Boy in the Rain
Jesse Nelson got into his car, a red Elantra. He was not happy. His English teacher gave them tons of homework yet again. This time her excuse was that she wouldn't be there the next day. Who the hell does she think she is? We'll have a sub tomorrow anyway. In other words, I have to do seven pages of sentence construction TONIGHT! How wonderful.
Sighing, he lit a cigarette. Marlboro Red Box. He hates the soft packets. They always squash in his back pocket where he usually keeps them. That, and it can be hell to get the smokes out of the packet. I know that smoking is bad for you, but in my opinion high school is worse. Sure, I'm considered "popular" at school (so silly), but it's still a bad place for me to be. At least the cigarettes help me cope.
Pulling out of the school gates, he looked into the rearview mirror, sizing himself up. He ran his fingers through his long blonde hair. I should get it cut. Heaven forbid that They won't be able to see my eyes properly, he thought sarcastically. All the girls, and even some of the guys, raved about his clear green eyes. Well, mostly green. What got everybody was that he had two small rims of brown and blue around his pupils. Big whoop.
To be totally honest he didn't care for girls at all. Or for guys at that moment. Sure, he considered himself gay, or at least way over at the male side of bisexual, but at the moment he didn't have the strength for another relationship. Not after Donnie... He won't allow himself to get hurt like that again. I mean, it's hard when your boyfriend leaves you for another guy, but for another GIRL! Now that's just a fucking insult.
It was then that, through the puffs of smoke, he saw the first raindrops fall onto his windshield. Oh great. Just fucking great. This is exactly what I need. With my fucking luck I'll end up in an accident too. He flicked the cigarette bud out of the driver side window before closing it. I would be in my fucking element if I get wet now as well.
He drove most of the way home in near-silence. Only the radio could be heard playing Seether and Amy Lee softly in the background. About a kilometer or so from home he saw something strange. A lone, hunched figure was walking slowly in the rain. Who would be so stupid to walk in this weather? It's pissing outside!
It didn't take him long to realize that it wasn't within the figure's ability to run. Its movements seemed strained and far from effortless. A little voice nagged in the back of mind. Something seemed wrong. He decided to drive up to the figure and ask if everything was all right.
He accelerated and slowed down again as he neared the figure. He could see that it was a guy, probably around his own age of seventeen. The guy looked oddly familiar, but Jesse couldn't say why. He opened his window.
`Hey! Is everything OK?' He tried to shout as loud as possible, but the heavy rain seemed to drown out every sound that came out of his mouth. It was at that instant that the hail came down. Just as the first cubes hit, the boy fell down face first in the mud.
For a moment Jesse was numbed by shock, not able to move. But as soon as he regained control of his body he jumped out of the car and ran straight to the boy. A quick check confirmed that he was unconscious. He swiftly ran back to his car and opened the trunk, taking out a few blankets and laying them open on the seat before returning to the boy.
He opened his arms and scooped the boy up from the ground. Fuck, he weighs as much as a ten year old! He put the boy in the back seat of his car and wrapped more blankets around him. No sense in letting him die of cold before we get home. He got back in the driver's seat and sped to his uncle's house.
He arrived at the main gate in less than two minutes. Driving around the property, he entered the gate at the other side of the house where is cottage was. The cottage in the backyard of his uncle's house was a present from him for Jesse's sixteenth birthday. He pulled his car into the garage, and then jumped out to open the door that leads from the garage to the kitchen.
He ran back to the car and grabbed the boy, who was blue with cold by now. He put him on the sofa, covered him with again with the blankets and ran to the bathroom. He opened the hot water tap and let the bath run until it was half-full.
Dave was sitting in the lounge when he saw the headlights of Jesse's car at the back of his property. Finally. It's already getting dark, and this bloody rain is terrible. Reassured that his nephew was home safe he reclined in his Lazy Boy, and started reading the latest edition of Men's Health magazine.
A movement by Jesse's cottage caught his eye through the glass sliding door that leads out onto the patio. He was shocked to see Jesse carrying someone into his cottage with immense haste. The someone seemed to be unconscious.
