Max’s Freudian Slip - Chapter #7
This is the fictional account of a relationship that develops between a man and a teenage boy. It might involve some sex at some point, so if that sort of thing offends you, move along.
If you like my writing, links to my other stories on nifty are at the end of the chapter. Some of those get into sexual escapades much more quickly than does this one.
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Chapter 7 – Pet Sematary
The remainder of our ski trip was just as good as the beginning - though the fun was just on the slopes, eating out, and hanging out together. Noah managed to stay on his couch or in his bed the remaining days. (The sleeping situation was somewhat fluid - based on who might have fallen asleep unintentionally on the couch.) My daughters both arrived Saturday morning and were able to ski most of 4 days with us.
We all came back home Wednesday night, thoroughly exhausted. Part of me was kicking myself for agreeing to take Max, Noah and Jackson to the movie the following night. I was gassed, would be up late tonight unpacking and I still planned to go to work tomorrow. Oy! If my girls hadn’t flown directly back to their college towns, I would have maybe talked one of them into going in my place.
But I knew I would manage. I couldn’t - and wouldn’t let Max down.
When I picked Max up on Thursday afternoon, he was very excited to see me. I’ve only gotten goodbye hugs from him in the past, but when he climbed into the front seat of my car he leaned over, threw his arms around my neck and gave me a big squeeze.
“Well, it’s good to see you too amigo,” I said.
“Sorry. I just really missed you,” he said. He was suddenly embarrassed about his outward affection.
“I missed you too Max. It would have been fun to have you along. And Max I never mind a nice hug.” I reached over and pulled his neck to me, imitating the hug he game me. “See?”
I dropped Max off at practice and went back home to change clothes. I had come straight from the office so I was still wearing a dress shirt and tie and needed to change for the movie. I got caught up on my computer – catching up on some missing emails and putting in some tax information that had arrived while we were in Colorado, and reading a hot boy-boy story on nifty. (Hey - I like to multitask). I had managed to forget how bad our taxes were looking while we were gone, so seeing the big red figures again managed to piss me off anew. I thought our taxes were supposed to go down? At least the story I was reading was hot.
I hadn’t been paying any attention to the time, or my phone and I was surprised when the doorbell rang and I realized it was already time to be heading back to the gym. As I walked to the door I grabbed my phone and saw I had several texts. It was Noah at the door.
“Shouldn’t we be going soon?” he asked. He looked worried. “Is everything ok?”
“Yes, sorry I got distracted. Where’s Jackson?”
“Didn’t you get the texts? He’s sick. He’s puking all over the place.”
“Shit sorry, I was busy and not checking my phone.” I thumbed through the texts. There was one from Jackson (telling me his was sick) and Lisa (telling me Jackson was out) and from Noah (asking what time we were leaving). “Let me close down a couple things and we can go.”
I quickly closed the tax software and more importantly the nifty story and locked the computer. “OK bud, let’s make like a baby and head out.” It’s one of my bad dad jokes. Noah just shook his head at my stupidity. Thankfully, growing up next to me, he was used to it by now.
Noah and I got to the gym about 10 minutes before practice was wrapping up. Jeanine (Cameron’s mom) was there again and immediately came up to us. “I missed you last week Craig,” she said, continuing with the flirting. “Max said you were skiing. That sounds fun.” Yep, definitely still flirting.
“It was, but I’m exhausted. I need the weekend to catch up on my sleep. This one skied my legs off,” I said pointing to Noah.
“Now, wait – is he yours? You said you just had girls I thought.”
“No, he’s not mine - though I’d gladly claim him. Noah is our neighbor and he’s Max’s good friend. Their moms were sorority sisters. Were hitting up Chili’s and seeing a movie when practice is done.”
“Oh,” she said, some connections clearly being made. “So that’s your link to knowing Max?”
“That’s a bingo,” I said, imitating a infamous line from Inglourious Bastards. (Infamous to me anyway.)
“Oh you’re so clever,” she said waving her hands at me. Blech!
Noah and I had just sat on the bleachers when Max came walking across the gym. They must have wrapped a few minutes early. Cam was right beside him.
