Alex's guardian angel
By A Lane
This story contains scenes of love and a sexual nature involving males with other males. If the reading or possessing of such material as this is illegal in your country, state, province, county, municipality, etc., please leave this site immediately and do not proceed further. If you are under the legal age to read this, please do not do so.
It is not my intention to offend anyone or to get you in trouble.
The author retains all rights to this original story. Please do not publish without my explicit authorisation.
Most of the places mentioned, and none of the characters exist in real life. Whilst there are references to celebrities in places, no inference should be taken as to their sexual orientation in real life. This story is completely fictional.
This is my first attempt at writing fiction. I was inspired to pick up the pen after reading several stories by David Lee which can be found in the prolific authors section on Nifty.
I would like to send out thanks to both David and Tom who have both helped to edit the errors out. If you would like to send me an email about this story please put Alex's guardian angel in the main title. Thanks for reading.
"Dad, have you found out whether I can visit Jerry today or not?" asked Callum as he sat down for lunch.
"No, so don't plan on going to see him this afternoon and this evening there's going to be a meeting at the church which you are required to attend."
After his father said grace, Callum asked "Would it be alright for me to go to the park this afternoon?"
"Have you completed the school work we discussed last night?"
"We will have to leave right after dinner this evening for the meeting, so if you go out, make sure you give yourself enough time to shower and be ready before we sit down for dinner. Understood?"
"Now if it's alright with you I would like to eat my food in silence."
When Callum and his parents had finished their lunch, he helped his mother carry the dishes out to the kitchen before he started to wash them.
Wanting to stay out as long as he could to give him as good a chance of telling Alex about Jerry, Callum laid out his clothes ready for church before heading out. He headed to the park just in case his father was watching him. Fortunately the park he was heading to was in the same direction as the street he believed Alex was staying on.
As he reached the street, Callum began to think about how he was going to break the news to Alex. He started walking up the street looking at the front of each house as he passed. For the first half of the street no one was about or in a window to give him any indication of who lived there. The first person he saw was an elderly gentleman setting up a table on his drive.
Callum continued past and before long he found himself at the end of the street. He felt a little disappointed that his walking down the street hadn't brought Alex out. He turned around hoping that perhaps this time might be different and started back down the street, changing over to the other side of the road.
When he passed the man again he was setting up two chairs either side of the table. Callum wondered whether this man would know who Alex was or where he was staying but feeling a little shy and unsure of how to ask, he carried on past.
On his third pass of the old man, he saw him sat in one of the chairs setting up a chess board. The fourth time Callum walked past the old man called out.
"Excuse me young man."
"I've seen you walk up and down this street a few times now. I can only assume you are looking for something or someone and can't find what you're looking for. I may be able to help?"
"I'm looking for a boy a little older than me called Alex. I don't know for definite that he's staying in this street but he's friends with another boy called Justin."
"Well firstly, my name is Mr Edwards and you are?"
"Nice to meet you Callum; I know Alex and Justin but I'm afraid they're out at the moment."
"Oh. Do you know if they're due back sometime soon? It's just I really need to talk to Alex and I need to be back home at a certain time."
"I don't, I'm sorry. I'm hopeful they'll be back soon though; I was looking forward to playing a few games of chess with Justin. Do you know how to play?"
"Would you like to play a few games while we wait and see if they turn up? If they haven't come back before you have to leave I can pass a message on for you."
"Are you sure?"
"Of course I am. I always like the challenge of new opponents."
"I'm afraid I'm not very good. I know the basics but..."
"That's alright young man I am sure we can while away the time. Why don't you take a seat and we'll see just how good you are."
"Before we start would you like something to drink?"
"Um... yes please."
"Would you prefer something hot or cold?"
"Ok, I have some pop or squash?"
"Either will be fine thanks."
"Alright, give me a few seconds and I'll be right back with your drink."
When Mr Edwards returned he passed Callum a large glass of something dark and fizzy before sitting back down and rotating the board so the white pieces were in front of Callum.
"Ready to begin?"
Callum made the first move and the game began. As the game progressed, Callum realised he was up against someone who really knew how to play. It didn't take too long before Callum was in check and only a few moves more before Mr Edwards called checkmate.
"You played quite well. Do you play very often?"
"I don't get the chance; a lot of my time is spent on school stuff. My father thinks chess and other games are a waste of time."
"Far from it. It takes a lot of thinking to play a good game of chess with the right opponent. You learn a lot of things from playing chess, strategy and forward planning to name just two."
