Green Room II
Chapter 9

It's 5am and I just got home. I read your email and understand why Kyle fell in love with you, G. Not sure if you know that, but Kyle was crazy about you. I think he would have told the world around him about his fav fossil but you realize why he couldn't. I guess I'm in the same situation.

About sending some of Kyle's belongings to you. Just be patient. I'm yet to visit his folks. I want to, but I got the withdrawal shakes like a real druggie. It's never been this bad before. I'm in and out of depression since returning from Fremantle.

The exchange last night with the guy who bought my stash wasn't what I expected. He shortchanged me, but  made up the difference by organizing two escort jobs for me--both women. He said I could make triple that if I escorted guys. No way. Hahahaha! That would be uncool, and he would have spread the word like wildfire.

The jobs weren't bad, and could have been worse. One was in her 40s and a dog. I was outta there in a flash when it was over, hahahaha! The other wants to see me again. Yeah, right. She was okay, though, and gave me some extra money, which I didn't tell the dealer about. Anyway, I got the cash now and I'll hand it over Monday night. They'll tell me where to rendezvous. Even after I settle the debt I'll be in for a rough ride. Then, at least, I hope it's over.

Sunday, 2am: I just cleaned out half a bottle of whisky from my dad's bar. I'm wearing the bead necklace Kyle made for my birthday--for the first time. The beads fit snug around my neck. Maybe he wanted to choke me, hahahaha! I'm a fucking wreck, G, crying the whole time. It might have something to do with the withdrawals--I'm not sure. It's never been this bad.

I read the email Kyle sent the day after my 17th birthday. He was here that day, and saw the stash, but said nothing. "Happy birthday, Stuart. I wish you knew how much I love you so you'll stop the shit you're doing. You know what gets to me? I hate what you're doing to yourself. I hate being with you when you're all drugged up. You get aggro and fulla shit, and I can't handle that. You say you try but it's hard. So try harder! You ask me why I'm so anti after sharing your shit one time. I wish I could tell you but maybe you need to fall down that hole yourself. Don't get aggro about what I've written. I know you. I've never needed to write you mail before but you've changed and I need to tell you that. I'd tell you to your face but we'd fight again. I could stand back and watch what happens to you, but I can't do that either because I love you too much. You were there when I needed a friend so badly.

Loveya mate
More than you realize,

Monday: Hi, G. The tears aren't over yet. I'm sending this mail now rather than diary each day. I don't know when I'll get the chance to write, so I write when I can--especially after tonight's handover of the money to the syndicate where anything might happen. I'll meet Graham later today for a surf. Last night, I was busy on the comp looking for stuff when Graham phoned. He was totally upset.

"Where have you been?"

"Busy with stuff, Graham."

"I need to see you now!"

"I'll be there in ten."

"I'm not home. I'm in a call box. My folks think I'm sleeping over at a mate's house. So where the hell have you been, Stuart?"

"I can meet you somewhere, or you can come here."

"You alone?"

"Always alone."

"I'm coming now."

He arrived 15 minutes later, and reeked of booze. I waited at the front gate. He wore a Nike fleecy top and jeans, and looked really low. The moment I opened the gate, he threw his arms around me and sobbed his little heart out. "Where have you been?" he asked. "I thought you died. One of my friends died the other night." He bawled and choked so much I hardly understood a word. A friend of his raced a motor bike, hit a bump, lost control and was thrown over the handle bars. He became comatose, and died on the way to hospital. He was 16.

I took Graham inside and made coffee, a strong one for the grommet. His face was covered in tears, and his eyes were bloodshot. All of a sudden, he was the vulnerable little bloke I met years ago. "Everyone's dying," he sobbed. "Every friend I got is going away."

I held him again while his sobbing continued. "I'm sorry about the other night," I apologized, "I really am sorry for what I did. It wasn't supposed to be like that."

"I thought you died. I didn't want to see you again, and then Callan got killed and I had no one to speak to about how I feel. And what you did to me I hated you for. I hated you for what you did. But you're all I got left, you asshole bastard."

Without warning, Graham lost it. His fists flew wildly. I grabbed his wrists and held them. Then, he fell against me and cried. I lost control as well, and hugged him as hard as I could. For ages, we hugged and cried. Eventually, I sat him down in my room. "Hey, mate, you can't go home like this. You want to sleep over? Just us."

"Where were you?"

"I had important stuff to do, mate, things to sort out."

"Where must I sleep?" he sniffled, and wiped his tears with the back of his hand.

"I can get a mattress if you prefer."

"What about your folks?"

"They're away again."

"Can I sleep in your bed?"


