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  1. chezdon1997

    Chapter 10

    I am glad you like it mate. Glad you are having a laugh before the drama kicks in further You should have a good understanding of the nature of all the characters now so let the good times roll...
  2. chezdon1997

    Chapter 8

    Glad you liked it mate. I see that chapter 9 got posted when I scheduled it to so I am pleased the system worked. Just loaded Chapter 10 to be posted in a few days also. I am happy you are enjoying it. You aren't the first one that chuckles when he sees a 2 litre bottle of Pepsi these days.
  3. chezdon1997

    Chapter 10

    We turn the corner and the sound of a jackhammer coincidentally ends leaving behind a battered bloke to collect his newfound riches from the damp gutter. The clamour originating from the construction site on the other side of the road mercifully ends. I surmise that the clock just passed 5:00 PM if the workers are downing their tools and finishing for the day. The trams and taxis must now be running as per the published timeline as the industrial action would have ended. Projecting my contempt for James to my disdain of the transport union, I try to think of something positive. I feel a sense of gratitude that the construction union bothered to work today considering the poor weather that Melbourne offered up earlier. The building site will be ready that much earlier and the daily racket which I loathe will finally come to an end that much sooner. Mimicking the new state of the building works, Austin has remained quiet since abandoning his thirty dollars and the altercation where he dispatched his foe with necessary roughness. Traversing past my residential tower, I strategically remain one step behind Austin and follow him down the dusty street. The temperature has noticeably dropped since we first confronted James. The dark clouds returned overhead since we played our innings of cricket only minutes ago. A drop of rain first hits my face and then another one splatters on my lower arm, which was only recently struck by a burning cigarette. "Can you please hold this?" Austin hands me the cricket bat. I feel relieved that he has started to speak again. I was beginning to think that he was in shock and was just going to wander around the neighbourhood like a zombie with no destination in mind. Austin removes the black beanie which he borrowed the morning after our party the other night from his right pocket. Thanks to the stupor that I was in yesterday, I completely forgot that Austin took this beanie with him when he left. I wanted to wear it when walking to school and was upset when I couldn't find it. I feel a sense of joy knowing that it has been found and that Austin indeed has it. I watch him pull the black piece of fabric over his head and like he has the benefit of looking in a mirror whilst he is walking, easily pulls his wavy blond fringe out and moves it so it rests over his left eye. "Let's get a coffee. I need one after that nightmare." “Sure.” I follow Austin and his wide eyes after he issues his proclamation. I cross the street and enter a café that strangely I have never been to before, despite it being in the shadow of my residential tower. I wish Austin said he wanted alcohol as I am agitated after our run-in with James. Coffee is certainly not going to calm me down right now. We are advised that the café is closing for the day however the server happily sells us two coffees in takeaway cups He asserts that we are welcome to stay inside and relax if we can excuse the noise the staff are making cleaning the place up. I thank our host and let him know that we will take him up on his kind invitation as Austin taps his debit card against the terminal and pays for our hot caffeinated drinks. I once again follow Austin to a table in the corner which is away from the staff and rest the cricket bat against the cold stone wall before taking a seat at the table. I carefully remove the plastic lid from the hot cardboard cup as I need the coffee to cool down substantially before drinking it. Austin takes a sip of his hot beverage after adding some sugar without flinching. "I have never been in a fight before." He looks to the right and begins to inspect the stone wall. Tears begin to well up in his eyes. I really hope he doesn’t start to cry. I am relieved that we did not get maimed by James and attempt to lighten the mood. "Thank you for doing what you did. James deserved to get his arse kicked if only because he tossed that cigarette in the street." The recent events seem to be taking more of a toll on Austin then any physical injury that James had to endure. For once in my life, I am at a loss for words as I search for something insightful to say. "We must have set a world record and remained relatively drama-free for a whole hour in our new relationship if you don’t count Mel catching us making out of course." Austin slowly moves his gaze from the stone wall and back to me. A wry grin forms on his face however that lasts for but a second before he looks down at his lap wipes at his eyes and snorts back mucous. I stand up and start to walk around the table thinking that giving him a bit of reassurance by putting my hand on his back would be the best thing to do. "No, sit down. No public displays of affection please." Austin wipes his eyes and sniffs again. "I will be fine. Are there any other fucked up guys that are going to pop up in your life anytime soon? I can't deal with this sort of shit again. All of this stress is going to make me have a breakout." I did notice Austin with a few new pimples today however they do not distract from his general good looks. Briefly, I muse just how many products he has at home that is devoted just to his skin and acne management as it is evident that he takes it very seriously. I return to my chair and sit down behind my steaming cardboard cup again. "I am so sorry. I promise nobody else is going to pop up and cause any drama. I owe you thirty dollars now though." I smile and rub my arm. Austin wipes at his eyes with the back of his hand again. He pulls off the black beanie and rubs his eyes with it and takes a few deep breaths. I appreciate that the situation that we both just experienced with James was intense, but I do not understand why Austin is becoming so emotional. I remember him being just fine when I put my hand on his knee under the table at Nandos, so I repeat that covert action and fortunately do not receive any form of protest whilst Austin composes himself. "Earlier you said that you have felt something for me for a while. I really hope that you aren't just playing fucking mind games with me, Chez. I sure as hell know you are good at doing that." I silently forgive his snipe as he starts to sip from his cup of coffee. I swirl the contents of my cup like it is red wine in a glass and take a sip. The coffee has cooled down substantially so I continue to gulp it down and recall the apt advice that Mel offered me earlier. Using my hand, I apply additional pressure to Austin's knee, which causes him to raise his big brown eyes and stare at me again. Realising that I need to take control of this awkward situation, I begin to speak. "I like seeing you with my beanie on your head. Your face looks really cute when your hair pokes out from it." Austin smiles and a feeling of relief overcomes me. I continue to gaze into his eyes. "I know all of this drama with James and what just played out is my fault. I get it, but if I look at the positive side, the dickhead just was the catalyst that brought us closer together." Austin sniffs once again. "I can't remember the last time that I became so emotional. I really hate being like this. You probably think that I am just some silly fag or just some sook." He looks down at his coffee before taking a deep breath and continuing. "Last year in May, I was at home with my mother and sister one night." He takes another deep breath. I start to scratch his knee which gives him some encouragement to continue. "To make a long story short, there was a knock at the door and the next thing I remember was my mother screaming. Three men had forced their way into our house. One was holding an axe, one had a machete and the other bastard had a shotgun. They were shouting at us to open the safe and they were waving their weapons around. Of course, I was scared shitless but I was also confused as I didn't know that we had a safe. That sense of confusion was