Cameron - Chapter 1

        Cameron Jamison woke up with a start immediately putting his hand to his throbbing head.  As he started to sit up he realized his back hurt too and he tried remembering what in hell he’d done the night before.  Tried as he might, it got hazy and the last thing he really recalled was taking that last gulp of his fifth of rum and throwing the empty bottle against a tree.  He remembered feeling a great sense of satisfaction seeing the glass shatter, and spray into the air; its fragments catching in the light coming from the windows of his friend Josh’s house. 

          He detested waking up and not knowing what he’d done the night before.  Though as much as he hated it he couldn’t seem to say ‘no’ anytime he was invited to a party. He couldn’t even say ‘no’ to his friends when they decided to go driving around looking for parties.  There was just something about being drunk that lured him; knowing he wouldn’t have to deal with life, or feelings of just letting your self-go and having fun.

          Slowly opening his eyes he rubbed his back at the same time he held his throbbing head.  As soon as his eyes were opened, he squinted them in confusion, wondering why in hell he was on the front porch.   He’d made it home obviously the night before as it was his house he was on the front porch of.  Yet he had no idea why he didn’t make it inside.  Despite the pain in his head he chuckled to himself and shook his head, making a hollow promise to not drink quite so much the next time.

          Gingerly he stood up looking disdainfully back down at the porch swing thinking that it was surely the cause of his sore back.  He stretched out his arms and legs and then made his way to the front door of his house.  Reaching out he grabbed the doorknob to give it a turn and cursed under his breath realizing it was locked.

          Looking down at himself, he realized for the first time that his jacket was not on his body.  Being mid April he knew he must have been wearing it the night before.  He pressed his hands against the pockets of his jeans anyways, but felt no bulge of his keys.  Cursing out loud he shook his head and poised his hand over the door.  Last thing he wanted to do was make it obvious to anyone in his family that he’d passed out on the porch.  He considered waiting around a while but had no watch and had no idea how long that while would be.  He also considered going back to Josh’s, but he didn’t want to be around when it was time to clean up the place from the party.

          Sighing, he shook his head and let his hand fall against the door three times.  Getting no response he was just about to knock again when the door swung open and his father glared out angrily at him.  “You think you can come in more quietly this time?  The girls are still sleeping.”

          “Yeah,” Cameron said hesitantly a little confused by what he’d said, as he didn’t remember going in noisily before.

          His father stepped aside and Cameron walked into the house and headed straight for the stairs. 

          “You wait just a minute!” His father ordered causing Cameron to stop and turn and look at the man, a bit surprised he was taking the time out of his day to speak to him at all.

          “I’m sure you don’t remember me telling you this last night, what with the state you were in, so I’m going say it again.”

          Cameron nodded as he put his hand up on the banister.  He was so shocked his father was acknowledging him he wasn’t even worried that he may be in trouble.

          His father’s eyes narrowed even more and he pointed a finger out at his son.  “If you EVER come in this house again, that late at night, making that much noise, you will no longer have a house to come home to.  I don’t give a crap that you’ve decided to drink yourself into an early grave, but when it disrupts MY family, I just won’t have it.”

          Nodding blankly Cameron swallowed the lump in his throat.  He doubted his father realized it but hearing him say ‘MY family’ was more hurtful to him then anything else his father could have said.  He knew he wasn’t part of that statement.  He had not been a part of his father’s family since he remarried 10 years earlier.  Within days of the woman moving in he became nearly invisible.  The conformation to completely invisible didn’t happen until a couple years later when they started having their own kids.  At that point a child from another marriage apparently meant nothing to them.

          His father walked off into the kitchen, obviously done saying what he had to say.  Cameron turned and walked up the stairs wondering what in hell had happened when he’d apparently gone into the house ‘noisily’ the night before.  He imagined he’d get plenty of evil glares from the little wife today, and decided after sleeping a few more hours that he would just leave again, like he did on most days.

          At the top of the stairs he turned left and went directly to his room.  After closing the door quietly, yet securely behind him, he kicked off his shoes and walked over and flopped on the bed.  A bed he had not made in as long as he could remember.  He changed the sheets every now and then but never bothered making it up in the mornings.  He knew no one would bitch at him about it; no one even ever went in there, so there wasn’t any reason to bother doing it.

