Westpoint Tales - Back Again
If you haven't already read it, it might pay to go back and read 'Going Back'
'Nathan Thomas thinks he's so cool. He's nothing but a big-headed idiot and a total jerk-off!
Can't believe I was ever mates with him.'
Mason glared at the 'Shaggin' Wagon', the big dark-windowed van that had driven past him. The windows were all black, the side walls were dark blue and the back of it was red. The front wall was white, he couldn't see it but he knew that because he'd seen it around, many times.
The van turned around at the intersection in the distance and came back towards him.
'Mr Cool – cruising around for people to look at him and his wagon.'
Thomas had been the proud owner of that thing for a couple of weeks now. He got it from his uncle when he left town. All the silly little girls were impressed and they couldn't wait to go for a ride in it. Slappers!
It was odd though, he'd had it for a while, he was forever cruising around in it and it'd been given that name, but he'd never heard of anyone who'd actually been in it with him.
Damm! It was pulling up in front of him. The door opened and Thomas got out and grinned at him. What was he up to? They used to be friends, years ago, but they weren't now.
'What does he want? Whatever it is, he's not getting it.'
"Hey, Mason. How're you going?"
"What's it to you?" Mason glared. He wasn't going to be nice to him just because he felt like talking for once.
"Just asking," Thomas shrugged. "Doesn't hurt to be nice."
"Wouldn't have hurt you to be nice in the last 5 years either."
"Yeah, I know and I'm really sorry about that too. We were good friends once."
"We were but that was a long time ago." Mason kept on glaring.
Nathan Thomas was way too good-looking with his curly dirty-blond hair and big brown eyes. It was no wonder that he was so popular with all the girls in town. Even the ones who'd left school and thought they were too cool to talk to 'kids' talked to, and giggled at, Nathan Thomas. Shame he was such a jerk on the inside.
"Mason, I know I've made some mistakes in my life and breaking up with you was a big one. I wish it'd never happened. I'm 16 now and I'm trying to fix where I've gone wrong. Think you can forgive me?"
'What? Wow. What's got into him?'
"Yeah? Well . . maybe." Mason was lost for words. "We'll see, maybe."
"That's better than nothing, I guess," Nathan grinned. "Not much, but a bit better. Listen, I need a favour. Are you doing anything?"
"Not a lot. Just going home."
"Well then, would you come for a ride with me, in the van. Please, pretty please with sugar on top."
"You want me to come with you. Why? You don't take anyone with you."
"So come and be the first. I've been working on the old thing all morning and I'm not the best mechanic. I want to take it for a drive up the hill, to try it out. Will you come with me?"
"Up what hill? There's no hills around here."
"Out of town, there is. I want to see if it'll get up to Dennistown."
"Up the biggest hill of all. Why do you need me with you? I'm not pushing that bloody great huge thing."
"It's not that big, but hopefully we won't have to. I'd like you to come for company, but also to call for help if it craps out on me."
"You could call yourself, couldn't you? What's wrong with your phone?"
"I haven't got one."
"Haven't got one? Of course you have. Everyone's got a cellphone."
"Everyone except me. I did have one, but I sold it."
"What for? You must've been desperate."
"I was. I cleaned out my bank account and I sold my phone, my Playstation and games, my board, bike and everything else I could think of. I needed money to buy the van before my uncle sold it to someone else."
"Really? You must've really wanted it."
"I did and it's time I made some changes in my life – that was the first of them. Come with me?"
"Yeah, alright. But try not to kill us."
"I won't. I won't kill us, I mean. Thanks, Mason."
They got into the front of the van and he drove out of town on the road towards Dennistown. It was weird, but Mason was delighted to be there. He still liked the jerk, even though he'd hurt him and they hadn't talked for years. They were good mates once.
They arrived in Waimang and Mason nodded. "So far, so good."
"So far," Nathan agreed. "But now comes the hill and that's the hard part. If it's going to die anywhere, it'll be up there."
They started climbing and, just to keep talking, Mason said, "Why do you call it the 'Shaggin' Wagon'?"
"But that's what everyone is calling it."
"But not me. It's a nasty vicious rumour, I don't know who started it and I wish they'd cut it out. That is not what it's for."
"What is it for then?"
"It's transport, it's shelter and it's a home on wheels. Not the greatest I know, but it's whatI can afford and it's all I've got if I get kicked out of home."
"Kicked out? Why would they do that? Why would anyone kick their Super-son out?"
"I expect that they will when they find out that I'm not so super."
They continued on, up around a couple of corners, while Mason thought about that.
"Nathan, I don't know what you mean. Why would your parents kick you out?"
"They probably will when they find out I'm not going to be what they want me to be. I'm 16 now and I'm sick of being told how to live. It's my life and I'm going to live it the way I want to and not how my father says that I have to. There's going to be changes. For a start, stop calling me Nathan. My name is Daniel."
"No, it's not. It's Nathan. I know who you are."
"You don't you know – not yet. Daniel is my second name and that's how I want to be known from now on. I hate Nathan; it's my father's name and he can keep it."
"Sometimes I hate Nathan too."
"I know you do and I'm hoping to change that."
They arrived at the top and parked where the center of the town used to be, well away from the other cars even though no-one could see them through the tinted windows.
"You didn't want me to come just for my cellphone. Are you going to tell me what this is all about?"
"I'm going to try to. Are you going to listen."
"Thanks. Okay, I never wanted to stop hanging with you. When we were 11, my father told me that I had to. He said that I had to stop being friends with you and start hanging-out with girls. He pushed me into that and he's been doing it ever since."
"What's wrong with me?"
"There's nothing wrong with you. Nothing at all. What's wrong is him and to hell with him. My father hates queers, really hates them, and he was determined that I was not going to be one."
"Why would he hate gays? He doesn't even go to church, does he?"
"Only at Christmas and Easter. Apparently that's enough."
"More than enough, I think. But why does he think that I'm one of them?"
"He knows that your dads are."
"Everyone knows that. But that doesn't mean that I'm one too."
"But he thinks you are. Even when we were 11, he said that you were a nancy-boy and he wasn't going to let that happen to me. Hah!"
"Hah? Yes. Despite his best efforts, I am who I am."
"So, your father said that you had to stay away from me because he thought I might be gay. He doesn't even know if I am or not. Why does he hate gays so much? That's just stupid."
"He is stupid. But it's even more than that. It involves you personally."
"Me? I've never done anything to him."
"You didn't have to. Just being born was enough. That's something I've always wondered – how did you get born when both your dads are gay?"
"Easy. They hired a surrogate mother, of course."
"Oh. Of course. Good thing they did, eh?"
"I think so."
"So do I. Anyway, you know that my father was English?"
"Yeah, I know that. He was born and bred in London, emigrated to New Zealand and finished up living here in Westpoint."
"And a good thing he did too. But, according to him, he was here once before, when he was still a kid. His granddad brought him here because he wanted to show him where he was born. Granddad was born in Westpoint and lived here until they moved to the UK.
He was descended from James Hargreaves Williamson – him with the statue in the Square. So that means that I am too."
"Wow. I didn't know that. I'm descended from James Hargreaves. He's my I don't know how many times Great Grandfather."
"He is? That's very cool, Mason. That means that we are cousins, kind-of."
"I guess we must be. Distant cousins."
"Not too distant, I hope. He had a bad experience with some gayboys when he was here. I don't know exactly what happened, but they were both of your dads and that's why he hates gayboys and especially hates you."
"Oh great. And that's why you weren't allowed around me."
"Yeah, that's why. But no more. I'm old enough to make my own decisions now. I've got a weekend job and I've got somewhere to live if I need it. From now on, I'm in control of my life, not him."
"So . . ah. . Good, I guess. What is it that you want?"
"Same thing I've always wanted. I want you, Mason Peters."
Mason thought about that. He made a decision. He kissed him.
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