"You don't understand, for my father, unless it's on a school curriculum or would get me into Oxford it's not worth wasting my time on."
"I find spending some time each day doing something you like, makes you work more productively at your studies."
"You don't know my father."
"True enough. Ready for round two?"
Callum was surprised when he managed to take Mr Edwards' queen but within a few more moves he found himself in checkmate.
"Not bad, but you saw the queen as the most dangerous piece and put all your concentration on her rather than the bishops and castles."
"It's strange, I saw you move the pieces but for some reason I didn't see the danger until it was too late."
"You're not doing too bad; you just need to slow your play down a little and look at the possible moves I could make next before you move anything. Shall I go and get us both another drink before the next game?"
While Mr Edwards was in the house getting the drinks Callum set the board up for the next round.
"Here you go Callum."
"So tell me Callum, how do you know Alex?"
Not knowing how much Mr Edwards knew about Alex, Callum decided to play it cautious with his answers.
"I go to school with his brother and we attended the same church until recently."
"I see. Shall we get the next game under way?"
Callum had played a few more games with Mr Edwards when a car went passed and pulled into the drive a few doors down on the other side of the street.
"Hello young man, I believe you were told to expect us."
Jerry looked up to see two women stood just inside his door.
"Um... Sarah and Martha?"
"That's us, just to clear things up, I'm Sarah."
"Which of course makes me Martha."
"I'm sure you've already heard this but, I wouldn't need to ask if you are Alex's brother. You look so much alike," said Sarah.
"Yeah, once or twice."
"Now Jerry, neither Justin or Alan have been able to tell me much about what's happened this weekend other than you've seen Alex at the street party and now your mother is threatening you with a children's home. So why don't you start at the beginning so we know all of what's gone on and how best to help," said Sarah.
"I um... I didn't know anything about why Alex left on his birthday. I was really worried about him but my father wouldn't answer me when I asked him what had happened. He just told me that I was not allowed to have any contact with Alex. I wasn't supposed to go to the street party but I thought what he doesn't know won't hurt."
"Well I was walking along when I spotted Alex. I ran up to him to find out what was happening with him and why he wasn't living at home any longer. I don't need to tell you two, why. He seemed afraid to tell me he was gay, but I'd suspected for ages anyway and it didn't bother me."
"That must have made Alex very happy. I know he was worried about how you'd react."
"We arranged to meet up today to talk some more and just before I left, Justin gave me a list of numbers where I could get Alex if I needed to call him. He called them ICE numbers so my parents wouldn't know what they were if they found them."
"That's Justin, you'd be surprised how cunning that boy can be on times."
"I'm guessing it's those numbers that led to Alex knowing about the accident before my mother?"
"Which must be why Alex said he'd dropped me in it with mom last night. He must have explained how I had the numbers. Anyway, when mom finally turned up earlier Alex was here. She tried to throw him out but I wouldn't let her. She told me to moderate my tone or I'd be sorry, when I asked her if she was going to throw me out like rubbish just as she had with Alex, she asked me if I wanted to go and live with Alex, only she called him an abomination and a faggot."
"That's when I said something about God not being anti-gay or else Alex wouldn't be standing here while my father and Vicar Stephens had died. She lost it then and said that Social Services had already taken one unruly kid off her hands and she was sure they could find somewhere more suitable for me."
Tears started to flow freely down Jerry's cheeks as he finished.
"Ok..." said Sarah getting up to wipe Jerry's face. "Do you want something to drink?"
"Martha and I will go up to the café while we discuss a couple of things and then we'll talk some more when we come back, alright?"
"We won't be too long."
Martha and Sarah left Jerry and headed to the café.
"You know you're already taking him in don't you? Me being here is just for the paperwork right?"
"Alan had already told me the meeting between Alex and Jerry had gone well, so with Jerry being so accepting of Alex's sexuality, I think it would be good for Alex to have his brother around. And I think Justin is thinking the same thing. I know we have the room so the only concern is whether that's what Jerry and Alex want?"
"Haven't you forgotten someone?"
"You mean Simon? No, we discussed it before I came to pick you up. He agreed with me that if Alex was happy with it and Jerry wanted, then we'd take him in."
"I guess the only thing left then is to ask them."
"And all the paperwork."
"Don't remind me. It means I have to go and speak to his mother. I didn't say before, but she is one nasty piece of work."
"I'd gathered that much."
"Why don't you phone Alex and ask him what he thinks of Jerry moving in, and I'll get the drinks, something fizzy right?"
"Not for me thanks, I'll have juice please."
"Fizzy for Jerry though right?"
