The Saturday Boy
Chapter 6 - Revelations
"Your Brother!" I shrieked.
"Shh, keep your voice down, yeah my brother…fucked up I know."
"You're seriously telling me James raped you? When…I mean why didn't you ever tell anyone?"
"Oh yeah Joey, really… So hey mum, dad, by the way, I hate to break up the family but I think you should know, James is screwing me, surprise!"
"Yeah, ok I'm an idiot; I guess it wasn't that easy, hey I'm really sorry. So…so how long did it go on for?"
"The first time…god I remember the first time! I was fourteen and uh…do you remember when I had that week off school, the one when I said I had stomach pains and shit?"
"Yeah you do Joey; we had just come back from that field trip on the river Blackwater. We got back on the Friday and I was off…"
"Off school on the Monday, yeah I remember now." I said, thinking back.
"Well I didn't have stomach issues, I had…other issues. It happened on that Saturday night. Mum and dad had gone to play Bingo and James was at a neighbour's house playing some computer game. He had been smoking pot. I remember smelling it on him when he came in and sat next to me. I think I was watching Terminator. Funny how you remember stupid things like that. Anyway he asked me if I would like to watch some of dad's dirty DVDs, and I said yeah why not."
"Then what happened." I asked. Dean was shifting about, visibly uncomfortable, but I had to get him to talk about this, feeling it might release something for him.
"Well…we um, we started watching. After about five minutes I glanced down and he was rubbing his crutch area obviously…well you know.
"Then he asked if I wanted to jerk off with him, and I said no, that would be weird. He just ignored me and took down his pants and starts jerking his dick, and that's when it started getting really weird."
"Dean, fuck man, are we really talking about the same person here…about James, what is he eighteen now?"
"Yeah he was sixteen when all this was going on. It lasted for about three months. He used to come and find me when mum and dad would go out."
"Hang on, James is working on the cruise ships right, as a Croupier?"
"Yeah he is, thank god."
"So yeah you were saying, it got really weird?"
"Yeah, so he starts commenting on my body and how he was horny after smoking pot. I remember him getting up and coming back with a bottle of lube. I was so scared Joey, he was my fucking brother; I wondered how this was actually happening.
"And then what?"
"God this bit…do you really wanna know?"
"I think you need to tell me, if no one else."
"He asked me to turn over on to my front. I was so naive, I asked him why. He replied that he needed to get off, but wanted to do it up my ass. I freaked out when he said that, and I started getting up from the sofa but, but he pushed my head into the back of the seat and ripped off my underwear…like actually ripped them off. He rubbed some lube all over my ass and then his dick before…before he put it inside. I swear to you I have never felt so much pain in my life.
"Fucking hell Dean, this is just… I'm so sorry you went through that, you had Shaun and me…why didn't you ever…"
"He told me that if I ever said anything it would ruin the whole family and get us both thrown out. Plus he was gonna say that I started it."
"Dean, you really think this would have ended up with you being thrown out?"
"At the time yeah, I mean maybe not now since I got a bit older, but as time as gone on it just seemed better to try and forget it happened."
"Is that why…"
"I've been such as asshole?"
"Well I was going to put it a little better than that, but yeah if you like"
"I just think of him and I see the images all over again."
"Jack?" I asked.
"Yeah Jack!" he said, a bitter tone resonating.
"Dean, Jack is not your brother, and besides, your brother isn't gay, he's an opportunistic rapist. Does Jack look like a rapist to you?"
"What does a rapist look like Joey? I didn't think in a million years Jim would do what he did, but it still happened."
I sighed; I probably didn't put that very well. "What I mean is, Dean, you can't think that every gay person is some predator that preys on people. Jack is the same age as us; your brother took advantage of you it's a lot different."
"Yeah maybe, but I still worry about you, being in the same room as him and all."
"I don't think it's that, Dean. You just have some bad memories and you see Jack as a link to that. He really is a cool person, gay or not, and you know me right, I pick good friends." I said, my comment bringing a small smile to his face.
"I'm sorry for putting one on your chin."
"Ahh, forget it. I was gonna say there was no excuse for it, but I guess what you just told me changed my mind."
"No you were right first the time; there was no excuse for it."
I glanced at him, and smiled. "It's cool. So, what are you gonna do about this?"
