The Saturday Boy, Two Years On
Watching you Walk Away
I was on my way over to see Fish, for the second time today actually. I'd called him after hearing Joey leave his room and he suggested I come and see him at his parents. You see things were a mess right now after my brother had flipped out three days ago, after an innocent birthday surprise for him backfired.
I looked at my fuel indicator on the dash, I was nearly out, which seemed to be a common occurrence ever since Olly and I had become close. He wanted to move in to the club, but still after a year and a half of us seeing each other I still couldn't bring myself to let him. For me, Olly not living with me was one of the final things I could control and losing that control just scared me.
I pulled up behind Olly's dad's car and switched off the engine. Fish was already at the door smiling at me, even before I'd got out. He came running out into the snow, bare footed, and hugged me as I got out from the seat.
"Hmm, you smell nice, so glad you're here!" Fish said before burying his nose in my neck.
"I was here earlier donut; it's been like, what, four hours? Anyway, get inside, you'll catch your death." Fish ran back to the door like some little kid being chased by a dog, and I walked towards the house. Stepping over the threshold I wiped my feet and headed for the lounge where Fish had scurried off to.
I peeked my head round the door. "Hey guys," I greeted Olly's parents.
"Well, hello Roman, long time no see," remarked Tim Yates, Olly's father.
I chuckled. "Yeah can't stay away, did you all have a nice dinner? Sorry I couldn't stay earlier I had stuff to do."
"Yes it was lovely Roman, you really must come round one night in the week to make up for it."
"Thanks Mrs Yates, That'll be great," I replied, before looking at Olly.
"You wanna head upstairs Roman?" He asked, obviously getting the hint that I did.
"Sure Olly, lead the way." He bounced off the sofa and led me upstairs to his room before closing the door.
"Sit, sit," he said pulling over a desk chair.
"Jesus, you got some energy today, can you just calm down a little?"
"Aww, sorry I'm just glad you're here. Listen, I want you to talk to Joey and tell him whatever has happened, I'm cool with it and that I want to put it in the past."
"That's very thoughtful of you Fish, but I'm not ready to forgive my brother as easily as you are."
"I just want things to go back to normal… any news on Jack?"
"Just the odd text, I think he just wants some space… and look, I hate this as much as you, but Joey needs time to think about his actions and I'm fed up with sorting all his problems out for him, especially when they directly have an impact on me."
"As much as I'm pleased you're here, you really didn't have to cancel your gigs."
"I'm glad I did, I wanna be here with you, and look at that massive scratch on your neck!"
"He was drunk Roman, and it probably didn't look very good…God I feel so sorry for Jack, all that effort and planning he put in."
I sighed. "Look, I'll talk to Joey when I see him ok, but right now I don't know where he is and prior to that he'd locked himself in his room."
"I just don't want any trouble Ro, it's bad enough we're not talking but if he thinks I did anything with Jack… I just can't bear that because nothing ever happened."
"I know Fish, you've explained that to me already and remember, I was in on this," I replied, knowing how Joey could have made him feel like he'd done something when actually it was all innocent. "He was half drunk anyway, that obviously didn't help his state of mind, and the only reason he's not talking to you… or anyone for that matter because he is ashamed of himself, and so he fucking should be."
"He's been drinking a lot lately; I wonder what that's all about?" Olly remarked.
"Beats me, I haven't been here much, but I do know him and Jack have been having their problems for the last couple of months… perhaps they go hand in hand."
"I just can't believe it, when I look back, how happy they were, it's such a shame."
"Oh, I saw it coming Fish, I saw the cracks weeks after they got together."
"It's Joey, he's a control freak and control freaks act like vacuums, slowly sucking the air from a relationship until their opposite can't breathe anymore, and that's what's happened to Jack. I'm actually surprised he put up with it this long."
"You sound like you think Joey deserves to be alone." Olly said, a sad look on his face.
"Of course not, but he needs to learn, and he never does, Fish. Jack has been so patient with him, I've seen it. I've seen Joey stand there and yell at him, almost spitting blood and he just takes it. I'm grateful really in a way because if Joey was with someone a little less tolerant he would have been punched in the face by now," I said, before shaking my head. "It's frustrating just to think about."
"But why does he act like that, if Jack is the one he's supposed to love?"