then magnified by my mother who claimed ignorance to the masked men.” Austin wipes at his eyes again with the beanie. “That was the understanding at least until one of the blokes chased down Chloe and grabbed her and forced her to the floor. He put the machete against her throat." I give him time to compose himself again by filling the void of silence with my outrage. "Jesus Christ! What did they do to your sister? This is shocking." I grasp my cup of coffee with both hands patiently waiting for Austin to continue and after some time passes, set it down and then start to scratch his knee again under the table. He turns his head and stares at the stone wall. "The cunt that grabbed her started to grope her and tear her clothes off. Fortunately, that persuaded my mother to open her fucking mouth. She admitted that we have a safe and that she would open it. After that, at least in my mind, things are a bit hazy but I know that I started mouthing off and abusing the animals, telling them to leave Chloe alone and shit like that. One of the men shoved me and I fell backwards into the corner of an iron and glass table, which cut the fuck out of my back. I ended up on my arse screaming in pain and bleeding all over the place whilst the arsehole stood over me pressing the barrel of the shotgun into my head. I thought it was game over for me." Austin wipes his eyes with the beanie again and takes two long deep breaths. I am not only captivated but genuinely shocked and continue to scratch his knee. I pick up my cup of coffee and attempt another sip and then find there is nothing left to drink. I can not to move or even breathe as I wait for Austin to speak whilst I remain a prisoner of time and sit on the edge of my chair. "Obviously, we all survived the ordeal. They got into the safe, took a bunch of shit and then left." "Fuck." I am at a loss for words for the second time today. "I guess that is what the scar on your back is from. I was going to ask you after seeing it yesterday morning but you left so quickly that I didn't really have the chance." From memory, the scar isn't really that bad and given it is located between his shoulder blade and spine, I imagine it would have been more painful if anything. Knowing how vain Austin is, he is probably more outraged that the scar has marked his body instead of the fact that it represents a horrible moment in his young life. "You noticed it? I guess you were paying attention to me then." Austin turns to head to look at me and I smile. "I wasn't just paying attention, I was checking you out mate." Austin grins. After that tale of woe, I am glad that his mood has improved a bit. "I am so sorry that you and your family had to go through that.” "I am self-conscious about that scar and I was actually afraid that you did notice it and you were going to ask me about it. That is why I fucked off so quickly. I don't like being quizzed for obvious reasons as it brings back some bad memories. Even the ridiculous lie that I tell people about how I got it manages to upset me." I continue to scratch Austin's knee, not really knowing what to say next. "This is why I not only took the cricket bat with me when we went to talk with James but why I was so hell-bent on not being a victim again when he came at us. I wasn't going to let that arsehole do me in, let alone assault you. I was not about to let another violent situation spiral out of control when I had the ability to do something about it. He is lucky I didn't smash his skull in." It is like I placed the last piece of a puzzle and I see the whole picture for the first time. "I totally understand Austin. I am so sorry that I put you in that situation. Did the coppers ever catch the arseholes?" "They did actually. My uncle was behind it all and when my father drinks heavily he carries on about it. The arseholes are all in jail though, that is what is important. I guess this is why those fucking animals didn't rape and kill us all I assume, they were just hell-bent on getting into the safe and leave. It was on the news too. They just left our family's name out of it since the sordid story involved victimised teenagers. I really hate that word now - victim." The café staff start cleaning the table next to us, which distracts Austin. “What was in the safe? Michael Jackson's glove? It is like a scene from Pulp Fiction." I lean in close to Austin and start scratching at his knee energetically. "Come on. Let's get the fuck out of here." I stand up and stretch. My back pops multiple times whilst I look around the small café. Austin gets close enough to me so that I can smell his cologne and gently pats my arse signifying that I should start walking. I grab the bat and continue to process all the shocking revelations as we walk back to my apartment in silence. We avoid being knocked down by a yellow taxi which rushes past us as we illegally cross the small street not paying attention to the traffic. The bright lights of the foyer of my residential tower beckon me after I tap the fob on the security panel and the front doors slide open. This is the same panel that has the one-eyed camera that spied on James earlier. My thoughts drift again as we get in the elevator. Will James will ever feature in my life again? "You are unusually quiet. It is a nice change." Austin grins whilst staring at the LED screen that displays not only the short-term weather forecast in Melbourne but reports the breaking news along with the floor number that we are currently travelling past. "I was just thinking what a cool guy you are and that you smell so damn good. You certainly didn't deserve to go through that hell. Nobody deserves to be terrorised." The elevator stops and the door opens at the same time my verbal diarrhoea concludes. Austin follows me out into the corridor before the elevator door closes. He rushes to catch me as I use the key that has been rubbing against my leg for the last hour to open the apartment door. The strong smells of thyme and garlic first greet us and then I hear the twittering sounds of familiar voices. I leave the cricket bat in the foyer leaning against the wall as I recognise one of the voices being that of my father. We walk into the living room and I see Daniel sitting contently on the L-shaped lounge next to Mel. A bottle of wine open and they are gossiping about one of Mel’s friends who is having an affair. "Hey, boys! How was school today?" My father gets up to shake Austin's hand. Perhaps it was the emotionally-charged afternoon or because I am feeling a sense of mortality, I give my father a hug after he offers Austin his hearty salutations. My father is rigid and noticeably shocked but after a second, embraces me. "What happened? What do I need to know?" "Nothing," I say. My father would be suspicious as I never show any affection towards him. "I just appreciate you. It is just good to be alive." I release Daniel and feeling emboldened for a Monday, promptly retrieve two wine glasses from the kitchen and upon returning to the lounge room, hand one to Austin. "It is Monday, Chezdon.” Daniel still looks surprised that I gave him a hug. “For Christ’s sake.” "Don’t worry, dad. It is only a glass of wine." I clutch the bottle of Baileys Shiraz by its neck and pour Austin a glass. I then greedily fill my vessel nearly to the brim. "May I be so bold as to make a toast?" My father and Austin are both at a loss for words as Mel stands up. "Yes, please Chezdon, please do. Just not to Ned Kelly." The wine is from Glenrowan in upper Victoria, which is where infamous Australian bushranger is from. "What I learned today is that you can be snuffed out at any moment. Anyone can be knocked down by a car or tram. When you are taking your last breath, you will regret that you didn't tell the people that you love what they mean to you from time to time. Dad, Mel, I love you both and I just want to say thanks for always being there for me and just being amazing." My father's eyes open wide which is a rare occurrence. He gazes at Austin as his eyebrows shift up his head suspiciously. "Austin, has he been drinking today? What the hell has happened?" I deny Austin the opportunity to respond with anything witty and instead cast my eyes on his round face and raise my glass in his direction. "Austin, to you mate. Thanks for making me look at life differently." I reach out and first tap my glass against Austin's, then clink Mel's and finally follow-on and chink my father's glass twice by accident. After smelling the