For Everything You Were
Some days when I looked at Cody it was all I could do not to run up to him and sink my teeth into him he was so attractive. Down at the beach today was one of those instances as he ran down the grassy hill onto the sand, stripping off his t-shirt.
Standing there looking back at me he had a mischievous look on his face. "Coming in, or do I have to drag you in?"
"Naa, you go for it, I'll lay out the towels and come join you in a bit."
"Suit yourself" he replied smiling, before taking off his jean shorts. I watched as he adjusted his tackle, tightly packed in a pair of Adidas swim shorts before running towards the light waves and jumping in the sea.
The great thing about living where we did was the beach was literally a ten minute walk, and on a hot summers day it was really cool to have that outlet. Cody had always loved the beach and we used to frequent it very often when we were younger, just because it was there.
Sitting there on my freshly laid towel I thought of those days gone by where I would secretly crush on my best friend as his body flexed and glistened in the sun. I didn't have to do that now of course and I knew every inch of his body, and he mine.
I pulled some sun block out of our bag and started to rub some on to my shoulders keeping a careful eye on Cody who always seemed to go far out when he went swimming. Sure he was a strong swimmer but sometimes if you went too far out a strong current could grab you and that always worried me.
Propping myself up on my elbows I laid there bare-chested with my sunglasses on and soaked up the rays while switching my eyes between Cody and a man throwing a ball into the water for his dog to fetch. While doing that it suddenly occurred to me that I had not been thinking about Ethen for a few minutes. Knowing that left me feeling one part relieved and one part guilty.
Living in the desert all his life I bet that Ethen would have loved it here, plus the fact there was plenty to look at seeing as it was the school and college holidays. For instance, in the past few minutes I had spotted at least three boys that would be considered eye candy judging by their golden tans and tight bodies. That was the nice thing about summer, it was always a good time to do a bit of talent spotting.
"I caught you," Cody teased walking towards me, soaking wet.
"Uh, maybe so, but at least my pecker isn't looking as revealing as yours Mister," I replied, looking at his groin area.
"Damn, that always happens when I come out of water." He began adjusting himself before looking around making sure nobody had seen. I started to chuckle.
Cody looked at me thoughtfully. "It's good to see you laugh, it doesn't seem to happen very often."
I heaved a breath in. "Yeah I know, I'm sorry if I've been an ass to live with. I think once I get this day out of the way I will feel better. It just seems so raw still you know?"
"I know babe, but we have each other, and I dunno what that means to you, but for me it means just that… we have each other, the same as we always have. I just wish you would talk to me more."
Cody picked up his towel and started to dry himself, no doubt waiting for a response from me. I sat up and took on a serious pose.
"I know I need to leave the past behind and move on, God I know that Cody. I also know I have been an ass to you more frequently than you deserve."
Cody laid his towel back down on the sand and sat next to me, placing his sunglasses on. "Just know that I'm here for you, ok?"
"I do know that deep down, it's just hard sometimes, what with our history and how intertwined we all were back in Beale, it just seems kinda surreal that we are together sometimes. I'll admit, sometimes talking to you about Ethen does feel strange because I know how you felt about him being with me."
"He had what I wanted, fact, but the situation goes beyond being a jealous brat. I know you need support and above all Jake, I am your best friend, not just… well, whatever we are."
"You're my boyfriend stupid!" I said, letting out a small chuckle. Cody was still serious.
"Am I, I mean, am I, really?"
"Yeah you are, and maybe in a cruel twisted way that was always meant to be the case."
"What makes you say that?"
"Well look at the facts, somehow you had a row with your folks, ended up half way across the world to end up living with me there, and now you live with me back here. Its like something, or someone was trying to push us together."
"Well, that may be the case, but it takes some kind of twisted fuck to have to kill the person you WAS with just so we could be together."
I dropped my head. "Yeah, it don't make no sense does it."
"Still, whether it was fate or just chance, I like to think whatever we have is good enough for you."
I felt Cody's comment was referring to the fact we had not started having sex again until around three months ago because every time I got into bed with him I felt like I was still cheating on Ethen. The strange thing was, Cody and I had actually got together much earlier with the agreement that whatever happened we took it slow. I don't think he even realised just how slow things were actually going to go.
"Do you miss it?" He asked, turning to face me.
I stared out to sea and thought for a moment. "It's… It's kind of like it wasn't real Cody, but at the same time it felt like something that happened for a reason."