          He looked around briefly at his sparsely furnished room, its walls now a faded blue, a hazy reminder of the bright blue it had been when it was first painted, the year his parents moved in, he was just three years old then.  The same blue, yet now ratty, curtains hung from the windows.  Even the same bedspread, that depicted a blue sky filled with puffy clouds, lay in a heap at the foot of the bed.

His mother had packed up and left two years after they had moved to this house.  His father had been furious.  Cameron didn’t remember it too well, just a series of flashes of a lot of screaming, and a lot of throwing things.  He didn’t recall there being anything left unbroken after the weeks of his father’s tirades.  As angry as his father had been it had just stopped, and if Cameron remembered correctly, quite suddenly.  His father became sullen and quiet.  He remembered his father not being home a lot, and frequently just pouring himself a bowl of cereal for supper.  Then he would just veg-out in front of the TV, then go to bed in the dead silent empty house.  At the time, only being six years old, he had found it very scary.  Now though, when he looked back on it, he would do anything to have things that way again.

To him he figured it was much better when there was no one at home, than to have a house full of people that totally ignored your presence.  People that even if tried to make yourself known, would shove you away and tell you to get out of their face. 

          Sighing Cameron rolled onto his side and pulled the faded cloud comforter over his head.  He closed his eyes and pressed his fingers against his aching head while sleep slowly overcame him.

          He woke up two hours later, having to pee.  He stumbled out of bed, grabbed a change of clothes and made his way to the bathroom, where he relieved himself, then turned on the shower and took off his clothes.  He stepped under the hot spray, the water washing off the grime from the night before, as well as the crusty remains of cum from the romp he had in the basement of Josh’s house with some guy he didn’t know, and wouldn’t have remembered at all had the cum stains not been there.  He  wondered if the experience had been good or not, but figured if there was cum there had to have been a good time.

          He smiled to himself, sex being his most favorite thing of all.  He wondered who the guy was, and hoped Josh would remember.  He hoped it was someone new and not one of the usual guys he hooked up with, either from meeting online or at parties.  Someone new he could add to the list of people to contact when he wanted to get laid.

          After he got out of the shower he pulled on his clothes and wiped the steam off the mirror.  He sighed at his reflection. He leaned in a little closer examining a black eye he didn’t have any recollection of getting.  After poking at it for a couple minutes and futilely trying to remember he focused on his dark hair that stuck up in disarray from his quick towel dry.  His skin was far too pale, something that happened every winter.  By the middle of next month though, he figured he would have a good start on his usual summer tan what with all the weekend beach parties that would be going on.  His eyes were dull and grayish. It was something he wished would stuck out more on what he considered himself average, though his ability to so easily find one night stands made him think other people maybe thought more.        His five feet nine inches were lean, but not very muscular.  He figured that came from sitting around and drinking all the time instead of being a gym addict.   He wasn’t against going to a gym, but couldn’t understand how come people went to the extremes.  Like the people on those muscle man shows that had so much muscle bulging out of everywhere it was just gross.

          Turning away from the mirror, he left the bathroom and went back to his bedroom.  He checked the clock on his nightstand and was glad to see it was only 11am, which meant he didn’t have to be at work for another four hours.  With his work uniform in his backpack he walked down stairs and out of the house.  The sun was shining brightly and he stood for a minute at the end of his driveway wondering where he could go, and what he could do for the next four hours.

          Realizing he was hungry, he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet.  Flipping it open he did a quick count and saw he had enough to buy a pretty decent sized lunch.  Turning right, he walked to the end of his road, then took a left onto the main road of town that held several small restaurants, a grocery store, the post office, library, police station, courthouse and several small shops where you could buy anything from live worms to TV’s and appliances.

          After walking about half a mile he stopped in front of the Early Bird restaurant.  Where he frequently ate, there several times and they had the best omelets he had ever had.  He crossed the parking lot and walked through the entrance, the small bell tinkling as he opened the door and stepped inside.

