Kaimoana Tales

by Kiwi


Part 7

The next day was more of the same - meetings all day long. They had their photos taken a hundred times. Everyone ate lunch at the conference table this time. William barely had time to say hello to Cody and the other boy, all day long. Their longest convo was when they said goodbye and see you next time, before they all left for home.

Joyce came over to say goodbye and said that she'd try to have the final script to them by the end of the week.

"If we can get Joe off his lazy butt, that is. I'll keep on his case and try to get it to you by Friday. You'll need to learn the script by heart, William. It doesn't have to be word-perfect, but the nearer the better."

"Oh, it'll be word-perfect," Paul nodded his rather sore head. "Wills doesn't do anything by halves, do you, Son?"

"Whatsoever thy right hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might," William replied.

"Where on earth did you get that from?"

From Sir William Borlase's School, Marlow, UK"Sheesh, Dad! It's in the bible. You should know that; you're the teacher."

"You think? I don't know everything you know and we don't teach the bible in school, it's not allowed."

"Well it should be. Some of the greatest literature and poetry is in there. I'm going to say goodbye to Cody. I'll be back."

"You have an interesting boy," Joyce smiled as she watched him hurry away.

"He's interesting all right, but you should try living with him!"

"I'll just stick with my cats, I think. They don't quote the bible at me."

"Want to swap"


Bruce took them to the airport, at 6pm, and they flew back to Wellington. Sarah and Emmy met them there and they drove home to Island Bay. The girls wanted to know all about their weekend, but Paul and William didn't want to talk. They were both dead-beat, so they'd have to wait.

"I want to go to my own bed and sleep for a week!" William wailed.

"I don't think so. You've got school tomorrow. You both have. That's what you get for partying all weekend."

"We have not! Well, maybe Dad has, but I've been working. There's a lot more to making a movie than you think."

"Partying, Paul?"

"No, not really, but there were free drinks just sitting there under our nose all day. Next time, I'll take water."

"That might be wise."

William had to go back to Auckland for another weekend, 3 weeks later, for costume fittings, more meetings and some screen tests. Sarah went with him that time. Paul couldn't go; he was on a senior-class trip in the Marlborough sounds. Emmy was on the school-trip.

William didn't mind at all. Not that his father was that bad, but, at least with his mother there they'd be in separate rooms, so he might get some sleep this time. He didn't though.

Cody and his pervy cousin were there as well. The cousin hooked-up with one of the crew members, with Bruce actually, so he was only too pleased to say that Cody could go and sleep in William's room. They could spend some time bonding together, that was important too.

Sarah really should have known better. She was so busy watching the adults that she didn't even think about what 2 boys could get up to together. Also, she thought that Cody was the same age as William. He wasn't, he was 2 years older and much more experienced in the ways of the world.

William had already been doing research on the internet. The computer was in his parents' bedroom, but they didn't get home for hours after he did and he was very good at covering his tracks. He was, unbeknown to them, accessing horror-movie clips when he was only 6 years old

He didn't do that anymore, he hadn't for years, but now there was a whole new world to investigate. So, now he had the chance to find out what it was really like.

Cody wanted to come and sleep in his room? Did he want him to? Hell yes! He was delighted. He waited while Cody got his bag, and then they went to his room.

There were 2 beds in there. They were singles, but they were big ones. They stood inside the door looking at them.

William felt like Cody was his guest there, so he asked, "Which bed do you want?"

"Which one are you sleeping in," Cody replied with a grin.

"Well, the one under the window."

"Under the window? Yeah, you do that."

"And you'll have the other one."

"No. I'm sleeping under the window."

"But, you said I could."

"Yeah, we both can."

"Both of us in the same bed? But . . . yeah, okay!"

The Friday-night progress meeting seemed to go on forever, but at last it was finished. Sarah asked the boys if they wanted to come down to the hotel restaurant for a bite of supper. But, no thanks, they weren't hungry (?!) Cody said that he was tired and he just wanted to get to bed. They said goodnight and hurried off to their room.

William shut and locked the door, and then turned to face Cody. "You're not really tired, are you?"

"No way! You? Cool. Let's go to bed."

Cody stripped naked and he slid into the bed. William usually slept in pajamas, but if Cody could sleep without them, then so could he; so he followed his example.

He found out more that night about sex and what boys could do together than he'd learnt from weeks on the internet. Cody showed him things that he'd never, ever, forget. It was great fun. He didn't get a lot of sleep that night and they both had trouble sitting comfortably next day and again on Sunday.

They flew home on Sunday afternoon. William collapsed into bed as soon as they got there and didn't emerge again until Monday morning, not even to eat! He was ravenous at breakfast time on Monday though.

The filming began in the May school holidays with outdoor location shots in a suburb in Dunedin. Like Wellington didn't have any hills?

After 3 days there, they flew home to Wellington for one night, and then back to Auckland the following morning. They were there for a week and a half and William felt like an experienced actor by the time they'd finished. Maybe he should get some trendy movie-star glasses?

Mostly though, when they were on set and not spending endless hours doing nothing, he felt like he was a puppet - a puppet controlled by voice commands. That'd be pretty cool, really, if he was the one giving the orders, but he wasn't.

