The usual disclaimers apply to this story.
In this modern day and age of the 21st century he was one of the declining number of people who could say T.G.I.F. (Thank God It's Friday) and look forward to the weekend with no work till Monday morning. Many people were expected to come into work on Saturday mornings or if not, had jobs at weekends to make enough money to keep up payments on their credit cards and the personal excesses of their off-springs, or catch up with the endless tasks that needed doing around the house.
And now those thoughts T.G.I.F. went through his mind bringing waves of relief to his body and mind, as he exited his place of work got into his car and made his way home.
He was turning into the street that would lead into the road that he lived on when he had to slam his foot down on the brake pedal to avoid hitting a boy crossing the road. The boy had stopped and looked at him, he lowered his window and leant out saying, "You some kind of a moron don't you look before crossing the road."
The boy gave him the finger and casually continued to cross to the other side. He opened the car door and made as if to chase the boy who promptly took off yelling, "Arsehole."
He smiled to himself got back into the car and continued on his way back home laughing inside, as he thought back to when he was a boy and had done similar things.
Arriving at his one bed-roomed apartment his first task was to go to the kitchen and put the kettle on. While the water heated he made his way to the bathroom stripped and jumped into the shower five minutes later he was out dried and putting on his clean underwear then dressing ready to go out for the evening.
Making his way to the kitchen he re-boiled the kettle then proceeded to make his tea and carrying it to the sitting room to watch the telly and drink it.
The tea finished he turned off the box dumped the mug in the sink took a last look around the apartment then shutting the front door made his way towards the nearby shops to do his Euro Lottery numbers before making his way to his local.
Inside the mini-market he selected the numbers on his lottery card then made his way to the counter to pay for them. Half way towards the counter and directly in front of him in the aisle the boy had stopped and his eyes were darting around looking for an alternative route. The man slowed his pace and put on his hard man face for the benefit of the boy that stood a few feet ahead of him, it was the same boy that had given him the finger earlier. As he drew closer to the boy, and seeing the look of concern on the boy's face he couldn't help himself and his face split into a broad grin, as he brushed passed the boy he ran his hand over the top of the boys head saying, "No sweat kid," and continued on to pay for his lottery ticket.
He made his way out of the shop and the kid was there again, "Could you buy us some ciggies mister that shit head inside wanted some identity before selling them to me."
"Are you over sixteen?"
"And pigs can fly."
"No honest mister I am, but I've no way of proving it."
"Then get your parents to provide some."
"Fuck you too, you're no better than that prick in the shop."
"One more remark like that and you'll end up with my boot in your crutch."
"Oooh, you're really scaring me," and the boy turned and started to walk away.
For some unknown reason Dylan Roberts called after the boy. "Okay kid I'll get them for you if you want."
The boy turned and walked back, "Thanks mister," and he handed Dylan some coins, can you get 10 Embassy please"
Dylan took the coins and returned to the shop watched by the boy. He eyed the adult and thought, "At least he doesn't bloody lecture like most of the others I've asked to buy ciggies."
He stood waiting till the man reappeared from the shop and walked towards him handing him the cigarettes.
"Thanks mister do you want one."
"No thanks, I'll see you round kid," and Dylan made his way towards the pub he frequented.
Four hours later and feeling just a little bit more than light headed Dylan Roberts made his way back home all be it not in a straight line. He'd just turned into the road that led to his street when he stumbled on a kerb-stone and would have fallen to his knees had not a pair of hand steadied him. Turning to look at the owner of the hands he smiled in recognition, "Thanks kid, and what are you doing out so late?"
"Sort of waiting for you."
"Umm need a place to stay for tonight."
"It's only for one night I'll find another squat tomorrow."
"What d'you mean another squat you should be with your parents' kid."
"Oh fuck, just say yes, or no, will you."
Dylan Roberts shook his head to try and clear the haze that seemed to be drifting in front of his eyes, "Okay kid if you can make sure I get to Elm Park Road you've got a place for the night."
"Thanks mister and the boy grabbed the man's arm and proceeded to lead him towards the address he'd just given. A few minute later they were standing outside the door of the apartment with the man fumbling in his trouser pocket for the key which he eventually produced and they were able to gain entry to the premises.
