The Lament of the Tortured Soul

Jay Matthews

Authors Note: This story is completely fiction. It is not based in anyway on actual events. Any resemblence the characters have to any living person is completely accidential. Saying that though many of the characters share traits with one person (it was completely unintentional) who unfortunately left us at the end of January 2002. Shadow as he was known to the people he called friend, the people who loved him and the people he left behind miss him greatly.

This story is dedicated to him. Rest easy my love we’ll be together again soon.

Chapter 3

By the time Nick got home it was nearly supper time. Eric had arrived home only a few minutes before and was sitting in the living room enjoying a tall cold orange juice when Nick wandered into the room picked up the glass from the coffee table, drained it and flopped into Eric’s lap screwing up his face.

“Bitter?” Eric asked.

“Na brain freeze.” Nick said rubbing his forehead. Eric shook his head at his young nephew before gently pulling up his t-shirt exposing his smooth tummy. An evil grin spread across Eric’s face as he started to tickle Nick’s sides. Nick was very ticklish especially his feet and he was very thankful he had his shoes on. Nick had to give three times before Eric stopped ticking him.

“How was your first day back?” Eric asked once Nick had regained his breath.

“Umm … Ok.” Nick said turning a little red.

“So who is he?” Eric asked with a big grin on his face.

“How did you know?”

“I was a gay school boy once you know.”

“Yeah but that was a long time ago.” Nick said squirming to get away from Eric but Eric held him tight and proceeded to tickle him again this time not giving up until he was sure the poor boy was about to wet himself.

“How about we go out for dinner and you can tell me all about your new boyfriend.”

“He’s not my boyfriend yet.” Nick squirmed to get away from Eric and as he was about to dart out the door toward the bathroom he turned and asked, “What will I wear?”

“Clothes would be a good start.” Eric replied chuckling and shaking his head.

In record time Nick and Eric got themselves ready and were on their way to the restaurant. Nick had a kind of nervous excited feeling. He had never been to a restaurant that was considered to be a gay place before and what didn’t help the nerves was Eric’s teasing about him having to watch himself because he was almost too cute.

As soon as they entered the restaurant Nick got the first of what would be several shocks he would have that evening. It turned out that their waiter was none other that the bass player in the same band as Jason his guitar tutor. It was an awkward moment for Nick and Robbie who had in effect just ‘outed’ themselves to each other but they quickly recovered. As Robbie led them to their table he whispered to Nick who was wearing a black silk shirt, black trousers and a black dress leather jacket, “You look really hot.”

“Thanks so do you.” Robbie was wearing a white button down shirt and very tight black trousers with an apron wrapped around his middle.

As they passed one of the tables a very effeminate voice called out “Eric darling, where have you been and who is this gorgeous creature with you. A little young even for you isn’t he.” Eric winced as he turned towards the person who’d called out.

“Oh Justin do shut up.” Said a female voice from the same table. At the table there were three people two females and one what most people would describe as an almost male.

“Hello Justin,” Eric said, “You remember Nick. My nephew Nick.” Eric put emphasis on the word nephew making Justin’s eyes widen. “Nick this is Chrissie, Penny and the one with his foot in his mouth over there is Justin.” Nick said Hi to everyone but giggled a little when he said hi to Justin.

“What is it?” asked Justin.

“Nothing,” Nick said giggling again, “I was just thinking of someone else I knew called Just In. His nick name was half inch.” This caused everyone at the table and quite a few at neighboring tables to laugh.

“It’s a lot bigger than half an inch.” Justin said defensively.

“You’re thinking millimeters dear.” Chrissie said adding to the burn.

“We like Nick. We like Nick a lot. You have to join us.” Penny said grinning at Justin.

The conservation went on for a few minutes with the adults catching up on events since the last time they met. Nick was only half listening. The other half of his mind trying to make sense of the room around him when he saw him coming out of the kitchens, the boy from school, the boy he desperately wanted to draw, the boy who he knew would be invading his dreams for many nights to come.

“I think someone’s in love.” Justin said indicating to Nick.

“What makes you think that?” Eric asked.

“I’ve seen that look before … It’s how Tommy used to look at you.”

That got Nick’s attention. Eric didn’t often talk about Nick’s uncle Tommy. Like Eric, Tommy was not Nick’s real uncle but his father’s best friend from high school. Eric was Tommy’s next door neighbor and they fell in love with each other when Eric was 11 and Tommy was 16. The relationship lasted right up to Tommy’s death not long after Nick’s 7th birthday.

“It’s a pity Josh has to have such a bastard for a step father.” Justin continued as Mr. Harvey the school’s councilor and, since the death of Josh’s mother, restaurant owner stepped from the kitchens growling something at his step son.

“Josh? His name is Josh?”

“Oh kid you’ve got it bad.” Eric said giving Nick a quick hug.

The adults continued to talk as the first course came and went followed by the main course. Nick participated a bit when they were talking about his art; Penny by day was known as Ms Campbell Nick’s art teacher. Nick wasn’t really paying attention though; his mind was elsewhere as he watched Josh perform his duties as a bus boy. Though he was paying enough attention to notice the way Eric looked at Robbie whenever he pasted their table nor the way the look was returned by Robbie.

There was a very tense moment when Josh came to clear their table at the end of the main course. He smiled shyly at Nick who though his heart was about to explode. This feeling was quickly replaced with loathing when Mr. Harvey came by telling Josh rudely to hurry up and go to clean the bathrooms.

Nick waited a full count of 100 and then forced himself to count to 100 again before excusing himself. The nerves mounted quickly as he traveled the short distance to the bathroom. He almost turned around and went back to the table a few times and probably would have if it hadn’t been for the eyes he felt on his back. His hand hovered above the door handle. He took a deep breath and walked into an empty bathroom. Disappointed and not actually needing to use the bathroom Nick decided to just wash his hands and return to the table. Even though Nick was disappointed he was also a little relieved as he didn’t have any idea what he was going to say to Josh. He was about to walk out the door when Josh walked in carrying a bucket and mop. They stood and looked at each other staring into each others eyes. Nick lost himself in the deep pools of green of Josh’s eyes. His hair was light brown, long and was hanging down covering his left eye. Nick reached out and brushed the hair away and that slightest touch made both boys shudder. It was like a bolt of electricity flowing through their bodies sealing their partnership and their fate together.

If there are any errors in this story I appologise. Unfortunately the end of January 2002 also saw the departure of my editor. Big thanks to Oldie for fixing what needed to be repaired.

Any comments welcome though if you have a flame please keep it to youself as this story is of a personel nature