"He's a teenager, what do you think?"
"I'll be back in a tick."
While Martha went up to the counter, Sarah sat down at a table and pulled her phone out.
"Hey Justin... Yes I'm at the hospital now... Yes I've spoken to Jerry... would you be alright with that?.. What about Alex? Have you any idea what he wants? Is he there?... Ok, well how long do you think he's going to be?... I want to talk to him before I ask Jerry the question... Well I'll stay here with Martha for ten minutes while we have our drinks. Can you find out and ring me back as soon as you can please?... Alright, talk to you soon. Bye."
It was a few minutes after Sarah hung up the phone before Martha joined her at the table.
"I wasn't able to ask Alex."
"When the boys got back to Rick and Alan's someone was there waiting to talk to Alex. Justin is going to ask him as soon as he can and ring me back. I told him we'd wait here for ten minutes before we go back to Jerry."
"Do you think Alex will have any objections to Jerry moving in?"
"I doubt it. I think Jerry's standing up for him will bring the boys closer."
"If there is a problem and Jerry can't move in with you, do you have any ideas as to where we could place him?"
"I don't know, maybe Rick and Alan but then they live pretty close to his mother. Assuming they would pass the criteria with your office."
"Why would they have a problem?"
"Well you know they're gay."
"We've had a directive recently to say that sexuality shouldn't become a reason for rejecting possible foster parents."
"That's about time."
"I know. I could have placed plenty of kids in a good home but we were prevented because of bureaucracy."
Just then Martha's phone rang.
"Hi Mabel... I should be free in a little over an hour's time why?... hang on can you repeat that?... I thought that's what you said... You're not going to believe this but I'm at the hospital right now talking to her son. It's a bit of a long story but I'll go and see her when I've finished here but I'm pretty sure that the family that took his brother in will take him as well... Ok Mabel, I'll call you later when I know more."
"I guess his mother didn't waste any time?"
"You'd be right, she told Mabel he was uncontrollable when she was at the hospital earlier and as her husband is no longer around she would not be able to cope with him on her own."
"Sounds like she left a fair bit out?"
"People like her usually do. They see everything as black and white, she told him to shut up and when he told her no, she saw it as him being uncontrollable. The fact that she was trying to stop him seeing his brother never came into it. I'm gonna head to the loo while we wait for Justin to call."
Martha was on her way back when Sarah's phone went.
"Hello... So he's ok with it?... Good. It's a good thing you called earlier... his mother wasn't joking, she's called Martha's office to ask to have someone take him... I know. Is Rick or Alan there?... Thanks... Hi Rick... What time are you bringing the boys to see Jerry?... Any idea what you are going to do with the rest of the evening?... Alright then tell Alex and Justin I'll come over later if Jerry says yes, I'll need to talk to them about a few things... ok, see you later, bye."
"I only caught the end, but I take it we have a green light from Alex?"
"Yes. I just had a thought. If Jerry says yes, how possible would it be for me to join you when you visit his mother?"
"Why do you ask? Do you want to see the monster for yourself?"
"No, it's not that, I was thinking if I came with you, we take my car and while we're there we can collect all of Jerry's things the same time."
"It's possible; it would be best if you stayed in the car though. That way there's no chance of you saying something you shouldn't. And of course by you going, I don't have to go back to the house to get my car."
"True, I have a book in the car I can read while I wait for you. Let's go and see if Jerry is happy with our plans."
"Alex; didn't you and I have an appointment to get your stitches taken out this morning?" asked Alan.
"I completely forgot about that. Sorry."
"Don't apologise, you've had a lot on your mind. We can do it now, or we can do it when we come back this evening?"
"I don't mind, whichever is easier for you."
"I think it's best if we get it done now, I can swing it so we don't have to wait too long and then it's done and out of the way."
"Justin, why don't you and Rick go to the café and we'll come find you when we're ready to go."
Alan wasn't joking when he said he could swing it so Alex would get seen quickly. He had only been waiting for five minutes when a nurse came out and called his name. Taking the stitches out was a little painful because the skin had stuck to them. There was a little bleeding but when the nurse was finished he was free of bandages.
"So now you are free of bandages, do you have anything you would like to do this afternoon?"
"I haven't really thought about it. Justin promised to bring Jerry some DVDs to watch when we come back, so I guess we'll be sorting some out. I think a run would do some good as well."
"Sounds like a plan to me. Let's go and get the other two and get back home."
Alex and Alan went to the café and then with Rick and Justin, walked back to the car. There was a little chit chat between the four as they drove home.