wine quickly, I take a drink of Ned Kelly's blood. As I lick my lips, I set the glass of wine on the table and shuffle past Daniel and embrace Mel. "Sorry for being such a dickhead, I do love you." Nobody knows what to say after my toast and unexpected proclamations. Everyone gives their attention to the muted Sky News broadcast on the television. I pick up my wine glass and after taking another sip, walk to the kitchen. Far away from the confused faces that I left behind, I take a quiet moment to gather my thoughts and close my eyes. I overhear my father ask Austin whether I nearly got hit by a tram or if something more sinister happened in my life today. As not to make Austin feel uncomfortable and feel obligated to answer Daniel, I return to the living room nearly as quickly as I left with a newfound feeling of enthusiasm. "Father, it is all good. Life is good. Don't worry." I take a sip of the wine and my eyes once again find Austin's. "Do you want to stay for dinner? Mel said you are more than welcome. Something smells delicious and I know that you don’t want to bugger off. Just say yes." "Whatever you are making smells great, Mel. I will phone my mother just to make sure that I can. She might have something planned for me." I literally cross my fingers using my free hand. I quietly hope that Julie doesn't make Austin go home as I really want to spend some quality time with him on the first official day that we proclaimed to be dating. I want our teenage union to be defined by positive and happy experiences and not mired in drama and forged in despair. My lustful feelings for Austin have gone through a metamorphosis in the last few hours and they have evolved into something which I can't really comprehend. I just want to be around Austin. It is as simple as that. "Come along now you damned fool, our phones are in my room." Not wanting to look back and catch the incredulous stare of my father, I walk around the corner and towards my bedroom. Austin follows behind me. I allow him to walk past me in the hallway before he crosses into my bedroom. I follow him, this time remembering to close the door behind me, having learned my lesson from earlier in the day. Austin sets his glass of wine cautiously on my desk, taking care not to place it on any pieces of paper or books before picking up his phone. After swiping in all directions quickly, he places a call. Feeling emboldened, I take a few steps toward Austin and place my wine glass next to his. My ear is close enough to his handset to hear the ubiquitous ringing sound emanating from his phone. I startle Austin by wiping my moist lips on his white shirt. "What the absolute fuck?" Austin is shocked and then embarrassed when he realises that his mother heard at least the last word of his profane question. "Excuse me?" Julie asks her son in a harsh yet inquisitive voice. I can help but laugh. "Sorry about that mum. Can I stay at Chezdon's tonight for dinner or am I required for something at home?" Austin looks irritated as he asks his mother’s permission. His sour look is exasperated further after I wipe my lips on his white shirt again, which leaves another noticeable wine stain on the fabric. I start to unbutton his shirt and can hear his mother droning on although I can't decipher what she is saying with her posh Australian accent. One sentence quickly blends into two, then four and then eight. Austin waits for her to take a breath before he can get a word in and takes a step back to thwart me from unbuttoning his stained shirt. He learns that any effort to keep me away from him will be futile whilst trying to communicate with his mother. "Well, can you pick me up later then?" Julie begins to ramble once again. I take the opportunity to pull Austin's shirt up releasing it from the constraint of his trousers and his pressure of his belt. He sits on my bed and lets me have my way. "No, they have already had some wine, so that isn't a good idea. I will just get a train or something. I don't have any money on me though." More noise spews over the phone as I try to pull Austin's shirt off him. He fumbles his phone onto his lap and misses a few sentences of his mother's diatribe. He deftly pushes the phone back against his ear and starts to bark into it. "He hasn't said anything, I don't know." Obviously frustrated, Austin continues to respond to a barrage of questions which gives me the chance to first sit next to his naked torso and then slither behind him. I examine the tragic scar on his back that he is so self-conscious about. I am no medical expert but when he was originally wounded, it does look like the laceration have bled a fair amount and that it would have hurt like hell. The assault took place a year ago, yet the prominent pink scar still contrasts starkly with his white skin. Soon I will show him a scar of my own which I keep secret and tell him the story behind it. It is only fair. I begin to run my finger over the scar tissue. Austin's body twitches but it doesn't distract him enough to stop responding to his mother's interrogation. "Okay, don't worry about it. I will find out. I will message you if I leave, or if I am going to stay here. Bye!" With that exclamation, Austin ends the call, tosses his phone on my bed and wraps his arms around me. "Having a good look?" "Yeah. I just want to know everything about you. I don't care about some scar. You are just so hot." After my frank admission, I know that my face has gone red and my fragmented statements must have sounded very juvenile. "Just don't tell Jayden what I told you about what happened to my family. That isn't his business." "I wouldn't know what you are talking about." I roll my eyes indicating that the information will never leave my mouth. "What is this you said to Julie about staying over?" I smile. "My mother at first had words to say about both Mel and Daniel drinking on Monday. She had to admit that she had gotten stuck in the wine herself as she was making some pasta sauce, so she can't drive and pick me up later. My father is out drinking with his colleagues and she doesn't want me dealing with the train station late at night, let alone walking to the tram stop in the rain. She said just to stay over if I can since everyone is apparently getting drunk on a Monday night." Austin scoffs, stands up and reaches for his glass of wine. He takes a drink and then turns to look down at me. I look straight ahead and stare at his crotch. "This has been a very bizarre day and I will assure you. I never thought in my wildest dreams all of this would happen or did I expect it all to play out the way it has only to watch you sit there and leer at my crotch. I want something more from your Chezdon." I look up at Austin. "What is your mother's problem with the train at night?" I give him a cheeky grin, ignoring his proclamation. "I reckon that you are like the sun burning bright and you are nearly red-hot right now. It is just that your rays of light are not just blinding me, you are burning up with sexual energy. I am afraid that if I give in to you on the same day that we get into a relationship of sorts that you will quickly burn out and scorch me at the same time if that makes sense. Hell, I could quickly burn up in your wake and be left devastated. I certainly never expected to be standing here before you in your room with my shirt off right now when I woke up this morning, let alone beating up the guy that I thought that you were fucking. This isn't normal. Nobody can exist living on a high of hormones for hours, if not days, which is what I have been doing." I slowly stand up and place my warm hands on his cold chest and slowing move them up his body until they are resting in his armpits. Perspiration as the result of his stress and excitement begins to be absorbed by my skin. I shuffle closer so that my lips are close to his. "We should find you a clean shirt and wash the one you wore today. You are a size twenty-eight, right?" Despite being deep in Austin’s personal space, he doesn’t move and whispers. "Twenty-eight, twenty-nine. It depends. Why?" "You can borrow a pair of my trousers for tomorrow. I can clean everything else. There is no reason to stress out, I will not pressure you into doing anything that you don’t want to do. I never will." I kiss Austin on the cheek and then push my nose into his neck and smell his cologne again. I close my eyes and lose my balance briefly which makes us falls back against the wall. He opens his mouth to accept my