Jordan in Okarito
Jordan - 1
"Hell no! No way, we can't, we just can't! Fucking Hell, Mum. No!"
"Sorry, but yes – we are. Don't swear at me, I'm not one of your foul-mouthed friends."
"My mates are not that foul, it's just how people talk."
"Well I don't and I don't like it coming from you, so don't do it. We're packing-up and we're leaving on Friday, so you've got 4 days to get your stuff sorted. Put out what you don't want and we'll dump it. Any clothes you've outgrown, but that have still got some wear in them, can go to the church shop. Fold them up and put them in a rubbish bag."
"Clothes I've outgrown? Come on! This is me, Jordan, remember – I don't grow. Everyone else does, but not me."
"Of course you grow. Not as fast as your friends, maybe, but you're still getting bigger. You've passed puberty, haven't you?"
"Stop talking! Bloody Hell. I don't want to talk about that stuff with you – Embarrassing!" He jumped up and headed for his room, grumblimg. "O-kar-bloody-rito! Way down in the middle of nowhere. Fuckit. We can't go. I can't live there – I need my friends! What'm I going to do without the Tight Five?"
"You'll survive and you'll make other friends. People come and go from your life; nothing lasts forever."
"Don't see why not," he pouted. "We thought the Tight Five would be best-friends forever, like the stupid song says."
"Maybe that's why it's stupid. Real life's not like that, not really. Look at Dillon. You and him were thick as thieves, as close as friends could get, for a few months and where is he now?"
"Gone back to Christchurch. You know that. His mother took him back because his grandmother's there, she's had a stroke and she needs them."
"Yes, I do know that, but if you're honest, you were kind-of relieved to see him go. Your relationship was all-but over even before he left. You don't exactly keep in touch much, do you? It's easy enough to do these days."
"Yeah, maybe you're right. What we had was slipping away. It would've died even if he was still here. But the Tight Five is different – the Cat, Ashton, Gene and Lucas. I need those guys. I can't lose them, I just can't!"
"Don't lose them then. There's no reason why you should. They have got the internet in Okarito you know."
"You sure about that? Wouldn't surprise me if they didn't. It's the middle of nowhere."
"Of course they've got the internet, it's not that bad. It's a town, Jordie. Not as big as Brownsville, it's true, but bigger than some."
"Smaller than most and it's nothing like Brownsville. This is my home, Mum. This is where I belong. Fuckit."
"Language! That's enough. Go and swear at your friends if you must do it at all."
"I am, I will, I'm going to. I've gotta tell them what you've done."
"I'm sure you will. Listen, if it makes you feel any better, you can have the rest of the week off school if you like."
"I don't like. I'm going to school. If I've only got a few days I'm spending them with my mates."
"Suit yourself, but there's a lot of work to be done here too. Your uncles will be here with a truck on Friday. We're loading it and we're leaving."
"Pah! It's your boyfriend, isn't it? That bloody Steve. You just want to move down there because that's where he is. Not worried about wrecking my life, you just want to be with him."
"True. No-one's wrecking your life, but I do want to be with Steve. That brings us to the rest of my news."
"Don't tell me you're going to live with him?"
"We are. I know you don't like him, but I do. Steve's a good man and, while I do love you and your sister dearly, I'm entitled to a life of my own you know. You're 14 now and Sharron's 12. In a few years you'll both be gone and then where will I be? We split with your father 8 years ago and I'm sick of living alone."
"But Steve, Mum!" He protested. He really did not like the guy.
"Enough, Jordan! I'm the adult here and I make the calls. Go start on your room."
"Now? We've got all week."
"It'll take you that long to sort-out the mess in there."
He went to his room, put on some music and started sorting through his treasures. How could she call it junk? It was like a record of his life in here. He'd spent his whole life, ever since he could remember, growing up in this town, this house and mostly in this room Now they were leaving. How could she?
"Fuck it, Mum!"
He went to school on the days that followed and every day one or more of the Tight Five came back home with him to 'help pack'. What they mostly did was sit around sharing memories, they'd had some good times together.
"You going to tell that Dillon where you're moving to?" Lucas asked.
"I guess so. Sometime," Jordan shrugged. "He's a mate, Lucas. We're not together anymore but we're still friends."