As Max neared us, he waved at Noah. “Hey Noah!” he said greeting his friend. “Where’s your brother?”
“Sick,” Noah answered. “Blowing chunks all over.”
“Yeah,” I added. “He’s so bummed about missing this movie.” The text he had sent me was full of crying faces.
“What are you guys seeing?” Cameron asked.
“Pet Sematary,” I replied. “There’s a special preview tonight. It’s totally sold out.”
“Oh man!” Cameron exclaimed. “I am dying to see that.”
I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before, but we now had an extra ticket! It was the perfect opportunity to let Max and Cam maybe socialize outside of gymnastics. “Well, we have an extra ticket if you want to come. Noah’s brother was supposed to come along but he’s sick.”
Cameron’s mom started to object immediately. “You probably shouldn’t be out so late. You’re getting over a cold yourself Cameron.”
“Please Mom!” Cameron whined, giving her a sad face
“It would be no problem at all Mrs. Rice,” I told her. “I can drop him off when the shows over around midnight.”
She looked back and forth between Cameron and Craig a few times and threw up her hands. “Oh all right. Just no junk food at the movie and text me when you are heading home. I’ll stay up and wait for you.”
I couldn’t believe it. She was letting Cameron go!!! All the work I’d done buttering her up actually worked. I looked over at Max. I could see the excitement oozing from his every pore. He was trying hard not to act too excited, but I could tell he was ecstatic.
“Thanks mom,” Cameron said hugging his mom. “Let’s go,” he said. I think he wanted to get out the door before she changed her mind.
Cameron’s mom tried to hand me money for the movie ticket and dinner, but I refused to take it. “Don’t worry about it. My treat,” I told her.
Chili’s is Noah’s go to place to eat. He’s a picky eater and he likes their chicken fingers. It’s not my favorite place, but it will do. Their beer is cold.
During dinner, the boys rambled on about Fortnite and some other video games while I mostly watched a hockey game on the TV behind the bar. I was worried about how it might go with Noah and Cameron both vying for Max’s attention. I was afraid that one or the other (probably Noah since he’s quiet) might feel left out. But I was worried for naught. Cameron and Noah actually hit if off really well. If anything it might have been Max who was an outsider in the conversation. But I knew it didn’t bother him. Here he was, sitting beside his crush at a restaurant – finally just getting to hang out. Every time I looked at him he shot me a sly smile.
We paid our bill and got to the theater early, which was great because we were able to get some popcorn and still get in line to get good seats. I’m particular about where I sit in a theater and so is Noah. We like to be towards the top, middle of the row and we were able to get the perfect spot before the theater filled around us.
I sat between Noah and Max and Cameron sat on the other side of Max. I handed the popcorn to Max and Cameron. “Don’t worry Cameron,” I told him, “I’m not telling your mom. Just don’t wipe a bunch of grease all over your shirt and get me busted.”
He smiled at me and I heard him whisper to Max a few seconds later, “You’re friend is really cool.”
By the time the movie started, we had inhaled most of the popcorn. Despite the theater being full, it was very cold for some reason. I think they must have forgotten to adjust the thermostats to cover for this special showing. We all still had our coats on except for Noah who had his draped across his torso like a blanket.
It didn’t take long for the movie to get creepy. Ten minutes in and I could tell Noah was starting to squirm. You’ll recall that scary movies are not really his schtick. I reached under his coat and found his hand. I brushed it gently and he latched onto it. You wouldn’t think a 13 year old boy would do something like that, but it totally fit Noah’s personality. “Just close your eyes if it gets to be too much,” I whispered to him. He nodded an ok. His palm was already sweaty.
I glanced over to see how Max and Cameron were doing and couldn’t believe what I saw. Apparently they were creeped out too because they were holding hands also. I watched them out of the corner of my eye for a few seconds and saw Max jerk his hand away suddenly. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I just hoped there wasn’t friction between them all of a sudden.
