Puppy for Sale

by James Matthews

Chapter 25

hLearning To Be Cool

"Well that went really well I think, what about you?" Max asked as we started to head home in the car.

"I'm still taking it all in, Max. It's hard to digest.

"What's so hard about it, this is great news Puppy, you should be pleased right?"

"Yeah I am, and I mean, it's not so much finding out everything is better than I was led to believe, it's that I was lied to, for so long. Everything Greenstone ever told me was a lie. I always used to think this just extended to stuff about my past... but my medical condition? That's the... the-"

"Fucked up part?" Max interjected.

I chuckled. "Exactly"

"Well, Puppy, the past is the past and you have a bright future ahead of you, so start concentrating on that. Things that have happened to you will always be there as a memory, but too many people I know have let the past consume them to a point where their life is wasted."

"You're right, this is good news and I should be thinking about that, and that only."

"Good boy... now what's this about strangling Steven?" Max asked. I swallowed hard.

"It was totally my fault. He said something about Cindy that made me see red. Don't say anything please, Max, he just didn't know about her past and had he? I don't think he would have said it."

"I will call it a family incident and say no more about it then, but you guys mustn't fight with your fists, argue by all means, but don't hurt each other, ok?"

"Understood, like I said, it was me... he didn't touch me or anything." I lied.

"It's forgotten about, and I won't mention it to Susan, ok?"

"Thanks Max."

"Ooh, have you got the form for your blood test?"

"Yeah, it's in my pocket, Just so you know, I hate needles. How comes I've to have that anyway, I almost got out of his office without him even thinking about it?"

"Well, I guess he can't get everything done with the urine sample. He probably just wants to see what's in your blood. Like with most things Puppy, it's a process of elimination. Sure, he might be going into everything, but at least this way he can give you the best possible care."

"Hmm," was all I said, looking at the blood form, seeing that a tick had been placed inside pretty much every box.

As we drove towards the house Max had announced he was going to swing by the chemist and pick up my prescription that Doctor Burrows had written out. Max suggested I start getting the new drug into my system as soon as possible, for reasons that were pretty obvious.

We pulled into a space which ran parallel to a small row of shops and Max leapt out of the car, leaving the engine running.

"I'll be a few minutes, you ok?"

"Yeah Max, do you want me to come in with you?"

"Nah, that's why I left it running, you stay warm, it's pretty chilly out here."


Max closed the door to the car and headed off down along the shop fronts. I saw him disappear in to what I imagined was the chemist, before turning my attention to the world around me.

"Honey, we're home." Max called, but there was no answer as we both walked into the kitchen. Laid out on the work top I could see Susan had prepared dinner before she went out. It looked like all she had to do was cook it when she returned, whenever that was going to be.

I heard footsteps coming down the stairs just as Max offered me a drink, and Steven came into the kitchen. He immediately came over to me, grabbing hold of my head and tipping it back, appearing to look up my nose.

"Wha... what are you doing?" I asked, a little freaked.

"Steven, stop hassling your brother will you."

"Sorry, just seeing if the lobotomy had been performed, God knows he needed one."

"Stop winding him up and make yourself useful, go check the hens for any eggs will you."

"But that's his job, he likes doing it."

"It's ok Max, I can go down later and do it." I said.

"Yeah dad, and besides, I've company upstairs."

"Steven, we talked about this, no girls when we're not home."

"Chill Dad," Steven giggled. "It's just Jessie; we were just chatting to Billy on Skype... Dad, you wanna see the state of him, he covered head to toe in pox, and it's hilarious. Apparently he even has it in his mouth." Steven said, looking joyful about that.

"Poor kid, I had it when I was a boy, its irritating to say the least. Why don't you bring him down to meet Jensen?"

"Better still, why don't you come upstairs and meet him, Wank stain."


"Haha, sorry Dad, C'mon Jensen, let's go."

"Is that ok Max?"

Max chuckled. "Jensen, you don't need to ask to go to your own room, of course it's alright."

I smiled and got off my chair, following Steven up the stairs. I was starting to feel pretty nervous as I reached the top as chatting to people I didn't know had never been my strong point. I just hoped Steven would be Steven and make it easy for me.