tongue which goes exploring like Captain Cook once again inside its dark wet recesses. My hands grasp his thighs and then grasp his buttocks. Using all my strength, I pull Austin towards me. I pull him back toward my bed, however, lose my balance once again and we collapse on top of my bed. "What were you saying about finding me a shirt?" Feeling like I am running on an empty tank of fuel, I relent and let Austin break my embrace. He rolls off my bed and walks to my open closet and searches for something that he likes. Much like Jayden has grown accustomed to doing without even asking, after a few seconds, Austin locates a slim fitting red cotton shirt and pulls it over his head. Red is the colour of power and he is exerting it over me right now which is driving me mad. I intently watch him as he walks to the bathroom. He plays with his hair which gives me a chance to admire him with the bright light shining overhead. His dirty blond hair, red shirt, and white skin match perfectly. I am so turned on that the blood begins to rush to my penis again. Austin finishes preening his hair by applying styling putty and secures it with hairspray. He innocently rubs one of his blemishes before returning to my bedroom, not realising that I was watching everything that he was doing. I reach for my glass of wine and depress a button on the remote to scroll through available channels on the television. I continue to hold the now empty glass instead of what I really want to embrace for the time being. Austin sits at my desk and starts to browse the papers that I have scattered haphazardly over it. When he finds nothing interesting to read is when he discovers his voice. "Shouldn't we actually do some study?" School completely slipped my mind with the angst, drama, sex, alcohol, and violence on offer which proves that life is certainly more interesting compared to what you find on television. Since today is the first day of the new term, I am relieved that not much happened at school and thankfully not many schoolwork was assigned. Fortunately, I have nothing that is due tomorrow. "Is there anything that you need to hand in tomorrow?" "No, but I should probably do some reading. When is dinner? I am so hungry." "Good question." I scratch the top my head. My ravenous hunger is the result of the fleeting taste of Piri Piri sauce in my mouth that is left over from my late lunch at Nandos. Despite having enjoyed Coca-Cola, coffee, red wine and Austin's saliva over the last few hours, nothing has managed to eradicate the taste from my tongue. "Let's go and find out." Austin follows me as I make the now familiar journey from my bedroom to the kitchen. Daniel is sitting at the marble dining room table reading something on his Samsung tablet. I smile as I recall dancing on this table the other night and falling off it and then turn my attention towards Mel who appears to be reducing some sort of sauce. She pours a small amount of wine from the open bottle onto an aluminium tray that contains the lamb droppings and then fills her wine glass with what remains in the bottle. "Something smells great." A large leg of lamb is resting on a wooden cutting board. I am about to ask Mel how much longer it is before we can devour her creation but then hold my tongue. Austin and I instead intently watch Mel prepare a gravy. I assume that we are only minutes away from our fine dining experience. I have watched her cook multiple times and have asked her enough questions to feel confident that the epicurean side of me knows the answer but I still manage a single query for validation. "What were you using the pressure cooker for Mel?" Mel turns around and sips from her glass of wine. "I had to make a lamb stock. It is a bit of a pain in the arse really, but it is rich and smells nice. It is the base for this gravy." The pleasant conversation is interrupted by the video intercom obnoxiously ringing again, which startles me as usual. My heart begins to race as I wonder if James has returned for another innings of cricket. Before I can announce that I will attend to our visitor, Daniel is walking toward the irritating colour monitor. I wish there was some easy way to disable the intercom and consider how long I would be disciplined for if I rip the goddamned device off the wall. I follow my father, who is still holding his glass of wine as he approaches the insolent device. "Jesus Christ, the police are here!" My father exclaims and then turns around. A stern look quickly takes form on his face and he naturally assumes that I have done something criminal judging from the poisonous stare that he offers me. The obnoxious sound of the intercom repeats as a drop of sweat rolls down my back. Daniel pours what is left in his Riedel glass down his throat before picking up the receiver. "Good evening constables, how can I help you?" The shitty technology doesn’t broadcast the sound at a volume so you can snoop on a conversation if you happen to be close to the receiver, unlike Austin's phone. "Yes, he is my son. Is he being charged with something?" My heart skips a beat as I silently stare my father. "That is fine, he is here. You are welcome to come up and have a chat. I am sure that he can assist you with your enquiries." After offering my services, Daniel presses a button which grants the constables entry to our floor of the building before returning the receiver to the cradle on the wall. Austin and Mel meander into the living room at the same time Daniel turns around and points his finger at me. “I don't know what has happened but you two bastards have two minutes to educate us." He glances at his watch before grimacing at Austin. Daniel offers his synopsis. "There has been no complaint against Chezdon, but they want him to assist with their enquiries. Apparently, Chezdon's boyfriend beat up someone on the street outside this building with a cricket bat." Mel sets her glass of wine on the table softly. "Austin, we don't have much time. Is this true?" Austin looks dazed. "He attacked us." Mel nods her head as Austin begins to blurt out words. “He was going to bash us.” "What do you mean? Give me the high-level facts." Mel touches Austin on his arm with two fingers. "It will be fine. I won't let anything happen to you. We only have about a minute until they are here." Daniel is staring at his watch and tapping his foot. Austin suddenly speaks hurriedly. "Do you remember that bloke called James that turned up here on Saturday? Well, he bought Chezdon some beers yesterday so he came around earlier today asking Chez for thirty dollars as payment. He was a dickhead to even ask but we met up with him earlier to give him the money. We called each other some bad names. He was a bit offended so he attacked us.” Austin lowers his head and he starts at the floor. “I warned him to stay away because I had the cricket bat. In the end, I hit him with it." There is a loud knocking on the front door. Daniel waves his right hand in a circular motion. He has gesticulated in this manner when I have droned on endlessly in the past and is bored. "Okay, fair enough. Were there any other witnesses? How long were you on the street with James?" Mel folds her arms and tilts her head to the right and appears to be deep in thought. Austin responds quickly which would surely please my father. "Five minutes, I reckon. James smoked a few cigarettes whilst we were talking, so maybe a few minutes longer." Austin shifts his weight from one foot to the other repeatedly. He might have to pee. I fondly recall our joking on Saturday that he has a small bladder. The loud rapping on the front door returns and I secretly hope that this chat with the cops will be quick as I am fearful that Austin will piss his pants. "I don't think there were any witnesses." Mel walks past us and into the foyer. She opens the door and greets the two police officers. After exchanging pleasantries, she invites them inside, extending her arm and motioning in the only direction that they can move. A constable points at the cricket bat that is propped up near the front door as Mel ushers the officers into our reception area. "Constables, before we begin, let me introduce myself. My name is Melissa Peterson and I am a criminal barrister. This fine gentleman to my left in the periphery is Daniel Morrison, the father and legal guardian to Chezdon Morrison, who is the minor child that you wish to make queries of today. I believe we can assist you with your questions and you are more than welcome