It Started With a Kiss

by Kiwi

Part 7

I carried on with my chore, thinking, 'Wow. Wait 'til I tell Chalky; he'll be spittin'. Now he'll be sorry that he's not friends with Carter.

Carter, what about him then? Poor little boy. He is, he is a little boy in a big body - a big, hot, sexy body. But, I can't. I can't even think about sex with Carter. That'd be like screwing a little kid.

So, what do I do? I guess I'll just have to be whatever he wants. I'm not sleeping with him though, that'd be too hard. I'd be too hard! He's just like a little boy - like Peter Pan or something. That's it! That's who Carter reminds me of - Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. Or, was it the boy who never wanted to grow up? Whatever.

Carter's like Peter Pan, that's why I keep thinking that he could fly. But he can't, he's got no fairy dust. He's got a fairy though - as a friend. I do like Carter.'

My musings, (cool word, eh?), were interrupted by Chalky's usual "slap, slap", on the doorframe as he opened the door and walked in. "Hey."

"Hey, Chalky. How did the softball go?"

"Not good, we lost - again. Guess we need more practice."

"Did you score?"

"Not yet, but I'm seeing Melissa again later, so you never know."

"That's not what I meant, and you know it. Randy Bugger."

"Hey, what can I say? I'm a teenager - full of hormones and stuff."

"Yeah, you are. Speaking of which, don't take this the wrong way, but I don't want to do that stuff with you anymore."

"You don't? Why not?"

"Because I don't, I just want to be your friend, Chalky. The sex stuff gets in the way; we should never have started it."

"I think you're right. Okay, no more sex. It was a lot of fun though, wasn't it?"

"Thanks, and, yeah, it was a lot of fun, while it lasted. Time to move on now."

"Yeah. Can I still hug you sometimes?"

"Of course. You can hug me anytime."

"Cool. So you're going after Carter now? Is that what this is about?"

"No, I'm not going after him. Carter's just a friend. He's not interested in sex."

"He's not? I knew he was a bloody loony."

"Don't Chalky. He is not, he's just Carter. He's my friend and I really like him. Don't call him a loony."

"Or what? What are you going to do? Drop me for Carter?"

"No, I'm not going to drop you. You're my oldest friend. I love you, Chalky."

"Eww! Boys don't talk like that. Not unless they're gay."

"Maybe I am. I dunno, but I'm still me and I do love you. Always have."

"Okay. I guess I love you too, sort-of. Don't tell anyone that I said that."

"No. Thanks Chalky. We're tight?"

"We're tight - always were, always will be."

"Cool.'

" So, what are you doing here? You're surely not cleaning up your room are you?"

"Yes, I'm cleaning up, Mum said that I had to."

"Not before time. Don't tell my mum, or I'm in trouble."

"You should shock her and do it without being told."

"Not likely, the shock would kill her. You want to go swimming down at the river tomorrow? Just us, don't bring Carter."

"'Kay, I'd love to. But why can't Carter come? He'd like that too."

"Because he can't. He swims naked, doesn't he? People might get the wrong idea. Besides, he's your friend, not mine."

"Who cares what people think? You should give him a chance, Chalky. He's great. I'm sure that you'd like him.'

"That's what you think. Anyway, he doesn't want to know me either. He just looks straight through me."

"Probably because you hurt him. He heard you calling him a frigging loony. You could apologize for that, start again."

"I'm not apologizing to him, he is a frigging. . ."

"Don't, Chalky. Just don't."

"Okay, but don't ask me to like Carter, I don't."

"You like Teaser though, don't you? She was over here before, in my room."

"No! Hot Teaser was here in your room? What for?"

"We were just talking. She kissed me too."

"She did not! What would she kiss you for?"

"Because she likes me. She likes me because I'm Carter's friend. Think about that."

"She likes you because you're Carter's friend? Maybe I will apologize to him then. He's not coming swimming though, not yet."

"Not yet? Think about it, Chalky. Think about Teaser."

We were interrupted by Mum sticking her head in the door. "Still not finished? Dinner's on the table, come and get it. Are you going to stay and eat with us, Chalky? There's plenty there."

"No, I'd better not. Thanks, Mrs. Coddington, but mum will be expecting me. I'm late already, I think."

(That's nothing new - Chalky's always late. He'll be late for his own funeral.)

"I'd better be going. See you later, Davey. You can find your own way to school, I'll be walking there with Melissa."

