Puppy For Sale
Chapter 31 - Unknowns, Achy Bones and Flashing Phones
As we all sat round the table, no one wanted to start eating. We were all waiting to hear what Max was going to announce. Even Steven, who usually didn't pay much attention to… well anything, was listening intently.
"I um, I called Greenstone today, to find out about Cindy?"
"Oh Jesus dad, I thought you were gonna tell us you had Cancer or something," Steven blurted, before quickly taking his knife and fork, starting to eat.
"Steven, don't be so insensitive, this is important to Puppy," Max retorted. Susan gave Steven a stern look.
"What… what's happened?" I asked, feeling it was some terrible news.
"Well that's just it, Puppy, I don't know. They won't tell me anything. Just that Cindy has already been placed with her new parents."
"Impossible," I said, angrily. "She would have called me."
"Have you tried to call her, Honey?" Susan asked me, putting her hand on mine.
"Yeah, earlier, I was told she was not in her room at the moment. No, I refuse to believe she is gone, they would have told me."
"Who did you speak to?" Max asked.
"Well that might explain things."
"But why would she lie Max, why not just say she was not living there anymore and give me a contact number?"
Max turned to Susan. "This is all a little weird. I spoke to that Watson guy, who was really cagey about telling me anything. What can I do?"
"I hate to say it Honey, but nothing really. We have no right to any information if they don't wanna give it to us."
"But… But I lived there forever, surely that must hold some weight," I exclaimed.
"Perhaps, her new parents told them to shut the fuck up about it."
"Language Stevie!" Susan barked.
Steven's comment was rather unneeded, but he did have a point. Greenstone would have been obliged to keep quiet if requested. Either way, it had me worried.
"So what now?" I asked, still hopeful.
Max sighed. "I don't know… I guess I could go there and see for myself. Not that they'll probably let me in or anything."
"Max, Puppy, I know this sounds terrible, but should we really be getting involved in this? I know you were very close to Cindy, but if she does have a new life with some parents, then perhaps we should respect their wish."
"Mum's right, Jensen, since you like guys, it's not like you had a future together."
"She's still my friend Steven and-"
"Sorry, Steven?" Max asked, interrupting me. It was then I realised what he's said. Steven swallowed hard, I swallowed harder, Susan looked livid and Max? Well Max just stared at Steven.
"Erm…" Steven started.
"It's true," I admitted, softly, dropping my head.
"You knew?" Max asked. I looked up and saw he was looking at Susan. "You knew and you didn't tell me?"
"It wasn't my place to say." Susan replied, worry in her tone.
"And you? How long have you known?" he asked, this time looking at Steven. Steven just shrugged, not wanting to get any deeper into this. Max pushed his plate away and leant back in his chair, sighing.
"Honey, it's really not a big deal is it?" Susan asked him.
"God dammit," Max blurted out. "I've just lost fifty bloody pounds!" He then proceeded to burst into a big belly laugh before pulling his plate back towards him. The rest of us just looked at him with our mouths open, wondering if he had gone mad.
"I…I had this bet… oh I'm sorry, I can't stop laughing. I had this bet with one of my guys at work, and-
"Hang on… so you're not angry?" Steven asked him.
"Angry? That I lost fifty pounds, yeah like shit I am… that's Puppy's gay? No way, now I have one of each, right? Unless your gonna tell me-"
"NO DAD!" Steven barked, cutting him off.
"Max, what's this bet you had? I hope it's not at Puppy's expense."
Max looked at me, I was still in shock… for a moment thinking my world was gonna end. Seeing Max now laughing, I didn't really care what he had done at my expense.
"I was just telling one of my guys at work about how polite and in touch with his feelings Puppy was. You know, I was just mega excited about finding him, and spending time with him." Max turned to me. "I said how you liked the softer things in life and how different you were to Steven, that's all."
"So why have you lost fifty pounds?" Susan asked, making him turn back to her.
"Well Robert, they guy who I was telling said he was sure that Puppy was probably gay, you know, from what I said and all that. I said to him, naaaah, and he said, I'm telling ya. Then he said he would bet me fifty pounds that sooner or later I would be proven wrong… and guess what, it looks like I have just lost the bet."
Max creased up again before getting up from his seat. He threw his arms round me from the back and kissed me on the head. "Sorry Puppy, it was just a little joke."
"I don't mind, I'm just glad you're not angry or anything."
"Nah, Love is universal Puppy, as long as you love someone and they love you, who gives a shit what sex they are, right Susan?"
"Exactly… grrr Max, you had me all worried there for a moment."
"I was just playing around, when have you ever seen me get upset about anything?"
Susan smiled. "Well this is what I said to Puppy today, wasn't it?" She stated, looking at me.
"So now everyone knows, can we just let Jensen get on with his primitive life and move on from this?" Steven said. I smacked the back of his hand with my spoon causing him to yelp in pain. "Ok, I deserved that."
"Yeah, you did!"
"Ok boys, play nice or no ice cream for dessert!" Susan declared. "Now let's eat before this gets cold."
"Well Steven has almost finished, Love, so no chance of that," Max remarked, looking Stevens almost empty plate."