to make them here, in our home, if you can afford everyone the respect that they deserve. Chezdon, will you please sit here with me?" Mel extends her arm and points at the red two-seated sofa near us. I stand next to Mel and when I begin to sit down, she does the same and we rest on arses on the red leather that is rarely used. I have never seen her in action professionally; the law is more of a hobby for her as she would rather spend her days following recipes in the Heston Blumenthal cookbook instead of dealing with the law. I feel at ease with her sitting next to me during this unforeseen meeting. I stand up and extend my hand to the constables. I shake the hand of the female constable and smile, and then enthusiastically shake the hand of the male officer, who appears to be her supervisor and grips my hand so hard I wince. “Hi, I am Chezdon.” After introducing myself, I sit down next to Mel once again. "How can I assist?" I glance at Austin and first notice his wide eyes. He is playing with his hair, which he seems to do when he is nervous I have noticed today. Daniel stares at his watch. I know he was looking forward to eating lamb and of course consuming a few bottles of red wine with the fragrant meal. With the thought of dinner now on my mind, the smell of thyme that is emanating makes my stomach grumble. The male constable speaks with a bored country drawl. "Chezdon mate, we have received a complaint from a James Bateman that your boyfriend assaulted him outside of this building with a cricket bat. Are you able to identify this person? We would like to interview him. Can you please tell us what happened?" This is the second time that the coppers have referred to Austin as my boyfriend. I still haven’t gotten used to even having a boyfriend or even if I should be referring to Austin as one. This ambiguity is causing me more stress than being questions by the local constabulary. I take a deep breath which produces a sigh as I exhale and glance at my father. I can only imagine what he is thinking about now that it has been inferred that I have a boyfriend. Mel places her hand on my knee and begins to speak as I open my mouth. "Constables, can we please save each other some precious time and cut to the chase? As a family, we would like to eat our dinner soon and I am confident that you have more important things to deal with today." Mel appears uninterested as she crosses her legs. She has been away from her glass of wine for a few minutes now and I am confident that she is missing it. The female constable obviously doesn't like Mel trying to control this interview. "Mrs Peterson, we take violence very seriously as I am sure that you aware. We will conduct our inquiry now and take what we need or we will invite you to come down and speak with us at the station." She then gazes at me with her small notebook and pen ready. "Chezdon, please continue. Can you please identify the person that allegedly assaulted Mr Bateman?” I am relieved that the copper first identified our supposed victim as James as I never asked him his surname. I don't know how I would have reacted if I learned his last name was Pepsi or some variant of a soft drink. "It certainly was not an assault and the person that you want to question is standing right there." I point at Austin. Mel stands up. "Constables, unless you are going to charge Chezdon with an offence, that is all he will be saying. I will be representing Austin in the same way I did with Chezdon though." Mel squints at Austin and motions to him. She places her hand on Austin's shoulder. "We can easily finish this now if you trust me, and just tell the constables exactly what you told us earlier. They will ask if you want to be questioned with your mother and father present. That is up to you." The female copper appears irritated. She opens her mouth to interrupt before Austin and I voluntarily swap places. "It will be fine." I squeeze Austin's shoulder after he sits down. "Your name is Austin? What is your surname?" The female constable is again ready with her pen. "McGuire." "Mr McGuire, are you comfortable speaking with us now with Mrs Peterson supervising and advising? We can drive you to your home and question you with your legal guardians present if you wish. Whilst you consider this, can you please provide us with your home address." Austin looks at Daniel, who has taken an interest in the view of the Melbourne skyline before returning his attention to Mel. "Just tell them what you told us earlier, I promise you this will end quickly." She repeats her original advice with a calm yet soothing voice. My alleged boyfriend looks at the female constable. "I am happy to continue here. How can I be of help?" After providing his home address as being in the affluent suburb of Toorak, the officers look at one another. By the snide looks on their faces, I am sure they are both wondering if Austin is the son of Eddie McGuire, the president of the Collingwood Football Club and the former CEO of Channel Nine Australia. I struggle to contain my laughter knowing that he is not a member of that celebrated family. The male constable who no longer appears bored opens his notebook and clicks the button on the tip of a pen. "There has been an allegation that you assaulted Mr Bateman. Can you please tell us about this?" Austin looks at Mel who smiles and nods. He recounts the specifics of how our interaction today with James took place on the street below. Austin becomes animated and starts to gesticulate, which is humorous to watch as a spectator. He quickly becomes morose and appears to be experiencing regret as he admits that he smacked James with the cricket bat. "If James was so badly hurt and felt so threatened, why would he hang around to pick up numerous banknotes and coins off the street?" It is an interesting question he posed and leaves everyone in the room staring at Mel. Mel clears her throat. "Constables, as we all know, one is permitted to defend oneself to a reasonable degree. Having not witnessed the act myself, it would be imprudent of me to comment upon whether what Austin did amounts to being reasonable. However, I will simply highlight that under the Child Protection Act of 1966, it is an offence for an adult to assault a child, even in a rage. We do have lawful chastisement; of course, however, Mr Bateman is not the parent or legal guardian of Austin McGuire." Mel speaks like she is reading from a textbook. Both Austin and I look at each other and then at Daniel who is pursuing his lips. I wonder if my father thinking about lawful chastisement and how he can legally kick my arse later. "I would suggest constables that you ask Mr Bateman as to whether he wants to pursue an erroneous allegation against Mr McGuire. If he does, we will then be asking the court for an assault against minor charge to be levied against him." The male constable has been writing continuously. Sometime after Mel stops speaking and finishes writing notes, he clears his throat and looks at Mel. "Mrs Petersen, you are not in front of the judge, so if you would please calm down and keep the theatrics to a minimum we would appreciate it." The copper then looks at Austin. "I have two questions Austin if you don't mind. How long were both you and Chezdon outside speaking with Mr Bateman before you allegedly hit him with the cricket bat? Were there any other witnesses?" Without looking at Mel, Austin immediately responds. "James smoked two cigarettes whilst we were chatting with him. He tossed one of the ciggies into the gutter. He smoked another one after that and flicked it at Chezdon." Austin pauses to consider the facts before continuing. "Chezdon later said James deserved to be hit with the bat simply because he littered after we walked off. James picked up one of the coins in the gutter which was next to one of his cigarette butts." Austin takes a breath and looks up at the ceiling and then back to the male constable who continues to write in his little notebook. "I don't know about any witnesses, but there is a construction site across the street and the workers were knocking off for the day. I reckon we were talking with James for around five minutes before the alleged incident took place." Everyone keeps using the word alleged. It is now officially the word of the day. Mel once again places her hand gently on Austin's shoulder. "Constables, it is obvious that Mr Bateman never felt threatened by these two boys and continued a conversation with them whilst