"What you told me. I mean you are gonna tell your parents right?"
"Fuck joey, are you mad? No of course not, I just want to get on with my life and forget it."
"What happens the next time you see James again?"
"I have seen him, and it's never mentioned. He just pretends everything is cool between us."
"That fucking asshole, I still can't believe it."
"Look Joey, I don't hate queers, I just feel people like them are to blame for what I went through. Can you understand that?"
"No, because your brother is straight."
"Yeah, but…but that's what they do right, they fuck each other."
"I used to think the same thing, but I was reading on the internet that it's not like that, gay people are just like straight people, and there is so much more to…" I coughed. "Anyway doesn't matter, just be a little more open minded, Dean."
"Ok, Joey, now I'm kinda freaked out. What were you doing on the internet reading about what queers do in the spare time?"
I had to think fast, I felt guilty and why should I, I haven't done anything wrong, I was just curious about Jack, and gay people in general, but I feel guilty…he was making me feel guilty.
"I was just curious, that's all, you know working with Jack. Oh and can you please not use that word, it's very offensive."
"To you?" Dean said pulling back from me.
"It's just an offensive word, Dean. What if people went round calling you carrot top?"
"Then I would smash their face…"
"I rest my case."
"Fine, I won't use that word anymore. So what are they, poofs, pansies, homo's?" he asked, I'm sure innocently.
"They're fucking people Dean, Just like you and me!" I snapped, infuriated. "Just stop with the labels. Jack, he's a person, a human being with feelings. You know you should get to know him, you have more in common than you think." I said abruptly. Dean really pissed me off sometimes.
"What's that supposed to mean, I like pussy." He replied, as usual comparing him and Jack using sexual preference alone.
"His black eye…his father did that. He was assaulted by his own family, just like you Dean, that's what I meant."
"Yeah well, I'd trade a bleeding ass for a black eye any day, so please don't try and make me feel sorry for him."
"Ok so it was not quite comparable, but you both suffered at the hands of the people who are supposed to love you the most."
"Look, can we try and wipe the slate clean. I'm sorry I did what I did to you, and I'm sorry for the things I said about Jack ok? You're right, neither he nor any other quee…gay person is to blame for what my brother did."
"We have a breakthrough," I declared. "Yes Dean, we'll wipe the slate clean."
"Cool, thanks man, I love you, you know that?"
"Yeah, Dean, I know that, that's why I let what you did slide."
"Is there anything I can do to make it up to you, buy you a fat pizza or something?"
"Nah, its…actually, yeah there is something."
"Make amends with Jack Stanton."
"Are you kidding me Joey, he despises me."
"That's because as far as he knows you despise him…just because he happens to be gay. It's ok for you, Dean, your popular at school, you play football, and people respect you. For him, he's alone…he feels alone. He doesn't have many friends and yeah maybe I sound like a hypocrite right now because before he came to my parent's pub, I didn't give him the time of day either, but you know what? I've got to know him and he's actually just a regular guy, trying to find his way in the world."
"Ok, ok, enough of the sob story, I'll talk to him ok?"
"Thanks, because like it or not, I'm gonna be spending a lot more time with him, what with him being at the pub."
"Speaking of the pub," Dean said. "I gather you're mum and dad don't know you're out?"
"Oh shit, I wondered how you knew I would be here."
"Yeah sorry if I dropped you in it, I turned up at the pub to see you, and you're mum went looking for you and obviously…"
"Yeah I was out. I just needed to get away from that place for a while. I thought if they saw me I would get dragged into some menial task, so I snuck out, not giving them the choice."
I looked at my watch deciding I had better be getting back. I pulled my feet out of the water and put my socks and sneakers back on before rising to my feet. I looked around and sighed. The lake looked wonderful this time of day and I still felt a world away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, even if Dean had revealed…well, what he revealed.
"Wanna get going?" I asked placing a hand on his shoulder.
"What?...oh yeah sure, you going home?"
"Yeah, I feel kinda hot and I think I have a sore throat coming."
"My dad says that's lack of sleep and burnout. He says all illnesses are due to lack of sleep." He laughed, before getting to his feet and we both moved up the bank towards the path that led out of the lake.
"Your dad is probably right, it has been a rough few days, the pub's been really busy and I'm in and out of that fucking cooling room all the time."