As they got out of the car Alex noticed a familiar face walking towards him.
"Hey Cal, what are you doing here?"
"I need to talk to you. Is there somewhere we can go?"
"Hang on... Rick, is it alright if I take Callum into the living room to talk?"
"The living room is this way. Are you ok Cal?"
"No, I... um..."
"Do you want something to drink before we start?"
Alex went into the living room with Callum while Justin, Rick and Alan went into the kitchen.
"Sit down Cal. What's wrong?"
"Is this about Jerry?"
"You mean you know?"
"Yeah, we've just come from the hospital."
"How is he? Your mother came over this morning and told us about the accident. She said he's broken both arms but was unconscious. She couldn't say if I would be able to go and see him."
"He's ok. He woke up this morning."
"How did you know? I can't see your mother telling you."
"She didn't. When Jerry was here yesterday we gave him some phone numbers he could reach me on. When the nurse went through his things after the crash looking for I.D., they found the numbers and called me."
"He didn't mention the phone numbers yesterday when he told me he'd seen you."
"So that's how you knew to find me here?"
"Yeah he came over yesterday before we went to bible class, he told me about you and Justin and how he'd made you kiss for him."
"That shocked me, but he was so cool about it. Listen your dad will probably tell you later, but for your own sake, pretend to not know, but we think mom is going to call Social Services to take Jerry off her hands."
"Why? He's not gay."
"Sorry to interrupt, but can I have a quick word with you Alex?" asked Justin.
"Sure, I'll be right back Cal."
Alex left Callum in the living room and followed Justin out to the kitchen.
"What does Callum want?
"He wanted to make sure I knew Jerry was in hospital."
"That was nice of him."
"I think it could be dangerous for him."
"What do you mean?"
"His parents are close to mine. They believe the same things and act in exactly the same way. They will bust their top if they find out he's spoken to me."
"Why? You're not some devil's spawn."
"I am in their eyes. I am an abomination, remember."
"No, in their eyes that's exactly what I am and by talking to me, Callum risks being infected."
"Yeah; so what did you want?"
"Mom's just called. She's been to see Jerry with Martha. They've only got two questions that need answering now. The first is do you want Jerry to move in with us?"
"I do, but only if everyone else is happy for him to."
"I've already told mom I want him to move in and I know mom and dad have already discussed it and agreed."
Alex grabbed Justin and pulled him into a massive hug and kissed him.
"You really are special you know. What was the other question?"
"Whether Jerry wants to move in. At the end of it all, it's up to him. If he would prefer somewhere else, Martha will have to look for him."
"I think I know what he's going to say."
"Ok, I'll call mom back and tell her it's a yes and you can go back to talk with Callum."
Alex kissed Justin again before going back into the living room.
"Sorry about that. The reason mom is going to call Social Services on Jerry is because they had a massive row about me. Jerry wouldn't let her kick me out and told her she was not going to stop him seeing me. She tried to put her foot down but he wouldn't budge and he told her he would be happy if she threw him out. She told him that as he was being so disrespectful and insolent she was going to call Social Services to do just that."
"Wow, but where's he going to go now?"
"It looks like he'll be moving in to Justin's house with me."
"That's so cool. He's so lucky."
"I'm the lucky one. If Sarah hadn't stopped to talk to me that day; who knows where I'd be right now."
"Um there was something else I wanted to talk about."
"Sure, what is it?"
"Jerry told me he mentioned having a gay friend when he was talking to you and Justin yesterday."
"That's good to know."
"I know you already know this, but can you keep it quiet, I can't have my father find out. He'd kill me."
"I will. What about Justin, is it alright for him to know?"
"Ok, what time do you have to go back?"
"Dad said there's some meeting at the church right after dinner so I need to shower before we sit down for food. As long as I'm home around half four I'll be fine."
"Where did you tell your dad you were going?"
"I said I was going to the park."
"I need to go and ask Justin something, do you want something to drink while I'm gone?"
"Yes please, but if it's not too cheeky, can I use the loo?"
"It shouldn't be a problem, I'll just check."
Alex quickly returned.
"Rick said it's not a problem, you know where the toilet is right?"
"Is it in the same place as at your mom's?"
When Callum went upstairs Alex went back out the kitchen.
"Is your mom still at the hospital with Jerry?"
"I would think so, why?"
"Do you think it would be possible to let Callum talk to Jerry on the phone? I know he's taken a risk in coming to make sure I knew and I thought perhaps..."
"Sure I'll phone mom and ask. She should have asked Jerry about moving in by now."
