Green Room II
Chapter 21

Graham phoned last night to say he'll sleep over at my place Friday. Woooooooooohoooooooooooooooo!

I arrived home from school today intending to hit the bag in the gym, but my dad beat me to it! Can you believe that? He punched the crap out of the damn thing as well, putting his whole shoulder into it and sweating like a pig. When I turned to leave the room he asked me to stay. That was a first.

"This is a good idea," he said, "getting the boxing bag. You should have checked with me first, though, Stuart."

"And what then? You and I both know your answer would be no."

"On the contrary--the answer would be no if you asked for money to buy it. It's a great idea and I'm glad you thought of it."

"Cool. I'll come back later." As I walked away, I hoped he would ask me to stay. Please! But he didn't. I returned to my room and caught up with homework.

When I figured he'd finished with the gym, I found it empty. The gloves he used were still damp from  perspiration. That's the first time I saw my dad so physical. The professional way he hit the bag truly impressed me.

Then I imagined him as the bag, and I pummeled that thing with all my might. Why didn't he call me back? Even just to hold the bag for him? I worked myself into such a frenzy, I hit the bag wild, and even kicked it and cussed at it. Afterwards, I sat out back in the garden and smoked a joint. I returned to my room to finish a school assignment, but decided otherwise. My mood was shattered.

Next day, I received your mail, G. Am I really that bad? I know Graham thinks I'm a loser anyway. He saw me beaten by big bro at the beach, lying in a pathetic heap. Graham tries to dominate me during practice in the gym. I'm sure he has an image of me totally wrecked, lying helpless in my own mess.

I'm not likely to start a permanent relationship with my ex, or Melanie for that matter. Melanie's spot on; I've been a user of people all my life. Guess I used Kyle as well to justify some of my feelings. But he saw through me most of the time. I loved him because he was always so genuine about his feelings for me. Took me a while to figure out how he could be so honest with me, and treat me as the equal of his other friends.

I visited Bob for a while. He massaged me with vitamin E oil, which is supposed to be good for the skin. Then I massaged him. No, G, we behaved ourselves. He's like a doctor with all the vitamins he carries. He says he spread the word that he wants out of dealing drugs. He said the guy he works through is always cool, and hopes they can stay in touch. He treats Bob well, with bonuses and whatever. If Bob gets lucky, he'll walk away from the syndicate. How is that, G? The condition? I stop using and he stops selling, and he insists I return the crack in my closet.

I don't trust those dealers, though, not after what they did to me, and I worry about Bob. He comes across as all tough and macho, but he won't handle what I suffered.

Later, I phoned Graham. His dad answered and wanted to know who I was. When Graham answered, I wished him well for the school swim meet next day.

"That is so cool, man. Thanks. You gonna be there?"

"Yeah, I'll skip school, so you'll need to write me a note explaining my absence."

"That's bitching," he laughed. "Cool! See you there!"

Next day, at the school interhouse meet, I took refuge among the parents. Graham competed in quite a few races, and whoa!, can that kid lose his temper! In one freestyle race he lost the plot and finished 5th. He was so enraged as he exited the water, it's a wonder his neck muscles didn't pop.

However, Graham redeemed himself in most of his races, finishing first or second. He saw me sitting in the bleachers during his first race, so he was aware of my presence. He didn't wave, probably because he preferred not to draw attention to me.

The first race in which big bro competed got my immediate attention. When he removed his track suit, my eyes popped! That guy is built! He has a body to die for. He didn't see me, though, thank Christ. If that guy got seriously aggro at me he could do real damage. His shoulders are Herculean. He powered his way through every race to win easily. His following at school is huge as well.

Before the final senior's race, I took my leave in order to avoid possible trouble.

I'll try it your way, G. Who knows? You might be on track. Graham arrived at my house late afternoon with his board and a backpack. I'd previously arranged for Bob to drive us to a beach further north. I took your advice and raved about how impressed I was with Graham's pool performance earlier, and how awesome he looked in his Speedos. "You should do modeling, mate." He was stoked! So was Bob, who realized my admiration for my grommet mate was well founded.

The surf was cool, but packed with riders. Nonetheless, we raved. We surfed until late, but Bob got antsy about needing to make a connection. This would be his last weekend on the `job' so he needed to get rid of his stash.

By the time Graham and I arrived home, we were totally stuffed from surfing. Graham met my folks, who were okay about it. Nothing like Kyle's folks, though, but they did manage to raise a neighborly smile.

