The Saturday Boy, Two Years On
On the Brink
"Fuck, my head," I groaned, before my eyes had even opened. Returning to consciousness, I suddenly thought about the night before, wondering if I had made a complete ass of myself in front of Toby. Remembered everything but it was one of those times where you think about the way in which you said things.
Another morning, another empty bed, I thought as I ran my hand over the sheet where Jack would normally be. Feeling depressed, I got up, swinging my legs over the side. I hung my head, feeling the full force of my hangover coming to get me. I was about to get up and get some clothes on when the door opened to the bedroom.
Not wanting my head to explode with pain, I turned slowly. My body was suddenly overcome with excitement as I viewed the person in the doorway.
"Hey," came the soft voice. "You look like shit."
"Wha… what are you doing here?" I asked, my eyes wide.
"I live here, the last time I checked, I thought we ought to talk."
"Are you staying?"
"On how things go today."
"It's good to see you Jack, I've missed you… fuck I've missed you so bad," I declared getting up and walking over to him. I went to put my arms round him, but he moved away from me, as if I was contagious.
"Get dressed, we're going out. You've got today to prove to me why we should stay together." With that, Jack walked out of our room closing the door. I quickly threw some clothes on and rushed out of our bedroom. Heading into the kitchen I found Jack preparing himself a cup of tea.
"Would you like one?"
"Uh… yeah, if you don't mind."
I went and sat nervously at the kitchen table, watching as Jack silently went through the motions of making our morning drink. He looked nice, and I could smell him, that Jack smell, Id missed so much.
"How have you been?" He asked, facing away from me.
"Going out of my mind, how do you think I've been? I'm glad you're safe."
"I was ok."
"Why didn't you answer my calls and texts?"
"Because I needed some space… time to think."
"Jack, I'm sorry ok, I'm sorry about everything!" I said passionately. Jacked passed me a cup and then pulled some painkillers from one of the kitchen drawers.
"Just words Joey, it's all just words with you… here you'll be needing these I gather!" He threw a blister pack of Anadin on the table and walked out of the kitchen. I watched as he picked up his duffle bag from the hall and disappeared into the bedroom. I just sat there, my head pounding, trembling with both fear and the withdrawal of last night.
Folding my arms I lay my head down on them and tried to get myself together. Jack came back moments later and sat at the table.
"You smell awful Joey, like a fucking brewery crossed with a damp cellar, go and get showered and clean your teeth."
"Well, I didn't expect you to come back, so I didn't bother," I bit back.
"So as well as giving up on our relationship you also have no self respect?"
"I didn't give up on our relationship Jack, I just fucked it up. You're the one who gave up…"
"JOEY! Just go and get in the shower before we get off to a REALLY bad start today."
I took a gulp of my tea before sheepishly getting up from the table. Popping two pills from the blister pack, I threw the to the back of my throat and left the kitchen.
I felt a soft impact on my bed before a hand gently stroked my face. "Olly?" I asked, semi-conscious. Opening my eyes, I saw Jack smiling down at me.
"Yeah, in the flesh, how are you?"
"Yeah, I'm good, when did you get here?"
"Not long ago, I couldn't stand that place anymore, and I was missing him."
"Is he up, have you seen him yet?"
"Yeah, he was just getting out of bed when I got here, He looks like shit, I told him to go have a shower and clean himself up."
"So… what are your plans? Are you moving back in?"
"We need to sort things out, right now that's all I'm committed to. I'm trying to get him out of here before mum and dad get up, I'd rather them not start asking questions before I've been able to talk to Joey."
"Makes sense… you know I had to get him from Toby's last night, he was out of it again. I must admit Jack, I don't know what to do with him anymore, he's getting out of control."
"Roman, it's not your responsibility, he's a grown lad, he needs to take control. It's one of the things I'll be talking with him about today… and I warn you, I'm giving him an ultimatum, which if proven unsuccessful, I'll be leaving."
I sighed, not really wanting to hear that. I loved Jack being here and it would be sad if he wasn't, but more than that I worried for Joey's state of mind of mind if he did go and they separated.
"What do you plan to do?"