The best thing about the time in Auckland was that, this time, they were staying in a motel, so William had a room to himself. When he wasn't entertaining Cody that is, (or being entertained by him). Cody and his cousin had a unit in the same motel, but Rangi was out a lot at night, partying. Which was good.

Stephen was only there for a couple of days and Cody was gone by the end of the week William was sorry to say goodbye to both of them, but mostly to Cody. He was going to miss him and the things they'd done together.

There were no other kids around at all then, William was the only one. There were a couple of guys there who, he thought, would like to be friends, but no - they were years older than he was.

It was odd going home on the Saturday and back to school on Monday. Life went on like it always had, nothing had changed. Almost nothing - William had changed.

They spent several more weekends in Auckland, and a couple of schooldays too, which was good. Over half of the August/September holidays were spent filming as well. The whole family came with him that time and they had a holiday in Auckland city. William didn't get much of a holiday, he was working most of the time.

It made a change for him to be working while his parents were skiving off, he wasn't sure if he liked that or not. Cody came to see him once, but they didn't get to spend any time alone together.

Also, Cody's news was not good. He was out of work, his TV series had been canned, and things were not good in his home. His father was in jail for assaulting his mother and her brother. She had taken to drinking, far too much, and Cody didn't know what was going to happen. If it got too bad, he was likely to finish-up in welfare care.

He did have a large family, but most of them were in a mess as well and he didn't know if they'd want him anyway.

William felt for him, but there was nothing he could do, he was just a kid. He asked his father if they could take Cody to live with them, but got nowhere.

"No, Wills. I'm sorry, but we're just not in a position where we could take-on another kid, especially one from a troubled background like Cody's. We're not related and we don't have a Foster Care licence, so it can't happen. There are professionals trained to deal with cases like this, not us."

William did try, but got nowhere. His parents were immovable and it couldn't be done.

The filming was finished. They went home and tried to forget all about it. The editing and processing would go on for months, but William's part in the project was over.

They had one more trip to Auckland, for the low-key premiere at a film festival. Stephen was there, but Cody didn't show. William had no idea how to get hold of him.

In the following months, the movie did quite well at film festivals all over the world. It was nominated, several times, for awards, but didn't win any. It did come runner-up at one major festival though. It never made it into mainstream cinemas; no-one really expected it to.

Most of the money that William had been paid was salted away in bank accounts for his future education. All that he got out of it was some new clothes, (red and black of course), an X-box and a very cool new two-wheeled skate-board. Nothing else, apart from the experience and the education he'd received. (He'd learnt more things than his parents dreamed of too!)

Life went on the same as it always had. They received a DVD of the movie. William never watched it, he'd seen it before and he was sick of the whole thing. Emmy watched it, constantly, for weeks, but eventually, even she tired of it. The DVD sat and gathered dust in the cabinet along with all the others.

He never did do any more acting, that life was not for him. But he did some modelling work, for a while. He was a very good-looking boy so they made use of that. He soon got bored with the modeling too and he never saw any of the earnings from that, the money disappeared into the bank accounts.

After the movie came out, Mrs. Crase arranged for it to be shown at school, she wanted everyone to know what being in her drama-club could do. The kids all thought it was great and William had more friends than he'd ever had before, he was way popular from then on.

He looked, but never found anyone who would play the games that Cody had with him. They were all just kids. The one time that he made a fumbling approach to an older boy, he didn't want to play and William got a bloody nose for his trouble. He resigned himself to being alone in the bedroom, but, even so, he'd learnt stuff that he didn't know before.

A couple of years went by. Things were good and not so good. Sarah suffered a nervous breakdown and she was away, in residential care, for months. Paul, Emmy and William coped with things at home, but it wasn't the same without the mother there.

Sarah never did return to full-time work, she cut back to part-time, mostly in social research and some consultancy work.

Emmy was in Highschool; William's primary years were almost over and he was due to follow her there the following year, when Paul came home with big news. He had a new job, as principal of a primary school, his first ever principal's appointment. Sarah was delighted for him, they all were, and she readily agreed to the move.

"As long as I can get on a computer and to an airport, I can work from anywhere in the country."

They also agreed that life in a small town, for a couple of years, would be good for the kids. The kids were not so sure; they'd never known anything but city-life. But they had no choice anyway.

So, the end of the year came, their house was sold and a not-quite-finished new house purchased in their new town. The builders assured them that it would be all finished and ready for them by the end of January.

Emmy finished the year at her school. Paul and William both left Harwood Primary on the same day, and the whole family went up to Tauranga to spend Christmas with Sarah's parents.

Then, they hired a motor-home and holidayed around the North Island, they lived on the beaches for a month. It was fun, for a while, but it was cramped in the van and they'd all be glad to get their own rooms back, especially William. He was a teenager now and he needed some privacy and his own space.

Back in Wellington, they returned the motor-home to the hire firm, and went to collect their car from where it had been left, at Mrs. Ritchie's. That is where they heard the news.

In an unexplained fire, possibly arson, their new house had been burnt to the ground. Luckily, their furniture and possessions were still in storage and the house was well insured, but they had nowhere to live!

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