By Paul Jamison
Chapter – 10
I returned to my room after supper and sat back down at my desk. After a few moments thinking, I got my mobile out and sent a text to Craig. It seemed like only seconds later my phone buzzed with a reply. I checked the answer and then made a call
“Hey,” I said when he answered.
“You said you needed to talk about your Dad, so talk,” Craig laughed back.
“Yeah, he’s been in touch. He replied to the advert I showed you and I’ve got his email address. I’ve just emailed him and… it’s wait for a reply time now, I guess,” I answered.
“What’ve you told him then?” Craig asked.
“Oh, just I had to leave home cos of mum and her stuff, and I’m living here with friends. I’ve not told him about us or anything about me being gay. I wouldn’t do that till you say it’s okay to,” I replied.
“I know. I’ve thought about it and I reckon if you want to tell him that’s okay with me. After all, we’re out to all those that matter to us, aren’t we?” Craig replied.
“Yeah, we are. Thanks, that’s what I was hoping you’d feel too. I want so much to tell him about the real me and that I’ve got a boyfriend too,” I said.
“See what his reply sounds like, and then… You could send some of the canal holiday pictures to him next email if it sounds as if he’s going to be okay with all this?” Craig said.
“That’s a good idea. I’ll look out a few and have them ready. I think I’ll wait till after I’ve told him in my next email and got his reply before I’ll send any pictures though,” I added.
“Yeah, I think you might be right there,” Craig agreed.
“I’m excited about this, but I’m trying not to hope for too much. I mean, I just don’t know how he’ll take it all,” I explained.
“Yeah, that’s the hard bit. All the waiting around for replies and stuff. It’s even worse cos of the time difference. I mean it’s like middle of the morning over there right now isn’t it?” Craig replied.
I looked at my watch. It showed seven forty-five.
“Yeah, It’s like a quarter to nine tomorrow morning over there right now. Bet he’s in the office by now, or on the way to it,” I said.
“Not likely to have seen your reply yet,” Craig said.
“Nah, not very. I mean, do we check our emails before going to school?” I replied.
“I don’t, well, hardly ever,” Craig admitted.
“Me neither,” I replied. “Right, I’d better get this English reading for Mr Stonebridge done now, or I’ll fluff his test, okay?” I said.
“Yeah, me too. I simply can’t fail English, Craig laughed.
“No, you can’t,” I laughed back. “I mean if you do, there’s no hope for me at all,” I added.
“Okay, bye, see you tomorrow as usual?” Craig said.
“Yeah, will do, byeeeeee,” and I rang off.
I spent the next ten minutes looking through all the canal pictures and selected three that I would like to send to my Dad if all went well over the next few rounds of emails. I then picked up my English reading and sat back to read the two chapters we were going to be spot tested on the following day.
At eleven I looked again at my emails and as there was nothing new, I shut down my computer and got ready for bed. I’d just gone into the bathroom to take care of teeth brushing and things when Will’s head appeared around the door to the bathroom from his room.
“Any reply yet?” he asked me.
“Nah,” I mumbled through a mouthful of toothpaste. I quickly rinsed my mouth and then said “It’s way too early. He’s at work right now. It’s tomorrow morning over there,” I explained.
“Oh right,” Will replied. “I knew there was a time difference, but didn’t know it was that long,” he added.
“Oh, right,” Will answered, then added “Well, good luck anyway, Liam. Good night,” he said and turned back towards his room.
“Night, Will, and thanks… You know, for everything… I’ve not really said this before, but if I’d not known you and Jus through swimming, I think I’d still be a prisoner at my mum’s and committed to their reform camps every school holidays,” I said.
“Didn’t happen, did it?” he chirped back smiling.
“No, it didn’t. Mostly down to you,” I said.
Will coloured up as he did when embarrassed and just shrugged his shoulders before disappearing back into his room. I went back to mine and got ready for bed.
I pondered on just how much had changed since late August and how it was now only the third week of November and I already had a totally different life and a wonderful boyfriend. Mr Happy stirred and I grabbed a tissue and took care of it before slipping into a deep sleep.
* * *
Jeremy Russell was enjoying a few minutes respite between meetings. He was very much looking forward to seeing Michael that evening at The Tap Room. He was not as sure yet as to exactly how much of his past he’d want to reveal. He was tending to think it had better be most of it, as in the long run secrets always had a knack of coming back to haunt you (later)… He glanced at his watch and mentally did a quick calculation. Turning to his computer he opened his personal fastmail email and it was with a mixture of excitement and a little trepidation that he scanned the list in his inbox. Sure enough there was one from firstname.lastname@example.org. Goodness, he thought… swimmerboy! What a username. He quickly opened the email and read Liam’s message. It must have been sent the previous evening their time, he thought. Jeremy re-read the message and then printed it off. He now had so many more questions running through his mind. What on earth had happened to cause him to be living with a ‘school friend’ and not at home with his mother? That was one big can of worms, he wondered. Dare he ask straight out why? Then he looked at the photo that Liam had attached that had been printed. Looking back at him from the page was a really good-looking mid teen with a gorgeous smile sat at his desk with the same red hair as his own, a definite family trait. It was certainly his son and eyes that had a very searching look, or so it seemed to Jeremy, as he studied the picture carefully. Wow! What a stunningly good looking boy he is, Jeremy considered as he looked at the face smiling at him from the printout. What have I been missing out on, he mused, then firmly telling himself that there was no other option open at the time and he still felt it was for the best. Perhaps, some, if not all of the damage caused by his six year absence could be repaired and a relationship resumed. He began to hope it might be possible. Liam appeared to be very open to that happening as he seemed to doubt his Mother’s version of past events. He again read the email through, paying attention to the paragraph about his having to leave home and a social worker being involved and on how on earth things had got to social services being involved and it looked like, lawyers too. Plus, who were the friends he was now living with? Obviously a school friend from what Liam had explained so far in his email.
Just at that moment Christine, Jeremy’s secretary, buzzed through on the phone that his next appointment had arrived. Jeremy reluctantly put the printed off email into his briefcase and pulled forward the files needed for the meeting. Within a minute his client had been ushered into the office and the meeting proceeded.
Two hours later Jeremy closed down his computer and set about leaving the office for the day. He picked up his briefcase and went out through his secretary’s office out to the lift. Arriving downstairs he headed for the carpark and home. Once inside he quickly shed his clothes, showered quickly, shaved and dressed again. When ready, Jeremy sorted out the few bits of paper he wanted to take with him and slipping it into a blue folder picked up his keys and went back down to the carpark and set off into the city centre for his rendezvous.
As he entered The Tap Room bar and grill and glanced around the patrons. Jeremy saw Michael nursing a beer and almost with identical timing their eyes met and they smiled broadly at each other. He made his way over and they grasped hands and sat back down at the table Michael had cornered.
“What’ll you have?” Michael asked.
“Oh, just a beer, please, same as you. Thanks,” Jeremy replied.
Michael went to the bar and came back with a pint of beer of the seasonal summer ale that was very pleasant. After a couple of swigs Jeremy put his folder onto the empty seat next to him and they both relaxed for a few moments.
“Shall we order?” Michael said glancing through a menu as he spoke.
“Are you very hungry? Jeremy asked in reply.
“Actually, yes. I’ve had next to nothing today. It’s been so busy at work,” Michael replied.
“Same here, never stopped all day, grabbed half a sandwich at lunch and that’s about it,” Jeremy said.
“How about this? at
By Paul Jamison
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