('Damm. Supplanted by Melissa in more ways than one!')

He went to knock our hands together, but I stopped him.

"Wait a minute, Chalky. There's something I've got to do."

Mum went downstairs, Chalky stood waiting. "Well, what do you have to do?"

"This," I said, grabbing and hugging him. Melissa's not getting all of my best friend.

"Oh. Okay, cool.' He hugged me back.

"I love you, Chalky."

"Shut up! Oh, whatever, I love you too. See you later."

Bruce and I had to help Dad get a load of firewood, after dinner, so I didn't get back over to the Matthews' house.

Next morning, there was no Chalky to walk to school with, so I went over to see if Carter was going, but I was too late. Chatty said that he'd gone ages ago, he left early to have time if anything interesting came up on the way.

I walked to school alone, until I met up with Paul Gray. We didn't see Carter anywhere around. He wasn't there when we arrived either. We went in for our first class, with Hollister. Carter should've been there, but he wasn't.

About twenty minutes into the class, Carter finally arrived. He slipped in quietly and took his seat, but Hollister wasn't going to let him get away with that.

"Mr. Carter!" he roared, all red in the face. Stupid Prat. "I will not have you wandering in here when you feel like it and disturbing my class. Get out! Go away and next time, come on time or do not come at all."

Carter looked at him with that blank expression. He picked up his books and walked. On the way out, he paused by Dick's desk, dropped an exercise book down in front of his cousin, and then he left. (Yeah, Dick was in our Maths class, he'd been advanced a year because he's some sort of maths genius or something.)

Dick flicked through the book, whistled quietly, then left it there while he continued working. Hollister wasn't having that either. He came down and snatched the book up.

"What have we here? Mr. Carter seems to have written answers to work we haven't done yet." He continued leafing through it. "He's done the whole lot, every scheduled exercise for the year. Well, there's nothing clever about copying the answers from the back of the book."

He went back up to the front and Dick spoke up for his cousin. "Sir, there are no answers in the back of this year's book."

"There's not? No, you're right. Where did he get them then?"

"He must have worked them out."

"He couldn't have. This is work we haven't covered yet."

"Apparently, Carter has, Sir. It's all in the book."

"It is. Why would he do that?"

I just had to join in this. "Who knows why Carter does anything, Mr. Hollister?"

"Thank you, Mr. Coddington. No-one asked for your opinion."

"He's very bright. Maybe you should put him up a class or two."

"I will be the judge of that. Enough talk. Get on with your work."

Dick grinned and winked at me. We got on with our work.

On the way to our next class, I caught up to Carter. "Hey Carter. How's it going?"

He just kept walking, totally ignoring me.

"Carter? Hey, Carter. What's the matter?" I danced around in front of him, forcing him to stop by blocking the way.

He stopped walking all right, but he looked at me with his orange eyes and he 'blanked' me! I was so shocked, I stepped out of his way and he walked on without even glancing back. What was that about?

All through that class, and the next, I was concentrating on nothing but Carter. What had he blanked me for? What had I done? How could I fix this?

'Well, screw you anyway, I don't need this. What did you blank me for?'

I searched everywhere for him at lunchtime, until I found him in the library, reading. I sat down opposite him at the table. He ignored me.

"Carter, what's wrong? Have I done something? I can't fix it if you won't tell me what's bugging you."

He closed his book, got up and left. I sat there trying not to cry. I didn't know why, but Carter obviously didn't want to know me anymore.

'Fuck'im anyway. I can't handle this, I'm better off without him.' (But I wasn't.)

I went swimming with Chalky after school. It's funny really, our town, Westpoint, has got some of the best beaches in New Zealand - miles of them, but everyone prefers to swim in the river, when it's not in flood, which it often is. It was another beautiful day - hot sun in a clear sky, clean, clear water and lots of laughing kids, hanging out and having fun in the sun. But I wasn't, I couldn't get into it and it was no fun at all.

"C'mon, Davey. Get in the water, it's great."

"No, Chalky, I'm not. I'm going home. Laters."

He came bounding up out of the river. "Wait up. What's the matter? You not feeling well or something?"

That was a good out. "I'm not feeling well at all. I'm going home."

"Okay. You want me to walk with you?"

"No. I'll be fine. You go swim. I'm just going home to lie down."

"All right then, as long as you're sure. I'll come and check on you later. Take it easy."

"Thanks, Chalky."

He dived back into the water and I walked home alone. I wasn't sick or anything, but I really wasn't feeling well, I was just miserable.

