Green Room II
Chapter 8

Before we turned in, I waited at Brett's bedside for him to dress in boxers. He didn't, and remained naked. I followed his example. With his back to me, I snuggled up to his warm, comforting body and draped an arm over his chest. Apparently, my cockstand didn't bother him. The most special thing happened when he took my forearm for a second and gave it a squeeze to let me know that everything was cool, which I appreciated big time.

Exhausted, I fell asleep right away. But, on reflection, I don't think Brett did. He woke me early morning and asked me to continue my sleep on the couch. He didn't want Fingers to walk in and see us in the same bed.

I figured he stayed awake, or swam in the pool or spent time jogging or working out in the gym. He was pretty much a fitness fanatic. Or maybe not--he drank and smoked. Nonetheless, his body was in peak condition--perfection on two legs. Was I far behind? Hahahaha! Maybe not so much.

Fingers eventually woke me with his hand on my erection and a coffee on the floor. I wasn't sure which was the more welcome. He asked Brett's whereabouts but I had no clue. He kissed me gently on the lips, to which I responded favorably. I'd come to like that guy. And, in a way, I felt sorry for him.

Brett returned as I showered. He explained he'd gone to the yacht because one of the black guys needed to work on something or other. Brett provided access to the tool shed.

I thanked him for last night. "I really needed that."

"I think I did as well."

Finger's girlfriend arrived just after lunch, closely followed by Candy. They split, and left me alone to laze by the pool and sleep a little more. However, Fingers and I did spend the night together.

Next day, Fingers prepared the barbecue for lunch while I swam in the pool. Brett returned late that morning, in a chipper mood, and joined in the swim. But, all too soon, the time arrived to pack my bags for the trip back to Byron. Fingers and I were alone when I told him I would leave that afternoon. He produced an envelope. Inside was $1000, which I immediately returned to him.

"Hey, I had a very special time here, and you're a fantastic, fantastic person, not to mention a hunk." That remark brought a huge smile to his face. "But I can't take the money. It would cheapen the time we had together--including our intimate moments, like last night. I would feel like your toy boy, and neither of us wants that."

"The cash is to use--to get you out of trouble with your boss," he explained, and offered the envelope once more.

I pushed it away. "That's for me to sort out for myself."

"Will I see you again?" He hugged me warmly, and I kissed him. We both struggled to restrain the tears. Then I went back to the yard to speak to Brett.

"I gotta get moving or I'll never get to the airport. It's been fantastic, and I just wanna say thanks for everything."

"Where are you going?"

"Down the highway. I gotta get moving."

"I'll drive you."

As the Beetle sped towards Fremantle, it provided another opportunity to talk privately. "So what happens now?" he asked.

"Damage control. I need to sort out a lotta stuff."

"How serious is this quitting the dealing business gonna be?"

"I'm scared to death," I said truthfully. "I know I'll at least get a beating for it. Hopefully, that will be the end of it. I don't handle pain too well, though. Hahahaha!"

"It'll be hard to stop using."

"I know. It's been difficult this past week. But I worked at it, so I know it can happen."

"I'm a phone call away if you need to talk. And a flight away if you need to get away for a while."

"Yeah, right, like you need me here."

"I never understood you. You got everything I wished for, and yet you stuffed up your life. You even had Kyle, and tried to stuff up that relationship. If he'd been anyone else, you would have lost him a long time ago."

"Did you know that Kyle was raped?"

"He probably bent over and offered himself."

"I'm serious, Brett. It happened on a swim tour. I didn't know either until... I don't think anyone did."

"How did you find out?"

"A diary Kyle kept on disk. Remember that guy who was billeted with Kyle during the last tour--the good looking blond guy?"

"Yeah, Kyle hated him."

"Now you know why. Kyle got wasted with him, and an older guy climbed into him. Total bondage stuff. It's like a newspaper headline."

"That explains why he was so anti-drugs. You live and learn, huh?" At that point, the airport buildings loomed into view. "Stuart, Kyle must have seen something in you that you don't recognize. Not even now. How will you sort yourself out?"

"Hard work--trying hard."

"I'm serious about your coming back here. I'd like to think you and I can get along like Kyle wanted us to. You also need to take care of the grommet."

"That's the last thing Graham wants right now."

"Don't you believe it. He has the same problem you have. You guys can help each other. Melanie endured the same problem but stopped totally when she dated Kyle."

"Melanie won't want to see me again."

"Like I told you, you broke a lot of trust, and that takes time to mend. Ask Kyle about time and friendship; it's hard work."

