Green Room II
`Thanks, mate?' What the...??? The last time I visited Fremantle, Brett threatened to pulverize me. And now he thanked me? Thanked me for what I just did? What happened to him? What changed his attitude? "Why did you allow me to do that?" I asked.
He smiled that smile again, the one Kyle loved so much. "You begged. We both knew it was bound to happen sometime. We had a mutual friend who taught us that it was okay. Are you surprised?"
"Pretty much, yeah. Last time I was here, everything in your boxers was out of bounds. You're a god, Brett. I've always wanted you. Those times you visited my place to make a buy, I masturbated after you left--thinking about--well, stuff like what happened tonight."
"You sound like Kyle, but that's okay. Feel like another smoke?"
He didn't wait for an answer, instead he rose from the table and headed for the bedroom, undoubtedly aware that I eagerly watched his muscular back as he walked--those wide shoulders that tapered down to a narrow waist, and those two awesome orbs on strong legs. Fact was, he lit up that kitchen like some erotic hero from a sci-fi movie. He was almost too awesome to be true.
"Should we go outside?" I asked upon his return.
"I'll burn some incense."
He sat down, lit the joint, and passed it to me. Then he asked what I was thinking.
"I'd like to kiss you and make love to you."
"Fingers will be home soon."
"He can join us."
"Stuff you! He'd love that!"
My mention of Fingers caused Brett to suddenly realize the gravity of what took place between us. He arrived back on earth with a thud, grabbed his boxers and pulled them on. Sensing the mood change, I took a shower.
The days flew by far too quickly after that. Brett behaved very differently after our `encounter' by the pool--he was much friendlier and treated me like a real mate. However, the mateship diminished significantly during our sparring matches in the garage. Once that bloke put gloves on, he was hard as hails, thumping the crap out of me with all his power whenever an opportunity arose, which, I have to admit, became less frequent as my skill improved.
Brett had a date with his girl. I spent the night with Fingers, who woke me in the morning with coffee. "I'll miss you, Stuart--again. But I guess that's the way it needs to be. Meanwhile, I think you should patch things up with your folks. Brett told me about your dad taking control in the ring during that boxing match."
"It wasn't like that," I argued, then sat up in bed to take a sip of coffee. "Ah, that's good. You make a great brew."
"Adults criticize teens for seeking attention. I think it was your dad's way of doing just that. I think he needs you to acknowledge him and notice him. Stuart? Are you listening to me?"
"Why do I always feel like the heavy when people mention my dad?"
"It's give and take, Stuart."
"Yeah, well, he gave it and I took it," I laughed, and almost spilled the coffee, which I placed out of harm's way on the bedside table. Then I threw off the covers and laid there starkers.
"Not now, Stuart."
"What the hell is wrong with you?"
Tears welled in his eyes before he turned and went to the kitchen. I'd gone too far. I rolled off the bed, and took a quick leak in the bathroom before I joined him as he poured more coffee. By that stage, his face was streaked with tears.
"I didn't mean that," I apologized. "I didn't mean to hurt you. Bloody hell, I really didn't mean to hurt you."
Fingers took a deep breath and sighed. "It hurt ... because I love you, and I know I can't have you. But you treat it like a game, Stuart, and that hurts even more. Last night was special. This morning you're almost selling yourself to me. Life is not all about sex, Stuart. It's about sharing and enjoying one another's company. Seeing your face, seeing your smile, being in your embrace, having you close to me, hearing nice words."
"Don't sell yourself short. I get turned on by you as well, you know, and that monster. Ever thought about breeding horses?"
He laughed, which was cool. Then we sat and drank more coffee. Fingers launched into a long speech about how much he loved me, and how much he enjoyed our being together. He also lectured me about my dad, and suggested maybe I should learn how to show him respect, simply because he was my dad.
One night, Brett and I rocked over to the local for a few beers. We spoke idle shit all night as we sat in the half-crowded bar. Eventually, though, the topic got around to what happened between us that night by the pool, but he was hesitant to discuss it. "So, are you just gonna pretend it didn't happen?" I asked.
"It was something that took place at that particular moment, Stuart. It doesn't mean you get a mouthful every time we bloodywell meet."
"I enjoyed it."
"Shut the fuck up," he snapped as his eyes darted around the room. "Christ, there are people in here!"
"Yeah, well, I did," I pretended to shout. "I enjoyed having your..."
Brett stood, and headed to the outdoor beer garden. I was hard on his heels, laughing like crazy. And I could tell by the way his shoulders shook that he was giggling as well.