He hurriedly got up out of his chair and rushed to the kitchen. He opened the back door leading into the garden and quickly ran through the pelting rain to Jesse's cottage.
Jesse was in the middle of a huge ethical inner conflict. On the one hand, he knew that he needed to get the stranger into a warm bath as soon as possible, but on the other he wasn't sure if it was OK to remove his clothes without his permission. What if he wakes up and takes offence?
At that moment Dave burst into the flat.
`Jesse! What the hell is going on?' he exclaimed. He looked shocked.
`No time to explain,' Jesse said. `We need to warm him up immediately.' He finally came to a decision: the boy can be as angry as he wants when he wakes up, but if they don't get him in the tub immediately he will most likely not wake up at all.
`Help me undress him. We need to be as quick as possible.' Jesse rushed the words. They didn't have any time for conversation. As soon as they lowered his pitifully thin body into the bath, the boy's eyes flew open.
Intense, immense hurt. That was what was coursing through Toby's limbs at that moment. He opened his mouth and a small scream of pain escaped out of it.
`Shhh,' he heard someone say. `Just wait it out. The pain will go away now. When you got so cold all your blood flowed out of your extremities towards your chest and stomach to keep your vital organs warm. It's sore because the blood is flowing back into your arms and legs now.'
Toby didn't know who was speaking, but he concentrated on the voice as it kept uttering words of comfort and understanding. After a few minutes the pain became little more than an irritating throb.
For the first time he dared open his eyes. He was in a bathroom. Light blue tiles covered the floor and the walls up to the ceiling, and white curtains hung above the equally white basin next to the bath. He could discern a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste and an expensive razor together with a can of shaving cream on the counter next to the basin.
He slowly moved his head to the left, and saw two guys kneeling by the bath, looking at him quizzically. The younger one of the two opened his mouth to say something. Toby recognized him even before he spoke. Jessie Nelson. Golden Boy. The guy to be friends with at school.
`Hey there. Is the pain gone now?' His voice was full of kindness, but there was something that gave it a sharp tone. Concern. That's it. Jesse Nelson is actually concerned about me? Hmph, that's just `cause he's got absolutely no idea who I am.
Toby managed a nod. His throat felt like parchment that has been drying out in the Egyptian sun for days. He tried to speak, but it took a couple of tries before any sound came out of his mouth.
`C-can I get a g-glass of wa-water ple-ease?' He was stuttering. So fucking cold... Jesse quickly got up and walked out of the bathroom. He was left alone with the older man.
`My name is Dave. Can you tell me why you were out in the rain today?' the man said. Shit shit shit! He can't know.
`Er, I m-missed my bus s-sir, so I ha-had to w-walk home.' Hope he buys the excuse. He seems satisfied. Much to Toby's relief Jesse re-entered the bathroom at that exact moment.
`I'm back with your water, er... what is your name by the way?' Jesse asked, as he handed Toby the glass of water. After debating for a short while whether he should tell Jesse his name, and of course gulping up the water in a flash, he decided to. The guy probably saved my life after all... And now I'm going to make him want to take it away.
`Toby. T-Toby Summers.' Toby could see Jesse's eyes widen with recognition at the name. For a moment the two boys just stared at each other. Dave, sensing that it wasn't a good idea to be there quickly excused himself and walked out of the bathroom.
Jesse was totally shocked, and angry at himself for not recognizing the boy in front of him. He was the Toby Summers. The only `out' guy at school. The poor kid looked terrified. He's probably thinking that I'm like some kind of gay basher or something... Better remedy that.
But before he could open his mouth, Toby looked down and all of a sudden seemed to realize that he's naked. He quickly covered his crotch with both hands and blushed a deep scarlet.
`Who undressed me?' he asked. His voice took on a new shy tone.
`Sorry `bout that. Dave and I had to get you out of your wet clothes before you got hypothermia or something. Don't sweat it. It's nothing we haven't seen before.' Jesse quickly said. He closed his eyes momentarily. I'm not a perv, I'm not a perv, I am NOT a perv. But a little voice in his head disagreed completely. Stop thinking about shit like that! This guy needs you right now, and not in that way!