          A girl he knew from school smiled as she walked up to him.  “Hey Cameron, just you today?”

          Cameron nodded and smiled at her, as he’d always found her very nice.

          “Right this way then.” she said as she led him off to a small table in the corner and set the menu down on the table.  “I’ll bring you back some water.”

          He nodded having been there enough so she knew he only drank water.  He liked the occasional soda, but definitely not with breakfast, and didn’t like juice or milk at all.  As she walked off he sat back and flipped open the menu.  Laying it out on the table he leaned over it checking out all the fillings for omelets.

          He looked up quickly as a shadow fell over his table and smiled seeing Kyle, one of his closest friends, smiling down at him.  “Can we join you?”

          He nodded and smiled at Carrie, Kyle’s long time girlfriend.  She smiled back as they both took a seat across from him in the booth.  “Have a hard night?”  Kyle asked grinning.

          Cameron gently pressed his fingers in around his eye still having no recollection of getting in any fights, something else he figured he better ask Josh about.  “Oh…Well…” not able to come up with any explanation he just shrugged and laughed a small laugh.  He didn’t miss the worried look that came over his friend’s eyes.  He was fully aware his friend thought he partied too much.

Josh nodded not feeling like giving another speech just then.  “What are you doing tonight?”         

          “I have to work.”

          “What are you doing after work?”

          Cameron shrugged, “I have no idea.  Why?”

          “Why don’t you come over to my house?  We can watch a movie, you can spend the night.”  Kyle was aware Cameron’s family didn’t love him and offered him a place to escape to at least a few times a week.

          Looking up Cameron smiled at the waitress as she dropped off two more menus for Kyle and Carrie.  When he looked back at Kyle he saw his best friend’s eyes locked onto him, almost challenging him to say no.  Having gone out drinking four out of five nights so far that week he hesitantly nodded thinking that his liver could use a night off.

          Kyle rolled his eyes as he flipped open his menu.  “Well don’t look so happy about it.”

          Feeling guilty, Cameron half smiled “I’m sorry, I am happy honest.”

          “Just had to decide if you’d miss out on some party before you answered?”

          Cameron shook his head.  “No”.

          Rolling his eyes again Kyle looked over the menu deciding to drop the subject, and having to be glad Cameron was actually coming over.  As long as he was at his house he knew he’d be safe and at that point he couldn’t expect much more.

          At 10:00 that night, Cameron took off his apron and pulled the wad of cash out of the front pocket.   He tossed his order pad on the table by the door where they were kept, and the apron in the fifty-gallon garbage can where all the dirty towels and aprons were thrown.  He leaned back against the table and started straightening out his money.  It had been a great night as far as tips were concerned.  He hadn’t counted it yet but could tell by its thickness that he had made quite a haul.   The Chesapeake Diner wasn’t exactly high class and the tips were never more then five or six bucks,  but the place had been hopping all night and he had waited on at least 50 different families.  At five bucks each that gave him a hefty amount of cash.

          “You could get mugged doing that you know.”

          Startled, Cameron looked up to the source of the voice and half smiled at Trent, another waiter, who happened to be one of his more frequent sex partners.  “If they take this much money they better at least rape me too.”  He chided flashing Trent a grin and raising up his eyebrows.

          Trent grinned right back, and ripped off his apron.  “Give me five minutes!”

          Cameron nodded and went back to counting his money.  He didn’t even have to wait five minutes before Trent was back in the kitchen.  “Come on, my cars out back.”

          Cameron pulled on his jacket and followed Trent outside to his car, which was an old Buick Century.  Trent had told him not long before that it had once been his grandmother’s.  When she had died a year earlier he had inherited it.  Even though it was huge he claimed to love it, saying it provided plenty of room for all of the sex he had in it.

          Walking up to the passenger door Cameron waited a second while Trent got inside then leaned over and unlocked his door for him.  Once seated inside he buckled up his seat belt while Trent started up the car.  “I got some pot too.”

          Cameron nodded glad to hear that.  “I can’t be out too long I’m staying at a friends tonight.”

          Backing out of the parking place Trent nodded. “We won’t be more then an hour.”

