This Story is intended for a mature audience only. Redistribution without permission is forbidden. This is a work of fiction for artistic enjoyment, feedback welcome. Vlad885 (at) hotmail (dot) com
The Angry Boy 1
Today was the day he was going to meet the boy. The one he'd heard so much about, the angry boy. Angry at everything it seemed, at the world itself for the unfairness of his life thus far. Keith wasn't sure he bought into the defence mechanism theory, sometimes anger did have a root cause.
Keith was nervous as he drove up to the house. The group home was a large house in what was likely an upscale area back in the day but now it had become run down. There were six boys playing basketball in the driveway. Which one was he, Keith wondered, would he be cute? Two of the boys were black so that ruled them out, one of the boys was tall and another was Hispanic looking so Keith figured he had it down to two possibilities from the description the social worker had provided. He didn't want to get out of his car until it was time he was so nervous.
It all started six months ago, at age 42 Keith had his dental clinic humming along nicely and now had no excuse. He always said he wanted to volunteer his time, to make a difference but there was always something, first school then work but finally he made the call. Now here he was, after endless screenings and an intolerable wait he would finally be a mentor.
When it was time, he got out of his car and walked toward the house. The boys didn't stop their play but they noticed him approaching that much was obvious. His two possible targets seemed good looking enough, one had shaggy blond hair and the other was a chunky sandy haired creature with a pleasing face. He entered the house and was greeted by a young twenty something staffer.
"They're in there" He noted as he waved the man towards what appeared to be a common area, what likely used to be the family room. The house itself was well worn but he supposed having a herd of teenagers about would make it so.
"Dr. Brown we're in here" The social worker greeted. She was sitting on a chair across from the boy who was on a sofa. Of course, the kid was in here with her, not out playing all that analysis in the car for nothing.
"Good afternoon" Keith greeted.
"This is Bradley" The social worker introduced, "This is Dr. Brown"
"Please call me Keith," the man said as he extended his hand. The boy took it almost reluctantly. He shook with that limp grip of a child unfamiliar with the custom but there was something else, he didn't even make eye contact let alone stand.
Keith sat down beside the boy, it was awkward being beside him the woman should have sat with the boy. Now he wasn't able to get much of good look at him, without being obvious. He was skinny that much was clear, his face wasn't bad but he wore his hair extremely short in a military style. The boy wasn't a skinhead but it was damn near close.
"Well, I was telling Bradley all about you and I've already told you about him" the woman said trying to start a conversation. Yes she had told him Bradley's tale of woe, taken into care at age 11, now 14 about to enter grade 9, average student, minor police involvement, fairly unremarkable exactly the type to slip between the cracks, needy but not quite needy enough.
"So you're a dentist, that must suck," The boy said finding his voice.
"No actually it's a pretty good job" Keith replied.
"No one likes dentists" Bradley said in a disbelieving tone, "No one likes going to them for sure"
"Well people with an abscess can't wait to see me" Keith replied jovially.
A silence fell over the room and from the blank expression on Bradley's face it was clear that he didn't understand.
"I'm a dental surgeon, I repair teeth, gums, and I do wisdom teeth extractions as well as some reconstruction work," Keith said proudly but to Bradley it was like describing a horror.
"Bradley likes basketball" The social worker jumped in.
"Oh, you play on a team?" Keith asked.
"No" The boy replied flatly.
"So just in the driveway then" Keith said trying hard not to sound sarcastic.
"And sometimes at the rec centre" Bradley advised.
"Well I should go and let you two talk about what you're going to do" The social worker said as she stood. Inside Keith was screaming, sit down woman don't leave me with mopey here.
Keith moved to take her chair as soon as the woman was gone. Now he could face the boy. He wasn't gorgeous but he could be considered on the low end of cute. If only he had some hair, Keith thought. The boy's brown eyes examined the man, finally making eye contact.
"So what are we going to do on Saturday?" Keith asked smiling.
"I don't know" The boy shrugged.
After another extended silence Keith stood up thinking the boy was just as nervous as him. The boy stood as well, he was perhaps five and half feet tall and maybe two inches shorter than Keith.
"Well give it some thought and I'll see you Saturday" Keith announced.
He made his way to the door trying to look confident. Finally back in his car he drove away feeling relieved. It was over, he met the boy and the world continued to turn. He didn't look such a bad sort, maybe he would grow on him, after all he didn't get into this just to hang out with a cute boy, but that would have been nice.
It was Saturday and Keith was both worried as well as excited. It was his first outing with the boy and he wasn't sure what he was going to do with him. His only idea was a movie, it wasn't his idea really the manual suggested it, yes there was a manual about being a mentor. At a movie they could both sit and not talk, then when they did talk they'd have something to discuss. It seemed rather contrived but the suggestion was likely born of experience.
