Wes's house was a smallish place, neat and cared for. Small window
boxes supported flowering plants and the ground immediately around
the edge of the house showed dark mulch with all manner of flowers
and shrubbery growing from it. Wes's bare feet slapped on the pavement
of his driveway, set on a very small swell of ground, and I was left
to answer his question.
"Dude, how'd you go off the road?"
"Well...it was easy really, catch your front wheel in mud and the car
kind of does the rest for you," I replied with a small smile.
"I see. So having me to pull you out was part of the plan?" he laughed.
"Sure, it's part of my theory on how to win friends and influence
people," I replied.
"Well, I suppose getting your ass in a sling is one way to meet people,
but you better have a nice ass to keep getting it saved!" he laughed
and I joined him, nervously as he walked ahead of me towards the house
and I could see his shirt cling to the skin of his back, the shorts
molded to the curves of his backside and the bare skin of the legs
extending down from the edge of the shorts. Exhilarating, breathtaking,
and very scary all at once.
I was suddenly concerned with being alone with him. I could hold off
Toby and Karla indefinitely, but would I unintentionally give myself
away here? No, I would just be careful, play it safe and say my goodbye's
then, nothing to make anyone suspicious and then...well, then go back
to my life I guess.
Wes opened the door for me and we ducked in, the remnants of the rainstorm
making me pretty damp but not exactly soaked or anything. We had entered
through the side door into the laundry room which showed that it opened
into the Kitchen where a lady was wiping off a counter, she was complete
with apron in a wild, flowery pattern and her hair tied in a bun.
"Wesley, you had best not think about dripping water onto my kitchen
floor," she warned without turning around.
"Ok, Gram, I have clothes out here in the dryer I think," he replied
as he closed the door behind us.
"No, I folded them and put them away two days ago," she remarked with
a touch of humor in her voice.
"Oh. Um, Gram? This is Erik from school," Wes said and the lady turned
to face us. She was a smaller woman, not all that tall though the
bun gave her a certain air of authority I think.
"Erik is it? This is a treat, Wes doesn't bring many friends home,
I'm his grandmother," she smiled and nodded at me, "you can call me
gram. Don't think of dripping on my kitchen either, I'll get you both
towels and something dry.
"Is dad going to be home soon?" Wes called out to her as he skinned
his shirt off, and I gulped in a breath of air while tearing my eyes
away from his skin.
"You ok?" he asked and I refused to turn and face him.
"Yeah," I replied then thought better of it, "Actually, stomach is
a little upset now that you mention it." I still kept my head pointed
away from him; I just didn't trust myself to look at him no matter
how much I wanted to. Maybe I should explain, while my mind registers
his shorts sliding off and I involuntarily turn to see his shorts
sliding off his legs, clear, clean skin protruding from the loose
fitting boxers and the front flap opens for just a moment to reveal
what it's supposed to protect! I turned away quickly, face red with
Wes Schraeder was an enigma, very, very sexy but almost unquantifiable.
He joined no groups, hung with no regular crowd but always seemed
to be there. Everyone knew Wes, but I think no one KNEW Wes, if you
get me. He was also very good looking, in my own opinion; in fact
I'd go so far as to say he is god damn hot! But when I say he never
moved in the cliques or circles, I mean it, and anything I got involved
in like Soccer or Drama, he wasn't involved in so we never really
got the chance to meet.
He'd play sports in gym, you might even catch him in a pick up game,
but never in organized school sports or activities or clubs. He was
just sort of THERE, always in the background, a constant that sort
of faded into it all. I don't know if I really made my point, but
that's the best I can say about him.
Which makes me wonder how he knows who I am? I mean, he knows my name!
I know he has been in so many of my own personal fantasies for god
alone knows how long...well, I guess that kind of spills it doesn't
it? I have liked Wes since I first laid eyes on him; just have never
been in the position to get to know him. Ok, ok I admit it; I actively
avoided him, happy?
He made me feel giddy and happy and scared and vulnerable and safe
and sick to my stomach all at once. I'm afraid it's love, or at the
least it's infatuation.
"Erik? Your face is all red, you feel ok?" Wes asked mildly.
"Ok, here we go, towels and sweatpants for the drowned rats in my
laundry room. Wesley! Why do you have to go out in the rain like that?
You could catch your death from cold standing out there getting wet
like that!" Gram scolded him.
"I like it, it was warm and the drops were big fat ones," he got this
dreamy look on his face, "It feels like you're free."
"I wasn't aware you were a slave when the rain wasn't falling," an
older man said as he shuffled into the room.