Dean walked with me back to the pub before we said goodbye. I was tired, but really glad we had worked things out. We always did in the end, only this time I was really worried that it might take more than a few hours. But, at least I now know what was causing Dean's hostile attitude lately and I really hoped that would be the end of it. Jack was becoming a friend too and the pressure Dean had been putting on me about that, I must admit, was wearing me down.
I woke up fully clothed on my bed, the light still on in my room. I was sweating, but shivering at the same time. My T-shirt was soaked and it looked like I had pissed my bed as my sheets were wet too. Even though it was summer the air in my room felt like stabbing knives against my skin, I felt like shit. Pulling the duvet over me I turned on to my side and started to freak out. I was looking at my carpet; it had a thick layer of what looked like mud coating it. My walls had scratches all over it, more and more forming as I looked around. I closed my eyes, maybe I was dreaming. Opening them again I looked at my carpet, it was the same, my walls still scratched. The end of my bed was shimmering and when I looked over at my TV it looked like there were white ants crawling all over it. "What the fuck is happening" I mumbled before diving out of bed and out into the hallway, the duvet wrapped round me.
The apartment was dark, the only light being from my own room. It was silent, no noise from the pub below. I went to the bathroom and switched on the light, twitching my head around the room, it looked…normal.
I ran the cold tap and splashed some water on my face, it felt like ice, making me jolt. I looked at the small clock on the bathroom wall, it read just after three AM. That explains the silence and darkness, I thought.
Feeling absolutely dreadful I left the bathroom, and acting like a small helpless child might do, I went to my parents room and called for my mum.
"Mum," I whispered, my parent's room pitch black. The room filled with a dim light as she clicked on her lamp, squinting at me.
"Honey, are you ok?"
"No I feel terrible, and my room is…I don't know it's just being weird." I croaked, my throat dry and sore. I looked around my parents' bedroom noticing that was normal too.
"Hmm, come here," She said, gesturing me over. I sat on the end of her bed and she put her hand on my head. "Jesus, Joey you're burning up, and you're soaked."
"Yeah my sheets are wet too. God mum I feel like I'm gonna pass out."
"Ok Sweetheart, I'm calling the doctor out, you are far too hot, and you look pale."
She got up and led me out of the room back to the bathroom and wetted a facecloth, putting it on the back of my red hot neck. I couldn't stop shaking, it was a strange feeling of being boiling hot but shivering at the same time.
"Wait here; I'm gonna go call the locum."
"Ok," I said leaning against the sink, my duvet wrapped tightly round my body. I could hear my mum on the phone as I moved and sat on the toilet seat, trembling. My mum came back in moments later and knelt down in front of me, feeling my head again.
"Ok young man, no school for you tomorrow, the doctor will be here in a little while, until then, back to bed."
"I'm not going back in that room mum."
"What…why what's wrong?"
"It's…it's just weird in there." I said shaking my head. She got up and left the bathroom, before returning seconds later.
"Your room is fine; there is nothing wrong with it."
"Can't you see the floor…the walls? There is mud all over the floor."
"Joey stop being silly, I just went in there, your room is normal…messy, but normal. Now get back in bed, that's an order." I huffed and got up, my joints ached. I shuffled back to my room and peered round the door frame. As I did I was preparing to see some fucked up images, but sure enough, like my mum had said, it was normal. I stumbled back into bed and stared at the ceiling.
"I'll go get you a glass of water; you need to keep your fluids up."
"Thanks mum," I replied in a scratchy voice.
The next thing I remember is a deep voice talking to me. "Hello Joey, my name is Doctor Barret, your mother tells me you may have a fever?"
"Uh, yeah I don't feel so good," was all of could think of saying.
"Hmm, ok, let's take a look at you." He bent down and opened his bag up pulling out what looked to be a thermometer. "Here put this in your mouth and hold it there for me." I did as he requested, holding the glass stick between my lips.
"Can I take it out yet," I said, muffled.
"Yes let's take a look." He took the reader from my mouth and looked at it. "Well, I'm surprised you haven't caught fire," he remarked. "A hundred and three, it's a fever alright."
"Will he be ok doctor?" My mum asked, from the doorway.
"Another degree higher we may have had a problem, but it can be managed here at home."
"What about my room," I blurted, looking at the doctor.