Arriving at the house just before noon Keith saw that there was no pickup ball going on in the driveway. It was likely too early for that. Keith banged on the door until a man in his thirties greeted him.
"Yeah" He said.
"I'm here to see Bradley" Keith replied.
"Oh, come in, I'm John" The man said in greeting. "Wait here" He ordered as he left Keith in the front room.
A few minutes later the man returned and shouted up the stairs. "Lock, your visitor is here!" Then turning to Keith said, "I got nine kids going here and there, I had to check the book, no one told me about you"
"Oh, his social worker arranged it I didn't realise" Keith said apologetically.
"No worries, it's organised chaos around here, I'm the weekend guy, I'm used to not knowing anything. We had one parent with a court order not to see his kid but no one told me so I let him take the kid out for 3 months" John explained.
The worker then shouted up the stairs again, "Lock move your ass!" returning to Keith he said, "He might be in the bathroom, he's used to getting it to himself when most of the kids are away on the weekend"
"The bathroom is in short supply?" Keith said to make conversation.
"Yeah, we've got two but during the week they only get time for a quick shower, on the weekends Lock tends to spend half an hour in there" John noted.
"Do you call all the boys by their last name?" Keith wondered.
"No, he prefers it. I thought Lock was his first name when we got him, he introduces himself that way" John explained.
"Do you want me to go up and see what's taking him?" Keith asked hoping to move things along.
"No you can't, only staff's allowed upstairs I'll go" John replied and then was gone. Moments later he was back, "goof was still sleeping, he didn't seem to know about you coming today, you sure it was today?" John asked.
"We set the date on Wednesday when his social worker was here" John said exasperated by the delay.
The boy appeared a few minutes later, still in his night shorts. He did seem attractive in a gangly sort of way, now that he was shirtless. His long pale arms showed some muscle tone and his flat firm belly gave an indication of the young man he could become.
"Hey" the boy greeted.
"I'm sorry about the confusion Bradley was it supposed to be next weekend? Oh sorry should I call you Lock?" Keith asked.
"What ever ... listen I'm really not into this. Go ask for some little kid I don't really need a mentor" Bradley explained.
"But ... why didn't you bring this up at the meeting?" Keith wondered, shocked by the sudden rejection. He wanted the boy now that he was being pushed away, he could end up with worse.
"My worker's not so good at listening. The idea of someone like you when I was a little kid was great but I'm too old now dude" Bradley said.
"What am I supposed to tell her, I can't say I just gave up? Why don't we go out a few times and see what happens, if it doesn't feel right then we'll pack it in" Keith countered desperate for the boy to agree.
"Look, tell her we went out and you can't stand me, she'll believe that" Then he was gone back up stairs where the boy must have known Keith could not follow.
The man just stood there dumbfounded that the day had gone this way. John approached having heard some of the conversation.
"I could make him go, it would do him good to get out. He's far too used to having the place all to himself on the weekends" The worker offered.
"Most of the kids have people to see?" Keith asked still unable to fathom the rejection.
"Yeah most parents have visitation but we don't even know where his mother is ... Lock, get back down here!" John bellowed.
"No, don't force him there's no point in that" Keith said despondently before leaving the group home. The drive home was sombre he didn't understand how he could feel loss for a boy he never had, maybe it was just the idea of having one that built up his expectations.
On Monday Keith called the social worker and explained the situation.
"Keith, that's completely normal. Bradley has been in three group homes, he knows all relationships are temporary and he doesn't want to get attached. You just have to reassure him that if it's going to end that you'll give him lots of warning" The woman said matter of factly. The idea that it was normal for Bradley to shun relationships for such a reason seemed bizarre to the man and her suggestion seemed far too idealistic.
"I don't see a point in pushing him," Keith suggested.
"Ok Keith, I'll call him and you go back again next Saturday I'm sure he'll give it a go if you're persistent" The social worker suggested.
Keith wasn't sure but her reasoning made some sense, he wouldn't get another kid if he told her he was just giving up so he couldn't really refuse.
"Ok, I'll try him again" He promised.
When next Saturday came he drove up to the house. This time there was one boy playing basketball by himself in the driveway. The lanky shirtless boy with oversized shorts was clearly Bradley, the lack of hair was a dead giveaway even at a distance. Keith got out of the car and approached. At first Bradley ignored him and kept shooting.
"Hello Bradley" Keith started.
"What did you fucking tell her?" Bradley snapped, not stopping his play.
"Well ... just that you didn't want to see me" Keith mumbled, stunned by the boy's anger.
"So now she's making me go out with you," Bradley continued.
"Making you... Bradley I'm not taking you if you don't want to go" Keith explained again suddenly disappointed.
