at the end, next to Nancy, Michael sat between him and Hori. Hori immediately stopped eating, picked-up his plate and went around to sit at the other side, opposite him.

"Oh?" Michael said. "Don't you want to sit by me, Hori?"

The wee boy looked up and grinned at him.

"Wow," Sarah said. "Hori likes you, Michael."

"Does he? I thought he was moving away from me."

"Well he did. He wants to sit opposite so he can look at you."

Hori grinned and nodded at him. Michael felt good and he grinned back.

"I like you too, Hori. You're okay."

"Of course he bloody is," Nancy snorted. "He's a good boy, aren't you, My Darling?"

Hori smiled and continued eating. He really was a beautiful little boy.

"Well?" Nancy continued. "Eat, Boy. Don't let it get cold."

It was a mince stew with boiled potatoes. It didn't look very appetising, but it tasted great. It wouldn't have mattered much anyway, he was so hungry he'd eat anything. But it was good.

Sarah asked, "Have you got any little brothers or sisters, Michael?"

"No, there was just Mum and me. I didn't know that I had any brothers at all."

Nancy said, "Maybe you were better off not knowing."

"Hey! No he wasn't," Big Mike protested.

"Shut up, Big Mike. Eat."

Michael had to ask, "Nancy, is Tommy not eating with us?"

"He's not. Tommy's got money in his pocket and a story to tell about his new son. Where the hell do you think he'd be? He's in the pub, of course. We won't see him again today."

"Oh, I see. Thanks."

"Tommy spends far too much time in the pub. Say hello to your sister. Molly, this is Michael."

"Hey, Molly. How are you?"

Molly blushed and looked down at the table. Maybe she was another dummy? But then, she glanced at Nancy, and then looked back at him and spoke, all in a rush.

"Hello Michael. Sarah said that you are 14 so you are a teenager but I'm not, I'm only 8 and I'm not allowed to talk at the table because you have to be a teenager before you can talk or Nancy gets very cross and she tells you to shut up or she'll smack you one, and then she takes your dinner away and you are not allowed to finish it, even if you are really hungry, so it's best not to talk at all, but I think it's okay just this once to say hello to you - so hello and can you pass the tomato sauce please?"

"Umm, yeah, sure," he grinned as he passed the bottle across. "Maybe we can talk later?"

She just blushed again and nodded her head. The rest of the meal passed in silence, perhaps it was some sort of respect for Molly's confusion. Whatever the reason, they ate quietly.

As soon as it was finished, Big Mike stood up and anounced, "Okay, that's me done. I'm outta here - going around to see Maxie. Thanks Sarah, good meal. I'll see you later, Michael. Don't wait up."

"What about the dishes?" Nancy snapped. "You're not going anywhere until they're done."

"Aww, Nancy! I've been doing the flaming dishes around here forever. Let Michael do them, it must be about his bloody turn!"

"All right then, Michael will do them, and don't you bloody swear at me, Boy! now get."

"I'm gone. Thanks, Nancy." He left in a hurry.

"I will wash the dishes. Molly and Hori can help dry them." Sarah stood up. "Stay there, Michael and talk to Nancy. She won't admit it, but she's dying to know all about you."

"How come everyone decides what's happening around here except Nancy?" Nancy complained, but she did want to know. "Do the dishes, Girl, but bring us a cup of tea first."

Sarah made a pot of tea and brought it to the table for Nancy to pour. With the children's help, such as it was, she took care of the washing-up and Michael talked to Nancy, repeating the story of his life. She was very interested and asked a lot of questions. When he'd finished, she declared.

"Just as I thought. Your mother's a stupid woman, I always knew she was. You're better-off here, but you're not sitting around on your butt all day. You're gonna have to go to school, or something."

"I guess I am. I'm only 14," Michael replied. "But I don't mind if I do. I quite like school, I'm good at it."

"You're what? Good at it and you like it? Are you sure that Tommy's your father?"

"Nancy," Sarah interrupted. "You know very well that all of Tommy's kids are bright enough."

"Like you, you mean?"

"I was Dux of the school."

"Fat lot of good that did you. You should've kept your legs closed, Girl."

"But then you'd have no grandchildren to fuss over."

"Well, yes, there is that. Anyway, you lot all got your brains from me, not Tommy."

"Sure, Nancy."

Big Mike escaped from home and hurried across town to Maxie's place. Damm, he wished that he had a bike. He used to, but Tommy sold it. Little Swine! No, Tommy was okay really. It was his own fault, he should've had it locked up. He knew what Tommy was like when he was on the booze. He'd sell his kids if he could - just as bloody well he couldn't!