Jeez, what a great family I have!
I lay on my bed stuffed with food and ice cream as Steven tapped away on his computer. I flicked on the TV and went through the channels trying to find something interesting to watch. Steven was yet again, sitting topless, which was highly distracting. As he moved his hands across the keyboard his back muscles would flex and contort making a part of my body do the same.
Steven suddenly turned round and reached over to his school bag. He pulled a book out of it and tossed it to me.
"Here, I've written down all the questions I have to answer. Tear a page out and write down all the answers and I'll copy them in later."
I frowned at him. "I'm not your slave, Steven"
"But you said you would help me with this."
"Yeah, I said HELP you, not do it all while you sit there and look at dirty video's and chat to your friends."
"You know, I liked you better when you did as you were told."
"Well you created this monster so deal with it."
Steven laughed. "You're so funny when you try and act authoritarian. It just doesn't suit you."
I glared at him. "Switch that screen off and come over here, we'll do your homework together." I insisted. Steven huffed but did as I asked.
Hmm, I could get used to that, I thought, as I experienced my first taste of dominance over him.
"Fine, here I am, how can I help?" He said, sarcastically.
"Take a pen, read the formula's and then try and get the answer. If you need help, I will help."
"I hate Maths!"
"Yes, I already know that… so will you be seeing Dave tomorrow?" I asked, as casually as I could.
"I thought we were doing homework… and yes I will be."
"We are, I was just asking, that's all."
"I'm concentrating." Steven said, lost in one of the formulas.
"Will he be coming round here tomorrow?"
"Don't think so, why?"
"He thinks you are a nice guy… hey, can you help me with this one,"
"The answer is fourteen… He does, does he?"
"Uh huh." Steven replied. "So if that is fourteen, then the final answer will be thirty two yes?"
"You got it, move onto the next one. So did he say anything else?"
"Square root of 49… no he didn't."
"Seven… oh ok."
Steven stopped and looked at me before closing his book and placing it to one side.
"Look Jensen, let's cut the bullshit here. You like Dave yes?"
"Yeah, you know I do."
"So tell him yourself, you had the opportunity this afternoon and you didn't say anything."
"How could I? That would have been well embarrassing."
"Why, because I was there, or because he might have said he didn't like you back."
"Well, both really, and besides. I can't just go and tell another guy I like him."
"Why not, If I like a girl, I'll just tell her, at least she knows then and it's out of the way."
"Yeah, you seem to have this obsession with getting topics out in the open… and fast."
"Look, if there is one thing I can't stand, it's dithering. I just wish people would just say what they feel instead of dancing round the fucking houses about stuff."
"Because people have feelings Steven, you can't just always say what you feel, you could upset someone. If your mum put on a really horrible dress would you tell her it's horrible?"
"Of course I would… and I have in the past, when Max has been too chickenshit to."
"Jesus, you are something else. Well anyway, I can't be like you. I am too scared of what his reaction might be."
"Ok, so do you want ME to tell him you like him?"
"You mean you haven't already?" I asked, sarcastically.
"Pfft, give me some credit… but actually no I haven't."
"Why not, I thought you liked things out in the open."
"That's different, that's a gay guy to gay guy thing, and I'm not getting involved unless you specifically ask me to."
"No! Don't you say anything to him."
"Well then, can you? Your pining and constant questions about him are draining me of sanity."
"Oh be quiet, I'm not that bad, I just like him that's all."
"Then tell him, not me… now can we finish this damn homework before I end up chained to Mr Fuckface's room of death when I next have his class?"
"You closed the book, not me."
It was late and I had been trying to drift off forever. My mind was racing… racing from subject to subject and I couldn't stop it. Steven had unusually left his curtains open and I could just about see the moon, high in the sky. All was quiet, the only noise being the ticking of our bedroom clock.
"Hmmm, I'm tryin'to sleep, some of us have school tomorrow." Came a drowsy reply.
"Oh yeah, sorry, don't worry, goodnight," I said, laying on my back, staring at the ceiling. Steven turned over so he was facing me.
"You can't do that, now I wanna know what you wanted."
"I like you."
"Is that it?" He asked, rolling his eyes.
"No, I mean, I really like you, and… and I don't know how to deal with that."
"So you wait until midnight to tell me?"
"I'm sorry, it was just on my mind that's all."
Steven sighed. "Look Jensen, you're a really nice guy and yeah I'll admit, you are really good looking, but I don't feel like that towards guys and even if I did, we are almost like brothers."
"As usual," he muttered. "About what?"
"Well you say you think I am a good looking guy, but if you don't like guys in that way, how can you say that?"
"I might not be gay, but I can still tell the difference between a good looking guy and an ugly guy. I mean, if I had to blow Dave or Billy, then I think no matter how straight someone is, the choice would be obvious."
"Yeah I guess so."
Steven suddenly started to grin. "So, just out of curiosity, who do you find hotter? Dave, or me?"
I thought about that question for a moment. "Well, I've seen more of you. You have a stunning body, so I would say you at this stage. But because I know you don't feel the same, it kind of pours cold water on it."