"Ok. Rick, Alan would it be alright if I told Cal about you being gay?"
"Go right ahead, we don't have a problem with people knowing," answered Rick.
"Is it ok to have a drink for myself and one for Callum as well please?"
"We want you to think of this place as a second home, just like Justin does. If you want something to drink, help yourself," said Alan.
"Mom said Jerry is going to move in with us, Martha is sorting some hospital stuff out now, as for the other thing, she said to ring back when Callum's ready and she'll sort it out her end."
"That's great, I owe your family so much..."
"Will you stop thanking us, you're part of the family and family looks out for each other."
Alex hugged Justin before going to pour some coke for him and Callum; he put some ice in each glass and went into the living room to find Callum sat there waiting.
"Here you go."
"Justin's just spoken to his mother and she says Jerry is going to live with us."
"Wow, that's great."
"Yeah, I want to ask you something?"
"What is it?"
"Did you know this isn't Justin's house?"
"It's Rick and Alan's. Justin and I are staying with them this weekend."
"Well they are gay as well. They've been together since they were about your age I think, if I remember right."
"Really?" asked Callum in a surprised tone.
"Yep, would you be alright if they know about you? They know everything about me and they've been through all you and I are going through. I'm sure they'll have the answers to questions you must have."
"I don't know."
"When Jerry mentioned he had a gay friend yesterday, it was because he thought knowing more gay people would be good for you. I'm just offering to expand it a little more than Jerry first thought. You won't have to worry about them telling your parents."
"Are you sure?"
"I promise you there is no chance of that happening."
"I guess it would be alright."
"Come on, let's go and talk to them."
Alex and Callum got up, picked up their drinks and walked out to the kitchen.
"Callum, this is Justin, Rick and Alan."
"It's nice to meet you Callum. Thank you for taking such a risk in coming to make sure Alex knew about Jerry," said Justin as he offered his hand to shake.
"How're you doing Callum?" asked Alan.
"Did I see you come from Mr Edwards' place earlier?"
"Yes. Jerry told me yesterday that he'd seen Alex at the street party. When I found out about the crash, I wanted to make sure Alex knew because I knew his mother wouldn't. Jerry told me how he'd arranged to meet Alex this afternoon but not knowing which house I was looking for, my only hope was that Alex was keeping a look out for Jerry and would see me walking up and down the street. Mr Edwards noticed I seemed to be looking for something or someone; stopped me and asked if he could help. I explained I was looking for Alex and Justin but I didn't know which house they were in. He told me he knew them but they were out. He asked if I knew how to play chess, when I said I did, he suggested we play for a bit to see if they would come back before I had to get home."
"You like chess?" asked Rick.
"I enjoyed the few games I played with Mr Edwards even though I lost every one."
"Mr Edwards is a great player; he's taught me a few things. He's also been teaching Justin," said Rick.
"Yeah, maybe you and I could play sometime?" asked Justin.
"I'd like that very much. I don't know when I'll be able to though, I don't usually get much time free from the house and my father thinks chess is pointless."
"His father is just as bad as mine," said Alex.
"I'm sure we'll be able to sort it out some time."
"Cal as much as I'd like to, we can't take you with us when we go to see Jerry later without your father knowing, plus you said you'd be going to church for a meeting, but I was wondering if you would like to talk to him?" asked Alex.
"Is it possible?"
"Yes, we sorted it out while you were upstairs, my mother'll put her phone on speaker so Jerry doesn't need to use his hands and she'll go outside so you'll have some privacy. I just need to call her when you're ready."
"Would you mind calling her now?"
"Sure thing; hang on a second."
Justin got his phone and dialled his mother's phone.
"Hi mom... yes Callum would like to talk to Jerry, hang on...here you go Cal you can go into the living room to talk."
"Thanks," said Callum as he took the phone from Justin and headed to the living room.
"We got you some coke, is that alright with you?" said Martha.
"Ok Jerry, I'll help you with this but we have some more talking to do as well, alright?" said Sarah.
"Right then, while we were gone, we made some calls and got some back. We know now your mother has made it official and called Martha's office about you."
Jerry swallowed before saying, "I thought she would have called them as soon as she left my room. She must have done some errands first."
"Well it makes no real difference. When Justin called earlier and told me what was going on, I had a chat with my husband about the possibility of you moving in with us. We both thought it would be good for you and Alex if we could keep you together but there were a few hurdles."