"I don't understand."
I shook my head. "Nor do I really. It's hard to explain, but it's almost like I was meant to go over there just to see Ethen die and then come home again. I know that sounds ridiculous but what else was I there for?"
Cody raised a brow. "Your dad's job might have something to do with it."
"Yeah, and what was all that about? I mean, did he really need to even go in the end? Sure he got more money for a while, but now we are back in the UK, what's changed?"
"I think I know what you are getting at, but you're right, it does feel like it could have all been a dream."
"Do you still think about Luke?"
"I don't mind if you do you know."
"No, I didn't mean uh as if I was trying to hide something, I just mean uh because I don't know if I do all that much anymore."
"That sounds bad don't it, but you gotta remember its different for me, I mean, if I really wanted to I could go visit him because he is still technically within reach. I suppose it makes it a little easier for me to move on from him."
"Yeah, I guess. So do you think you ever go visit him?"
I heard Cody sigh. "In the beginning, like, when we first got back home I thought about nothing else. At the time I resented you for pulling us apart, but if you are asking me now… nah, I don't think I ever would."
"Why not?" I asked, curious.
"Well firstly because I'm with you so it would look a bit strange if I suddenly jetted off to see a guy I was romantically involved with. Secondly… well, why open up old wounds for him, and me for that matter."
"Hmm, well I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit pleased abut that."
"Meh, you know I'd never leave you."
"Actually, come to think of it, no, you never have. Even when I go thousands of miles away you turn up," I teased.
Walking back home from the beach I was feeling much more relaxed and realised that going there had been just what the doctor ordered. The atmosphere and being with Cody had taken my mind off Ethen somewhat and despite me feeling guilty about that it did come as a relief.
"Looks like you caught the sun today," Cody said looking at my bare shoulders.
"Yeah, not the only one I see. Oh and I do wish you wouldn't swim so far out as well, it makes me nervous."
"Haha, you don't get rid of me that easy. So what did you wanna do tonight then Jakey?"
"Hmm, you know what, I would like us to have a quiet evening in bed watching a movie, my mind feels exhausted."
"Whatever you want to do is fine with me, I'm just really glad you are feeling happier than when the day started."
I was sweating by the time we got home, the mid-afternoon sun beating down relentlessly on us. In need of a cold drink I asked Cody to take us both one while I run upstairs and pulled out the letter that had been sent to me.
Stashed on top of the closet I pulled out the piece of paper once more just to make sure THAT wasn't just a dream. I read the words again another two times wondering what was going to be at the end of this whatever it was.
My plan was to go to the phone shop tomorrow. The only reason I didn't go today was because I could not for the life of me think of an excuse to get out of the house on my own without Cody wanting to come. I hated keeping this from him but I got the feeling from the way the letter was written that the information and outcome was intended for my eyes only.
Standing on tip-toes I placed the letter back on top of our closet before reaching into my drawer for a fresh t-shirt.
"Mum has gone out," Cody announced from the doorway."
"Shit, you scared the crap out of me."
"Bit jumpy arnt we, what are you doing up here anyway?" he asked, holding two glasses of orange juice.
"Just getting a new t-shirt… one of them for me," I asked, wiping my wet forehead.
"No just thought I'd make two for myself, of course one's for you silly."
"Thanks." I took the glass from him and gulped down the entire contents before putting it back in his hand.
"What did your last slave die of?"
"He didn't, I'm looking at him." Cody rolled his eyes and left the room with me following.
Downstairs I flung open the back door to the yard and stepped outside onto the patio and took a seat at the table. Cody came out moments later and pushed up the umbrella to give us some shade.
"Did she say where she was going?" I asked, placing my hands behind my head.
"Oh, she'll be gone hours then, she always takes forever doing that. Dunno where dad is though, I thought he was only going out to get us a bed."
"Perhaps he went into work, he did mention that to me earlier."
"Guess we have the house to ourselves then." I declared. Cody gave me a wry smile and winked. "Don't get any ideas, I'm not in the mood right now."
"Ooollww!" Cody whined.
"Hey, I give you plenty of sex so don't start that, Jesus, you're like a dog on heat."
"How about you just jerk me off, I won't take long I promise."
"Cheeky fucker, I'm already worn out," I grinned. "If you're that horny, go do it yourself."
"Yeah, but it's no fun without you."