          Once they were out of the more built up section of town, Trent handed an unlit joint over to Cameron who took it and put it between his lips.  He pulled a lighter out of his jacket pocket and lit it up, and took a long deep drag off of it.  He held his breath holding the smoke in as he handed the joint back to Trent who took a long haul off it as well. 

          By the time they reached the wooded area that was their destination, the joint was a mere roach and Trent snuffed it out in the ashtray.  All smiles after having at least five hits, Cameron pulled off his jacket and shirt then climbed over the seat into the back seat.  Trent followed suit his hands moving a mile a minute over Cameron’s body finagling him out of his pants, at the same time he managed to get out of his own.  In the mass of moving body parts Cameron found Trent’s cock and took it deep into his mouth sucking greedily as Trent moaned leaning back and putting his hand on the back of Cameron’s head allowing him to control the speed and depth. 

          “I’m gonna cum.”  Trent grunted minutes later and Cameron quickly pulled his mouth off him.  Trent moved sideways in the back seat and sat down then pulled Cameron into position over him.  Not having been loosened up at all Cameron winced as he sat down impaling himself with Trent’s girth.   After a moment the pain went away and he slowly began to move up and down rejuvenating Trent’s groans which were accompanied by groans of his own.

          Several minutes later both had their clothes back on and Trent was driving back the way they had come.  “Where’s your friend live?”

          “Near work.  You can just drop me off there, I can walk to his house.”

          Trent pulled the car over to the curb in front of the restaurant.  “Shit, I didn’t even mug you!”

          Cameron laughed.  “Fine by me.  The rape was more then suitable.”  He stepped out of the car and closed the door then set out on the five-minute walk to Kyle’s house.

          “You’re late.” Kyle said the moment he answered the door.  “It’s nearly eleven.  My mom was having a bird about you coming in so late.”

          “I’m sorry.”

          Kyle nodded and stepped aside, letting Cameron into the house, he closed up the door and led Cameron into the living room.  Cameron plopped down on the couch and kicked off his shoes.

          “Did work run late?”

          Suddenly annoyed Cameron looked over at him, and snapped “Jesus man, what are you my father?”

          Snorting Kyle shook his head.  “No.  Your father wouldn’t bother to ask.  Sooo, why are you late?”

          “Don’t bug me Kyle.  Can’t we just watch a movie like you said?”

          “Yeah whatever.” Kyle stood up and popped in a DVD not missing the aroma of pot that seemed to arrive with his friend. 

          Cameron didn’t make it through half the movie before his head lolled back, his eyes closed, and he was out like a light.  He awoke the next morning to the sound of cartoons.  As he slowly opened his eyes, he found himself on Kyle’s family’s couch under a soft blanket.  The TV was on, but he looked around and found himself to be the only one in the living room.

          Not feeling like getting up yet he snuggled deeper into the blanket and closed his eyes again.  He was just drifting back off to sleep when he was awoken fully again.


          He opened his eyes back up and saw Kyle’s mother smiling down at him.  Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes he sat up and smiled at her.  “I’m sorry I came in so late last night ma’am.”

          “It’s okay dear. Just try not to make a habit out of it okay?”

          Cameron nodded, and was glad she didn’t seem too upset about it..

          “I didn’t wake you up to scold you though.” she said chuckling softly,  “I was just making breakfast and wanted to know how many waffles you think you can eat.”

          His eyes lit up at the mention of waffles.  “Ummm, two probly.”

          “Okay it will be ready in about ten minutes.”

          “Thanks.”  Cameron said, as he got up knowing at Kyle’s house the family all sat and ate together.  They even got dressed for the occasion, as in no pajamas, shirts and shoes required sort of thing.   He walked upstairs to Kyle’s room, who was just walking out of his own personal bathroom.  “How come you made me sleep on the couch?”

          Kyle shrugged nonchalantly, but grinned at the same time.  “Cause I was mad at you.”

          Drooping his shoulders, Cameron cocked his head to one side and looked at his friend.  “I’m sorry Kyle, really.”