"The first one was your mother, that's now gone. The next one was Justin, would he be ok with another stranger moving in to his house. He's told me he thought the same as Simon and I, so that was hurdle number two gone. The next one took a bit longer to remove. We wanted to make sure Alex was happy for you to move in. When I spoke to Justin, Alex was talking to somebody so I couldn't ask him. I asked Justin to call me back with Alex's answer as soon as he could. He called back just before I left the café. Alex said yes, so that was that hurdle gone. The last hurdle is waiting to be knocked down. And it's up to you to do it. Do you want to live with all of us or would you rather Martha look for somewhere else? Before you answer I want you to know that there is no pressure on you whatsoever, if you want to go elsewhere no one will be upset."
"I only have one question."
"When can I move in?"
"I think that makes your job nice and easy Martha."
"Yes it does. I'm going to find out from the staff when you get to leave Jerry and to notify them that you are under Social Services care and will be leaving with Sarah when they say you can go."
"No problem, I'll be a while; you won't believe the paperwork involved."
"What for? None of this is your fault so don't go there."
Martha left Sarah and Jerry alone. As the door closed Jerry burst into tears. The emotions Jerry had held back successfully all day finally broke through.
"It's alright Jerry, nothing bad is going to happen now."
Sarah got some tissues and held them to Jerry's face.
"Let it all out, it's better out than in."
Jerry cried until Sarah's phone rang a few minutes later.
"Hi... the only thing he asked was when could he move in?... I know, Martha is sorting out the paperwork now and finding out when he can be discharged... Sure I don't have a problem with that, call me back when he's ready... ok talk soon."
"That was Justin, apparently the reason I couldn't talk to Alex earlier is because a boy named Callum showed up to talk to him."
"It's alright; he went there to tell Alex about your accident."
"Callum won't be able to visit you today, so Alex thought we might be able to work it out so the two of you could at least talk. Would you like that?"
"That's what I thought. Justin is going to ring back when Callum is ready."
"I'm sorry for crying."
"Don't be, you've been through a lot in one day, you've lost your dad, your mother and you've been in a crash. That's enough to make anyone cry."
"I guess. When the hospital say I can go, will I go straight to your house or will I have to go somewhere else first?"
"First off, it's your house now as well, and you'll have your own room when you're released from here. Martha and I are going to collect all your stuff from your mother when we leave here later."
"Is my mother going to let you have it?"
"She let Martha get Alex's things didn't she?"
"I hadn't thought of that."
Martha returned then with papers in her hand.
"Well that's a start. While I was out there I had the office fax over the papers I need Alice to sign while we're there. I also informed the staff that she is not allowed access to Jerry. Is that ok with you Jerry?"
"Yes, I don't want to see her ever again."
"Now the good news, the doctor wants to keep you in overnight just to make sure there's no reaction to the head injury but he said you should, emphasise should, be able to go home with Sarah tomorrow afternoon."
"Wow, that soon? I thought I'd be here for days."
"Well they did a load of scans last night while you were unconscious and there was no sign of any problems, you woke up on your own this morning and you've been talking all day with no problems, so the doctor thinks it's not worth keeping you in, so long as you promise to tell someone as soon as you feel ill. You're going to have an appointment to check on your arms but that won't be for a while. They said to expect to be in the casts for at least two months though."
"What, that long?"
"I'm afraid so."
"You'll find it'll fly by, and you should be up and running on your own in time for summer," said Sarah.
"It would be a real bummer to be like this all summer."
Just then Sarah's phone went.
"Hi... does Callum want to talk to Jerry?...ok...I'm going to put this on speaker for you Jerry, you'll be able to hear Callum and talk to him without having to hold the phone, Martha and I'll wait outside so you can have some privacy."
Sarah placed the phone on the table before she left the room with Martha.
Jerry heard Callum's voice come from the phone.
"Hey Jerry are you there?"
"Are you alright?"
"Yeah I'm fine, well except for my arms being in plaster."
"I guess that would really suck."
"Tell me about it, it's a real bummer, I can't do anything."
"Sounds like a nightmare."
"It is, thanks for going to make sure Alex knew."
"It's no big deal."
"It is a big deal as far as I'm concerned."
"How long will you be in there for?"
"Martha said I should be able to get out of here tomorrow."
"Wow that soon?"
"I know right? I thought I'd be here for weeks."
"So you'll be moving in with Alex straight away?"
"Yeah, Sarah's going to pick me up tomorrow and take me to her house, well if the doc says I can go."
"That should be fun."
"Yeah living with Alex and Justin should be loads of fun; Sarah seems nice, a lot nicer than mom or dad."