I ordered pizzas, which we ate in my room while we watched videos; two Jim Carrey movies. Graham is a big time fan of Carrey. Sometimes he laughed so much, he elbowed me in the ribs. I think I watched him more than the movie. Hey, even an elbow in the ribs is a touch, right?

About midnight, we called it a day. We were still exhausted from all the surfing. I congratulated him again on his swimming performances, which provided an excuse to hug him. Yeah, I know, I'm devious. Then I panicked about where he would sleep, and wondered if he would dress like an Eskimo. He wore satin boxers with a ripped crotch. Every time he bent over, his balls slipped through the tear like a couple of rocks being lowered by a crane. I collapsed laughing when I saw that. He reacted by turning crimson, and explained the boxers were ripped on a swim tour. They were a little too big for him at the time so a senior put them on, and tore open the whole crotch when he sat down. Hahaha!

"Yeah, right," I cracked, "I bet your girlfriend Candy tore them open to get to the real candy."

"Get knotted," he giggled, then blushed again.

"C'mon, she gets into your pants, right?"

"Only if I get her excited. She jacks me sometimes, but she's only blown me once. She freaked when the hose opened," he belly-laughed. "She couldn't control it, and my spunk sprayed all over her clothes."

By that stage, Graham laughed so much he could barely speak. I was equally hysterical.

"I bet she can't keep her hands off you, bro. Hey, listen, I'll sleep on the camp mat on the floor and you can sleep in my bed. Is that cool?"

"I guess," he said despondently. "But, Kyle and I slept in the same bed, and that was okay. Why?"

"I don't want you to freak if my hands end up where you don't want them."

"I could have slept at home if I wanted to be in bed alone. What's the point?"

"Are you okay with that?"

"You're my mate, right? Why shouldn't it be okay?"

Now, come on, G, I didn't need another invite. Okay? I slipped on a pair of sleeper shorts that fit snug around my butt while allowing my jewels some breathing room. Then I climbed into bed next to him.

"Comfortable?" he asked.

"Yep. You?"

"I'm cool. Remember when we used to sleep in Kyle's room?"

"I think about it a lot." Bloody hell, G, I was so nervous!

"I got so mad," he laughed, "because I had to sleep on the spare mattress while you guys did stuff."

"I wondered if you knew about that."

"I was a grommet," he laughed again, "not a moron. I dug pissing you guys off by waking and asking questions while you were busy. I remember sometimes Kyle couldn't speak because... well, you know."

"We tried to be quiet. Guess we weren't."

"Think I slept? I remember one time Kyle cried out like he was in pain. I was scared that night because I wasn't sure what was happening."

"I didn't realize you knew about that... except one day you arrived home from school and saw us doing it. Did that hassle you?"

"It did then because I didn't understand how it was possible--physically, I mean."

"Hahahaha! You make it sound gross."

"You gonna jack tonight? I'm not sure what you think about me right now."

"It's cool if you want to, Graham. Kyle and I did all the time. It was soooo cool."

"Are you going to?"

"Not now. But you can if you want."

"I guess I can leave it."

I switched off the bed light, and turned my back to him, when he piped up again. "Stuart? Is it okay if I snuggle up behind you?"

"That would be awesome."

I felt his erection pressed against me; he obviously wasn't embarrassed. He placed an arm over mine, and rested his hand on my chest. I took it in mine and experienced a comforting, all-over warmness that dramatically elevated my sense of well-being.

I didn't sleep for ages, preferring to savor the absolute bliss. His face was cradled in the nape of my neck, his breath was warm, and his body hot against mine.

I woke early, saw that Graham was still asleep, and went to the kitchen where I prepared two coffees. The house was quiet, and daylight still waited in the wings. When I returned to my room, Graham had kicked off the covers, and slept on his stomach. Even so relaxed, his back muscles were tight. I sat on the side of the bed and massaged his shoulder. "Hey, mate, coffee's ready."

His eyes opened a fraction, but closed again to avoid the light of the bedlamp. "Thanks. Why are you up so early? It's dark outside."

"Thought you might wanna take a swim."

"You gonna?" He took a sip of the coffee which was apparently still too hot.

"The water's cool this time of day."

Graham swung his legs over the side of the bed, causing the tear in his boxers to reveal his low hangers. His ab muscles contracted. And each time he raised the coffee cup to his lips, his bicep curled into a perfect ball.

I grabbed two towels, and threw one at him. As we walked the path that leads to the pool, the brisk morning air attacked our skin. Graham wrapped his arms around his upper body. "Jeez, it's cold!" he complained. Then he draped his towel over his shoulders and held it tight.