Inside Dylan went straight to the kitchen put the kettle on then told the boy, he was going to take a leak and after taking out all the necessaries items told the boy to make the coffee if he wasn't back when the kettle boiled. After draining his bladder and washing his face to try and get his eyes to focus more clearly and after a few minutes sitting on the toilet seat to clear his head he made his way back to the kitchen to see the boy pouring water into two mugs.
"How many sugars d'you take?"
"Two, what's your name? I can't keep on calling you kid."
"Alright Luke, thanks for making the coffee."
"I said Lucas not fucking Luke."
"Okay sorry, Christ you're touchy."
"Yeah, well it's my name so say it correctly. What's your name? I can't keep calling you mister all the time."
The man smiled hearing his own remark thrown back at him, "Dylan Roberts," and he went over to where the boy was and picked up the mug of coffee that Lucas had added two spoons of sugar to. He took a sip of the coffee which surprisingly tasted quite good, but at the moment the way his mouth felt anything would have tasted good.
Umm Lucas I have sheets and pillow cases but no extra bed covers so you can crash out on the sofa in the sitting room if you like with a couple of coats to cover with., or I've got a double bed which you can share the choice is yours."
"I'll have the sofa don't want to hear you snoring all night."
"I don't snore, and after you've had your coffee and before you make yourself comfortable on the sofa could you go take a shower and sling your clothes in the washing machine. I'm not into all that; cleanliness is next to Godliness bullshit but Christ you stink."
The boy grinned, "I know, I can smell it myself and it's a bit ripe isn't it," he said, before draining his coffee then asked, "Where's the shower?"
Dylan informed him where the bathroom was situated and his eyes nearly popped out as the boy after emptying his pockets onto the table proceeded to strip down to his briefs right there in the kitchen.
Lucas gathered his clothes and walked over to the washing machine and dumped them inside turning to Dylan he said, "I'll drop my briefs outside the bathroom door can you stick them with the others in the washer."
Dylan just nodded in acknowledgement as he watched the boy walk out of the kitchen, noticing how his shoulder blades and spinal column protruded, and also the thinness of the boy's limbs.
"Shit!" He thought, "I didn't offer him anything to eat," he went over to the deep freeze section of the fridge opened a draw and took out a Pizza stuck it in the microwave set the timer then hit the start button. He went to the bathroom door and picked up the boy's briefs put them with the rest of the clothes added some non biological detergent started the wash, then made his way to the sitting room to await the reappearance of the boy after his shower.
Lucas duly emerged with a towel wrapped around his waist, "Sorry I had to use this towel is it yours?"
"Yeah but I can get another, I've got a pair of boxers and a T-shirt you can use to sleep in, come with me then you can change into them.
"He led the way into his bedroom, found the necessary items of clothing that had shrunk the most from many washes which he no longer wore and handed them to Lucas saying, "When you've changed into these there's a pizza in the kitchen for you."
The boy's eyes lit up at the mention of the pizza and as soon as the man had left the room the towel was dropped to the floor and the boxers and T-shirt were donned and he went to the kitchen to tackle the pizza that was on offer.
The boy munching a slice of pizza walked into the sitting room to join Dylan, the man noticing that the boy had managed to secure the boxers so that they didn't fall to the ground.
Lucas walked over and dumped his body beside that of Dylan's on the sofa, "Aren't you going to have some pizza?"
"No, with the amount of booze I've had if I try to eat I'm most likely to throw up," Dylan stood and as he made his way out of the room said,
"I'm knackered, I'm going to bed, you eat and drink whatever you want and I'll see you in the morning.
"The boy responded with "See yer."
Dylan made his way to the bedroom stripped off, and let his clothes fall where they were put on his night shorts and crawled under the bed covers and within the space of a minute was asleep.
Half an hour later the boy not feeling too comfortable on the sofa entered the bedroom to see the man sleeping and no snoring emanating from the region of the bed, in fact he could just about hear the man breathing.
"Thank Christ for that," Lucas thought, he made towards the bed and gently crawled into the other side of the bed pulled the covers over himself and settled down to sleep.
