By Martin Clement
Unless otherwise noted, this story is Copyright 2006 by Martin Clement for Clement & Boule Associates. All rights reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced, published, distributed, displayed, performed, copied or stored for public or private use in any information retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any mechanical, photographic or electronic process, including electronically or digitally on the Internet or World Wide Web, or over any network, or local area network, without written permission of the author. No part of this story may be modified or changed or exploited in any way used for derivative works, or offered for sale, or used to construct any kind of database or mirrored at any other location without the express written permission of the author. Thank you for respecting the intellectual property rights protected by the copyright laws of Canada, the United States and International Copyright Treaty.
This story is a work of fiction. All the events and characters depicted in this story are parts of the imagination of the author only. Any similarity to real people, living or dead, or any event that might have occurred in reality should be considered as purely coincidental.
It's been more than half an hour since they had gone in there and I was starting to worry to no end. I had insisted for Valerie not to enter the building alone since even for me, getting inside and down to my room was scary. I knew Valerie was brave since the day before she had stood up against George but still, The Pig was not really the one I dreaded the most. As the building was located in a pretty rough part of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve area, pimps, drug dealers and prostitutes were everywhere in there. Seeing the concern written in bold and underline on my face, and the horrifying aspect of the building, Damian volunteered to go with her.
"What's taking them so long?" I sighed to myself, on the verge of a serious nervous breakdown.
"I don't know..." Jerome answered vaguely. "Maybe they had to wait for your landlord... maybe he wasn't there yet!"
"Maybe they're in danger..." I mumbled, cold sweats running over my body.
"Danger? No... why would they?"
"I don't know. It's not the safest place in the world."
"But still, they are not in a jungle full of tigers either."
"Oh you'd never know!"
"Do you want me to go check on them?"
"Valerie has my keys. There's no way to get inside."
"You're right. I could ring everywhere and wait for someone to unlatch the lock though."
"I don't think it would work. People in there wouldn't open. They would be too afraid it could be the cops. I'd really like to know what happened for them to still be in there."
"I'm going to check," Jerome said, unfastening his seatbelt.
"Wait!" I said, seeing the front door of the building open and watching as Damian came out first, his head low, followed closely by a fuming and bright red faced Valerie who was yelling something I couldn't understand over her shoulder. Ooooooh, this is not good...
The pair made their way to the car, Valerie continuously checking the door where The Pig was poking his head through the opening and yelling what seemed to be insults at her.
"You're not finished with me, Porky!" was the first words I could clearly understand as Damian opened the door and sat on the passenger seat. Valerie was in rage. "Now go and do what you do best, jerk off!" she yelled back at the landlord before she opened the door and sat down in the driver's seat. She then slammed the door with all the strength she had in her and banged on the steering wheel while screaming in rage. I sat there dumbfounded, staring at her reflect in the rear-view mirror then at Damian who was staring at his lap.
"Could somebody tell us what happened in there?" Jerome asked, remaining as calm as he seemed to always be. "Damian?"
Valerie sighed and closed her eyes a moment to regain evacuate her temper and slumped her shoulders.
"That son of a bitch mother fucker there never let us go to your room!" I could hear her voice tremble. She turned in her seat to look at me. "Can you believe that this shitty stack of dumb pork chops could be so senseless that he rented your room to somebody else!?"
I felt my blood going cold instantly. The lonely thing I had dreaded to happened for the last six months had finally happened. My breathing started to become shallow and my hands to fidget. My eyes went wide as the breathing was becoming painful. Then I panicked as the crisis became intense. Valerie's face became as white as a ghost.
"Yannick! Look at me!" she was panicking also. "Jesus fuching Christ, Yannick, what can I do?"
From the corner of my blurry eyes, I saw Jerome emptying the bag containing the prescription of pain killers on his lap and I soon felt the paper bag over my nose and mouth.
"Breathe, Yannick," he said calmly. "Breathe..."
And so I did.
And it felt good.
I felt dizzy from the crisis and the lack of oxygen I had suffered. I kept the bag over my mouth and nose, breathing deeply into it and let my body relax in the comfortable seat. I felt an arm circle my shoulders and bringing me close to the heat of a body. I let my head fall on Jerome's shoulder. Everything went still for a moment.