smoking multiple cigarettes. Although it can't be proven as only three people know for a fact what dialogue was exchanged and although I would imagine it to be colourful in nature, it doesn't give the explicit right to Mr Bateman to attack these boys out of rage." The male constable holds up his hand to interrupt Mel. "I have heard enough. We will have a conversation with Mr Bateman and explain to him that everyone should just avoid one another in the future. I am sure that he will not want to pursue this after we explain to him what you kindly articulated to us about the assault against minor charge. I am confident that he will see reason. Thank you, Austin. Can you join us downstairs to identify the cigarette butt in the gutter if you wouldn't mind?" "Austin, I will go downstairs with you. It looks like this has been finalised. Constables, thank you for your time and your kind attention. I am grateful that we could settle this ridiculous matter. It looks like my lamb will not go cold after all. Before we go, can I offer you anything to drink?" I really doubt that Mel inferring that she wants to open a bottle of wine and share sordid stories involving stupid criminals with the coppers. "Thanks, Ms Petersen, but we are fine. Shall we?" The male constable begins to walk toward the front door. The female constable initially follows him but stops to look at the painting of 'Growler' hanging on the wall. When he notices her distracted the cop offers her some insight. "That painting was featured in the winning apartment on The Block which is why it looks familiar. It is signed though so I doubt it is the same one." I can't but offer some additional information to our local constabulary about the troubled and now deceased artist. "Yes, it is a piece by Adam Cullen who led a very tragic life and is an Archibald Prize-winning painter. He died not long ago from living an unhealthy lifestyle. A bit like I foresee James ending up if he doesn't make some better life choices. You may want to tell that to him also constables." Everyone is now staring at me. I look at my father and then at the female constable and shrug my shoulders. "What? It is just my opinion of course. Oh, and Austin isn't related to Eddie McGuire." Mel smiles and then laughs. The male copper smiles and opens our front door. "Don't worry about that Chezdon. I will be having a strong word or two with Mr Bateman. Have a nice night. Your dinner smells wonderful by the way." He then glances at his colleague. "Let's go." He looks at Mel. "If you can join us outside on the street with Austin, I promise that you will be back and enjoying your dinner in a few minutes." The male constable holds the door open for his colleague who wanders slowly into the corridor. Mel follows and then Austin who pauses at the door and offers me a smirk. He sticks his tongue out and rolls it into a taco and crosses his eyes. He is the last to leave the apartment, playing with his blond fringe as he lets the door close gently behind him. I am left alone with my father who has had plenty of time to consider the notion of legal chastisement. I take another deep breath before walking into the living room. Daniel is holding his Samsung tablet in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. I have no idea what he is thinking, but I feel it is in my interest to coax his thoughts out of him so there is not another awkward display when Mel and Austin return. "Well, that was interesting. Mel certainly knows her shit." It takes him a while to find my statement more interesting than whatever he is reading. "She does know her shit and that is why I love her. That could have ended badly Chezdon, I hope that you know that." I take an interest in the carpet under the glass table and start to count the different colours of fibres whilst acknowledging my father by nodding. “Yeah, I know.” Thirsty from the courtroom scene that played out in our reception area, my father pours the contents of his glass of wine down his throat seamlessly. I am still on edge about the boyfriend comment that was made twice by the constable. I hope that my father was distracted by the ridiculous situation and the drama that unfolded and forgets how Austin was classified by James. I scowl when I recall telling James that my parents aren’t aware of my sexual orientation and how I asked him to keep it secret before he turned up here on Saturday. I quickly get lost in my own thoughts thinking about how James tried to stir up shit and out me. Lost in my own world, I didn't notice that Daniel had gotten up, refilled his wine glass and then returned to sit next to me until I feel a thud, which interrupts my contemplative state. My father takes a sip of wine. "Chezdon, please just remember that you are a teenager and a clever one at that. Don't try to grow up before you have to." Daniel gulps another few mouthfuls of wine before setting the glass gently on the table. "The only things that I want from you is for you to lead your life as a good person and for you to enjoy every day. You don't have to worry about me judging you for decisions that you make in your personal life. I wouldn't care if all the sudden you declared you hate cricket, the government, joined a religious cult, went vegan and decided that you wanted a sex change. I would still love you and not judge you. Nothing would change. I just hope that you communicate with me so I can give you the best advice and give you the best mentoring that I possibly can. Mel is here for you too. Hell, the same applies for your friends if they ever need anyone to talk to. Just know that you can talk to us about anything. I don't ask for much from you besides this." I am overwhelmed by my father's diatribe and his attitude. He has never uttered anything so heartfelt and I never imagined that he would be so accommodating to my life choices. “Thanks.” I don’t know what else to say as he picks up his wine glass and I return to counting the various colours that make up the rug under the table. The front door closes and I hear Mel and Austin chatting as they walk through the foyer. My mouth is dry and my breathing is much faster than normal. Mel walks into the living room with Austin following behind her. She immediately locates her glass of wine but starts speaking before she takes a drink. "That is sorted thank Christ. The coppers took the cigarette butts into evidence. They only asked Austin for his mobile phone number in case there are follow-up questions." Mel looks at Austin and puts her arm around him. "You did really good mate, and it will all be fine. Thank you for trusting me." Mel finally consumes wine and after the rim of the glass parts company from her lips, she smiles. Wine to her is like a blood to a vampire. "Just call me if you get into a tricky situation like that again. Promise me?" She pulls a business card from her pocket and hands it to Austin. Austin nods. "Thank you so much, Mel, I really appreciate what you did. That was just amazing." "No worries. I will send your parents a bill. It is seven hundred dollars per hour, but I will give you the friends and family discount." Mel pats Austin on the back and walks toward the kitchen. “Just kidding." She announces out of sight before returning with a bottle of wine, which she deftly opens thanks to the ingenious screw-cap. Mel fills Daniel’s empty glass and then hers. "We can finally eat. After that, I am bloody hungry." I stand up and wrap my arm around Austin and glance at my father. Daniel retrieves his glass of wine and stares out the window. "Austin, don't be pissed off at me. I am really appreciative of what you did earlier as who knows what that lunatic would have done to us." My father turns around and sips from the wine glass. "Dad, just so you know, Austin is my boyfriend. We have been together now for four hours plus or minus, and I really hope that when I wake up tomorrow, he will still consider me his boyfriend after all of this bullshit." I smile and feel genuinely happy as I know don’t expect my father to go berserk after our chat earlier. Daniel looks at Austin. "I always knew you had great taste Chezdon. Now can we please eat?" He pours all the wine that is in his glass down his mouth as he walks over and stands in front of us. Daniel extends his hand and Austin grasps it. "Welcome to the family, mate." My father walks towards the kitchen and Mel follows him. Austin looks at me in disbelief. "I hope you are worth it." He takes a deep breath. "I know I am."