`Look Toby, I don't have anything against you being gay.' He said. `As a matter of fact...' Suddenly he couldn't bring himself to say it out loud. Donnie was the only one who ever knew. At least the bastard didn't go and tell everybody... Toby's features were alert now. He could see that the boy had figured it out himself.
`You have no problem with me being gay, because you are gay too.' He said it in a soft and understanding tone that completely surprised Jesse. You would have thought that he would have been bitter about it.
`I'm sorry for all the shit you've had at school Toby.'
`No sweat. I'm used to it by now. Uhm... Can you like maybe get me towel or something? I think I need to get out of this water. My fingers look like some sort of weird German sausages.'
Jesse laughed. He exited the bathroom turned right, into his bedroom. He was surprised to see Dave waiting for him there.
`Is everything okay Jess?' Jesse could see that Dave was worried. He probably thinks that Toby and I don't get along all that well.
`Everything is fine. I just came to fetch a towel for Toby.' Dave looked surprised Jesse's casual attitude.
`Ooookay... Listen, I need a contact number for Toby's parents. I'll take him home in a little while and recommend that they take him to the ER, just in case.' Jesse nodded at Dave and walked over to his closet where he got out a towel.
`I'll be right back with the number.' He returned to the bathroom and found Toby shivering in front of the mirror. His hands flew back to his crotch as soon as Jesse entered. God this boy is shy. I mean, hell, I have already seen it. I wonder what it looks like when... Suddenly it was Jesse's turned to blush. Bad Jess! Bad!
Jess shakily handed Toby the towel and said, `Dude, can you give me your parent's number so that we can just let them know you're safe. Dave'll take you home in a short while.' The effect was instant. Toby's whole body went white, and an extreme look of fear crossed his face.
`Don't,' he whispered. `Please... don't.' He sank to the floor and curled up in the fetal position. Tears streamed down his face and his whole body was wracked with sobs. Jesse was totally confused. Was it something I said? He just stood there next to the crying boy, having totally and absolutely no idea what to do about it.
He worriedly said, `Toby, are you OK? What's wrong? Talk to me!' But the boy's crying just got worse. Not knowing how to handle the situation he quickly hurried to his bedroom, where he found Dave laying on his bed, watching TV.
The force that Jesse opened the door with irritated Dave immensely, but all negative feelings towards the situation vanished when he saw the look on Jesse's face. Oh God, what an evening this has turned into.
`Something's wrong with Toby.' Jesse quickly said when Dave threw a quizzical look his way. `I just asked his parents' number and he broke down. He is lying on the bathroom floor now, bawling his eyes out.' Dave was alarmed at this news.
`I've got a suspicion that Toby's not telling us the truth about why he was out there in the rain,' he said. `Come; let's go see what we can figure out.' They returned to the bathroom. Toby wasn't crying heavily anymore, but he still gave the occasional sob.
Dave whispered in Jesse's ear, `He looks fine for now. I think my presence scares him, so I'm going to go back down to the main house.' Jesse nodded. `See what you can get out of him,' Dave continued, `and tell me in the morning. Maybe then we will know what to make of this then. Call me at any time during the night if you need me.'
Toby didn't seem to have noticed that they were there yet, so Dave just quietly slipped out. I hope things will sort themselves out tonight, he thought. He lit a pocket cigar and flipped open his phone. He dialed a very familiar number, and pressed the phone to his ear. Three rings.
`Darren. It's me.'
`Is something wrong?'
`I think so. Long story. But I've just discovered a rather shocking fact.'
`And that is?'
`Jesse is gay.'
`Oh my God! Are you serious?'
`Yes. I overheard him and another boy speaking in the bathroom.'
`What were they doing together in the bathroom?'
`Like I said, long story. Want to come over? I really need to see you tonight. Oh, and I may have a case for you.'
`Okay, I'll be over in a bit. Love you.'
`Love you too.'
He flipped the phone shut and walked down the wet garden path towards the house.