"Because Jack is an extrovert and Joey an introvert… Jack likes talking to people, hell; he talks to anyone, just to be friendly. The problem is, if it's someone remotely attractive and Joey sees it he assumes Jack wants to sleep with them, that's why I had reservations when my parents announced they were buying the club."
"But Roman, it's a straight club, and they only have gay night once a month."
"Straight. Gay…Joey don't care. If its male, good looking and Jack talks to it, it's a threat. It's about time my brother fucking grew up."
"So do you think they're finished?"
"Wouldn't even like to guess, but after Joey's latest performance and the amount of people that have been affected by it, I'm guessing it would be touch and go."
I watched Olly sigh, and knew he felt somewhat responsible but really, Joey was his own worst enemy sometimes… or all the time.
"You wanna tell me what happened?" Toby asked, coming over to sit next to me. I felt an arm snake round my shoulder and felt a little composure invest itself back in me. "And do you want me to fix you that soup I promised?" I shook my head in the negative, but smiled gratefully.
I looked at him for a moment, wondering where to start. "Toby, you've known me for a long time now… have you ever felt that I displayed irrational behaviour or had a tendency to be a control freak?"
"I gather you're asking because those traits have got you into a mess right?"
"I keep fucking up, it's as simple as that," I said, using a sleeve to wipe my face.
"I remember when we used to go running, you were very competitive, but as for the other stuff you mention… no I don't think I ever saw that in you, even recently. But Joey, I don't live with you, and we aint in a relationship so…"
"Yeah, even if you were gay, you'd probably be breathing a sigh of relief at that fact, I'll bet," I said before managing a small smile.
"So C'mon, tell me what happened and we'll see if it's as bad as you think."
"Oh, it's bad, but fine, I'll tell you." I said, sitting back. Toby resumed his seat across the lounge and offered me another glass of wine, simply holding the bottle up at me. I accepted of course, hoping the alcohol would allow me to relax a little before I spilled my guts to Toby.
"Just start from the beginning and I promise not to interrupt," he said, filling up my glass.
I took a deep breath. "Well, it all started when I got up on my birthday three days ago. I woke up to find Jack already out of bed. So I got up and went out in to the hallway and could him chatting to someone on the phone in the kitchen. When I opened the door he looked at me, with… with like this shocked look on his face. A second later he's telling whoever it is he has to go, you know like someone would when they don't want you to know what they're talking about, right?"
"Yeah, I know," replied Toby, listening intently.
"Uh huh, so I asked him who it was, and he said just an old friend from school."
"So what's wrong with that?" Toby asked, wondering where I was starting to go with this.
"What's wrong with that, is the fact he lied. He was acting all weird, and hadn't even wished me a happy birthday, which really upset me because it was my fucking eighteenth. So anyway, I started to get myself some breakfast, and he asked me to put the kettle on while he went to the toilet. When he was gone I picked up his phone and looked at the last number…"
"Aww, Joey! Whatever happened to trust?"
"I had to Toby, he was acting all strange and I knew something was up."
"The last number was Olly… he'd been on the phone thirty four minutes to Olly, and he was the one that made the call. I immediately felt sick because Roman had been away with the band for two weeks and wasn't getting home until late morning."
"Hang on, you've lost me, what's Roman got to do with this?"
"Well don't you see, he'd been away and I thought… I thought…"
"You thought something was going on between Jack and Olly behind Roman's back?"
"Exactly!" I blurted, leaning forward.
"So what did you do?" he asked, as I took a healthy sip from my glass.
"Do? I didn't do anything, I was too freaked out, I felt numb. When he came back to the kitchen I tried to pretend everything was normal. He came up behind me and kissed my cheek casually, finally wishing me a happy birthday and asked me why I was not getting any breakfast. I just lied and said I wasn't all that hungry after all. Anyway, So I went back to our bedroom and lay on our bed feeling sorry for myself and trying to keep from going mental."
"Then what happened?"
"I got a little drunk somewhere in the process of trying to control my maddening thoughts. God I must have started on it about ten. Jack had gone downstairs into the club and to be honest, I didn't even wanna talk to him at that point just in case I lost it. In fact I remembered not wanting to talk to anyone… I just wanted to sit in our bedroom with a bottle of Vodka and huge bottle of Coke."