          Sighing Kyle sat down on the bed.  “You always say that Cameron.  Yet you always go out and do the exact same things you were sorry for, the very next time you get the chance.”

          Sitting down beside his friend, Cameron genuinely felt bad about his behavior.  Kyle was the only one that had ever really, truly cared about him yet, he was the one that he repeatedly treated like crap.  “You know you’re my best friend right?”

          “Not really Cameron, I have to beg for you to hang out with me, and if you show up at all, you’re always late.  Oh, and don’t think for a minute I don’t know you were stoned when you showed up here last night.”

          Cameron winced slightly, as he knew Kyle was totally against drugs of any kind.  He wondered for the hundredth time how he ever became best friends with someone as by the book as Kyle.

          “Let me make it up to you.”

          “Oh I have a list!”

          Grinning, Cameron held out his hand. “Let me have it.”

          “Well it’s not a written down list, but I’ll tell you.”  He sat back and took a deep breath.  “You have to spend the whole day with me, and the night too Then you and I can go to school together in the morning.”

          Though he wasn’t sure he wanted to spend a whole day not getting drunk, high or having sex, Cameron nodded.  “That’s it?”

          Grinning mischievously, Kyle nodded.  “Yes, but I think you are forgetting what day today is.”

          It took only a couple of seconds for Cameron’s face to look horror stricken.  “Oh shit, Kyle please, anything but that.”

          Kyle crossed his arms across his chest stubbornly.  “Sorry, but that’s the only way I’ll forgive you.”

          Cameron shook his head and kicked his foot against the bottom of the bed.  “Dammit.”

          “Come on,” Kyle drawled.  “church is not that bad!”

          Laughing quickly Cameron nodded.  “YES it is,”  He shook his head again then sighed, really feeling awful that he was being such a bad friend and knowing this would make it up to Kyle.  “but I’ll go.  Damn lucky we are the same size though, I don’t think they’d let me in with the clothes I have on.”

          Kyle looked him over a mock look of disdain on his face.  “You got that right.”  He stood up and went to his closet after a minute he pulled out a pair of black pants and a white pull over sweater.  He tossed them over to Cameron who held them up.

          “Uhh, I thought I just had to go, I didn’t know I had to be a choir boy.”

          Laughing, Kyle shook his head.  “Shut up.  You’re wearing that, and you better get in the shower your already on mom’s list.  If you are late for breakfast its all over!”

          Nodding Cameron stood up, knowing now that Kyle was mostly joking about his mom because she didn’t seem mad at all to him that morning.  He walked into Kyle’s bathroom and quickly turned on the shower and got inside knowing he didn’t have a lot of time.  He’d been to church with Kyle plenty of times, though the last time was over a year ago.  When they were little though, it seemed like he was going nearly every week.  He had enjoyed Sunday school and how nice everyone was.  It wasn’t until he was thirteen though that he sat through an hour long sermon about the decadence of America today that he decided maybe church wasn’t the right place for him. 

          The preacher had gone on about the murderers and the rapists. In which, no way Cameron condoned.  It was just the fact that in the churches eyes he was just as bad as those rapists and murderers.  He had known full well at thirteen what a queer was, and he knew that he himself was one; and in no way did he consider then, or now, that being queer was in any league with being a rapist or murderer.  He had decided that day as he’d walked out of the church with a sour stomach and on very shaky legs that he would never walk inside its walls again.   He had gone back, but only ever to make up to Kyle.  Kyle found some great thrill in him going, and if it was what he had to do to make up to his best friend, he would put up with it.

          Kyle had no idea he was gay.  Cameron didn’t dare tell him.  He thought he knew Kyle well enough though to know he wouldn’t be so small-minded, but couldn’t bring himself to tell him.  He was too scared that Kyle was actually of the same beliefs as his preacher.  He supposed he should have more faith in his best friend, but in actuality he did not have a whole lot of faith in anyone at all.

          After stepping out of the shower, he quickly dried off and pulled on Kyle’s clothes.  He checked himself in the mirror, snickering a moment seeing himself all dressed up before leaning closer to the mirror and inspecting the black eye that was still there.  He still didn’t understand how he could have one; he knew he was not a violent drunk.  He could not have imagined having gotten in a fight at all.  As far as he remembered he hadd never been in a fight in his life.