"Well, I've told him he has today to prove to me why we should remain a couple. Don't get me wrong, I fucking love him, I love him and adore him so much that it's killing me to do this, but I can't keep putting myself through this torture, Roman."
"I know… I know, Jack. I don't blame you. It must be hard trying to love someone like him. I've thought about telling mum everything. I've kept so much from her and I know you have too, but she might be the only one who can drum some sense into him. It's untested, Jack, because she has never had to really see the dark side of him because I've always had him in check, but lately he's even getting away from me with his behavior."
Jack gave me a thoughtful look, and squeezed my shoulder. "Sometimes I think I picked the wrong brother," he said, suddenly making me feel emotional. I felt so sorry for him, he'd had such a shit life and wanted to be with someone who really cared for him. I know Joey did, we all did, but how must he have been feeling lately, I dreaded to think.
"I don't think you did, Jack. I just think Joey needs someone to lead him towards the light again. I know him, and I really think he can come through this. He has the qualities as you know, we've all seen them, it's just about how to bring him back from the edge. I'll do everything I can to help."
Perhaps in a moment of madness for him, or just out of loneliness, Jack brought his mouth down and pressed his lips on mine. He didn't try to enter with his tongue, and it didn't feel sexual, but I knew it felt meaningful to him, as his eyes were closed. I enjoyed the contact, knowing that maybe it was wrong, but letting it happen anyway. He pulled away looking slightly surprised with himself. I tried to keep my face expressionless, so as not to freak him out, and then gently smiled at him.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that, it's just, I… I think a lot of you," he said, squeezing the bridge of his nose, as if trying to erase the guilt towards Joey he probably felt. Such a loyal guy, I thought.
"Don't think anything of it… we're all good, yeah?"
"Yeah of course we are… Just a moment of weakness I guess, you're always so nice to me and always say reassuring things. I suppose I just crave affection at the moment," Jack whispered, aware Joey may be close by.
"Go save your relationship… go be with your boyfriend and sort stuff out. I'll be rooting for you both."
Jack squeezed his lips together and got up from my bed. I waited until he was out before feeling the need to relieve myself in a quick five minute stroke, managing to hit myself in the eye for the second time this week. Damn it!
I wrapped a towel round my waist and stepped over to the steamed up mirror that hung from our bathroom wall, above the white vanity unit which held my toothbrush. I scrubbed my teeth and tongue as hard as I could, wanting to get all the residue of last night's stale wine from my mouth and breath. I wanted to also make an effort for Jack. I was going to give myself the closest shave, style my hair as sexy as I could and wear my best clothes.
He wanted to save our relationship and I did too. I was going to accept whatever he wanted and do whatever it took to win him over. We had been through far too much to give up now, and I knew, this time he was serious about walking away. My only issue is, I didn't trust myself, and that scared me!
There was a knock on the door and Jack walked into see how I was doing. The mirror was clearing now and I could see his face looking at me. He was wearing a soft look as if thinking back to how things used to be between us. I also felt like that and gave him a gentle smile, my teeth and lips covered in foam.
It must have looked very sexy!
"So where are we going, you know it's freezing outside?"
"I've booked a hotel room at the Holiday Inn."
"Planning some romance?"
"Let's not joke Joey, things are serious. The hotel room is to give us some quiet time out of the cold."
"Yeah, I know, I'm sorry… so how much did it cost, I should really pay for this, you've had that place to…"
"It was fifty pounds, and its fine, it was my decision," Jack said, cutting me off.
I had just finished my shave and went back out into the bedroom to put some underwear and clothes on. Jack sat on the bed and I knew he was watching me, despite being still angry with me. Feeling his eyes on me, I made the most of getting dressed, taking my time without making it look obvious. It was probably a rather cheap thing to do in the middle of a crisis in our relationship, but I wanted to let him know what he could be walking away from.
Putting on my best Armani Jeans and a black Superdry shirt, I headed to the bathroom and splashed on some cologne. I took some hair product from the pot and spiked up my light brown hair, letting it drape down at the front. I was now ready for my assault on Jack's senses, ready to go to war for my relationship.
"Ok, I'm ready, just need to get my Jacket. Where is the car?"
"In the club parking lot… you, uh… you look really good," Jack said, lightly blushing.