  4. chezdon1997

    Innocence Waning

    Heaps of views but so few comments.
  5. chezdon1997

    Chapter 8

    Feeling both emotionally and physically exhausted, the walk back to the tram platform at Beacon Cove is equally tedious and tiresome. Without being burdened by technology or money to assist my endeavours to get home, I get lost in my own thoughts. Seeing that the transit police are inspecting the tickets of the wayward passengers boarding the tram reminds me of all the bad decisions that I have made since waking up today. Forgetting to bring my public transport card with me now officially ranks at the top of the list of epic failures for the day so far. If I was on top of my game, I would try to sweet-talk my way past the transit police and on to the tram where I could be ushered back to Southbank in air conditioned comfort. Normally, I would communicate my tale of woe but appearing dishevelled and wearing a filthy hoodie doesn't help my confidence so I resign to the fact that I will be walking home. My frustration level seems to be linked to the rising ambient temperature and I regret not wearing fewer clothes. I push up on the thick cotton sleeves of my hoodie and begin to tramp up the path that follows the tram tracks. Forty minutes later I am walking amongst the shadows that the high-rise towers provide in Southbank. Upon returning home, my father confronts me in the foyer before I can close the front door. "Where the hell did you go? You left Jayden here and you just swanned off to hell knows where!" Yet another bad decision that I have made today which can be added to the growing list of failures. My head begins to throb. "Sorry, I went to check in on Austin as he was sick and having a rest in Federation Square." I lie however my father has a knack for catching me out when I tell a lie. "Also-" "That is bullshit," my father shouts and interrupts my story. It is rare that he becomes so annoyed with me that he swears. I must be really off my game today and I blame it on the hangover and coming down from the drugs. "I know your damn phone is off. I saw it this morning in the kitchen. How would Austin get in contact with you? Do tell!" Daniel looks pissed off and grinds his teeth. "Don't bullshit me, Chezdon!" "Sorry, I just feel like shit and needed some air. I couldn't stand the stink in my bedroom." This seems like a plausible excuse as I backtrack from being caught out telling an untruth. "It is disgusting in there and I just couldn't take it any longer." "I don't know what is wrong with you Chezdon, but sort yourself out. You look awful and please put on some clean clothes. Look after yourself and more importantly look after your mate. Act like an adult for a change." I rub the back of my head as Daniel finishes his lecture. He suddenly grabs a set of keys from the tray on the table across from the front door and leaves. I let the door slam shut and then lock it. I shuffle to my bedroom and find Jayden laying under the bedsheet on my bed watching television. "Hey. How are you feeling?" I wonder if he will be upset at me for going walkabout like my father is. "It is turning out to be a nice day." Jayden rubs his temple with his index finger. "Like I have been hit by a cricket ball. At least I didn't end up like Phil Hughes." Jayden cracking a joke at the expense of a cricketer who recently died gives me perspective that life could be much worse. I ponder what little I know of Phil Hughes who was hit on the head by a cricket ball last year. The sad memory suddenly puts my present circumstances into perspective. My dead phone on my desk catches my eye. My father must have brought it into this hellishly smelling room earlier when he found Jayden, but not his favourite son. I retrieve the phone in one deft swoop and plug a charging cable into it. "I bet you are happy that you didn't buy a new phone yesterday mate." Jayden's eyes dart from his own phone to the television. I begin to feel deprived of technology and contact with the outside world. "Look at this mate. This photo has the most likes of anything that I have ever posted." Jayden thrusts the screen of his phone in my face. I first make out a white arse. It takes some time for me to realise that the photo is of me mooning the camera. I am looking back over my shoulder and sticking my tongue out." A feeling of dread begins to build in my stomach. I wonder what else happened last night that I do not remember. "Jesus, you posted a picture of my arse?" I have managed to keep anything besides my exposed face, arms and legs off the Internet until now. All the effort seems to be in vain. "Hopefully that is it." I huff to make it seem like I remember the photo being taken and the circumstances. I grab Jayden's phone out of his hand start swiping at the screen, which shows me all the pictures that were taken last night. Memories quickly return after finding fifty photographs that have been posted on both Instagram and Twitter which memorialised our drunken antics for the world to see. Finding the humour in the silliness which was captured makes me chuckle. The highlights are the photographs of Austin sticking his tongue in my ear, Jayden getting a piggyback ride courtesy of Bryce and of course, my bare white arse mooning the camera. A thirty-second video also makes its world premiere which features me dancing on our black marble dining room table badly. Near the end of the video, I fall off the table and wither on the floor in pain. A resounding thud can be heard and then the obligatory swear words. It was this tomfoolery which sent my precious phone flying into the kitchen and crashing on the cold tiled floor. With the mystery of my broken phone screen solved without the need to involve Columbo, I swipe back to the photo of my arse and notice it has been 'liked' 769 times in less than twelve hours. I toss the Samsung Galaxy S4 which I originally loaned to Jayden a few months ago back onto his chest and sigh. Jayden scratches his armpit and then pushes his hair off his forehead. "What are you looking for Chez?" "My bloody phone screen is shattered. I have an old Galaxy S2 in here somewhere." I rummage through junk in the bottom drawer next to my bed. "If you remember I gave you that old Galaxy but you never returned it, so I am forced to use some really old tech now." I continue to move junk from side to side in the drawer. "The camera in this phone is broken as it was damaged in the washing machine." "The washing machine?" Jayden laughs. "I am surprised it works at all." "Me too. My father reckons that it is because after it was rescued, it dried out for a week and it wasn't turned on. Believe me mate, I never thought it would work." I close the bottom desk drawer and slide the one above it open, continuing the hunt for my old phone. "I know for a fact that Apple shit would never survive after being drowned." Jayden laughs again. "Who put it in the washer? Your dodgy cleaner?" "Actually, I did." I remove an old Mars bar wrapper from the drawer and toss it on the ground. "Since when do you do your own washing?" I stand up and face Jayden. "After school, I stopped for a curry at Southgate one day." I know this story is going to lead to me being ridiculed but it will hopefully distract Jayden enough so he doesn't ask me to explain why I left earlier. "The curry didn't agree with me and I couldn't get home fast enough. Let's just say that I couldn't get to the toilet in time. I thought I would clean up after myself by doing my own washing. In my rush to get into the shower, I put my trousers, phone, and my wallet into the washing machine. I simply forgot to take everything out of my pockets. The money and my bank card survived, but nothing else did. Or so I thought." Jayden begins to laugh hysterically. "That is the last time that I did my own wash and I certainly