"You see that one there?"
"Almost at the end of the bar. Between those two broads and that black-haired guy. You see him?"
"Yes. What about him? I don't see anything special. Maybe twenty, not very tall and a plain face."
"Watch it when he changes place or when he has to take a leak."
"But what's so special about him?"
"Wait and see."

Marcel and Theo were respectively fifty-four and fifty-five. For several years they had been done with the gay-scene. Too high-strung. And too many of the same types as themselves. Too old, that's to say. All of them displaying around the few boys who loved this all too much. And yet in the end would pick each other.
So when they had found that little café at the square where they could have once in a while a nice chat with some yongsters they had become regulars there. A chat, some drinks, sometimes a quick touch 'by accident'; unfortunately that was all. And furthermore daydreaming and have a lovely gossip about one or another. But always better than fretting themselves to death in those gay-joints and have to endure all those looks.

For a short while Theo looked pensively at the boy next to the bar who had been pointed out by Marcel. Now he was talking to one of the two broads, clearly being very satisfied with himself. For a couple of times Theo saw the face of the girl sideways. She was listening intently and once in a while looked with admiration at the boy. Those things never change, Theo thought. But still he didn't understand why Marcel thought that boy being so special.
Look, he put down his half-empty glass and said something to the girl. She nodded and stepped sideways. The boy started to walk past her and in passing he quickly put his hand to her side, just below her breast. The girl smiled at him well-pleased.
The boy started to walk past the people standing next to the bar, going to the men's room. He was walking in the direction of their table. His walk was smooth, young, but a bit heavy. As if by that he wanted to express he was firmly rooted in the world and knew what is what.
Theo avoided to look the boy directly into the eye. He was too close and moreover he already knew how he looked like. Nothing special really.
Boom! Boom! He walked by their table and suddenly he had passed. Theo turned his head. He schrewed up his eyes and his look was hooked to the one point, about three feet above ground-level. He even didn't breath and it couldn't go on that way much longer. He could fall down unconsciously.

"Well, didn't I tell you?" it sounded loudly in his ear.
Theo came by, sucking in air and breathing a couple of times in and out deeply. Slowly he returned to reality.
"Well, was I wrong?" the voice of his friend sounded again.
Theo looked at Marcel and saw a triumphant light shining in his eyes.
"You ever saw something like that?" he went on teasingly. "At the 'Sniff' he wouldn't have walked around freely for an hour. There the loo now would be full with snorting drawbars, stuffed with envy for those two pissing next to him."
"Why you're not there?" Theo asked, pissed off, and angry at himself he hadn't followed the boy. He knew that opposite the urinals there were two washstands, above which low mirrors were hanging. He already saw himself standing there, next to the boy, turning his head once in a while quickly. And then again see in that mirror what he had seen swaying by recently. Maybe that boy would take quite a while and he could wash his hands at ease and again have a look. And keep on looking. And when at last he had finished and would wash his hands too he could start to comb his hair in detail. Or maybe even make a nice remark on something. And who knows, get a nice remark back. And afterwards follow him not too conspicuously, back into the café. And keep on looking, until he would be back at the bar.
"Because I've seen him some times before", Marcel said, interrupting his reflections. "And because this time I won't be satisfied with small talk or an accidental touch. And because that's all you can get with that boy. I put my last penny on that. When he hears prick he thinks cunt and that's it. Oh yes, if she would oblige he would like to have it once in a while into her backside cavity. But just for a change and because after all that one isn't made for it. Stolen fruits taste better. Probably that first time's also the last one. It did hurt too much. But with that he can live. Because she's still young and horny enough to use the third one. And that's something he likes so much, yeah. But when he would have to think about somersaulting with you or me he'd puke all over the bar and we would wake up in the hospital. No, that one's needing a special treatment."
Theo looked at his friend with astonishment. Still, after all those years, he regularly asked himself what was going on in that head of his. At fifty four he still had sometimes those reckless plans, even as most of them never went beyond the first stage. A good thing too. The number of times he really tried to act them out Theo could withhold him with strong arguments. Otherwise they would have been regular customers at the hospital. So now too Theo reacted as if it again was one of those wild ideas of his friend.
"What kind of treatment you're thinking about?" Theo asked carefully.
"Oh eh... completely different. I've seen that boy for the first time and he doesn't know me. Firstly I would want to know where he lives and what's his business."
"Well, perhaps he'll tell you if you just ask him."
"Maybe, but that I won't do. He might think one thing and another.
"Then what is it you want?"
"Him! Just him. For me and you."

Theo rose, walked to the bar, found an open space and tried to get the attention of the bargirl. He ordered two beers and had a glance over the bar. Again the boy was standing at the same place, his back to the bar and talking animatedly with the girl. Without turning his head Theo knew Marcel secretly was keeping an eye to the boy too.
While he was waiting for his beers he for a short while granted himself a daydream. Marcel's dream.