"I'm sorry about your dad."
"Don't be, he got what he deserved."
"I've got to go to a meeting in church tonight; it's probably something to do with the crash."
"That's a bummer, glad I won't be there."
"I'd rather be visiting you than going."
"I wish you could as well."
"You must be bored stupid, I mean you can't use your hands to do anything."
"Justin and Alex are going to bring some DVDs for me to watch so I'll not be too bored."
"Hey, maybe you could help them decide which ones to bring."
"Maybe, what do you want to watch?"
"I don't know, any you think are good, just no sloppy chick flicks."
"I'm gonna miss not seeing you."
"Hey, we'll work something out I promise, I'm not going to leave you on your own."
"Hey don't cry, you're still my best friend and we'll see each other next week in school won't we?"
"Yeah I guess."
"But we won't see each other after school like we normally do."
"Hey you never know what's going to happen, I mean look at how my life's changed, in one day I've got a new family and both my arms in plaster."
"Yeah but what are the odds on that happening for me, I'm going to be stuck with dad and his religious bullshit."
"He might change now Stephens is out of the picture."
"I doubt it."
"Me too but you don't know."
"I'd better go, I don't even know how much this is costing, I'm glad you're ok."
"Listen keep your chin up and don't let them get you down."
"I'll find a way of talking to you again soon I promise."
"I hope so, bye"
"Catch you later."
Despite being the one in the crash Jerry felt really bad for Callum; he'd managed to escape the madness of their church but he could imagine what sort of crap Callum would have to listen to at the meeting later.
It was a few more minutes before Sarah and Martha came back.
"All finished?" asked Sarah before coming fully back into the room.
"Yeah, thanks for letting me talk to Cal."
"It's no problem."
"We tried not to stay on too long; we didn't want to run up a massive bill for you."
"You won't, Justin's phone is on contract and when he calls my mobile it doesn't cost anything."
"While we were out, Martha called and arranged with your mother to sort the paperwork out and to collect all of your things, so we're going to have to go now, but Rick said he's bringing Alex and Justin around again later so you've got something to look forward to."
"Yeah, Justin is bringing some DVDs for me to watch."
"Oh he's got plenty of those. I'll see you tomorrow when I come to take you home, alright?"
"Yeah, see you tomorrow and..."
"It's my pleasure."
With that Sarah and Martha left Jerry alone.
Callum was wiping his face when he came back into the kitchen.
"Are you alright Cal?"
"Yeah, I'm just going to miss hanging out with Jerry."
"Who said you won't be able to?" asked Alan.
"Mrs Wilshere will tell my dad some story or other for why Jerry doesn't live there anymore and you can bet he'll tell me I can't see Jerry anymore. He won't be able to stop me in school, but he'll find a way to stop me outside of school."
"We'll have to put our heads together and find a way. Don't worry, we'll find a way," said Justin.
"Where do you people come from? Are you some sort of Martians?" asked Callum.
"What do you mean?" asked Rick taken aback a little.
"You're all so friendly and helpful. You hardly know me and you're doing things to help me."
"We count Alex as a part of our family; and as Justin told him earlier, family look out for each other. As Alex is family, so is Jerry. If helping you helps Jerry then great," said Alan.
"Wow, that would never happen in my house. My father wouldn't even let Alex in the door."
"We believe in acceptance not prejudice. Some people use the bible to reinforce their prejudices, we don't," said Rick.
"When Jerry said he'd find a way I didn't believe him because I know my father, but with you lot in his corner, I can believe him."
"Good," said Alex.
"Jerry said something about you taking him something to watch when you go to see him later; he said that maybe I could help you pick out some of them?"
"Why not, the three of us can work out what to take. Come on the DVDs are in here," said Justin heading to the living room.
Callum and Alex followed him in.
The boys spent the next half hour debating the merits of this DVD or that one. Callum and Alex couldn't offer any real arguments for or against a lot of the titles because they could only go by what was on the back of each box.
They were in the middle of talking about Eight Legged Freaks when Callum's watch alarm went off.
"I had better go if I want to be home in time, I've really enjoyed this afternoon. If I was you though, I'd leave that film off the pile to take; Jerry hates spiders with a passion."
"Thanks for reminding me, we'll work out how to get you to see Jerry I promise," said Alex.
The boys all went to the front door, Alex hugged Callum before Justin opened it.
"Thanks for coming today, I know it was risky for you," said Alex.
"It's not a problem."
"It means a lot to me too," said Justin. "If you get the chance tomorrow, pop around and we can spend some more time together."