"I meant you feel like you could...I dunno," he trailed off feeling
embarrassed I would imagine. I was amazed, I think this is the most
I have ever known about Wes at any point in my life. It was a little
bit of information about what made Wes, well, Wes.
His Grandmother handed us the towels and I hastily covered my head,
concentrating on my hair as I tried to stay under long enough for
Wes to pull on clothes. When I judged it safe I uncovered my face
and Wes was gone, a tee shirt and sweatpants laying on the dryer for
"Erik, honey you better call home and tell them where you are, your
mom will be worried," gram admonished as she crossed the doorway and
headed for the sink.
"Uh, ok, thank you," I replied as I slipped into the clothes and smelled
Wes's scent on them. The phone was a wall job next to the back end
of the kitchen, right where it let out to the laundry room. I dialed
out and listened to the phone ring three, then four times and then
the answering machine picked up.
"Hi, it's me, I just wanted to let you know my car got stuck in the
mud and I am at a friends house, his dad owns a towing company so
I'll be home after the car gets unstuck," I said, feeling silly as
I always did after speaking to a machine.
"Um, I have some tea if you want, out in the living room," Wes said
from behind me and I turned to follow him, saying I thought that was
a good idea. He sat in a chair and I on the couch to watch TV, some
afternoon program was playing called Past the Bleachers. It was about
this kid who can't speak and this couple whose son died and the guy
that tries to get the couple to adopt the mute kid. It was actually
really good and I was totally into the movie when the outside door
opened and closed and the sound of heels could be heard on the linoleum
of the kitchen.
"Raining cats and dogs, mom," the voice said.
"I know it, the drops sounded like bricks on the roof!" gram exclaimed.
Wes stood form his seat and headed out to the kitchen and I heard
his voice, "Hi mom. You should see this movie we're watching, it's
really good," he said and I heard his voice flex in a strange way.
Maybe he hugged his mom in the middle of the sentence?
The TV announced that the show was coming back on and Wes darted out
of the kitchen to resume his seat. I remained silent as the movie
played to its conclusion, and the hum of chatter could be heard from
The empty tea cups sat on the coffee table and Wes was curled in his
chair when his mother made her entrance into the living room. She
was a tallish lady with high cheekbones and dark eyes that were clearly
tired after a long day. She was dressed for an office, a small coat
and skirt combination that was flattering to her figure.
"Mom? This is Erik Anders from school, his car is stuck across the
street in the mud," Wes said by way of introduction and I stood to
shake her hand as she said hello before she headed towards the back
of the house to get changed.
"Um, what does your mom do?" I asked.
"She works at a doctor's office, she's the secretary, makes all the
appointments and stuff," he replied easily.
"So...what time does your dad get home?" I asked.
"I don't know, it changes from night to night. You want to hang out
in my room? I've got some music and stuff," Wes asked as his grandfather
entered the room. It was obvious that grandpa ruled the TV, and was
coming in to claim it.
"Sure", I replied as I followed him into his bedroom. We passed though
a large bedroom with a bed on either side before reaching a small
room in the back with a bunk bed pressed up against the wall immediately
to your right as you entered the room. A small, low dresser dominated
the far wall and a few posters dotted the remaining space. Wes sat
down on his bed, on the lower bunk and reached past the headboard
to a small table and pulled a small disc case out. After pawing through
it for a few minutes he produced a disc and placed it onto a modest
CD player, set somewhat low so as to not annoy his grandparents I'd
"You can sit down if you want," he invited as he waved his arm, "you
can sit anywhere in my vast kingdom, in this palatial hall!" he joked.
I smiled at him and sat down on his bed, on his bed!! Not even two
feet away was Wes, Wes Schraeder who I had thought of almost constantly
for at least a few minutes everyday. Not necessarily THOSE two minutes,
The Nickel Back CD played the new song form the Spiderman movie and
we leaned back against the wall that supported the backside of the
"So is your dad a mechanic or something?" I asked.
"No, he just drives tow truck for this garage. They let him take the
truck home cause they are a triple A garage and have to have 24 hour
service, so he keeps the truck and a beeper," Wes replied.
"Oh, that's cool," I replied as I added it to the growing list of
stuff I knew about Wes.
"What do your folks do?" Wes asked.
"My dad manages the diner over on Lexington and my mom is a book keeper,"
"So you go out to eat a lot, huh?" he asked.
"Nah, we go to Jack's if we go anywhere. Dad doesn't like me to bring
my friends into the diner, says were too noisy and stuff."