Upon arrival at the pool, Graham stood on the top step, dipped his toe into the water and declared it too cold. Sorry, mate. I couldn't resist taking him with me as I dove into the icy blue. A second later, he broke the surface like missile from a sub, and headed like the dickens back to the steps, but I halted his progress as he simultaneously laughed and cussed. "I need to piss! Let me go!" I dove on top of him and felt his warm urine against my leg as his bladder lost control. Once again, his strength impressed me greatly as we wrestled. He's incredibly strong for a bloke his age and size. Soon, exhausted, we opted to lazily float around and enjoy the cold water.

I exited the pool first, and saw that my wet boxers weren't hiding a thing. "When you're wet," Graham shouted, "you look quite tight. All the training, I bet."

"You drive me pretty hard in the gym, mate. You're looking good too."

He left the water, turned his back as he dropped his boxers, and wrapped the towel around his narrow waist. Hahahaha! That did little to hide his manhood as well. I chose to face him when I dropped my boxers, and I know he couldn't resist a peek at my goodies.

Back in my room, he checked my CDs and selected Just Jinger. Once dressed in track pants and a T, I noticed the redness in Graham's eyes. "It's been really cool having you here, Graham. I had a total blast."

He nodded, but kept his focus on the CD cover as he turned it over and over in his hands. The track playing was `Shallow Waters'. Kyle loved that song.

I sat on the bed next to the grommet. "It's cool, you know. Cool to remember him."

He wiped away a trail of snot that dribbled onto his upper lip, then wiped his eyes with the heels of his palms. "I didn't know you had this CD. Kyle's got it too. Sometimes it's so hard. Sometimes it's cool until I think of things that make it so hard." The poor little bloke sniffled and took a deep breath.

"He thought the world of you, you know. He told everyone you were his little bro. He loved you to bits."

"Does it get easier? remember him without feeling like shit?"

"I'd like to say yeah, but I still feel that way too. I think it does get easier, but it takes time. How about breakfast? Cereal or eggs?"

"Eggs on toast sounds cool."

"Then you better hold the fort while I destroy the kitchen."

Bloody hell, G, I'm useless in the kitchen. I placed a pan on the stove to heat, and tried to break an egg on the side. Egg went fucking everywhere. Graham took one look at my face and burst into laughter. I failed to crack the second egg hard enough, so my thumb pierced the shell and pushed it inside. "You sure you want eggs?"

"You bet!" he said in a vain attempt to disguise his giggling. "I'm not gonna miss this show for anything."

"Okay, scrambled it is." At least I managed to pour juice without making a mess.

After breakfast, Graham went to my room to sort out his gear. He had a cycling appointment. He's in training for a cycle tour next weekend. It's over 100k in the saddle, which gives you an idea of how fit this little bloke is.

I cleaned the kitchen, which I'd practically demolished, and returned to my room. Graham was ready to leave. "Have a cool ride, mate," I said. "It's been awesome having you here."

"I had a rad time too. Thanks."

So are you proud of me, G? That I didn't molest him or whatever?

I wish I'd been a fly on the wall. But, first, to your dad. I'm amazed by how impressed you were with his bag punching, and yet you didn't elaborate. Do you dance? I guess you do, but I doubt it's the tango. I'm sure you've heard the expression: it takes two to tango. I'm not suggesting you and your dad sweep around the gym entwined in each other's arms, but it would have been cool if you'd commented on your dad's bag technique. What stopped you? Pride? You hoped he'd ask you to stay. You wanted him to reach out to you. Even if it does take two to tango, it begins with one person asking the other for a dance. Does it matter who does the asking?

Graham's mental image of you? He didn't visit you because he remembers you in a pathetic heap at the beach, or because he remembers you lying in your own mess. He likes you, dickhead. How many times did he see you and Kyle carving up the waves? Thousands? How many times did he see you trashed? Thousands? Or beaten up? Thousands? Go figure.

You may not realize it, Stuart, but you're going through a process of earning respect. Not too many people would survive what you've experienced, nor shown as much courage. Beneath all that blond, tanned glam beats the heart of a man. Hey, as I write this, you and Graham could be having the barney to end all barneys. So what's new? All you guys barney.

The bottom line is that Graham has visited you several times of his own free will. And you were present at the swim meet. That's the glue of friendship. Graham saw you at your worst, but also at your best. So did Kyle. I sure hope he's watching you now. He'd be proud of you as punch.