He stripped to his briefs, army camouflage bikini type that hugged his hips and butt, and showed off his physique. Dressed only in boxers, I joined him and turned off the light. He cuddled up behind me and it felt wonderful, just so wonderful. The only erection was mine, but I kept it hidden. He had an arm draped over my chest. "Stuart?"


"Do you still think of Kyle?"

"All the time."

"Me too. I miss him so much."

"You still visit his folks?"

"I sit in his room most days and listen to his music. His folks are so cool about it."

"How are they coping?"

Graham's hand rubbed my stomach, and I felt the warmth of his breath against my shoulder blades. "They're okay, at least when I'm around."

"I'm sorry for what I did, okay?"


"I love you, Graham. A lot. I'd like to try to be a friend like Kyle was."

"I'd like that."

Graham then spoke about his friend Callan who was killed, and what a great guy he was. They skated together. Callan was the kind of guy who got along with everyone, and had looks to kill. Such a waste.

I couldn't sleep, and rose at 4am. Besides, if I stayed in bed, I might be tempted to fondle my little mate. When he woke, I asked if he wanted to take a swim while I fixed breakfast. "I'm not hungry, but I'll take a swim. Can I have more coffee? And I need to borrow a toothbrush."

I tossed him a pair of black Speedos that were a little large, but managed to hold on. Graham is about Kyle's height now, but narrower at the waist. I made coffee while he swam, then drank it poolside. We arranged to go surfing even if the waves were crap.

I was almost in tears when Graham left for home, then emailed G a shortie to let him know I'd write later during the week, and that, if things worked out, I'd burn my tools and stash--a kind of celebration.

At night, after delivering the cash to the syndicate, I spent a long time writing G about what took place. But, after re-reading it, I trashed it. It was horrendous stuff from the shadowy and violent world of drugs. I didn't know how to tell the story without worrying G or disappointing him. What kind of hero was I? Yeah, right.

Next day, I summoned the courage to write again, and told G about trashing the previous email attempt.

Hey, G, I'm alive. I thought I'd write and let you know that, at least. I needed to inject last night with some stuff I got from a friend because I was in a helluva mess. I went to school today--difficult to focus but at least I appeared straight, kind of.

I need to contact Graham. He walked into my room yesterday while I laid in a bed of puke and crap. You understand why I can't tell him the full story. There was a stuffup Monday night with the money. They want an extra 500, a "chicken shit" fee they call it. A friend said he'd give me the cash for nothing, just to keep me out of trouble. The dealer guys worked me over pretty good. They're clever. They left my face alone so I don't get questioned by teachers or my folks. I expect to come down hard this time because a friend said he thinks they spun me with a dose of H. There's a fresh track on my arm. That explains the paranoia, shitting and puke. I'm scared because I've not taken heroin before. I've seen guys who looked like they were dying before they got better. Apart from this stuffup, I've used only coke or acid.

Luckily, a friend drove me close to the pickup point, so he knew more or less where to find me. He discovered me later, trashed at the back of some alley, and took me home. I guess I should just back away and move on--if they'll let me.

I can't go and tell Kyle's dad, G, like you suggested. I never had the same vibe with Kyle's folks as his other friends did. I blame myself because I was so high most of the time, and I get paranoia trips. Wouldn't surprise me if they actually asked Kyle to stay away from me. Maybe I just don't fucking know anymore.

I'll phone Graham later to ask if we can meet at the beach. Fuck knows what he thought when he saw me lying in all the shit and puke. When I woke, I didn't even realize I was home, and my bed looked like a shithole. The housekeeper helped me to the shower to get clean. Then she organized someone to clean the mess.

The stuff from my mate helped me to lie my way through the day. School was a haze. Oh, yeah, about the email I deleted. Well, you don't know me, not really, and I shouldn't write stuff when I'm trashed. Maybe that's why Rick doesn't write. A couple of times I lost my rag with him. We fought when he was here for Kyle's 18th birthday. He called me a cokehead or whatever, hahaha! I smacked him. No need to tell you the result of that. If you think Brett has a short fuse, Rick's is even shorter. He beat me up good and solid. So I deleted what I wrote to you on Tuesday because I've already caused so much fucking pain without making things worse.

When I first met Kyle, I didn't want to admit I had a thing for guys. I was scared, and even blamed Kyle for influencing me. Then I cried like a baby in his room one time when I told him I thought I might be gay. It was just so damn stupid. He said you figured that was the reason I porked every bitch in town, to prove I wasn't gay, hahahaha! I hated you back then, and the influence you had over Kyle. But he shared what he learned from you without telling other people where he got his knowledge.