Steven pushed open the door and entered our bedroom with me right behind. "Jes, meet my new crazy ass brother. IQ of five hundred, common sense of three."

"Brother?" Jessie asked, holding out his hand to me but looking at Steven.

"Don't worry about it man, it's a long story."

"But down at Cutters farm, you said-"

"YEAH, haha, yeah well, erm," Steven stammered.

"What did he say?" I asked, looking at Steven, frowning.

"He said that-"

"Whoa, I don't think we need to talk about old shit, let's do something fun," Steven said still trying brush away the question. He looked nervous, jumpy in fact. I, however, was determined to hear from Jessie what Steven had said."

"No, no please Jessie, I am very Interested in what Steven has said."

Jessie looked worried, and swallowed hard. "Well he said that his parents had found this homeless kid on the street and taken him in."

"Homeless kid?"


"Steven?" I hissed.

I knew this conversation had taken place when things were not great between us so I wasn't really angry, I just wanted to make Steven sweat for a moment.

"So this guy is your brother?" asked Jessie, as we finished shaking hands.

"Uh huh," was all Steven could get out, now a nice shade of red.

"Step brother, actually... dead step brother, soon to be."

"Stevie, how could you make up something so horrible about one of your own family?" Jessie asked, berating him.

I liked this guy already!

"Look this is all a long story and I think it has been blown out of proportion, perhaps you all misinterpreted me," Steven said, nervously.

"No, we both heard what you said, wait I'm gonna call Dave and-"

"LOOK! Ok I said it... I said it because I was embarrassed ok?"

"Steven, it's cool, I don't mind... don't worry about calling your friend Jessie, I know the reasons why he would have said what he did, and I don't care."

"Yeah Jessie, we are cool now so..."

"You still lied to your mates Stevie," Jessie said, shaking his head. "Anyway, nice to meet you Jensen, sorry you had to end up living with my friend Dickbrain here."

"He's ok, and I like it here."

"Yeah, Jensen blew his first load last night, can you believe that?"

"Really? Fuck, I've been beating the snake since I was eleven, you started late Jensen?"

"Can we not talk about this?" I asked, directing my question at Steven.

Anyway guys, I better hit the road, my mum will be going mad if I'm not home to look after my little brother by one. Really good to meet you Jensen, hey maybe we can all hang out together some time?"

"Ok, pal, laters," Steven said, as they high fived.

"Yeah, nice to meet you Jessie," I added.

Just as Jessie walked out of the bedroom, Max appeared. "Bye Mr Chase," Jessie said, heading down the stairs.

"Oh, yeah, bye Jessie... guys, I need to get to work now, please try not to kill each other, at least until your mother gets home."

"Ok dad, we won't," Steven said, rolling his eyes. Max was now in his work gear and gave a small wave before rushing downstairs and out of the front door. We both stood in silence until we heard his van start, and drive away.

Steven took his phone from his computer desk before climbing on to his bed. I went and sat on my own bed looking at him thoughtfully.

"So, I just wanted to say-"

"Thanks for dropping your bombshell on me last night perhaps?" Steven said, cutting me off.

"I was going to say that I'm sorry again for going nuts on you, but yeah I would like to talk about that too."

"I'm not gay Jensen, sorry to burst your bubble, but I'm not into guys. That being said, I don't give a shit where you prefer to put your dick."


Steven sighed. "I mean I don't care if you're gay. I had a feeling you might be when I noticed you looking at me every five seconds."

"You saw that? And anyway, I'm not sure what I am, or who I like. All I know is, yes, I admit it, there is an attraction to you that I can't explain."

"You know it's funny, a little over two days ago we hated each other and now you're confessing your love for me. Can you really blame me when I say you're one crazy assed mother fucker?"

"Oh shut up, I'm not confessing my love for you, I'm just saying that-"

"Yeah I heard you, what do you want me to say... hey that's nice, want me to blow you? Sorry it's not going to happen. I don't mind listening to your shit, hell I don't even mind if you wanna perv over me, but I'm not into the whole guy on guy thing, I just wanna make that clear."

"You know, you can be a real nasty piece of sh-"

"Ah, bite me!"

"I told dad that I attacked you." I said, trying to get a reaction.

"Wha... what the fuck for, I thought I told you what to say?"