"That kinda sucks," Wes commented.
"Not really, he's pretty busy and I can act how I want if we go someplace
else," I replied.
"I guess that's cool then, easier to relax with your friends someplace
else," Wes commented.
"Yeah," I replied before falling silent as I listened to the music.
"So, um, what did you mean about feeling free in the rain?" I asked
"What?" he asked.
"You told your gram earlier that you felt free under the rain, what
did you mean?" I asked. His cheeks reddened.
"Well, I guess it's like skinny dipping in a way, it's something you
aren't supposed to do, I mean look at my gram getting all on my case
about it, but the warm water feels good, it's like a shower that...It
just washes you clean of...I don't know, stuff. I just like it," he
"That's cool, Wes. I guess I'll have to try it sometime."
"Yeah, stay away from your car though, you shouldn't drive when it
rains!" he laughed and I joined him.
His dad got home about a half hour later and he helped me to get my
car out of the mud, quite easily actually, just hooked winch to these
little iron hoops on the front of the car. He said it was for shipping
reasons that they were attached, not so much for towing, but it worked
and the car was on the pavement once more. I thanked Wes and his father
before I hopped back in my car and headed for home, tired and excited
about meeting Wes.
I mean, REALLY meeting him.
I walked in to find mom in the living room, feet up on a hassock as
she watched a sit com.
"Hi mom," I said as I poked my head into the living room.
"Hi baby, you got your car out of the mud?" she asked as she muted
the sound and gave me her attention.
"Yeah, Wes's dad helped me out," I replied.
"Who's Wes?" she asked.
"Wes Schraeder, he goes to school with me. He was there when I got
stuck, so he helped me out," I replied, sidestepping mentioning the
fact I went off the road.
"That was nice of him, you should call and say thank you," she replied
with a yawn.
"Oh, jeez, you know what? I didn't even get their phone number!" I
said smacking myself mentally.
"Well, tell him in school then," she replied, "There is chicken in
the microwave and veggies on the stove if you're hungry," she said
as she turned back to the TV.
I fixed myself a plate and headed up to my room just as the phone
"Hi, where have you been?" Karla spoke though the phone.
"Well, MOM, my car got stuck in the mud," I replied with just the
tiniest hint of sarcasm.
"Hey, I was little worried you know!" she pouted.
"Sorry," I mumbled.
"Where did you find mud to get stuck in?" she asked.
"I had to look for it real hard, what with the rain making all the
DIRT so wet and all," I replied. She remained silent for a moment,
"You are avoiding answering the question," she stated.
"I am not!" I said defensively, and I may as well have said that I
was hiding an elephant behind my body for all the good it did me in
terms of subterfuge.
"Now, the question is why you wouldn't answer truthfully," she said
in her best `I have my thinking cap on voice'.
"Screw you, I have to eat dinner," I replied as I hung up the phone,
hands a little shaky. How was it she knew so well? Furthermore, what
business of hers was it?
The phone rang again almost immediately and I let it go for a few
rings before finally answering.
"If it's about the car getting stuck and your speculations on why
I don't say something your little head has fabricated, I'll just hang
up again!" I stated in no uncertain terms.
"Um, is this Erik?" came the voice and I felt myself shrinking.
"Wes?" I asked.
"Um, yeah. What was...hehe, that all about?"
"Karla called", I groaned, "She was asking where I was all day and
sorta being a pain," I replied.
"Karla is one of your friends?" he asked.
"Yeah, or so I call her," I joked, "She and Toby are my keepers it
"Toby Illian?" he asked.
"Yeah, you know Toby?" I asked as I settled back with my dinner on
my chest and began to eat in between snatches of conversation.
"Used to know him a little, we played on the same little league team,
never hung out or anything," he replied.
"Toby's cool, Karla is too, they are just a pain sometimes too," I
"Um, anyways I have to go, but I just wanted to see if you got home
ok...I don't know where you live so I figured there might be muddy patches
on the way home, and since I wasn't there to save you this time..."
he trailed off.
"Oh, my Knight in shining cotton blend!" I laughed as he did at the
"Anyway, I'll see you at school then?" he asked.
"Yeah, dude, see you."
Later, I brushed my teeth and got into bed, realizing at the last
minute that I still had Wes's sweatpants and tee shirt on. Hell with
it, I was so comfortable I'd rather sleep in them. Besides maybe I'd
dream of Wes? My eyes began to slip closed, my mind was turning towards
being at Wes's house this afternoon when my eyes flew open in the
How did he get my number?