Carter! What did he cut me off for? Why did he blank me? Who knew why Carter did anything? I certainly didn't, I'd probably never know. This last week had been the greatest and most interesting days of my life, and I wished that I'd never met him.

It would have been better if the bloody old Hollisters had never moved out and the Matthews had moved in somewhere else - somewhere far away from here.

But, then I would never have met him. I would never have met the greatest person I'd ever known. Carter was incredible - incredible and impossible. He was too much for me. I loved him and I hated him. What did he blank me for?

Fuck'im anyway. I was not going back there, never again. Not even if he begged me. I wished he would beg me, but I was not going anyway. Fuck'im. Love sucks.

I got home, there was no-one there. Empty house, empty heart, empty life. The drapes were open in my room, so I closed them, cutting off my view of the neighbours. And, they were staying shut from now on!

The radio was playing some corny old song about lost love, and it really got to me. I'd lost too. It was never going to happen, it was impossible anyway, but I loved him. I did.

And, I cried. I lay on my bed and soaked the pillow until, I guess, I went to sleep. Chalky did call in to check on me on his way home. He didn't wake me, just left a note on my pillow. He's a good friend, Chalky. Better than I deserve.

I was jerked awake when the door slammed, the light went on and Teaser yelled at me. "Right, Coddington! I warned you, if you hurt . . .oh."

She stopped short when I lifted my head and looked around at her. It was probably the miserable, tear-stained face that did it. Anyway, she lost the anger and came over and sat down next to me.

"What's wrong, Davey? What the hell happened? Carter's lying in his room, crying his eyes out. I came over here to kick your arse and here you are in exactly the same state. What's happened to you guys?"

"I don't know, Theresa. I don't know and I don't care. Just go away and leave me alone."

"Leave you alone? Like this? I don't think so. And I told you to call me Tease. If you don't care, what are you doing here in the dark, bawling on your bed?"

"I don't know. Carter's just cut me off, I don't know why. He won't tell me, he won't talk or look at me even. It's too hard, Tease. I can't do this. Carter's too much for me. He lifts me up and then he drops me down. I can't do it anymore.

Carter needs someone more than me. I told him that he'd be better with Chalky. Right at the start, on that first day, I told him that. Chalky's a much better person than I am, he's what Carter needs, not me."

"He's not you know. What Carter needs is someone who loves him, and you obviously do. Carter needs you, Davey."

"I don't think so. Carter doesn't think so either. Just drop it, Theresa - Tease - please, just drop it. There's nothing there, there never was."

"Nothing there? I don't think so. Well, I'm still going to kick some arse, I was right about that. I've just got the wrong house. Hang in there, Davey. He's worth it, you know. He really is. See you later, Sweetheart."

And, she kissed me, and then she left. Was she going to kick Carter's arse now? I, sort-of, hoped so. 'But don't do it for me, I've had it."

I didn't want to know Carter anymore. I loved him but he was not for me.

The next morning dawned, Friday at last, and nothing had changed. It was still sunny and I was still miserable, and confused. Chalky came and walked to school with me. He wasn't getting on too well with Melissa. He'd touched her boobs and she'd slapped his face. But, he was going to fix it, no worries.

Carter caused a bit of a sensation when he arrived at school. He didn't do anything, he was still just Carter and he didn't talk to anyone, but his appearance! He looked amazing.

His eyes were a weird silver colour - no whites, no pupils, just silver all over. He had curls, very similar to mine actually, long, loose and untidy, but they weren't the same colour as mine. His hair was the exact same colour as Chalky's blond helmet.

What was he doing? Who knew? I didn't talk to him, but I couldn't help looking at him. Everybody was looking at him, all day long.

When we were walking home from school, (Bruce, Paul, Chalky and I), Carter came running up behind us. I stopped and looked back when he called out to me.

"Davey! Wait up!"

"Umm. Carter? Hey." (Nervous smile.)

"Hey, Davey." (No smile.) "Are you still going to come to my funeral?"

"Yes," I sighed. "Of course I'd come to your funeral."

"Cool. Thanks. It will be tomorrow. In the back-yard at my house, at 3pm. Refreshments to follow - barbecue and salads - so bring an appetite. Thanks, Davey. 'Bye."

He jumped and grabbed the top of the brick wall beside us, swung up over it and was gone. I stood there with my mouth hanging open, doing my stunned-mullet impersonation.

"What!??"

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