"Course you are," Gene said. "That's why you're still here, Lucas. Jordie keeps his friends, he's very good at that.
"By the look of this room, he's very good at keeping everything! Look at it all – even ice-block wrappers."
"Every picture tells a story."
"Shut up, Jordie. We're never going to get everything here sorted. What we need to do is to shove it all in boxes and he can take it with him."
"Yeah, that makes sense," the Cat agreed. "We'll do that."
They did that.
Thursday evening, after the others had gone home, Jordan went around to talk to Ashton. He hadn't seen much of him all week, apart from at school, and he was a bit worried about why not? He went around to the back of the house and tapped on his bedroom window. Tapped hard because he knew he'd have his ear-buds in, he always did.
He'd just about decided that he couldn't hear him and he'd have to go around to the door when the drapes flew open and Ashton looked out. "What?"
"Open the friggin' window. Let me in, Ashton."
He opened it and Jordan scrambled inside. "'Bout time too."
"You're lucky I'm letting you in at all. What're you doing here, Jordie? There's school tomorrow."
"Not for me, there's not. I'm not going. I've come to see you, of course. Can I stay the night?"
"No, you can't. Go home."
"I can't? Why not?"
"Because I'm not happy with you."
"I thought so. Why aren't you? Because we're moving away?"
"What else? I don't want you to go."
"Nor do I. It's not my friggin' idea you know, it's all Mum's and she's even more stubborn than you are. She's being a bitch."
"She's being a mega bitch. Doesn't she care that she's breaking up the Tight Five?"
"Apparently not. She's doing it anyway, 'cause she's got the hots for that Steve. I'm going to miss you so much! Can I stay the night with you?"
"Yeah, 'course you can. But we'd better go and tell Mum first. She'd have a fit if she didn't know and she found out in the morning."
"What if she says that I've gotta go home?"
"Then you'll have to go home. Nah, don't worry, she won't. She likes you, for some strange reason. I don't know why."
"Yeah you do. You love me really."
"Oh really? You're a crap guitarist."
"Everyone is, compared to you."
"True, true. C'mon, we'll talk to Mum."
Jordan's staying the night was okay with Mrs Morris, of course. He'd slept-over many times, so she wasn't even surprised. She insisted that he ring his mother though; she didn't want the police banging on her door in the middle of the night.
They had a drink and a sandwich, then showered, separately, and both slid into Ashton's bed, in their underwear, to watch a movie before they went to sleep.
Jordan turned the TV and X-box off, using the controller and the remote. Ashton had to get out of bed to turn the light off. "I wish we had a remote for that too."
"You don't need one, you need the exercise."
"I get enough exercise – walked home from school, didn't I? Anyway, you don't get any more than I do."
"I don't. This is so cool, Ashton. I'm going to miss you heaps!"
"Course you are. I'll miss you too – a little bit."
That started a wrestling match and they totally wrecked the bed. That finished with Jordan losing, pinned beneath his mate, face to face. Ashton lay on top of him, holding both of his outstretched hands and with his feet hooked around his ankles. "Give in," he demanded.
"Never!" Jordan grunted. "What's that I can feel down there? Ashton's got a boner. He has too – he's got little boner!"
"Shut up." Ashton went so red in the face that Jordan could see it in the almost-dark. "I can't help it. It's just natural when someone's wriggling under you."
"Sure, sure," Jordan grinned. "That's what they all say. Fancy me, do you?"
"I do not. Eww! a, I'm not gay and b, it's not little."
He released him and pulled the duvet up to cover them both. "Enough mucking around, Mum'll be in to yell at us in a minute and it's time we were sleeping anyway."
"Sleeping? Waste of time. I thought we could stay awake and talk all night."
"Well you thought wrong. Some of us have got school tomorrow you know."
"Some of us, yeah," Jordan sighed. "Wish I did too."
"So do I."
They lay quietly, side by side, for a minute, then Jordan said, "Ashton?"
"Can we cuddle?"
"I'm not gay."
"I know that. I just want to cuddle. Can we?"
"Yeah, 'course. Come here."
Ashton pulled him across and they settled down to sleep with their arms around each other and Jordan's head on Ashton's shoulder.
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