I know I did, that mush was on purpose!
"Thanks, nice of you to say that… so shall we go?"
Jack nodded his affirmation and we headed down the back stairs and out into the Parking lot. Since Jack had the keys to the car I let him drive, making my way round to the passenger side of our BMW Mini.
"This car needs a clean," I remarked, putting my foot in a Big Mac box.
"It's hardly been my priority," Jack remarked, reaching down into my foot well and throwing the box out. Closing his door, he started the engine and pulled off onto the road, and headed for the hotel.
"I actually feel hungry today, can we eat?" I asked, holding my stomach.
"Sure, we can get brunch there I think. Have you been eating properly, I know what you're like when you feel down?" I gave a sheepish look, as if confirming my answer. Jack rolled his eyes, placing his hand on my leg. I slowly lowered my hand onto his, and prayed he wouldn't take it away… at least until he had to change gears.
He didn't… yay!
I felt a warm fuzzy feeling travel through my body, really enjoying the contact, even if it was just a hand. To me, it was at least some kind of affection. Perhaps I was being too optimistic, but I felt a glimmer of hope for us as we travelled towards our destination. Yeah, there were masses of things to sort out, and I knew it would involve giving me a lot of concessions that I could not argue against, but it was worth it.
Jack indicated right and pulled off into a small road that led down to the Holiday Inn. I had stayed in one of these hotels before as they were a chain. The rooms were modern and bright, and I hoped the atmosphere would be a good setting for our talk.
We parked up in the first space Jack saw and both got out. He headed towards the entrance with me following and approached the front desk.
"Hi, I have booking in the name of Stanton," he said to the young woman behind the counter.
"Stanton… Ah yes, Mr Stanton, your room number is forty seven. Just let me activate your room keys and you'll be ready to go." I could hear the woman tapping away on her computer before she swiped two cards through the machine, a beep obviously confirming they were done. "Here you are, Sir, take the first left to the lift, then left on the fourth floor and you're about three doors down."
"Can we get something to eat here?"
"Of course," she replied. "If you turn right at the end over there you have access to our free brunch buffet, please help yourself," she said, pointing at the doors at the end of the lobby. Jack smiled and we set off for some food.
It was pretty quiet when we entered, with only a few guests scattered round, what I thought, was a rather posh area. The food was laid out very nicely and there was plenty of choice.
"I dunno how they do rooms for fifty quid a time, when you look at all this," I said to Jack as we grabbed a plain white plate each.
"Maybe it's the time of the year, but I'm not complaining. Make sure you load up… get some nutrients back in you."
"Uh huh, I will, don't worry about that!" I replied, suddenly feeling ravished.
With our plates full we found a table that seated two and sat down. My knee brushed against Jack's every now and again as we ate, and it sent shivers through me. It was strange, but it kinda felt like we were meeting for the first time again. Even though we were in the midst of a big problem between us, everything felt fresh and nerve racking, almost in a butterflies way. I knew Jack felt it too, and it was one more thing that convinced me we were going to be ok.
Jack placed the card into a slot on the door and it buzzed, letting him push the handle down. The room was lovely and warm, in contrast to the changing weather outside. Jack turned the lights on and closed the door behind us. We both placed our coats on the bed and Jack kicked off his sneakers.
"Tea?" he asked, eyeing the complimentary facilities that sat on a small side table.
"Nah, I'm ok… but you go ahead," I replied, sitting down on the bed and shuffling up towards the headboard.
"Hmm, I might do in a little while, but first I need to say some things."
"Yeah, I had a feeling you would." Jack kept his eyes locked on me and stayed standing. It was either because he felt uncomfortable being close to me at that particular moment, or because he wanted to assert his dominance over me… maybe both.
"I wanna say some things and I don't want you to talk until I have finished, can you do that?"
"I'll try," I said, swallowing hard.
"Your birthday was a fiasco, and you were one mean puppy that day! That's first, and I wanna tell you, I came so close to ending us there and then, It was only the fact you were balling your eyes out I managed to get out the door without telling you to fuck off."
"I know, I'm sorr…"
"Ok," I replied, another hard swallow following.