The boy was lying stretched on their bed. On his belly. That's the way he liked it. The jeans fitted tightly around his buttocks which bulged out firmly. Boys' buttocks, as Theo never had seen them before. He and Marcel were sitting on the bed. Each at one side. Close to the boy who was lying very still and had his eyes closed. Marcel took the initiative and stripped up very slowly the boy's shirt and started to caress his smooth back. Theo didn't dare breathing seeing so much beauty. And more would be revealed.
After the shirt Marcel tried to undo the belt. The boy didn't move and Theo had to give a hand to pull him up a bit. Undone. And the zipper too. The boy fell back onto his belly.
Marcel gave Theo a hint. Together they stood and took position at the bottom end of the bed. Unanimous they bent forward, both of them grabbed a trouser-leg and started to pull. It took some force but slowly Theo saw the jeans come free and down. He felt himself grow purple but the pulling wasn't the only reason for this. It was too beautiful what was shown on the bed. Much too beautiful for two of those simple boys like Marcel and he were. Wild prancing started in his trousers.

"You're in trouble, daddy?" a loud voice called into his ear.
With a tug Theo looked up and he saw the smirk on the face of the young man next to him. He had been groaning!
"No, nothing", he said, paid his beers and left the bar.
"Forget about it", he said, putting down the beers onto the table and sitting down.
"Just what I said. Nothing will come of it. A nice dream, but that's all there is."
Marcel looked sharply at his friend.
"You've seen him?"
Theo nodded lightly.
"And you did see it?"
Theo looked away and again saw him standing there at the bar. Quickly he looked downwards.
"You've seen it and already twice you've been dreaming about it. I've seen it."
Dammit, was it that obvious? Theo thought, ashamed.
"Twice you've pulled down the jeans off his ass and you dare whining to me it's just a nice dream of me!"
Marcel took his glass, gulped half of the beer and put it back onto the table with a bang.
Some minutes they were sitting silently next to each other.
"What's your plan?" Theo suddenly asked calmly. He would see how far it would take them.

Three weeks later the moment had come. They knew his name and that he took classes at college and that he had a room in a student's house, looking more like a pigeon-house. And one thing more they knew: twice a week he went sporting, on Wednesday's afternoon and Friday's night. Friday was the most important. Then he drank quite a lot of beer with his friends in the cafetaria of the sports complex, situated at the outskirts of town and afterwards he went back home on bike. Alone. By a short-cut route making a difference of a couple of miles. Through old neighbourhoods and alongside quiet lonely warehouses.
Three times they had watched him take that route and secretly followed him. Theo by car, Marcel on bike. All three times the route had been exactly the same.
When at last he arrived home almost no one was there. Most of them had gone to their parents or were having fun at downtown. Robert always immediately went to his room, where probably he drank a couple of beers and went to sleep at about two a.m. The next day he rose after noon. No one would miss him.

"Okay, be ready. He can arrive any moment now."
Theo pulled up the collar of his coat a bit higher so his face was covered for the biggest part and then he took the posture which he had practised at home so many times under the direction of Marcel.
"Don't forget to moan", Marcel whispered.
Theo heard him walk away, not more than about four yards, to the little corridor between the two warehouses where he would be hidden.
Silence fell in the sinister narrow street. Only from far-away streets the muffled sounds of traffic could be heard.
Theo felt the cold of the pavement enter his bones and he hoped it wouldn't take too long. When his muscles would stiffen too much he would be of no use to Marcel and that risk they couldn't take. His assistance would be needed very much.
He tried to imagine how it would look like, the way he was lying on the street. Marcel had sworn to him it all looked very realistic, but Theo had some doubts about it. And even if it was true it wasn't sure that Robert would stop, even as he was lying in the middle of the street and he perhaps would have to swerve. About that he and Marcel had been talking for long nights. Theo had second thoughts about it but Marcel had declared, time after time in glowing words, that especially Robert was the type of character to stop when seeing such a thing, so at last he was convinced.
But now that he was really lying there doubts started to grow again. All of the planning had been done perfectly, but this part of it kept on being the weak spot. First of all it could be that Robert just wouldn't see him lying there or that he thought the dark shape was a bundle of old textile. That's why Marcel had impressed on him to moan loudly when he would arrive. And secondly it was not sure if the boy would stop when seeing a human body lying in the street. An injured man as the plan was. Someone urgently in need of help.
"Of course he'll stop!" Marcel had cried. "Even if there would be five lying there. Already I see him afterwards standing in the pub and telling that broad proudly about how he has rescued someone in the middle of the night. Believe me, if there's one who'll stop to see if he can help, then it's him."
Deep in his heart Theo had known he was right. He too knew after all those weeks of surveillance how that boy yearned for admiration. How he, with almost no restriction in vanity, could tell others about his great deeds. Even if you were standing too far away from him to be able to hear what he was saying you could tell by his demeanor what was going on in his head. And he could be seen growing almost literally when finding admiration with the others. A character always trying to find something special to do, so he could harvest afterwards. While, in Theo's eyes, he didn't have to do anything to acquire his full admiration. Just standing or lying was more than enough to him to give the boy all the admiration he could muster. But if the boy was waiting for that kind of admiration was something Theo didn't want to think about too long. That would be something to think about later. But he remenbered Marcel's remark during the first stage of their plan. That the boy would be able to interpret even such a mad 'adventure' in a way he would play the hero in it. Theo almost couldn't believe it but he knew that in the end it wouldn't matter if Robert would be positive about the events to come or if he would prefer to burn them out of his memory. The only thing which counted was that the vision he had had that first time in the café would come true. The vision of the bed and Theo and Marcel pulling down the tight blue hide slowly off Roberts heavenly domes. That was all Theo longed for and that was why he had agreed to have a role in the ridiculous situation which now enrolled itself.