"Lets leave this dump..." Valerie whispered.
So we left. Everything had seemed to go so fast my brain couldn't register everything. I lost my home. As disappointing as the room had been, it still had been my home for the last six months after my father had thrown me out of his house. Even though it was dark and cold, even if I could only take cold showers because of the lonely water tank for over fifty rooms as mine, it was my one and only home. The only place where I could rest. The only four walls I could count on to protect my privacy from the rest of the world. The room was a place to hide my humiliation from the world. It was somewhere I could cry on my lost family, on the awful childhood I had lived, on the loneliness that kept on telling me I was not good enough. It was the place for my tears to remain silent, to keep them for myself. Privacy had always been something I had craved for. Expecting my father to knock on the door before entering my bedroom was a wish I had made thousands of times. "This is my house and I do what I want!" Asshole... I don't know how many times I had thought about putting a lock on my door. I just wanted people to respect my privacy. I don't think it was too much to ask for! Okay, Valerie was not one to push you to pour your soul to her. She was not like these people only interested in knowing every single thing about you so they could gossip all they wanted or to congratulate themselves for being such good friends and a great confidents. I was thankful in having met such a wonderful woman. And with what had happened at the hospital that afternoon, seeing how Jerome and Damian had seemed to be respectful enough as to give us space while we were talking, Valerie and me, well I could hope in having met two other great people. But now, I had no privacy at all anymore... again. I was back into my humiliation. I could only think about that. And it seemed, as Valerie had come back to the car carrying nothing, that I had lost everything. My dignity was finally gone. The only things I still had were the clothes I was wearing. Nothing more.
I couldn't tell which streets we drove by since I had locked the world out of my head. I remember though seeing the specific streetlights of Mont-Royal avenue before Valerie turned the car on Laroche street to find a vacant parking space in front of her home. The house was a very typical Montreal house with bright yellow painted ledges and windowsills, with a black forged circular stair leading to the balconies, and attached to the others on the street by a common wall. There was vine climbing the brick wall and it must have been beautiful seeing it on summertime. I was sure there would be flowers everywhere. As most of the houses in that style, this one probably used to be a triplex before it was all reunited to make one house for Valerie's family previous of her parents getting divorce five years before. So bad I wasn't in a mood to appreciate the view when we got out of the car.
Jerome helped me walk to the house and Valerie immediately showed me through the first door where my crafted bedroom was located. At least, I still had a place to sleep for a couple of days. I sat down on a comfy chair, feeling drained. I had to think. I didn't have to say a word though as Valerie invited the visitors to the kitchen.
"I'm making some coffee. You want some?" she asked me. I simply nodded my answer and she was gone, closing the door behind her.
My head was spinning over all the things that happened for the last two days. The problem I had to get my salary. My fall on the ice. My awkward meeting of Jerome. The hospital. The mysterious Mrs. Pittsfield. The loss of my home.
I was finally glad, although it surprised me, to hear knocking on the door.
"Come in," I said. Valerie entered the room with two steaming mugs in her hands and gave me one. "Thanks."
"How do you feel?" she asked.
"I don't know yet."
"I'm sorry for what happened."
"It's alright, I guess."
"You know, you could stay here for a little while..."
"I don't want to be any trouble."
"Your self confidence surely won't choke you! You wouldn't be, Yannick. You're my friend... That's what friends are for."
"Still, there is a lot of space in this house since my father left. There was enough room for an army even when he lived with us. My mother is barely here."
"Have you asked your mother?"
"No need to, Yannick. First, she loves company. Second, I'm not a baby, for God's sake! I'm almost twenty years old! You know, I could have gone to live with a friend of mine when I started college, but my mother kept on insisting that this was my home. So this is my home and I also make decisions."
"I'm not sure I'd be comfortable around your mother. Don't take it personally, I have nothing against your mother since I haven't even met her. I have a problem with parents in general. I found freedom when I came to live in Montreal and I don't really want to face authority at the place where I live anymore."
"Wait until you meet her... Could you do that?"
"Yeah... I'll try."
"There." she said, handing me back my money.
"My wallet is in my coat." Valerie stood and went to retrieve my wallet from the coat that was hung to a hook behind the door. After putting back the money in it, she slipped it back to the pocket and went to go back to the hall. "You know, you can stay if you want."