"Yeah well, I was in with the Doctor and he asked me to tell him everything, so I did. Oh, and I now know why you didn't want me to say anything... I'm not stupid."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Haha, yeah right... you didn't want me to say anything because it means you would have to admit that I done you over and you couldn't do anything about it... C'mon, show me those big muscles!"

"That's just crap. I was trying to protect you."

"Now that's crap. Anyway, don't be ashamed that I can beat your ass, we can't all be good at everything."

"Wow, one trip to the Doctors and you suddenly think you're a man now yeah?"

"I'm just playing Steven, no need to get defensive."

"What else do you wanna talk about?" he asked, just dismissing our last topic.

"Nothing, like I said, I am sorry about last night and the other subject you have cleared up for me. Not that I even know what I would do if you said you were attracted to me too, I mean, shit, I would probably have run a mile. I don't really understand what all this attraction stuff is about. It's all new to me."

"Well you know I like to blame the kid prison on a lot of that, but I think they win again when it comes to exploring anything sexual related with you. To me, the very fact you didn't even know how to bring yourself off tells me they must have not have taught you anything about the birds and the bees."

"It's not that, unlike you, I didn't have access to friends, or that stuff you have on your PC, plus I was the only kid there at that age. I just think funds were tight or some shit like that, but no, I never got taught about that sort of stuff, ever. Put it this way Steven, If someone had built a brick box and placed you in it, and then let you out ten years later, tell me what you would know about... anything?"

"I understand what you're saying, but you clearly know some stuff.

"Yeah a little, but that's only what I've seen on TV."

Steven shook his head. "Man, it's almost like you're from another planet Jensen, it's really weird."

"In some ways you could say I am. I'm not from your world, I've not had the experiences you have, or done things you have."

"Well, we better get you started then hadn't we."

"What did you have in mind?" I asked, wondering exactly what he meant. Steven got up from his bed and stood in front of me.

"Jensen, I live my life by making sure four things are in order - fashion, hair style, sex and street cred."


"Not huh, Jensen, you gotta say, right Steven!"

"Right, Steven." I rolled my eyes.

"Good boy, now, are you ready to commit yourself to my boot camp of how to be cool?"

"Haha, me? Cool?"

Steven took a step back from me and stroked his chin. "Hmm, yeah, it might take some work, but there are a few basics we can put in place straight away."

"Like what?"

"Ok, rule number one, your sneakers?"

"What about them?" I asked, looking down at my brand new Nike shoes.

"Jensen, those are a really neat pair of shoes, but they are not cool for one massive reason."

"I don't understand."

"Jensen, when you wear sneakers, you NEVER do the laces up. You tuck them down the sides, and you wear them slightly loose. The way you have them on? It makes you look uptight. Here undo them and give them here."

I shrugged before untying my laces and toeing them off. Steven bent down and took them, placing both shoes on his bed.

"What if they slip off when I'm walking?"

"If they're the right size, they won't," he replied adjusting the lace and tying a knot under the tongue. "Here, try them like that." He dropped them down by my feet again and I slid each foot back into them. Steven was right... even though they were looser and the laces were kind of undone, they still fitted nice and snug.

"Ok, so what's next?"

"Your Jeans, they are slightly too long, which is good because it's the fashion that you turn them up at the bottom. Here let me show you."

Again Steven bent down and took hold of the end of my jeans and turned up the ends, making sure they were straight.

"That just looks weird," I said, lifting up one leg to inspect what he had done.

"It's a statement, Jensen; it says you're with the times. Now we gotta do something about the hair."

I sighed. "So what's wrong with that?"

"Well you either gotta have the skateboard floppy look like me, or you gotta go extra short. You can't be in-between. With your facial structure you need something sharp and edgy, and at the moment you seem to have this quiff thing going on, and the back and sides are getting a little long. So, since getting it to my length is gonna take some time, I think you need to go short."

"How short?"

"Hmm," Steven mumbled, taking hold of my head in his hands as if inspecting me for lice. "I'd say a high zero round the back and sides, short on top towards the back and then leave some length at the front so you can spike it up... bring out those lovely blue eyes," he said, before starting to giggle. "Just teasin'."

"What's a zero?" I asked, tilting my head, ignoring his comment,

"It's the shortest cut you can get, but I think it would look great on you. My friend Dave is also blond and I think it makes him look well slick."