Brett accompanied me to the airport departure lounge where we drank coffee. "You got a cool boss," I said. "Treat him gently."

"He's very cool. I'm glad he didn't freak you out."

"I like him quite a lot."

"It's obvious he thinks the same of you," Brett agreed, knowingly.

"I'll miss you; I can't handle not having Kyle around."

"Visit Fremantle next school vacation. There's plenty of work here, and maybe you can earn a few bucks next time."

"I might take you up on that."

My flight was called. We stood and hugged like best mates. I entered the boarding gate, then turned to see Brett still standing there. He gave me a friendly and encouraging wave. Yes, he was everything Kyle admired, and more.

During the flight home, thoughts possessed my mind of how I might manage to survive the situation that awaited me, and start life again. My fantastic week in Fremantle with Brett and Fingers was behind me now as I jetted at 1000 kph back to reality.

Night had fallen by the time I arrived at the front gate after hitching a ride home. Two guys grabbed me, ordered me not to resist, and bundled me inside the house. "Phone the boss," one ordered.

Once connected, the boss wasted no time in telling me he wanted his money. I was $599 short after spending some of it on the ticket to Fremantle. "I'll give it to you during the week--promise. I've been straight for a week, and I wanna stay straight. I wanna move on."

One of the goons grabbed the phone and spoke to the boss. After a short conversation, both guys laid into me with a flurry of fists and ripped off my shirt. Then I saw the needle. At first I feared an overdose. I was gonna die. "You owe us for this cocktail as well, boyo," one smirked as he jabbed my arm. He pushed the plunger while the other guy forcibly restrained me.

I've been climbing the fucking walls, G. I'm still coming down. I don't know how much cocktail they gave me but I'm coming down hard. The gardener found me lying naked in the flower bed. Hahaha! He thought I was dead. I tried to swim in the pool but panicked. Of course, I could just take another fix to sort me out. But I WON'T. I wanted you to know that it was great with Brett. I've been good so don't go thinking shit about me. Okay? I'm trying not to take anything right now. Had such a cool time in Fremantle but I can't phone Brett right now because I'm not str8. If he hears me he'll think I'm back into taking stuff. BUT IT WASN'T MY FUCKING FAULT! You were right about Brett. He's cool. I just wanted to let you know I'm okay and I'll write soon. So don't hassle. Okay? Cya. I need sleep. Zzzzzzzzzz. Hahahaha!

My world went crazy. Email arrived from everywhere, much of it written by G's friends and forwarded to me. Everyone tried to do the right thing by me, and offer support, which was cool, but I wasn't sure I could handle the pressure, especially while I was still under the influence of the cocktail forced into my veins.

Hi, G. I'm getting there. I've been as sick as a dog but at least my head is clear, kind of, and I can see str8. I still suffer from the shakes but it's getting better. I got a `work' problem because I found all the stuff left in my drawer. I thought the goons took it all, but no. The message is I gotta pay for it all or they'll throw me on the city dump. They won't do that, though. A friend defaulted and the worst they did was take him up the highway, strip him, give him a cocktail and beat him.

The cops found him with a stash in a baggie up his ass. He was jailed and charged with possession. He was okay after a month. So if that's what's waiting for me, so be it. The other option is to hit the clubs and sell it off. The first option is probably my punishment for getting the stuff in the first place. I try to be strong but it's bloody hard.

Kyle never knew I dealt in the hard stuff. He knew I sold grass but that's all. He thought it was my own stash. But I have tools and crack on my desk right now and I'm staring at it and saying, "Fuck you! You won't beat me!" It's laughing at me. What keeps me going is wanting to connect with Graham. Maybe my downer is more to do with needing him rather than a hit. I won't connect with him until I'm clean, though, so it'll take a while.

The email about the Fremantle story took almost three days to write, G. I've not been able to sleep so the story kept me busy.

School starts next week and there's a lot to sort out. The syndicate contacted me twice for the money, and said they'd finalize the contract when paid. I know what that means. Fingers would give me the money in a flash. I can't ask my folks. They arrived home yesterday. I look at my dad differently now. He's younger than Fingers but such a jerkoff. I wouldn't mind if he gave me a beating now and then. I think he's pissed that I was ever born. It's been a hassle for them to look after me and do their own thing. My mom's okay--at least we can have a friendly talk. My dad? I once told him to fuck off because I wanted him to hit me. He's such a non-event, he just walked away.