"Anyway, Roman got back earlier than I expected and said he was taking me out for a big birthday breakfast. I told him I wasn't in the mood, but he insisted almost demanding me to get dressed, moaning about the fact he hadn't seen me for ages, and I wouldn't even do him the honour going out with him on my special birthday, etcetera. So in the end I agreed and we took off in his car to Beltran's café. He kept asking me if everything was OK and remarking that I was quiet, but what could I tell him? Oh sorry bro but guess what, our boyfriends are fucking each other!"
"I see what you mean," Toby acknowledged. The alcohol from the wine was now beginning to seep into my brain cells, and I began to feel a little light headed, not being helped by the fact I was drinking on a three day old, empty stomach.
"So yeah, I just stayed quiet and picked at my food, while he told me all about his gigs and stuff before asking me why I was so glum on my eighteenth, and already half wasted. What I could tell him, which was the truth, was that Jack had hardly made it feel special and that mum and dad had not even showed their faces to wish me a happy birthday, in fact I didn't even know where they were, still in bed for all I knew."
"Well that must have sucked," Toby remarked, pulling a sad face at me.
"Yeah, it was… and what was strange at the time, he didn't even seem bothered! So I'm like, I wanna go home now Roman, and he's asking me if I wanna go shopping or something! No, I don't wanna go shopping, I wanna go and ask why my boyfriend of two years, is screwing someone else," I said, getting a little animated. "Anyway, in the end I'm starting to sense he's deliberately keeping me out, and my mind starts to run away with me thinking… ah, maybe they got a surprise party for me and that's why everyone is acting so normal."
"That would make sense."
"Yeah, it would until suddenly Roman gets a text on his phone and says we have to go, and fast. So we head out of the café and Roman speeds back to the club. He drops me off and tells me to wait in the back entrance while he parks the car. Well I'm busting for a piss, and so I head on up through the emergency entrance and into the living apartment."
"Something tells me this is where it goes bad. Hold that thought while I grab another bottle." Toby said, rushing out to the kitchen. I sat rocking back and forward, my knees drawn up, reliving the whole thing in my mind, over and over. Toby came scooting back into the lounge and placed a freshly opened bottle of French Chardonnay on the small table next to his sofa. "Carry on."
His words snapped me out of my thoughts and I twitched, gawping at him. "I'm sorry?"
"I said carry on." Toby replied, gesturing with his hand.
"Right… oh right, yeah, so, I get upstairs to the apartment and I can hear this giggling coming from our bedroom, so I head towards the noise, not really knowing at this point what's going on. As I got closer I could hear talking about going on, it was unclear, but I heard my name one or twice. I was about to burst in and see what was going on, but…"
"But I didn't, I knelt down on the floor and looked through the keyhole. Our bed is against the far wall so I couldn't see what was happening there, but on the floor were clothes… clothes thrown here there and everywhere, like they had rushed up for a quickie before someone came up or something."
"They?" Toby asked, raising a brow,
"Jack and Olly, they were the ones in there and Olly's Jeans were near his sneakers… I dunno why I remember that part so vividly. Anyway I put my hand up to my mouth and start crying when Roman comes running up the stairs and into the hall. I'm in a fucking state, his eyes go wide because he knows what I've seen and I just go mental."
"Jesus Joey, so then what happens?" Toby asked, shifting forward on his seat.
"So I like run towards Roman, screaming at him, shouting, you knew about this you fucking asshole or something like that, and he's trying to calm me down. Then Olly and Jack come bursting out of the bedroom wearing matching thongs and black bow ties. I see Olly standing there and I just went for him, I fucking went for him like some crazed lunatic. I gashed his neck with my finger somehow before I was dragged off him by Roman."
"Yeah… tell me about it! So, Olly like, bursts into tears and runs into our bedroom, slamming the door, I'm screaming at Jack calling him a fucking cheat and… and… Jesus, I said some awful things Toby."
"Well you were upset and to catch them…"
"Uh huh, and so Jack also walks into our room just as Olly barges out, storming past Roman and me. Roman starts running after him and leaves me to it. Next thing I know, Jack appears in the hallway fully dressed with a duffle bag in his hand. I… I get this filthy look, and he just walks past me, leaving me in the hallway crying my eyes out."
"Well, Joey, as much as I know it doesn't help the situation, I think you had every right to act like that, I know I would of, if my girlfriend was screwing another guy in our bedroom." Toby barked, with feeling.
"Yeah I thought I had every right too, until my mum came upstairs, calling, Jack, Olly are you in your costumes yet?
I took the bottle from Toby's table and poured myself a large one, I fucking needed it!
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