He awoke, his mouth dry and with a slight headache he made to get up then noticed the form occupying the bed with him, he gazed at the boy noticing the mop of light brown hair that had spread over the boy's face hiding his features from the observer, he moved to the edge of the bed as tentatively as he could so his movements wouldn't disturb the boy. When clear of the bed he made his way to the bathroom to relieve his bladder and swallow a couple of Panadols, then headed for the kitchen to make some coffee.
As he entered the kitchen Dylan saw the boy's clothing draped over a clothes wrack up against the radiator. He went over to them felt them and found they were bone dry, Lucas must have attended to them after the wash had finished he thought.
With the consumption of the coffee and the tablets he'd swallowed starting to take effect, the day seemed to hold more interest for him other than his normal Saturday morning routine of guzzling a cup of coffee then heading back to bed.
Firstly he had to think about the kid, he knew it wasn't his problem but he had to try and get him to go back to his parent's house rather than living in squats. If that wasn't successful then to try and get him into some sort of refuge that catered for kids that had left home.
He picked up the boy's clothing from the clothes wrack and headed back to the bedroom and silently opened the door not wanting to wake his guest only to see Lucas with his hair brushed from his face lying on his back with his hands clasped around the back of his head as he stared up at the ceiling.
"I see you're up."
"Yeah just lying here enjoying the bed, it's been ages since I've slept on one."
"I thought you were going to sleep on the sofa."
"Changed my mind when I came in here and you weren't snoring."
Dylan tossed the clothes on the bed, "I told you I didn't snore, your clothes are dry now."
"Do you want a cup of coffee?"
"I'd prefer a cup of tea."
"Okay I'll make it but don't blame me if it's not to your taste."
Lucas jumped out of the bed, "Don't bother I'll make it myself," and made his way to the kitchen.
With the boy gone his resolve to talk to Lucas about his future dwindled as he looked at his bed, the desire to lie down again for a moment was too strong to resist and with a sigh he gave into his weakness and was lying on his back with eyes closed drifting into a state of semi-consciousness.
Before he could fully sink into sleep his mind was brought back to the brink of consciousness with his body being moved and a voice saying, "Get off my bloody clothes."
"Umm huh, what's up with you making all that racket," Dylan mumbled, as he lay without moving.
"I want to get dressed and can't with you lying on my clothes so I was trying to move you, you drunken slob."
"Who the fuck are you calling a drunken slob I'm perfectly sober."
"Yeah, well you weren't last night, now move your arse so I can get my clothes."
Dylan rolled to one side freeing the clothes that he'd been lying on so that the boy could retrieve them which he did and made his way out of the room to get washed and dressed.
Alone again Dylan sat up and realised that what he'd done wasn't a very good role model for the boy if he wanted to try and talk to him about going back to his parents.
"Shit, the kid's right I am a drunken slob, every Friday night without fail it happens. Normally he would come home with a woman as drunk as himself which would give him a chance of getting a shag if not that night then in the morning when they awoke before politely giving her the boot.
This Friday he hadn't pulled a bird, actually he could have but the ones that were available looked like something the cat had dragged in, so he passed and ended up with the kid helping him home.
Suddenly he realised, "I wasn't that pissed last night if I was I wouldn't have come home without a bird no matter how bad they looked. Then why did I ask the kid to help me home, I suppose trying to be charitable and help him out, he needed a place to sleep. Seems that the kid is a bit more alert and worldly wise than I realised, and I think I need to get my act together more than he does."
His thoughts were disturbed by the boy coming back into the room now fully dressed.
"I'd better go now Dylan and try and find another squat, I'll see you around," and Lucas turned on his heels to leave the room, before he could reach the door Dylan called out.
"You don't have to leave so soon."
Lucas turned facing the man, "The earlier I leave the better it is, it gives me more time to find a place to stay."
"What's wrong with this place, is my company that bad."
The boy stood by the door, "I told you I only wanted to stay for the night."
"Yeah well what about two nights or even three."
Lucas now moved forward confronting the man, "You want me to stay?"
"God you're clever, how did you figure that out."
Lucas smiled, "Okay I'll stay until you get fed up with my company and kick me out."
"Alright now that's settled I'm going to get washed and dressed then after breakfast we'd better do some shopping for groceries from that little mini-market where we met."
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