"I don't know who you think I am but I have NEVER EVER cheated on you. I have loved you the best I can and I have taken care of you! I have been there for you, listened to you, put up with your shit, stood there and took your verbal abuse. I have never laid a finger on you even when you have been pounding at my chest with your fists accusing me of sleeping with this guy, or being all over that guy. It stops NOW!" He hissed, getting animated.
I actually saw a rare anger in his eyes that told me he was serious about this and I had to take notice. Maybe that was my problem, I never took him seriously… maybe he let me walk all over him for an easy life. He never ever stamped his authority on me… maybe that's what I needed.
But he wasn't finished yet!
"Despite all that I happen to think you are worth it, but I need you to change Joey… I need you to change because if you can't, as much as it would kill me, I WILL walk away from you to protect myself from this."
Tears began to well up in my eyes realising how much I had hurt the one true love of my life. "I know, and I will," I croaked, wiping my eyes.
"Like I said, words are not enough, I need actions Joey, which is why I need you to get some help."
"I want you to see a councillor."
"A what?" I squealed, gawping at him.
"I want you to see someone to help you deal with whatever demons are in your head. I'll give you all the support you need and I'll even come with you but that is my first condition of making us work again."
"Absolutely not… what are you saying I'm fucking crazy or something?"
"Absolute… this is not fucking up for negotiation Joey!"
"So you do… you think I'm crazy, don't you?
"No, would I be here if I did? I just think you have something buried that is making you flip out, and it needs addressing."
"And what if I don't?"
"You really want me to give you that answer?"
"You'll leave me right?"
"No say it, If I don't going and see a shrink you will leave me…say it, I dare you."
"You are really pushing me here Joey Cork!"
"IF YOU DON'T SEE SOMEONE THEN WE'RE FINISHED!" he screamed at me, making my face contort with shock. Jack fell to his knees and burst into tears. "What the fuck do I have to do?" he wined, choking back tears. I just sat there frozen, my hand to my mouth. I'd never seen him break down quite so dramatically before. I lefpt off the bed and flung my arms round him.
"I'll do it, ok… I'll do anything!" he pushed me away from him and buried his head in his hands. "Please let me back in, I promise, I can change, don't push me away," I pleaded.
"Just give me some room, for a minute," he said, trying to compose himself.
I moved back onto the bed and waited patiently for him to speak again. I thought it better not to just in case I fucked up whatever we were trying to build here.
"I, uh…I also think it's better if I don't work at the club anymore, I plan to look for another Job."
"Because we spend too much time together, and I think that may be part of the problem. We need our own space Joey, its not natural to Live, work and play together."
"Ok, anything else?"
"Don't be flippant, I haven't made these decisions over night you know!"
"I didn't mean anything, I was just asking."
"Yes there is more… If I choose to talk to people of the same sex then I will, gay or straight and you need to get used to that, I'm not gonna live like a hermet, that's also not natural. I've made a lot of decent friends at the club, just like you have and I should be allowed to talk to them without being accused by my fiancé of bedding them, Do you see me questioning you every time one of your friends happen to say hello."
"Its not just hello with most of them Jack and you know it! Some of them are leeching all over you and…"
"And do I leech back?"
"But nothing, I know who I'm with… YOU!"
"Ok, fine, I will do my best not to get upset with that."
"And you'll apologise to Olly, I've never been so embarrassed in all my life. The poor guy was one hundred per cent innocent in all this, as were we all, and you do that to him. I think that was the worst I have ever seen you."
"I will apologise to him, I just haven't been in the right frame of mind to talk to people lately."
"I know, and we're gonna fix it, you and me, together ok?"
"If… if I do all these things, get help and sort myself out… if I do all that and make this work… will you, um… will you…"
"Marry you?" Jack asked, heaving back a sob. "Yeah…yeah Joey, I will!"
Again, I lept off the bed and couldn't help myself. I kissed him a thousand times over, on his face, on his neck, his head, until I stopped and slowly moved my lips towards his and planted a long, lingering, passionate kiss on them, entering my tongue, which he seemed to invite in. I ran my hands through his soft, long blond hair, and moaned, feeling utter satisfaction in having contact with my boy again.
We had our problems to deal with, but if we did, the end result would be…Jesus, I can't even describe!
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