          When he walked out of the bathroom Kyle was no longer in his room. So he hurried down the stairs to find the family all seated around their kitchen table.  Kyle had a younger brother and sister, twins, who were five years younger then their older brother.  They were seated on the opposite side of the table from Kyle with Kyle’s parents on each end of it.

          “Sorry I’m late.” He said as he took the empty seat by Kyle.

          Mrs. Harris Kyle’s mom smiled at him.  “You look very handsome, does this mean you’ll be going to church with us?” she asked with expectation in her voice.

          Nodding, Cameron tried to actually look excited about it and figured from the smile he got from her that he’d pulled it off.

          “He’s going to spend the whole day, and night, if that’s okay.” Kyle spoke up as he put a waffle on Cameron’s plate, knowing that he was uncomfortable serving himself.

          “I don’t see any problem with that.” Kyle’s mom looked from her son to Cameron.  “We can stop by your house after church and you can get what you need for clothes and school tomorrow.”

          “Thanks ma’am.” He nodded gratefully not wanting to wear Kyle’s clothes to school as he dressed much differently than he did.

          Halfway through the sermon Cameron wasn’t sure if he just had really bad luck, or if the preacher spent every Sunday preaching the sins of homosexuality.  The word had come up at least fifteen times.  At points he had even gotten paranoid figuring the preacher must know about him, and therefore dedicated this service to just the fact he was there.  His anger was brewing, but he knew he had to keep it in check.  He certainly couldn’t stand up and tell the preacher what a fuck head he was in the middle of the congregation that he was sure all adored the man, no matter how funny, or true it would have been.

          He did his best to tune the man out, and looked around at the other people in the church.  All eyes were on the preacher, everyone seemed to be hanging on his every word.  He noted several of them nodding their heads to many things the preacher ranted about.  A different type of anger flowed through him now, as he watched them all with their perfect little families all sitting there, no doubt feeling superior to people such as him.  Not only for being gay, but for the fact his family didn’t love him.

His eyes closed in on the children of one particular family.  There were two of them, girls, dressed up in frilly little dresses with their hair done up perfectly, almost too perfect.  He tried to picture what it was like in their house.  Pictured them getting ready for church that morning, with the mother making sure they looked just perfect, caring enough about her kids to want to make them look their best.  Having pride in her family.

A pride his mother was so lacking in that she couldn’t even stay around.  So lacking because she had snuck off in the dead of night, without any kid of an explanation at all.  He felt that made her a coward.   He wanted to blame everything on her.  Say that she was just that type of woman, but the feelings that he somehow drove her away were always strongest.  Sometimes he thought that maybe he had just been such a terrible child she couldn’t handle being around him, and it would also explain his father’s disregard for him. 

Maybe if he had been as good as his father’s new kids he would still have his mother around and his father would recognize his existence.  Maybe his father would have stayed home more when he was growing up, and not left him to fend for himself all the time.

          He let out a long sigh and looked down at his hands.  He felt Kyle nudge his shoulder and looked over to see him grinning back at him.

          “It’s almost over don’t worry.”

          Cameron smiled at him very glad to hear that.

          His relief at church being over was short lived though as Mr. Harris started in on the drive home.  Though he and Kyle were sitting in the very back of the mini van, it was very easy to hear the man spouting off up in the driver’s seat.

          “Something really does need to be done.” He raved.  “Damn fags are taking over the world.  Wanting equal rights, wanting to get married.” He let out a scornful laugh.  “What ever happened to the sanctity of marriage?  Where do they get off thinking what they do, and what they are can create a marriage?”

          Discreetly Cameron kept glancing over at Kyle to see if he could read any reaction out of his friend.  To get any clue how Kyle viewed these things.  He got nothing, Kyle seemed content to be staring out the window and Cameron couldn’t even see his face.

          He definitely worried about Mr. Harris finding out about him.  He also knew by what was coming out of his mouth that even if Kyle was okay with it, he wouldn’t be.  He easily predicted that Mr. Harris would ban Kyle from any contact with him.