"I wish I had what you and Kyle had," I lamented as I placed my beer on the table.
"Why? You and Kyle had your own relationship, which was unique."
"Maybe it's just you I want. Sorry, mate. Freak if you want, but you're a god, Brett. And I loved the other night."
"Yeah, well, whatever blows your hair back. That night is over."
"What is it with me, Brett? Me and sex? Ever since Kyle, I can't get enough of any good looking guy."
Brett seemed surprised. "What? Bloody hell! How many guys have you been with?"
"Sorry, that came out wrong. It's just that I fantasize about hotties. Wanna know how many times I give the old fella a workout while fantasizing about you and me?"
"Just about every night," I admitted, while ignoring his reprimand. "Every other night is reserved for Kyle."
His fist connected with my arm, which went lame immediately--the result of a muscle spasm. Kyle called it a `mousey' because it was like a mouse running around under the skin. But both Brett and I enjoyed a good laugh. Well, for him it was laughter. For me, it was a mix of laughter and tears because of the pain in my arm.
"I love you, Brett--as a friend--I really do."
"Love is not the word to use, Stuart. I think you're a good mate too--a bit fucked in the head, but you're okay. You need to sort yourself out, bro. Get yourself back on track, back to days when Kyle was alive. Don't tell me how hard it is. I've heard it all that shit before. You got a life to live, and you're getting all fucked in the brain because you refuse to move on. Don't you think Kyle will be pissed off if that's the case? Meanwhile, think about Melanie or your girlfriend when you spank the monkey, not me."
Following that little speech, Brett spoke at length about moving out of Kyle's shadow, to stop living my life as if Kyle were still alive. "Kyle was all about life, not death. Life hasn't stopped for you or me or any of his friends. Life moves on. That's the way Kyle would want it. Live your life like he lived his--to the full--and with no regrets."
Next day I felt miserable about leaving Fremantle and returning home to pick up the pieces. AGAIN! Brett was right, I needed to start over and get my life together. It wasn't about falling in love with guys, it was about sex. Ditto with Graham; it wasn't him I loved but his body.
Our goodbyes at the airport were difficult this time. Brett and I had become firm friends; soul buddies as Kyle termed it. Maybe it was because Brett enjoyed beating me to a pulp during training sessions. Hahahaha! Actually, my bod was hard and defined after all the training, and I felt pretty damn good about myself.
"Take care of yourself," Brett said as we hugged in the departure lounge.
"I wish I could give that job to you, Brett. I really do. You're the most together person I've met, apart from Kyle."
"You can do it, mate. Learn to rely on yourself a bit more. You'll be surprised at what you find inside if you search hard enough. That's what Kyle taught me."
And Fingers? I read the sadness in his eyes before I left the house. They searched mine for non-existent answers as we said our goodbyes. He was totally miserable despite his efforts to hide it. But I figured he'd get over it. I was just some blond himbo who walked into his life for a brief period, and swept him off his feet for a while. Once I boarded the jet to Byron, he'd go back to the routine of building his yacht, his girlfriend, and waking Brett in the mornings with coffee.
And me? What the hell did I have to go home to? Byron was like an empty town without Kyle there. Sure, there was Graham, but he had his other grommet friends. On top of all that, my school grades were pathetic. I'd trashed myself too many times after Kyle's death to focus on homework. And I'd spent the first term of my repeat year feeling sorry for myself or whatever. I was a mess.
"You can do it, mate. Learn to rely on yourself a bit more. You'll be surprised at what you find inside if you search hard enough."
Brett's words, and the memories of the cool times I had in Fremantle, reverberated through my mind as the flight headed to the east coast. Brett and Fingers were very special guys. The best. But as each cloud drifted past the plane window, I knew I would never see that particular cloud again. Gone forever.
Hey, G, I'm up to my neck in schoolwork. Arrived back from Fremantle last week. Right away, I joined a week's leadership hike with the Grade 12s. I haven't touched sides with anything else, and I'm stressing like crazy at the moment.
"Let me know how you're doing, Stuart. Just a few lines will do." Hell, you make it sound like I'm not interested. I look at school assignments and other school stuff and it's like a bloody zoo already. I wasted a whole school quarter with my bullshit and now I gotta catch up.
The surf is rocking and I'm amped to get down there. But right now I gotta finish up here and get back to school. I start at 10:30am but work through until late. I'll write soon, I promise. Just give me time to get my feet back on the ground here.