"Your room?" he answered, sounding confused.
"Yeah, there was mud on the carpet, scratches on the wall and creepy crawly things on my TV. But…but when I left my room everything was normal."
"Sounds like you were seeing hallucinations Joey, it's quite common in children and young adults when a fever is present."
"Oh, you mean like seeing things that aren't really there?"
"Exactly, my boy."
"So…but why just this room, it didn't seem weird in the bathroom or my mum's room"
Dr Barret scratched his head. "My guess is that when you left the heat of your bed and room your core temperature would have dropped slightly causing the hallucinations to stop. Can you see anything strange now?"
"No, its normal in here again."
"I put a cool cloth on his neck, doctor"
"Well there you are then, you need to try and stay cool. Now let me look inside your mouth." He took out some touch gadget and asked me to say argh. "Hmm, red raw down there Joey, I would say you have a case of tonsillitis, which would explain the fever."
"Yeah my throat is sore."
"Oh it will be son," he said patting me on the head. "Mrs Cork, I'm going to prescribe a course of antibiotics to help with this. In the meantime, plenty of rest, fluids, and do your best to keep him cool. It should clear up in a few days, maybe a week. Joey, you can take some paracetamol if you like, it should make the symptoms a little less severe and help bring that fever down." I nodded.
"Ok, doctor, thank you very much," mum said.
Dr Barret filled out a prescription and handed to my mother, before closing his bag and saying goodbye. He left my room and my mum saw him out.
I heard her footsteps coming back up the stairs moments later and she reappeared in my room.
"Get them damp clothes off Joey and go sit in the lounge, I'll strip this bed and put some new sheets on."
"Uh huh," I said getting up. I wandered into the lounge and left her to change my bed. When she was in mum mode she was really kind to me, which was different to pub mode when I hardly existed. But it was times like this when I really knew I had a decent mum. Even though she would have to be getting up in a little under three hours, when mum mode took over nothing else mattered to her.
She came back into the lounge and sat down next to me, and put her arm around my waist. "You can get back into bed now, I've put fresh bedding on"
"Ok thank you"
"Erm, do you think Jack would mind coming in and doing a few extra hours. I'm sorry honey I know you don't really wanna think about the pub, but with you out of action we really could do with the help."
"Its fine mum, we have a business still to run. I'll call him tomorrow…well today, and see what he says."
"I don't mind calling him Joey if you just want to sleep for the day."
"Its fine mum, I wanna see if he's ok anyway."
"Ok…why wouldn't he be?"
"Long story, I'm sure you'll see the reason why when you see him."
My mum shrugged. "Ok, well I'm going back to bed, I'll call the school in the morning and explain the situation with you. Do you need anything?"
"Yeah do we actually have any painkillers?"
"Sure, in the bathroom cabinet, I'll go get them for you."
"Thanks," I said, managing a smile.
When she went, I got out of bed and pulled out a clean pair of boxers from my drawer, them being the only things I didn't take off in front of my mum…well for obvious reasons. I let my duvet drop to the floor feeling another wave of knifes prick my whole body as the air surrounded my almost naked body.
Hurriedly I changed, flicking the old pair of Calvins off the end of my foot into the corner of my room. As fast as my aching joints would let me I placed the duvet back around me and lunged back on to my bed, feeling actually exhausted from the minute amount of exertion.
"Here you are, Honey," mum gestured, popping out two pills from the blister pack. "Give them some time to kick in and see if you can get some more sleep."
"Mum, I feel so awful," I whimpered, like a small child.
"I know Joey, I wish there was something I could do to make it better."
"Could you put the TV on for me, maybe there is some late night crap that will put me to sleep in a coma."
"Australian rules football did the trick for your father when he had trouble sleeping, although I'm not sure they show it anymore. There were too many people dying of boredom."
"I'll bear that in mind," I croaked. She turned on my TV and placed the remote on my bed for me to reach.
"Right, well if you're comfortable I must try and get a couple of hours before I have to get up. Honestly your father would be useless in an emergency; he hasn't even stirred since you came in to our room." She left, flinging her head back and tutting as she did.
I laid there like a shivering wreck, cocooned in my duvet. With one eye on Jerry Springer and one eye on my wall clock. I waited patiently for the painkillers to kick in.
The next thing I remember is my dad standing in my room, a troubled look on his face. "Jesus Joey, you look like shit."
"What a kind and devoted father you are," I croaked out, grinning. My dad came and sat on my bed and felt my head.
"You feeling any better?" He asked, removing his hand.
"I feel a little more normal, but my throat still feels scratchy. Is that really the time, or has it stopped?" I remarked, causing my dad to look at my clock.
He shrugged. "Yeah its right, just gone three, but who cares."
"Really?" I blurted, my eyes wide. "I slept for eleven hours?"
"Hey, when I was your age, in the school holidays, sometimes I would sleep for fifteen easy, just make the most of it, at least your mum is off your case. It just means she's on mine instead."
I smirked. "I know your pain."
"Anyway, don't get out of bed, I just came up to see if you had called Jack yet, but it seems you haven't judging by your reaction to the time."
"No sorry dad, I literally just woke up."
"No worries son, we can cope for today. Besides I can move some barrels about if your mum needs me to. But, uh, if you can, will you call him and see if he can do extra while you're out of action, I'll make sure he gets paid a decent whack."
"Ok, but I hope you're not planning on giving him more than I get?"
"Don't be silly Joey…of course we are." He winked at me and left my room, whistling.
With my dad gone I struggled out of bed, feeling more stiff than achy now. I needed the toilet and badly. Eleven hours of fluid rushed in the bowel from my stretched bladder. I sighed, relief encompassing me as I felt my body empty.
Back in my room I got back into bed and I picked up my cell phone from my bedside table, scrolling through to find Jack's number. I was just about to press dial when, out the corner of my eye I saw a figure standing at my door.
"Anything for a few days off school, you disgust me!"
"Shaun, hey buddy good to see you." I said, my lips turning up.
"How are you Master Cork, do you need me to bathe you?" He said, making stroking actions.
"Shut up, and no thank you. What are you doing here?"
"Well since I didn't see you at school, I thought I would come see you and find out what's going on. Why didn't you call?"
"I literally just woke up about half hour ago, I was up in the early hours feeling like shit, and then I slept for ages."
"Oh ok, well I hope you feel better soon man. So was that me you were calling just then?" Shaun asked, before coming to sit on my bed with me.
"Jack actually, my parents asked me to see if he would do some extra hours at the pub."
"Oh right, hey I saw him today walking to lunch, he seemed sad."
"Was Maddy with him?"
"No, just Jack. I don't know what was up with him, I thought better not to ask just in case he thinks I would be weird him asking and all."
"Hmm, strange…maybe he's had more issues at home, or had a run in with a prick at school."
"Yeah could be, so is there anything you need?"
"Nah, I just got to let this run its course. So, what's in the bag?" I asked peering at a small paper bag Shaun had been clutching since he came in."
"Oh shit, yeah these are for you. Your mum asked me to give them to you. She looks busy down there." He gave me the bag and I looked inside.
"Oh, my antibiotics, she must have gone out and got them, or bribed someone else, thanks mate."
"You want me to get you some more water?"
"Do you mind?"
"Course not, be right back." Shaun left my room and I read the instructions on the side of my pill bottle. One capsule to be taken three times a day with or without food. Simple enough, I thought, taking one from the bottle.
"Thanks," I said as he came back and passed me a fresh glass of water. I gagged a couple of times as the pill passed down my swollen sore throat. "I hate taking these things." I muttered, more to myself than Shaun.
"So, Dean called me, he mentioned he came and saw you yesterday…said you two sorted things out, I'm really glad."
"Did he say anything else," I asked, raising an eyebrow at Shaun's revelation. He looked at me curiously.
"No, should he have done?"
"No…no I just wondered."
"Joey?" he said, his tone suspicious.
"Oh shit Shaun I can't, he made me promise not to tell anyone."
"Joey, I'm not anyone, I'm part of our trio, now spill it."
"If I tell you, no matter how bad it sounds, you got to PROMISE you won't say anything to anyone or him especially. If he wants to tell you he can, but this didn't come from me ok?"
"Ok, ok, just tell me already."
"Uh, well, we both know Dean has been acting kinda hostile right?"
Shaun sniggered. "More than normal you mean."
"You know what I mean Shaun, you've seen him lately. Ever since the Spanish guy on holiday, and…and then there was Jack starting work at the pub. Right up until he basically hit me, he's been acting weird, we agree on that right?"