          The Mini Van pulled up in front of his house and Cameron got out gratefully, glad to at least have few minutes away from Mr. Harris’s rants.

          He walked up the walk to his house and finding the door unlocked, he walked right inside.  He didn’t see any sign of his father or his family, but could hear the kids yelling from the back yard and figured they must be spending the day out back, doing what ever they did when they spent the day out there.  He walked up the stairs to his bedroom and quickly grabbed a pair of pants a shirt and a pair of boxers.  Tucking them under his arm he went down the hall to the bathroom; where he grabbed his toothbrush then walked back down the stairs and outside.

          He froze as he was half way down the steps as Josh’s car pulled up behind the Harris’s.  He knew Kyle didn’t approve of his friendship with Josh because he was known around school as being very ‘wild’.  Kyle blamed Josh for all of Cameron’s ‘rebellion’ problems, as he referred to them.  He also didn’t want to make the Harris’s wait any longer then they had to.

          Knowing just waving him away wouldn’t do a bit of good Cameron walked past the Harris’s van and up to Josh’s driver’s side window.  “I’m kind of in a hurry.” He said as he leaned down so he was eye level with Josh.

          “I guess that means you can’t take a ride down to Portland with me?”

          “No, I’m sorry.”

          Josh nodded looked forward to the van.  “That Kyle in there?”

          Cameron nodded.

          “That guy is such a putz Cam why you hanging out with him?”

          “He’s my friend.”

          Josh looked back at him eyeing him a smirk appearing on his face.  “Why you so dressed up?”

          Cameron stood up.  “I really gotta go.”

          Sighing Josh nodded again.  “Okay dude.  I’ll see you tomorrow at school then I guess.”

          Cameron nodded absentmindedly.  They may see each other at school but they wouldn’t talk.  For some reason Cameron was not sure of why Josh had never spoken a word to him while inside the school walls.  That had always been okay with him though since he usually hung around with Kyle at school.

          He got back in the van not missing the annoyed look he got from Kyle.  It irritated him that he was given one but decided not to let it get to him.  As soon as they got back to Kyle’s house and up to the privacy of Kyle’s room Kyle started in.

          “What in heck did he want with you anyways?”

          After setting his clothes on a chair Cameron turned to Kyle his irritation back in full force.  “What does it matter?  I’m here aren’t I?  I only talked to him for a minute so only one minute our day was disrupted.  What do you want from me?”

          Kyle shook his head and sat down heavily on the bed.  “Why do have to hang around him at all?”

          “I’m not I’m hanging out with you.”

          Rolling his eyes Kyle shook his head again.  “You know what I mean Cameron.  He’s a druggie.  You never went out partying before he came along.”

          “There’s nothing wrong with going to parties now and then Kyle.”

          Kyle looked at him, his mouth hanging open for a moment.  “Now and then?  You go nearly every night.  Do you even know how you got that black eye?”

          Putting his fingers to his eye again Cameron slowly shook his head.

          “And you find that safe behavior?  Getting yourself beat up and not even remembering it?”

          Cameron flopped down on the bed on his back putting his hand over his face and drawing his knees up in the air.  “Why do you gotta do this Kyle? Why can’t you just be my friend, and let it go?  Why do you always have to pull the parent act?”

          Kyle turned sideways on the bed and looked Cameron over.  “Cause someone has to.  If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t hassle you about it.”

          Running his hands down across his face Cameron looked up at Kyle.  “Did you plan to give me a speech all afternoon? Is this what you had in mind when you asked me to stay here all day?”

          Sighing Kyle shook his head.  “No, but seeing you talking to Josh bugged me.”

          “So pretend I didn’t talk to Josh.  And let’s just have fun. K?”

          Kyle lay down beside Cameron, crossed his arms across his stomach and stared at the ceiling.  “Okay Cameron.”

          They both lay there in silence both staring at the ceiling for a good five minutes before Cameron started to chuckle.  “Is this what you had in mind when you wanted me to come over?”

          Laughing himself Kyle sat up and smacked Cameron lightly on the stomach.  “No let’s go play some video games.”


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