"I'm glad you hold me in such high regard"
Cody was just about to come back with some smart comment I was certain, when dad walked out of the back door and approached us.
"Boys, give me a hand with this bed will you, it's mainly the mattress, the rest is flat packed and I'll get that part."
"Cool dad, no worries… so how has your day been?"
"Strange," he replied, shaking his head and looking a fixed point as if trying to remember something. He then walked off through the house to the front, no doubt wanting us to follow.
"What's up with him?" Cody asked.
"Beats me, C'mon, we better go help."
It was approaching seven in the evening and I knew I had just over twenty four hours until I would be receiving my 'phone call'. I must admit, the nerves were staring to build as I ran through scenarios as to what all this was about. Right now though, it was dad who was occupying my mind as he had seemed to be in a weird mood since getting back with this bed. Normally quite talkative over dinner he had sat there pretty quiet and I wondered what the hell was going on.
Laying upstairs on our bed with our belly's full Cody was flicking through the channels on the TV while I was far away in my mind.
"What time do you wanna watch a movie then?" he asked.
"I wonder if he is losing his job," I replied, ignoring Cody's question.
"Yeah, I wonder if he went into work today and found out he was being made redundant."
"I'm sure if it was anything really important like that he would have told us, especially with me being here, after all I am an extra mouth to feed."
"Hmm, you could be right… hey, you wanna drink, I'm pretty thirst after those pork chops."
"Sure, Coke please."
"Ok, I'll be right back, why don't you set something up to watch, oh and Cody? No horrors ok?"
I hopped off the bed and went downstairs. As I got closer to the bottom I could see the lounge door was shut which was unusual seeing as it rubbed on the carpet and would have to be pushed with quite a bit of force to close it.
Making my footsteps light I went up to it suspiciously and put my ear against it hearing the voices of mum and dad talking.
"Jenny, I'm telling you something weird is going on… they said he didn't exist, now unless we are both going mad that can't be possible because we both saw him on more than one occasion, Jesus, I worked with the guy." I heard my dad say, frustration in his tone.
"Alan, I'm not saying you are going mad, I'm just saying you might be mistaken, what did your boss Trevor say?"
"That's just it, he's being coy about the whole thing too. I tried to do a bit of digging and look up the files of him and the work we did, but the database is gone, everything has been erased, its like he never existed… its like we never went."
"Well I must admit it does all sound a bit strange, so when you say Trevor is being coy what do you mean?"
"He tried to make out he didn't know anything, and when I called him in to look at the database records he said it must be a glitch and he was sure it was normal. Then he advised me against looking too much into it. I mean, I know what I do is secret, but it shouldn't be secret to me for fuck sake."
"Just calm down love, I'm sure it will all come out in the wash."
I scratched my head wondering what they were talking about. Cody came to the landing and hung over the bannister.
"Hey, did you go to Coca Cola to get it direct?" he said, smirking.
"Shhhh," I said, putting my finger to my lips.
Cody gave me 'what's up' look, creasing his forehead, and slowly came down the stairs as I placed my ear back against the door.
"What's are you doing? He whispered, now standing next to me.
"Something strange is going on at dad's work, something about a deleted database, he sounds pretty stressed."
"Deleted database, did he do it? Is he in trouble?"
"No, he's saying someone else has, I can't make out what he is so worried about though, he keeps saying some guy he worked with has vanished."
"Wow, sounds really James Bond," Cody sniggered.
"Shhh, it's not a joke, this has really upset dad by the sounds of it."
"What else are they saying?"
"I don't know, I can't hear because you keep talking."
I was just about to put my ear back to the door again when it opened. Cody and I went to scatter in whatever direction we were facing, but it was obvious what we were doing. We both froze not able to meet my dad's gaze as he stood there looking at us.
"How much did you hear you little snoopers?" he said, surprisingly calm.
"Uh… erm, nothing ."
"And you're a crap liar Jake," dad said, folding his arms. "Both of you better come in here, I guess it would be something of interest to you."
Cody and I filed passed him and took a seat on one of the couches as mum stared at us wondering what we were doing there I imagined.
"Is everything ok?" I asked innocently. Dad tilted his head up towards the ceiling and sighed.
"What I am about to tell you both does not go out of this room, and I am only revealing it to you because I guess you have a right to know, especially you Jake. In answer to your question, is everything ok? The truth is I don't know.
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