I sighed. "Well Shaun, there's a reason for it…an excuse if you like."
"And that is?"
"Shaun, he was raped…several times."
"Dean…raped…by who?" He asked, his face contorting, forehead creased
"His brother," I mumbled, dropping my head.
"His brother," I spoke up louder, before meeting his eyes with mine.
"James?" Shaun retorted.
"Joey, Dean must be playing with you man, James would never do…I mean, fucking hell…James, what the fuck!"
"Hey, I reacted exactly the same, it don't make sense right?"
I went on to explain to Shaun everything that Dean had told me and filled him in on the dates etcetera. He listened intently, often making disgusted facial expressions when I told him details of the abuse Dean suffered.
"So you see, that's why he's been the way he has, it's like a nightmare returning for him, and he sees Jack as a threat to me, or at least he did, until I got it through his primeval scull that Jack is actually a really nice guy and not like his brother."
"Wow, that's some serious shit Joey, poor guy."
"Yep, it stinks."
We chatted for a while longer, just about this and that, before he said he would be getting going. It was good seeing Shaun, he always cheered me up no matter how bad I felt, mentally or physically. He said he would call me tomorrow and see how I was, and he left me thinking how nice it was for him to say that. It was just a small gesture but having someone like Shaun in my life made it so much better. He felt like my brother, but there was something more, something I couldn't put my finger on.
I'll call you tomorrow, make sure you're ok; I kept hearing him say over and over again in my mind. It was nice, loving, and sweet. It was Shaun caring for me, I was his best friend. But what was he to me?
The feeling plagued my mind for the rest of the day. I liked Shaun, we had been friends forever. I knew him, his likes, and his dislikes. Sometimes he made comments that made me feel like his partner. Before Grand Canaria I would not have analysed this at all, but now…now I picked up on these things. Was Shaun gay?…no he wasn't. But was I picking up on the Shaun-escque comments and turning them into what I wanted them to be? Was I falling for him?… don;t be stupid. Did I have feelings for him? I don't know. He was my friend, I kept thinking. This is the way it's always been between us. But I felt different. Perhaps I was seeing my life more clearly, discovering who I was, waking up to real life, my connections with people, Dean, Shaun, Jack.
I'll call you tomorrow, make sure you're ok! There it was again.
People say being a teenager is easy, no responsibilities, no money worries, and no bills. Are you kidding me? Try dealing with a fucked up brain, with fucked up feelings and fucked up hormones for five or so years. Ok, I doubt it's as bad as pushing a small bowling ball though your vagina, also known as having a baby, but man was life confusing sometimes.
I picked up my cell and called Jack, I was determined to get this phone call done before I forgot. I listened as the ring tone buzzed in my ear.
"Hello?" came a shaky voice at the other end.
"Jack is that you?"
"Yeah it's me Jack, are you ok?" I heard him sniffle and sigh before he answered.
"Yeah, sorry I'm fine. I didn't know whose number this was, I hadn't stored you in my phone yet. What can I do for you?"
"Forget that for a moment, are you…are you crying?"
"No…I eh, I'm just having a few issues at the moment Joey, it'll be fine. Are you ok, I didn't see you at school today."
"Yeah I'm fine…Jack is this to do with your dad?"
"It's really nothing, he's just a little agitated today, probably tired, he works hard you know, and he went for a drink or too to unwind. I probably said something wrong that annoyed him, it's just me Joey, don't worry about it."
"Jack, humour me here, what exactly did you say to him today that made him angry?"
"What does it matter?"
"Like I said, just humour me."
"Ok, well he came in and he had been at the pub I guessed. I hadn't been in long myself because I had an after school drama class. I asked him what he wanted for dinner and he shouted at me for not having it ready. I tried to tell him that I had class and he just lost it with me."
"Did he ask you to have dinner ready for when he got home?"
"No, normally my mum would do it, but she's with my aunt at the vets because my aunt's dog is sick."
"I'm sitting here listening to you blame yourself, and you haven't done anything wrong. I hope you don't mind me saying this but your dad is an asshole."
"He just has a short temper Joey, you get used to it. I try and stay out of his way."
"He's your dad; you're not supposed to have to stay out of his way." I said, perplexed.