"Yeah well it's too late for that, lets just go!" Bradley snapped as he threw the ball onto the grass. He collected his shirt and headed toward the blue BMW that the man had driven. Keith followed him sheepishly and unlocked the door as the boy arrived. Keith quickly joined him in the car.
"How is she making you?" Keith wondered.
"How else? She threatened me," Bradley snapped.
"Threatened you? How?" Keith asked now angry as well.
"You know the usual adult bull-fucking-shit. `Things could be worse' and `I don't know why I bother giving you opportunities if you won't take them' crap" Bradley snapped.
"Well that doesn't sound like a threat per se" Keith commented
"Yeah she's screwed me before she can do it again. I was fine at my old group home and she moved me anyway, bitch! ... John said she told him to ground me if I didn't go" Bradley explained.
"Bradley, if you don't want to go we won't go, I'll talk to John and your worker to make sure you're not punished" Keith offered.
"Right. You don't know shit, let's just go!" Bradley continued his tirade.
"So you want to go then?" Keith said not meaning to be sardonic.
"Go fucking go! Take me to the fucking petting zoo or where ever the fuck you want" Bradley snapped.
Keith pulled the car out and eased away. He actually didn't have a destination in mind so quietly drove toward the mall where the movie theatre was, he didn't dare ask if Bradley really wanted to go to the zoo.
It was the boy who broke their silent journey about ten minutes later.
"So you married?" He asked
"No" Keith responded.
"Divorced?" The boy pressed.
"Ah no, never had the pleasure" Keith chuckled recalling a friend giving that response.
"You gay?" Bradley said with a slight sneer.
"No" Keith said evenly.
"Fucking great you're a perv," Bradley snapped.
"Pardon me?" Keith replied now insulted by the little shit.
"You're a perv, now I know why you gave me that funny look when I was in my underwear last week, you were checking me out" Bradley continued.
"Bradley there's no need to be rude, I told you that you didn't have to come" Keith countered, knowing that Bradley was partially right. He'd always found young teen males attractive and the boy was just coming right into the sweet spot as far as the man was concerned.
"No you're not a perv, you're just a guy that can't get a woman so he wants to hang out with little boys on the weekend" Bradley snapped.
"I thought we established that you weren't a little boy" Keith replied smugly growing quickly impatient with the teen.
The ride was quiet until they reached the mall. Keith led the boy up to the cinema and said, "I thought we could see a movie"
"What ever" Bradley replied.
As the boy wasn't interested in choosing a film Keith selected something appropriately violent and went to the concessions to be overcharged as usual.
"Get me a medium popcorn and a coke," The boy ordered.
"We could share a large, I don't really want that much" Keith suggested.
"Get me what I want, I'm going the bathroom" Bradley snapped and then stormed off.
Keith was left in a quandary, the rules said he was supposed to accompany him to the public restrooms, after all who might be lurking in there? But Bradley wasn't a little boy and joining him in the rest room would just add fuel to the fire. So Keith did what he was told and got the boy's refreshments.
Bradley returned and followed Keith into the theatre, the boy waited for the man to be seated and then sat with two seats between them, as though he wanted to claim he wasn't with the man. Keith thought to ask for a hand full of popcorn but didn't want his arm taken off so he kept quiet.
The car ride home was quiet, as Keith didn't want to irk the monster again. As they pulled up Keith spoke, "I had a ... well it was nice of you to come with me"
"Like I had a choice" Bradley snapped, "Give me twenty bucks"
"Pardon?" Keith said
"I said give me twenty dollars" Bradley repeated.
"Why exactly should I give you twenty dollars, I'm not supposed to give you any money" Keith explained.
"I let you perv me all afternoon I should get paid at least" Bradley replied.
"You haven't done enough to earn that kind of money" Keith replied cheekily thinking two could play this game.
"You're sick" Bradley sneered.
"So can I take you out again in two weeks?" Keith asked.
"Give me twenty and I'll think about it" Bradley repeated.
Keith knew it was a dangerous precedent to set but he figured that all the other kids arriving home from visits with guilt-ridden parents would do so with a little extra pocket money. When he took his wallet out and Bradley said,
"Not like you can't afford it, make it forty." On seeing the wad of bills.
Keith handed over just a twenty.
"So do I get a kiss or something?" he said cheekily.
"Fuck you perv" Bradley snapped as he exited the car. Keith waited to make sure he went inside and just before he did the boy turned and waved. Maybe he was giving the man the finger but Keith couldn't tell. He drove off feeling strangely satisfied with the day as the initial mission was accomplished. He got Bradley out now what was he supposed to do?
As always I'm interested in feedback, I have three more Chapters in production if there's interest.