"So, I ask dad to take me to the hair people?"

"Nope, I can do it. I've been doing Dave's since I was twelve... here, I've a picture on my PC of him, and you can see what I mean."

Steven clicked a few times on his mouse and brought up a picture of his friend Dave. He was standing in front of what looked to be a lake, topless, holding a large fish from its tail. He was smiling, and although I was viewing this picture for the purposes of hair style comparisons, I couldn't help feel in awe of his good looks. This... Dave, had a beautiful smile for a start, his teeth ice white. He had an awesome bronze tan going on, which made the hair on his arms seem white and wispy looking. A slim, but nicely toned body completed the attractive picture, and yeah, his hair was really cool, just like Steven said.

"So, what do you think?... Jensen... Jenson, helooo?"

"What? Oh... yeah, I think it looks cool."

"Exactly, now, wait here, let me get my clippers."

"Huh? Wait, Steven... what about mum and dad, shouldn't we ask first?"

"Steven, you're sixteen, I think you're old enough to decide what sort of hair style you want. Gone are the days you had to have some ridiculous style your mother had chosen," Steven said, shuddering, as if recalling a memory. "God, I remember those days!"

"Well ok, but please don't make a mistake, I don't wanna look silly."

"Steady as a rock these!" he said, holding out his hands and splaying his fingers.

Steven got down on all fours and started moving stuff around under his bed until he pulled out a small black bag. He poured the contents on to his bed and out came the clippers and some plastic things with teeth on them.

Blowing off the old hair that was stuck to the blade he plugged them in and they sprang into life.

"Shit! Must remember to turn them off before pulling the plug."

I chuckled seeing him jump. "So where do you want me?"

"Haha, Make sure you don't say that line to some dirty old man, you might get an answer you'll regret."

"What do you me-"

"Forget it! Just sit in the chair here...oh and take off your top."

I did as I was told, pulling off my shirt and sitting on his computer chair. Steven immediately went to work on my hair, starting at the back. The buzz of the machine made my head vibrate and I wondered how much of my hair was actually coming off.

"Is... is it working?" I asked, not being able to see what he was doing.

"Of course it's working, just hold still otherwise I might accidently cut your head off."

I swallowed hard. Letting Steven loose with what looked to be an electric pair of scissors filled me with worry. I kept as still as I could as he made his way round to each side of my head. I could now see clumps of hair falling to the floor out of the corner of my eye. He then stopped and took a pair of manual scissors from the pile on his bed and started to work on the top. I had no clue how much skill was going into it, but it was too late to turn back now, seeing as half my hair was laying on our bedroom carpet.

"And... just...about... done, there!"

"What, you've finished?"

"Yep, and may I say, it's one of my best yet... you know, you have lovely hair to cut Jensen, it's very rich and thick."

I moved my hand up to feel the back of my head. It felt prickly like a fine brush, and it was fucking short!

"Do I dare look in a mirror?"

"Insult my work if you must, but dare you utter comment until you have viewed the paradise that sits upon your skull, my king!" Steven said in a posh voice, before bowing graciously.


Steven Shrugged. "Meh, just some shit I made up... now go to the bathroom and have a look if you must."

Doing just that, I got out of the chair and walked out of our room to inspect Steven's handy work. Looking in the mirror I turned my head several times, trying to get every angle possible.

"Steven?" I called, before starting to smile.

"Yeah shithead?"

"This is fucking amazing... I mean, where did you learn to do this stuff."

"Dave, like I said. I mean, I did make him cry with my first few attempts, but you can only be scalped so many times until you get used to it. Ooooh, I did some right numbers on him, but it was all in the name of science, trust me."

"Well I guess I've Dave to thank then, because practise certainly does make perfect."

"Wow, I'm touched... thanks gayboy!"

"Hey, I'm not gay, I'm... I'm-"

"Sexually challenged?"

"I'm... me!"

"Yeah, that's what worries me."

"So what's next?"

"Well the fashion side of things is good, seeing you have some cool new clothes, and now know how to wear them properly. Hair is complete, and yes, it is a masterpiece I know. So what's next? I guess getting you laid!

"Can we do street cred first?" I asked, my shoulders dropping.

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