"Wow, I'm flattered, but if you go for bodies, you won't be disappointed with Dave's, that boy is super toned and much more cut than me."
"Yeah… like, although he is less built than me, his muscles are more defined and sharp."
"He has a beautiful face," I mused.
"He's a handsome guy yes, and you need to put your energy into him Jensen, there is no future for you and I, you know that, right?"
"I do deep down, I think I just wanted to tell you how I was feeling."
"And that's cool, you can do that any time, just remember though, I can't give you what I think you want. But I am ok with what you feel, and in some ways I understand."
"I think so. There is this really nice girl at school that I really, really like, but she is going out with another boy. I have told her how I feel about her, but she says she likes this other boy and that she would never go out with me."
"Wow, that's a bit harsh."
"You could say that, or you could respect her for being honest. The truth is, her boyfriend is the captain on the school football team for our year, he is frequently said to be the best looking boy in the school AND his parents are loaded. So I can't blame her for wanting to stick with him. So in that respect, yeah, I know how you feel when you can't have something you really like."
"Hmm, it sucks, but hey, thanks for being cool with me, I'm just being stupid and sentimental."
"No, you just need to have sex with someone."
"Ha-ha, possibly, not that I would know what to do."
"Well THAT I definitely can't teach you! Jerking off is one thing but anything else is just beyond my comfort zone," Steven said before giggling.
"Well even if you're not gay, I have noticed you are pretty relaxed about seeing me naked, and being naked around me."
"You got a dick, Jensen, it's just a dick... another part of your body. I have one too. I also have a pair of nuts and an ass… same as you. I don't know why people are so prudish about certain parts of their body."
"Yeah but it's a sexual organ though as you said."
"It is yeah, but you don't have to make it sexual when you see another one. I don't look at your dick and think, Jesus, I really wanna make that hard, or make it do what it's designed to do. I just look at it, think, wow that's an impressive piece of meat, and that's it. Bottom line? It's a penis, it has its uses for its owner, but it has no use to me does it?"
"Wow, what a way to explain it, I've never thought of it like that before."
"Yeah well, that's my two cents, I'm going to sleep now. Try and get some zeds yourself."
"Yeah, you're right, Good night Stevie,"
"Good night… Puppy!"
I smiled, and closed my eyes.
"Knock, knock, only me… young man, you are still in bed and missing the day," Susan said, waking me from my slumber.
"Wha… what time is it?" I groaned, before yawning.
"Almost eleven, you must have needed your sleep by the sounds of it," she said sitting down on Steven's unmade bed.
"I didn't even hear Steven get up, and yeah, I think yesterday took it out of me. But I was awake until gone one a.m."
"Thinking about Cindy?"
"Hmm, how did you guess? I tried to close my eyes, but it kept going round and round in my head Susan."
"We all get nights like that, Puppy, and I am sure you have had your fair share."
"Yeah, when I was really bad at Greenstone, sometimes I didn't sleep for three whole days, it was awful. Then I would sleep for two days sometimes."
"Hmm, well I think you have made great strides in that department sweetheart. Anyway, the reason I am here is to give you something."
Susan got up and went towards the door, before revealing a JD Sports bag to me."
"What is it?"
"A replacement pair of Sneakers… for the ones that got ruined by that nail."
"Wow, but really, those were expensive, you shouldn't have."
"Don't be silly, it was just an accident and I couldn't bear that you had to throw them away so quickly. The new ones should be exactly the same, but let me know if they are different and I'll take them back."
I pulled the box from the bag and looked inside. Sure enough they were the same pair of Nike sneakers I had picked out previously.
"Thanks Susan, you're the best."
"Aww, you're welcome Button… say, who is the bear from?" She asked, eyeing the little toy on my bed side table.
"Oh, that… it's from Dave."
"Oh yeah? A little romance in the air already?"
I laughed. "No, it's just a get well soon thing, it says it on the front if you look."
"I'm just teasing you, but that was very nice of him, how thoughtful."
"Yeah I thought so too."
"So, plans for today?"
I yawned again. "Dunno, I need a hobby really, at least until my foot gets better."
"Steven went through a phase of Lego building. It's all still in the loft* as far as I recall."
"Yeah, we had Lego at Greenstone, that was fun, until some kid chocked on a block and they banned it from the public recreation room. I did have a few models in my own room, but Cindy pulled them to bits and made some weird thing out of all the bits. I never saw them again after that."
"Goodness," Susan remarked, chuckling. "Well, I need to do some ironing; I'll see you downstairs in a little while."
"Yeah Ok Susan, I'm getting up now."
She left our room and I sat up in bed before tossing my feet out over the side and then stretching. I hobbled to the bathroom to take a much needed pee and then brushed my teeth. I leant on the sink with my hands trying to wake up before limping back again to the bedroom.
Looking at my bedside table I could see my phone flashing, telling me I had a message. I picked it up and activated the screen. The only people I had saved in my phone was Max, Steven, Susan and Greenstone's numbers.
The phone was only displaying a number indicating that the message was from a person I had not yet saved. I clicked on the message icon bringing the text up. It was very short and said…
I like U 2, hugz!
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