"Are you sure?"
"We both are. Perhaps you and Justin could have a game of chess or something if you can make it."
"If I can get away, you bet I'll be around."
"Well we'll see you tomorrow then," said Justin.
"Maybe, I can't promise, dad may get funny, but I'll definitely try. Well bye then"
"Bye," said Alex and Justin.
Alex went out to the kitchen while Justin shut the door.
"Has Callum gone now?" asked Alan.
"He seems nice enough," said Rick.
"He is, and he took a huge risk coming to tell me about Jerry."
"How so?" asked Alan.
"Well I'm sure my father told his the real reason for me not being around anymore. So he would not be happy with Cal if he found out he'd been talking to me."
"But what's the worst he could do?"
"I'd hate to think. Vicar Stephens was always saying spare the rod and spoil the child, so who knows."
"Does that mean he'd hit Cal?" asked Justin.
"I don't know. He's always spent time with Jerry, but I've never really bothered with him."
"If you ever find out his father has hit him I want you to tell one of us straight away, no matter what Callum says." said Alan.
"On a different note, your mother is coming around later. She wants to talk to you both about Jerry."
"But we agreed to him moving in already; what else does she want to know?" asked Justin.
"I can think of a number of things but I'll let her ask later. How many DVDs have you come up with for Jerry to watch?" asked Alan.
"Jerry's only request was that we didn't take any sloppy chick flicks so for a start I thought we could take the three extended versions of Lord of the Rings, that's what, a good nine hours of watching. I also suggested some comedies; I thought Taxi and National Security and Alex thought Little Shop of Horrors. I've also put the Fast & the Furious films in with Gone in 60 Seconds. We were going to add Eight Legged Freaks but Cal said Jerry really hates spiders."
"He's not the only one," said Alan.
"Are we having food soon, or are we going to be waiting till after we've seen Jerry?" asked Justin.
"I was thinking we'd have the rest of those pizzas from last night, and before we go I'll put the lasagne in on timer that way it'll be ready just after we come back," said Alan.
"Wow it feels like days since we had that pizza," said Justin.
"Well a lot's happened. There's been a lot to keep your minds busy. And before you start Alex, we are glad we were here to help," said Rick.
"I'm glad you were as well. I don't know if..."
"Everything's worked out ok now so no need to worry anymore, Jerry should be out soon and then we can work on how he's going to see Callum," said Alan.
"That may prove more difficult," said Alex.
"I'm sure with all of us working on it, we'll find a way," said Justin.
"I'll put the pizzas in to warm through now which means they'll be ready soon, why don't you boys pick a film we can watch before we head to the hospital?" said Alan.
"Ok, I've got the perfect one, it's a comedy and musical," said Justin.
"Let me guess, Rocky by any chance?" asked Rick.
"Rocky? I thought that was a movie about a boxer?" said Alex.
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the proper title, it's from the seventies and it's still a massive hit today," said Alan.
"Oh," said Alex.
"It's really funny honestly, but you can choose something else if you'd rather," said Justin.
"No it's fine, it's just that's the second film with horror in the title that turns out to be a musical, it's weird."
"Just a bit but then that's Hollywood," said Justin.
"Rocky Horror is a totally British film, it was written and filmed in Britain," said Rick.
"Wow I didn't know that," said Justin.
"See there are still things we can teach you," said Alan laughing.
"Go set the telly and DVD player up then and we'll be right in now."
The ride from the hospital to Alice Wilshere's house didn't take too long. Sarah and Martha chatted about this and that until Sarah pulled up outside.
"I don't know how long this is going to take, I wouldn't expect her to take all day, I'll come out and get you when I'm ready for help with Jerry's things," said Martha.
"It's fine, I'll enjoy my book while you're in there with the monster."
Martha got out and left Sarah in the car. Sarah watched Martha knock on the door and pulled out her book and began reading when she saw her go in.
After an hour Martha came back to the car.
"That bad huh?"
"Like you wouldn't believe. I've finally got her to agree to let me take Jerry's things away with me. She's only prepared for me to do it, if he's got as much stuff as Alex had, I'll not be long, if you open the boot I'll bring the first load out to you."
Martha was right it took four trips upstairs to get all of Jerry's things.
"That's the last of it and I'm ready to get out of here," said Martha.
"Will you have to come back?"
"No thank God. I've got her to sign everything I needed and I'll give it a few days and I'll get a copy of the death certificate for the father to finish it off."
"I guess that's a bonus, ready to go?"
Sarah reversed the car out of the driveway and headed for home.
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