"Are you sure?" she asked, holding the handle of the door.
"Yes." I answered. "I could use some company. Why don't you get the other two and bring them here?"
A grin appeared on Valerie's face and she left the room in a flash.
For the major part of the afternoon, we talked about all and nothing, music, books and movies. It actually felt great after all the drama that seemed to fall on my head for the last couple of days. Not thinking about them made me feel good. When Jerome and Damian joined us in my temporary room, it felt awkward at first. Damian sat on the bed besides Valerie, Jerome on the floor, his back by the side of the bed between them and his socked feet rubbing together for comfort. When it became obvious that none of the drama was to become the center of our conversation, they all seemed to relax and soon enough, we were all laughing about one thing or another. Nobody felt the need to embarrass each other with humiliating stories as we sometimes read in stories. Obviously, there was not a lot of things that Valerie could tell about me since I had known the girl for only six months. But neither Jerome nor Damian felt the urge to embarrass each other about stories that were better off unknown for me and Valerie. As strange as it seemed, Damian, even though his physique was smoother and a little bit shorter than his brother, was older than Jerome by two years.
Often during the course of our discussion was I founding Jerome staring into my eyes with his mysterious ones, and although I could have felt weird about the intense gaze, I felt really warm inside with this connection we were sharing. I wouldn't have let myself being fooled about that though, as it probably was because Valerie and Damian seemed so engrossed in each other. Feeling a bound between me and him made probably made him feel less left out. Well I was not about to complain about that, trust me. I knew that soon, I was to tell him I was gay since I needed to test our bond, and I knew that it could bring us closer and make us become friends... or he would be horrified and we would become enemies. I wasn't sure if I was ready for that since I knew it would change our actual relationship one way or another. I was scared that he wouldn't take the news so well, that he would think that I had hung up with him so I could jump his bones. Yes, I thought that he was beautiful. I couldn't deny the fact that the guy was drop dead gorgeous, my ideal in a man, had a sexy smile and I could lose myself in his eyes. But never would I be the one to hit on him and openly flirt with him, imposing myself to him as the old man had done to me in his car, trapping me and hitting on me so aggressively I was scared.
"There's a movie I don't want to miss on the channels," Valerie said, standing from the bed. It was four thirty in the afternoon and we had been there in my room for the last two hours. "Anybody wants to join me?"
"Yeah, I'd like that," Damian answered, stretching his body as a cat would do. "I haven't had any time to watch anything for the last three months."
There seemed to be an instant of tension passing between Jerome and him at this bit of information, but as no question was asked about that from neither me nor Valerie, this moment was brief and things seemed to go back to normal. If they wanted to talk about it, they would do it by themselves without us pushing for answers. Valerie and Damian already were by the door when I finally spoke.
"So... you don't ask me if I want to watch that movie with you?" I asked, a devilish smile on my lips. Damian's face went bright red.
"Yeah... sorry Yannick. You... you want to watch the movie with us?" Valerie asked.
"I don't think so," I stated. "I think I'll stay here and lie a bit on the bed. Seems pretty comfortable."
"Alright!" she answered. "Jerome, you want to come?"
I felt his deep gaze wash over me and I thought I saw a glint of hope in them. He didn't say anything and it really seemed as if he was waiting for me to answer at his place. It was as if he felt uncomfortable but wanted to ask me if it was okay for him to stay and keep me company. I could've been wrong too. Maybe was he trying to ditch me to go and watch the movie with them without hurting my feelings. But maybe... just maybe... he wanted to stay here with me. I remembered what we had discussed at the hospital, me and Valerie, and even though my good sense told me he could never be interested in me, since Valerie really lived in some kind of fairytale, I still wanted... needed him to stay here with me. Even if it were for friendship only.
"I think you've got your answer." Damian replied, looking back at his brother then winking at Valerie. I was not so sure about the meaning of that wink. Was it one that meant they could finally be alone together? Or did it have anything to do with me and his brother? I was at loss again. They closed the door behind them, leaving me and Jerome alone. Jerome's eyes fell to his lap and my heart flinched. Maybe he really wanted to get rid of me and my dramas.