I kept sight of them as the movie rolled on. Cameron had taken off his coat and put it on his chest and soon after Max did the same. Soon I realized that Cameron was leaning into Max and from the movements under their coats, I was certain they were actually holding hands. And it wasn’t even a scary part of the movie! My heart swelled. I knew if what I suspected I was seeing was true, Max was on cloud nine. He had told me about his crush on Cameron and if they were holding hands it meant Cameron was not only ok with it but felt the same way! My hunch was soon confirmed when their coats shifted just enough I could see their forearms pressed against each other.
I had my hands full. The movie was engrossing and Noah was becoming increasingly uncomfortable so I spent a lot of time calming him. I tried to keep an eye on Max and Cameron too but I couldn’t see much. I could only tell that they were alternating leaning into each other, so I was pretty sure they were continuing to hold hands under their coats. I thought I heard one of them let out a wimper, but I’m not sure. There’s no way they were getting frisky under the cover of their coats with me sitting right there, was there? I wondering but then put it out of my mind. Max wouldn’t be that bold.
When the movie ended I could tell Noah was relieved. When we filed out, both Max and Cameron had to use the bathroom so Noah and I waited by the door. It was pretty obvious to me by the end that he didn’t really want to see this movie. He either just did it to keep Max from moving in on our ‘movie going routine’ or perhaps he didn’t want Max to think he was a wuss.
“That was a lot scarier than Stranger Things wasn’t it. You ok,” I asked Noah.
“I’m better but yeah, I was pretty creeped out for a while. I‘m gonna have nightmares.”
While we waited for Max and Cameron I texted Lisa: “Hey, Noah is pretty creeped out. You might need to do damage control tonight.”
She texted me back right away. “I half expected that. Tell him I am waiting up for him.” Lisa knows her kid well. Noah would never want anyone to know, but his mom was probably going to share his bed tonight. And maybe tomorrow night too. I couldn’t help but to remember our night in Colorado when he was humping my leg. I sure hope he doesn’t do that to his mom!
As we drove towards home, Noah and I talked about the movie. I tried to recap some of the scarier parts and make them seem more harmless. I am not sure Noah was buying it. In the back seat Cameron and Max were oddly quiet. I could tell both boys were on their phone.
I dropped Cameron off first. His house was even more impressive than I expected. Our house is nice but his made ours look quite average. Cameron was sitting behind me and he got out and ran across the front of the car to his front door. As I looked behind me to start to back out, I could see Max had his head pressed against the window watching intently as Cameron disappeared inside his house. The look on his face told me he was already missing Cameron. It was sweet. I wished I could say something to him, but with Noah next to me, I had to keep hush.
I dropped Max off next before finally getting home with Noah. I pulled into his driveway and let the lights shine into his garage while he got out and went inside. I knew walking through the dark might freak him out.
As I got ready for bed, I couldn’t resist sending Max a quick snapchat letting him know what I had noticed.
Craig: Well well, that was interesting. I’m so happy for you guys. You make a cute couple!
Max must have thought I was an idiot, because this was his reply:
Max: What you talking about?
Craig: I saw you and Cam holding hands. Don’t worry, I think it’s awesome!
Max: Thanks. Thanks for making it happen. ur the best. I gotta crash, I’m tired… gn Craig
I got the feeling that Max was almost blowing me off. He usually doesn’t get so short with me like that. Maybe he was tired. Or maybe he was talking to his boyfriend?
This chapter is pretty uneventful – at least from Craig’s point of view. But Max would tell a much different story. In fact Max DOES tell a different story…. I’ve written Max’s version of the trip to the movies and am publishing it as a separate story in the Young Friends section. You can find it here:
I thought about including it here, but I wasn’t fond of having a story written in first person by two different characters. I’ve seen people try to do that before and something about it seems ‘off’. I guess I’m a literary purist. I will add to the Max’s Awakening story as it makes sense and will continue the story lines in parallel and keep them consistent.
You’ll have to decide if you want to read Max’s story or not. Obviously it will reveal things that Craig isn’t aware of (yet), so in a way it contains spoilers. For those of you pining for the story to ‘get good’, you will like Max’s awakening.
Thanks for the feedback after the last chapter… I had more readers than I thought! Any guesses as to what happens next? Continued feedback appreciated (firstname.lastname@example.org).
My other nifty stories: