The Challenge That is Tony

by Pedro

Ike and Mike, Both Alike

Early September, Year Ten

A Challenge that is Tony Story

© Pedro January 2021 All rights reserved

I do like this hoodie that Mum bought me for my birthday last month. As might be expected, it's comfortable to wear and it's warm and practical. Unlike some, instead of two pockets there is a single pouch that runs across the front, accessible by either hand. Or both. The pouch is also quite deep, so there is no chance of anything falling out. I like the design. I particularly like the blue-grey colour. I think I look good in it.

The icing on the cake is that Tony likes it too. He says it sets off my complexion and that's why I look attractive in it. On the other hand, as my boyfriend, I should hope he finds me attractive no matter what I wear!

Except that idea makes me think of a day when I was a little kid and Mum had dragged me with her shopping. Shopping that included buying a new dress. For her, not me! After her trying on several dresses in several stores, I was getting bored and asked why we had to go through all this for a new dress.

"I want to look good for your father," she had replied.

"You're married. He likes you whatever you're wearing, doesn't he?" I followed up using my best little kid logic.

"Yes, but an attractive wrapper helps you overlook the moulding flaws of the chocolate inside."

Just one of Mum's pearls of wisdom.

As it is Saturday, I head out to meet Tony at what has become our regular place, the cafe in the shopping centre. I am there first and manage to grab one of the tables that are in a good place for watching the boys amongst the passers-by. And if there is nobody passing, there is always the cute waiter, the son of the cafe owner to look at.

When Tony arrives he has his camera with him and is wearing a top that is a similar colour to mine. It is not a hoodie though, it's a lightweight waterproof jacket.

Tony hardly has time to sit down before the waiter arrives to take our order.

"Morning, guys. Making a statement wearing identical tops?" There is no malice in his tone, only amusement.

"If you say so," Tony replies.

"Usual?"

"Please," we confirm.

"I got the impression he was trying to wind us up by suggesting it was a bit gay us wearing the same tops," Tony says after the waiter has left to fetch our drinks.

"So?

"What should we do?"

"Blow him a kiss as we leave."

Which is what we do. We are quite discreet about it, but he still goes a nice shade of pink.

Tony says he wants to do some photography in the park so we go there. We wander around as he looks for things he thinks would make interesting subjects. Sometimes he has me pose to set up a shot. 'Helping his art' he calls it, the poser! Sometimes he goes off for a few minutes leaving me to my own thoughts. It gives me the chance to notice the profusion of daisies in the grass. Are they still flowering because it is warm for the time of year? Nah! More likely the council haven't got around to mowing the grass and decapitating them.

" I'm done. The day is not as good as I hoped," says Tony as he rejoins me. "Although it is dry and warm, it's overcast. Not bright enough to make interesting shadows." That doesn't stop him quickly raising his camera to catch a shot of a jogger with one of the little seating pavilions as background.

The jogger turns out to be Mr Sprout, oops, Mr Sproat, our games master. He has seen Tony take his picture and stops by us.

"Morning boys."

"Morning Sir."

"I'm running late. I suppose you've done your runs this morning already," he says, obviously joking.

"Er..." we grunt in unison.

"I like the corporate identity - matching tops. Anyway, I must press on." He starts jogging on the spot. "Oh, Tony your shoelace is undone," is his parting comment as he resumes his run.

We both look down to check.

"Hold this for me please," he says, passing me his camera. I put it in the pouch of my hoodie.

As he crouches down to do up his lace, I decide to mess with him a bit for keeping me hanging around. I sit, cross-legged, on the grass in front of him. He takes the hint and sits down.

"I can have my camera back now."

"It's in my pocket if you want it."

"Please."

"You can reach from there to get it." Of course, he already knows that's what I want him to do but I know he is reluctant to do anything so intimate in public - not that there is anyone around to watch now that Brussels has left the park. "The pavilion, ground level, through the daisies. Should be a good shot, don't you think," I add as encouragement.

It is enough. He reaches across and gets his hands through my right pocket hole to start searching for his camera. When I feel they are far enough in, I lean forward, trapping his hands between my stomach and thigh.

Got him!

He daren't struggle or make me struggle in case his camera gets damaged. I lean in further and nuzzle him cheek to cheek, which makes him go all coy and try to turn away. This lets me press my advantage and nuzzle his ear. He says he hates that but I think it actually turns him on.

"Get off," he whimpers.

Whatever it does for Tony, nuzzling his ear certainly does something for me, which in other circumstances would be fine. Unfortunately on this occasion I am getting uncomfortable as my stiffie is crushing against Tony's camera. I lean back enough to get my left hand into my pocket and relieve the pressure by surreptitiously pulling out the camera. Leaning back also loosens my grip on Tony's hands which prompts him to make a final attempt to find his camera, except, of course, he feels something else through the cloth.

"Don't stop," I say. "But I thought you were looking for your camera." I hold it up in my left hand so he can see it.

For a well brought up and normally polite boy, Tony can come out with some choice swear words!

I do get to see that cute blush he does as he snatches his hands out of my pocket before reaching for his camera. I hand it back to him.

"Time for lunch," Tony announces as he stands up.

Our visit to the park is clearly over.

"My place, if you want," I suggest. Well, it is nearer than his house and there is the chance we might be able to carry on where he left off which we wouldn't have if we went back into the town.

"Okay."

As we leave the park, I realise Tony never did take that picture of the daisies.

By the time we get to my house, Tony is over his strop with me about the camera, and we are laughing about something as we go through the door and into the kitchen. Dad must have heard us and comes to see what we are doing.

He takes one look at us giggling and starts to chuckle himself.

" Ee. Ike and Mike, both alike!" he says.

We complain (although Tony says we remonstrated) that we aren't really wearing the same and don't look alike at all. Dad doesn't explain, just changes the subject.

"If you're making lunch, would you do me some please? Mum has gone into town with Mrs Next Door. Knowing them, they won't be back before four at the earliest."

Later, after Tony has gone home, I think about Dad's Ike and Mike comment. The way he said it makes me think it is one of those things from way back when that he comes out with every now and then. So I google it. Then wish I hadn't bothered. I don't get an exact result, but the close match is obviously the source and it isn't exactly flattering. Fits with Dad's weird sense of humour though.

Voting

This story is part of the 2021 story challenge "Inspired by a Picture: Not Here". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 4 September to 25 September is when the voting is open. This story may be rated, below, against a set of criteria, and may be rated against other stories on the challenge home page.

The challenge was to write a story inspired by this picture:

2021 Inspired by a Picture Challenge - Not Here

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Ike and Mike, Both Alike

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