I'm waiting for a school mate to call. He said he would buy my stash and take it over. He thinks I got a death wish. I know now why Kyle wrote you so often. It's therapy. I'm not Kyle, though, so don't expect a lot of email from me.

This is an uphill battle I'm not used to. I'll miss the extra cash I had in my pocket. Kyle thought it was an allowance from my folks. What a joke. I think of Brett's comment about what Kyle saw in me. I thought it was my body and looks because Kyle raved about me, as you know. That's what I also miss; someone to tell me I'm good looking and attractive. It's fine to know but better when a mate tells you.

Fingers was a revelation. Ask me a week ago about what I did with him and I'd say no way! But he's different, and a real honey, and I do have a genuine soft spot for him. It's not a user thing. I hope that makes sense because I know how I feel. By the same token, it's not like he would be my life partner. I spoke to him about that, anyway. I am a nympho and I've been that way for ages. Kyle often accused me of that  but he was very different.

I've not seen or heard from Melanie or Graham since my return to Byron. I haven't even surfed. I'm in hiding until I can sort out this whole sorry mess. If those syndicate guys get me in the open there's no telling what they might try. And while my folks are home it should be cool.

I phoned Brett to say thanks. I waited until I felt less trashed. It's so hard, G. I know I've gotten out of hand. The stomach pains and sickness get to me. I can't eat because I can't hold anything down. I smoked a joint hoping it might help but all it did was spin me into another paranoia trip. That's never happened before. My face looks like that of a dying person, with dark rings around my eyes and pale skin. I might go for a surf later when it gets dark.

One local friend is trying to help. He used to buy from me, then stopped after ending up in hospital. He hates the syndicate even more than he used to hate me, so I'm moving up a bit. Hahaha! He's a bit of a computer nerd but digs hanging with me, and he's got a car. He's due this afternoon, and we'll go surfing down the coast somewhere further away.

Don't hold your breath, G. I've tried and failed before. But, being with Brett and Fingers makes me more determined. I'll write when I get the chance. Your reply to my last mail was pretty laid back. Thanks for not blowing your cool. I know I shouldn't write when I'm trashed but I get this thing in my head where I don't give a fuck for people or what they think, and try to piss them off even more. Sometimes, that's the only way I've been able to get a response.

I've never been a hero, G. Writing this email reminds me of what a total asshole I've been. Everything that should be dear to me I treated like shit. That time Kyle bonked my girlfriend to prove she was a whore blew my brain. I don't know if he told you but that was one of my worst binges. I went to his house and, before he had a chance to speak, I smacked his face. I kept hitting him before he could retaliate because I knew the power of his punches. Then, inexplicably, we made up. That was the way of our relationship. Fights and love--well, not always, not in the beginning but it became that way.

I'm sure I never experienced what Brett and Kyle had, or what Graham and Kyle had. I was a coward. Kyle once called me a coward and it hurt more than you realize. Don't get me wrong. I loved Kyle so much but didn't know how to embrace that emotion. To him, I was a very good friend. I don't think he realized how much he meant to me, and I figure that was my own fault.

For anyone to see me as a hero doesn't make sense to me. I got the Midas touch in reverse. Everything I touch turns to shit. You need a hero to fill the void Kyle left behind and I need my dad. What are the chances? I need my dad to join me at the beach and watch me surf, and to be proud of his son. I need him to sit on my bed and tell me about his day, and ask me about mine. I need him to spend a whole week at home without trying to escape from me. Most of all I need him to give me a hug. That's what I miss most; someone to hug me and tell me he's proud. Maybe that's why I like Fingers so much, but he's not my dad or Kyle. Heroes don't come along every day and they're not made. They are people with a unique quality and, fuck me, I don't see that in myself.
I read the way you speak about Kyle now that he's gone. The problem is you are just too fucking brave. I still cry, and Graham hasn't stopped. During my week with Brett he got choked up sometimes. I think Kyle knew that you would be brave the way you are but I'm sure he knows that you also need to cry--not to rid your system of anything but to actually come to terms with what happened. Yeah, right. I still can't believe it. None of us can.

I've thought about the last day of Kyle's life and wondered if it could have been different. Kyle asked me to join him that night because I know some of the guys. But I was on a mission with my girl to get laid. So ask me how I live with myself. I've not told anyone about that. I try instead to get a decent night's sleep. His question constantly rolls around in my head: "It's gonna be a rave, Stuart! C'mon! Let's party!" So cry, G. Kyle will be there with you. He's been with me the past three days--guiding my fingers on the keyboard.

Keep cool, G
Your friend and Kyle's