"I'm sorry I told you, just forget it, it's my problem. So what did you want?"
"I'm sorry if you think I'm sticking my nose in Jack, you just need to realise your relationship with your dad is not normal." Before he could say anything to that comment I carried on. "Are you available to work some extra time at the pub, I'm ill in bed right now and my parents wanted me to ask to see if you wanted to earn any more money."
"Sure, anything to get out of here," he said, sort of admitting things at home were not all that great. "When do they need me?"
"Just come down whenever you're ready, now if you like but, definitely tomorrow if you can?"
"I'll come down now. Oh, and sorry Joey, I've been wrapped up in my own shit, I forgot to ask, how are you, you said you were ill right?"
"Yeah, some tonsil infection fever crap, I'll live. But look, don't worry about me just look after yourself, and remember what I said, if things get heavy, you're always welcome here."
"Yeah thanks Joey, I'll come down as soon as I've cooked my dad's dinner, and got changed."
"Take your time Jack, and come say hello when you get here."
"Sure thing, bye for now then."
"Yeah see ya Jack."
I hung up the phone and placed it down on my bed. Was Jack blind or just stupid, I couldn't decide. It was nothing to do with me how his family operated, but it frustrated me that Jack could not see how this really worked, why somehow he thought it was normal for a father to act the way they did towards his child. If that was my dad I would of run away, called the police…at the very least realise that it was anything but fucking normal.
I had begun to dose off again when my dad came into my room.
"Joey, Jack is here, he's asking if he came come up, are you ok to see him?"
"Yeah sure dad, send him up." My dad disappeared and I heard him go down the stairs, his footsteps fading, being replaced with another's coming back up, before I saw Jack in my doorway.
"Jack, good to see you, erm… you're still in your school uniform."
"Yeah, uh, well I just left in a hurry, my mum got home and they started arguing. I just thought it would be better if I got out of the way."
"Uh huh, so you're gonna be moving dirty barrels and bottles around in those clothes are you?"
"Yeah, I guess I didn't really think of that, shit."
"Don't worry you can borrow something of mine. I have an old pair of sweat pants and T-shirt In here somewhere."
I got out of bed, forgetting I was just in a pair of boxers. But feeling it was too late to dive back in bed and risk making Jack feel like I was uneasy around a gay guy I carried on over to my closet as if I wasn't bothered. I could feel his eyes on me, scanning my body as moved around my room.
"God." I heard him mumble.
"Oh, nothing…fuck you have a beautiful body Joey. I'm sorry I just couldn't keep that comment in my brain." I just chuckled nervously, and coughed, my throat still sore and tender.
"Thanks for the complement, I'm glad you approve." It was all I could think of saying. I mean what else could I say… oh thanks Jack, wanna see me flex? "Here, try these on," I said, passing him an old pair of grey Adidas sweat pants and black fruit of the loom T-shirt. "They should fit you; we're about the same size I think."
I got back in to bed, his eyes following me all the way there, and I relaxed under the duvet. He stood there looking nervous not doing anything.
"You can close the door if you want but no one is gonna come up, it's too busy this time of day," I remarked, wondering how long he was just gonna stand there holding the garments I gave him.
"No it's not that, it's just…oh never mind."
He began to take off his tie and blazer, placing them on the back of my computer chair. He then started making small talk as he unbuttoned his shirt, starting at the top. I tried not to look but it's a guy thing right, to sort of check out what someone else has got? I wasn't perving at him or anything; it was more a curiosity I had.
As he undid the last button on his shirt he began to open it up, before pulling it off his torso completely. I let out and audible gasp as he did.
"Please…just don't say anything."
Two things struck me as his shirt was removed. Firstly he had an extremely tight, well defined body with just an ounce of fat to compliment his muscular frame. I had no doubt that had he been straight, girls would have been falling over themselves to get their hands on it. He had that thing going on some guys have, where the stomach is sculptured around the legs, you know like the legs look like they slot into the lower torso. He had a six pack to be jealous of and really well formed pecks. But what shocked me more, the thing that overcast his nice physique, was the patches of bruising all over his upper body, it was shocking to look at. His back was worse, revealing dull colours of dark red, blue and in places even blackish.
He hadn't even got his trousers off yet as I was just starting to comprehend the true scale of his father's abuse.
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