The silence of the street was disturbed by a weak clattering nearing quickly.
The bike!
The boy!
Without moving Theo strained his muscles a couple of times and felt how his heart doubled its number of beats. At last it would happen. Stage two of their crazy plan. About stage three, which would start the next day and depended on the reaction of the boy to the events during the rest of the night Theo didn't think one second. The only thing wich counted was the present. The boy who would stop. Would bend down over him. Would be seized from behind while a dot of cloth drenched into chloroform would be pressed to his face. How Theo would jump up and bend his arms backwards. And Marcel and he who would put the unconscious boy in the car, which was parked twenty yards away, swathe him in a blanket and how they would carry their treasure into their house after ten minutes. After which... no, do not think about that he reminded himself with a short lovely shiver. First things first.

There he was! And by the sound of it fast. Very fast. Faster than during those three times of surveillance.
The clattering became so strong that in Theo's ears, lying on the street with his head to the pavement, it started to sound deafening.
He made a last turn and rode into the street, coming straight to him. During the preparations Theo had been so conscientious that he even had timed this part of the plan. From the corner of the street to where he was lying it would take exactly twelve seconds.
Now the reality was different. It seemed that the boy for some reason or another was in a big hurry. Not even six seconds had elapsed when Theo heard him at a distance of a few yards. His heart almost broke a rib, his ears were howling and his muscles felt like turned into ice. Just one second more, Theo thought, and then all this will be over. He started to moan.
One second later it seemed like the Trump-tower was tumbling down inside his head. Two Trump-towers actually. Theo rolled over, wanted to jump up as was planned and practised several times, but his muscles refused to. And besides that he felt himself floating away speedily into a sweet sleep.

When it hadn't been for Marcel's familiar face next to him Theo now would have believed suddenly all the tales of his childhood. Everything surrounding him was white and silver. The walls, the ceiling, the bed and the tubes and strange machines. But the wry and ashamed grin on his friend's face brought him back to earth. Theo felt for his head and found the bandages and the tube. A throbbing pain went over his disappeared face. His fingers felt for his mouth. At least that one wasn't bandaged.
"What...?" he started hesitatingly and with difficulty and looked questioningly at his friend.
Marcel put his finger to his lips and bent forward.
"Everything went wrong", he softly said and quickly turned his head as if at some place expecting a guard. "That jerk didn't look up and rode like hell straight to you. All happened in a split second, otherwise I would have warned you. I saw him flash by, heard a couple of bumps and then a lot of clattering. I looked around the corner and saw him tumbling head over tail a couple of times while his bike followed him jumpingly. At last he rolled into a wall and the bike hit him there. When I ran into the street two were lying there, you and he. Dead quiet! I had been frightened to death, do you believe me?
I immediately walked to you, started my lighter to see and was scared when seeing blood oozing from your nose and mouth. Your nose was at a strange angle. That prick just rode over your head and then he made a somersault.
Fortunately you were still alive as I knew when feeling your pulse. Afterwards I went to that boy and saw he was unconscious. No blood to be seen but his one arm was lying in a peculiar way. I didn't dare move him, but could determine he was breathing after all.
At once I ran to the car and within a minute I'd found a house where a light was on and where I could call an ambulance.
I've waited for it and have followed it. You and he were taken care of at once. Your nose was broken and you had a concussion. The boy had his underarm broken and a couple of bruised ribs. And a big concussion."
"And what...?" started Theo whose brain began to work again.
Marcel looked at him knowingly and sighed.
"I've told them we had had a fight in the car, that we had gone out of the car and that we had done some pulling and pushing in the street and that you had fallen down, had been lying stupefied there for a while and that suddenly that biker had raced into the street, bumping into your body. I saw they found it a strange story, but fortunately they didn't go on asking more questions."
"How long...?" Theo asked.
"Oh, one week, maybe ten days", Marcel answered quickly, "and then you'll be the old rogue again."
"And Robert", Theo whispered, feeling himself becoming tired and wanting to sleep.
"About the same", Marcel answered. "By the way he enquired about you. He seems to feel himself quite guilty about what has happened. His light didn't work and he rode much too fast, as he told the nurse. He would like to meet you as quickly as possible so he can ask you himself how you're doing and to apologize. According to the nurse he wants to do all he can to make up with you."
"All?" Theo whispered.
Softly the word slid through his mouth and the rolling of it gave him a pleasant feeling. The word had a bulging smooth sound.
"All!" Marcel affirmed decidedly.
Theo swallowed and felt himself sinking away slowly and peacefully. He knew what he would be dreaming about and a smile appeared below his bandages.

© Frans Tooten