"If..." I took a deep breath so my voice wouldn't crack on any melodramatic tone I could feel in my heart. "If you want to go and watch that movie..." His shoulders seemed to slump down but he didn't move from his spot on the floor. I could feel a knot forming in my stomach. I didn't want him to leave me alone in that room. I didn't want him to leave me there to join the others in the living room. I wanted him to stay here with me. He was so close yet so far away... And even that hurt me to no end. I wanted to feel as I had felt in the car with his arm around my shoulder. I wanted to be able to look him in the eyes as I did on the sidewalk the day before. Focus. I wanted to smell the faint aroma of vanilla and mint again, to lose myself in his breath, in his deep comforting eyes. I wanted him to hold me and whisper into my ear. I wanted to lay down and fall asleep in his arms.
"Do..." he started, his eyes still in his lap. "Do you want me to?"
"You're free to do whatever you want..." I trailed.
I saw him shiver and rub his feet together. I shivered too.
"Could I... just hang around here for a little while? I don't really want to watch a movie right now." I shivered again and my hands went blue. "Are you cold?"
"Maybe a little bit..." I lied. "Could you give me my cane? I need to lay down."
"Sure!" he whispered.
He didn't give me the cane. Instead, he stood and helped me out of the chair and to the bed with his arm around my shoulder. When my back hit the comfortable mattress and my head the lot of pillows, he lost his balance and fell partly on top of me. He braced himself with his elbow so he wouldn't hurt me and his face was soon buried in the crook between my neck and shoulder. I wanted to touch him. Out of instinct, my arm raised and I realized what I was about to do just before my fingers were to make contact with his silky hair. I shivered again. I so needed to let my instinct take control over my body and allow these fingers to find their way through softness... I so needed for my arms to roll around his body, bringing it closer to mine... I so desperately needed to kiss the back of his head, his neck, his ears, to let my arm jealously keep him from going away, to moan my pleasure into his ears, to never let go... But I had to. I had to think with my head, even though my heart was screaming for it to shut up. I was thinking with my head, since it all was just a little accident and not one of Valerie's fairytale.
"I'm sorry." Jerome murmured, sitting back beside me on the bed, his hand still pressed on the mattress near my shoulder. He was looking at me apologetically.
"It's okay..." It came as an almost inaudible whisper.
My eyes were closed as I was feeling brand new sensations from his body leaving mine. I felt empty. Cold. Now it was not a lie. I shivered and scooted a bit so he could sit down against the bed rest and for him not to feel embarrassed because of me. I was ashamed. I felt like a jerk for having all these feelings. I was supposed to try and start a friendship with the guy and I almost had felt him up as a stupid pervert. I was no better than the guy in his car. The knot I felt in my stomach was starting to expand itself as it was finding its way with shivers through my body. It went through my throat and up to my nose. I contorted my face a bit so I maybe could stop the inevitable tears from leaving my eyes. But it already was too late and as I felt my eyes burn, they shut tight and the droplets fell to my cheeks. I must have been an awful sight.
"I... I should let you rest," he finally said, standing up from the bed. That hurt. I knew then that I had failed my try at friendship. Now he new what a monster I really was. I felt all the shame slip inside of my body as the tears continued to silently leave my eyes. I was a monster. I had misunderstood his feelings. I had totally fucked up. "Do... do you need anything?" I numbly shook my head. "You want me to give you a comforter?" I was cold, but not from a lack of heat in the room. I shook my head again.
When I heard the door slowly close behind him, I couldn't hold anything anymore. So I cried.
"I'm sorry, Jerome..." I murmured through my tears.
I probably had cried myself to sleep as when a knock at the door awakened me, I could see it was already night through the window of the room.
To be continued...
Note from the author
This story is treating about friendship, romance, betrayal, forgiveness, acceptance, pain and healing. There might be some intense scenes of passion but you won't find any explicit scene. I don't have anything against eroticism in itself as I have read a lot of very nice erotic stories on Nifty and elsewhere. As the main characters will try and survive their pain, trying to lead their lives into a world full of resentment, I rather give them the peace and privacy of a closed door than failing at the attempt at explaining a theory of their sexual intercourses. That way, as this story will be told at the first person, if you feel as immersing yourself inside the head of the characters, you'll be able to forge your own version and images of their sexuality without me interfering with my own generic ideas about eroticism.
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