It didn't take long to get there, it wasn't a big town. He soon arrived at Maxie's place and walked up to the frontdoor. It was quite a big house, much bigger than his own and that wasn't small. However, the Malloy's old place only had one storey, like most houses did, this one had more than one, it had three. The Weaver's was probably the only three-storey house in town, if you don't count attics. They weren't filthy-rich, but they were much better off than the Malloys. Having jobs probably helped with that.

He walked up to the frontdoor and the doorbell rang, making him jump, as always. It always freaked him out when it did that. He didn't ring it, there wasn't even a button to push, it just rang when someone approached the door. Bloody Showoffs! Nancy would say that they're just skiting.

The door opened and a tall, skinny woman with bottle-blonde hair and clothes that would fit a kid better, looked out. "Oh. Hello, Michael. You're looking for Max, I suppose?"

('Who else?') "Yeah, I am. Is he here please, Mrs. Weavers?"

"I think he's up in his room. You'd better go up and have a look."

"I will. Thanks Mrs. Weavers."

She sighed and shook her head as she watched him bounding up the stairs. 'Oh, to have the energy of the young!'

He was a nice-enough kid, she supposed, but she'd be glad when Max got over this infatuation with him. She knew that her son was gay, she'd accepted that a long time ago, but she was sure that he could do better than the son of one of the town drunks. She got on with her work.

Big Mike ran up to Maxie's room on the top floor and walked in the open door. "Maxie? You here?"

"I'm here, My Boy. Come on in."

"I already did. What ARE you doing?"

All that could be seen of Max was his feet and lower legs, the rest of him was beneath a huge agglomeration that took-up over half of the floor-space. He wriggled his way out from under it, sat up and grinned. "Just working on my latest invention."

"And what's this one meant to do?"

"It's a time-saving device - badly needed."

"How on earth is that thing going to save you time?"

"By having my breakfast ready and waiting when I stagger down in the mornings."

"You're a bloody nut-bar. You know that, don't you? It'll never work, they never do."

"Oh, ye of little faith!"

"I've got faith, faith that you'll stuff it up again."

"One day I'll get it right. This could be the day."

"Or not. Is your dad home?"

"No. He had a meeting after work. He won't be home intil all hours."

"Cool." Big Mike dropped to his knees in front of Max. "Kiss me then."

"Kiss You? Here? Big Mike, you know we're not allowed the door shut when you're up here."

"Yeah, worse luck. We don't need the door shut. Your dad's not here and your mum's down at the front, she won't come up here."

"We're in huge trouble if she does, but - okay. Come here, Big Boy."

They kissed briefly but Max couldn't get into it, he was too busy watching the doorway."

"Damm, Maxie, you're so romantic."

"There's a time and a place and this ain't it."

"Guess not. You still love me?"

"Always."

"Yeah! I love you too. I've got a new brother. Well, he's not new, he's second-hand, but he's ours now."

"Big Mike, I don't know what you're talking about. A second-hand brother?"

"That's right. He used to live with his mother but she kicked him out, so now he's ours."

"Oh. So what's his name?"

"Michael Malloy."

"Is not!"

"Is too. He's Michael Thomas Malloy, he's 14 and he's my brother. Tommy's his dad."

"How did Tommy get to be his father?"

"Usual way - fucking."

"No way! What did Nancy say?"

"Not a lot, she already knew. It happened a long time ago. The kid's 14, same as me."

"And the same name? Wow! Tell me more."

They sat on the floor and Big Mike told Max all about his new brother, and then he had to go and meet him.

"You serious? Can't it wait? I just walked across town to see you."

"And it's such a long way! C'mon, Big Mike, I want to meet your brother. Is he as good-looking as you?"

"Nah. He's ugly. You really don't want to see him."

"Bloody do! Come on, we'll go now, and then we'll go somewhere private."

"Like where?"

"Like, Dad's got an old van in his car-sales yard, it's really cool. The back's all fitted out for sleeping and I know where the keys are."

"We're going to pinch it?"

"No, we're not. We don't have to go anywhere, it's parked in the yard and there's no-one there now."

A big grin spread acroos his face. "Sounds good to me. What are we waiting for?"

"Well . . nothing really. Let's go."

They went downstairs, told Max's mother what they were doing, (some of what they were doing), and then they left. Big Mike wanted to go on Max's bike, he could double him on it, but they couldn't - it was broken.

"About time you started looking after your stuff, Maximillian Weavers."

"Yes, Mum. Whatever you say, Mum."

"Shut up, Maxie."

They started walking to Big Mike's place, but they never got there. Sometimes things turn-out better than you planned and they passed the car-sales yard on the way. So, of course, they had to stop in there and check-out the van. Then they checked-out the inside. Big Mike lay down on the bed to try it out, Maxie lay down with him. They didn't walk any further.

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