didn't buy a curry from that shitty shop again." I walk to my desk and begin to rummage through the open drawer whilst Jayden continues to laugh. Luckily, I find the Galaxy S2 and thrust it into the waiting charging cable next to my bed. I pull off my smelly and sweaty hoodie and make an audible grunt as I toss it on the floor before collapsing next to Jayden. I begin to pull apart my damaged phone with the intention of liberating the SIM card. "Jesus mate. You stink!" Jayden lurches to the left. "You smell like old sweaty socks and wine mate." I fumble with my broken phone and push my nose close to my armpit. I inhale and then look at Jayden. "You have purple stained lips." I do stink. Jayden begins to lick his lips and then rubs at them violently with his finger before turning his attention to the television. The recent episode of Game of Thrones is being replayed. King Tommen Baratheon has just finished having sex with Queen Margaery Tyrell. It is a controversial scene as the actor who plays Tommen is only sixteen in real life. He looks exuberant portraying a typical horny teenager though. "You would so have your way with Tommen," Jayden says with a Cheshire cat-like grin on his face. "Or maybe not, he is only sixteen after all so he is far too young for you mate." "Fuck you!" I power on the previously retired phone after inserting the SIM card and notice that it now has one percent of battery power in reserve. The 4G signal is located and the Morrison wireless network is discovered. Notifications of all types begin to flood in and the device begins to have an seizure. Missed calls, text messages, e-mails, alerts from Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat all appear on the display simultaneously. The phone purrs like a cat as the seemingly endless notifications appear and the device continues to vibrate out of control. Feeling overwhelmed, I start to catch up with my digital life. "Thanks, arsehole. I now have these random kids adding me on Instagram. They are also messaging me on Twitter since you posted that photo of my bare arse wanting to see more." "It is a hilarious-" A wry smile envelopes Jayden's face as he pauses and begins to gesticulate. "Really hilarious photo, don't take it so seriously mate. It isn't like I posted a dick-pic. You were in your element and you certainly didn't care at the time so just relax and take a breath." "It has been retweeted and shared, so I guess that I have to live with it." I exhale a noticeable sigh. The first thought that comes to mind is my father seeing the arse of his only son and namesake on some social media feed. "Whatever! I am over it." I turn my attention to my phone and continue to read and respond to messages. One communication is from James expressing hope that I am feeling 'groovy' and reminds me that we have plans later once he finishes work. I respond saying that I am 'just fine and dandy' and that I will meet him at the bar that he suggested. "So, what is your plan for today?" I ask Jayden after I send the last of the messages that require some attention. I toss the charging phone back onto the bedside table and stare at Jayden who is fondling his right nipple. "Not much really. Mother is at some party this afternoon. Do you want to get lunch and just chill out? I don't have to be back until around six. I am so not in the mood for school tomorrow." "Sure. How are you feeling?" I get off my bed and attempt to reconcile my fuzzy mind with my weary body. After the long and tumultuous wander, where the members of the public no doubt confused me with a zombie who managed to sweat out the excesses of the previous evening from every pore in my body, I am feeling fine for the most part. I certainly need a shower before going back out in public. "Not that bad. I am fucking starving though, so let's get the fuck out of here." Jayden throws the bedsheet to the side, hops up and meets me at my closet. He enthusiastically pulls a white shirt off a hanger and pulls it over his head. "I had a shower after you went walkabout, so get the fuck ready mate." I take a pair of grey skinny jeans and a black 5 Seconds of Summer concert singlet from my closet and a pair of underwear from an open drawer. I jog into my bathroom and slide the doors closed. Jayden and I have seen each other naked before but I still like to have privacy when I shower. After washing the sweat and filth from my body I blow dry my hair. I apply some product to my blonde fringe and get dressed. Returning to my bedroom, at first, I am affronted by the horrible smell and am reminded just how toxic my room is. Transported back to reality, Jayden exclaims "Fuck off!" as he stands up. "What?" I look incredulously at Jayden as I begin to collect dirty and soiled clothes from the floor. I toss them all into a mound near my bed so the cleaner will know to attend to them when she next turns up. "Seriously? Are you going to wear that shirt out in public? "For Christ's sake Chezdon." "What is wrong with it? Considering what you wear most of the time, this is tame. Don't you like my white shoulders? Every man and his fucking dog have now seen my white arse thanks to you, so I thought I would just help fill in the blanks." Jayden has a contrary opinion because girls will check me out and ignore him as per usual. "Whatever you say, mate. Let's go!" I follow Jayden to the foyer where I find my black Havaianas flip flops placed neatly in the corner and slide them on my feet. I notice that my toenails could use a clipping before taking a set of keys from the silver dish on the table. Food right now trumps any further desire to attend to my personal hygiene. Our journey to find sustenance takes us across the Southbank pedestrian bridge, through the underground tunnel that passes under Flinders Street Station and out into the chaos of Elizabeth Street in what is considered the centre of the city of Melbourne. A sensory overload of sweaty bodies, familiar fast-food branding, rubbish in the gutter, traffic, and squealing trams are met by indignation as we weave between pedestrians, prams and the local police presence. We debate the merits of each restaurant that we walk past. Huxtaburger is a no-go zone since one of the hamburgers is named after Bill Cosby and Jayden hates the 'rapist' so he refuses to eat there. I veto "Lord of the Fries" only because I think the name is stupid and makes me think of a movie that is on my list that I haven't yet watched. We walk up Flinders Lane and agree to go to Supernormal so that we can eat delicious lobster rolls. I originally discovered this goodness at the now defunct Big Day Out festival a few years back. The lobster rolls were being sold as a takeaway by this restaurant to the concert-goers. They are both amazing and addictive. Last month, I tried to reproduce the published recipe with a very disappointing result; an adventure which proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that my destiny does not involve anything having to do with the culinary arts. Reminiscing about the amazing food and the sweaty shirtless guys from the festival not only makes me forget about what bands were playing that day but also the restaurant that we were fiending for as I walk past it. Jayden must have shouted at me three times before I snapped back to reality and noticed that I wandered past and jog back to him and past the open the door of the restaurant. We are seated at the long bar on high red stools by a hostess that has a face that looks like a grumpy cat. We promptly get stares from the patrons seated to the left and right of us before being noticed by the wait staff. The looks of consternation on their collective faces as to why teenagers would want to eat at such a venue no doubt mystifies the onlookers where the average age of the customer base is thirty. This trivia provides for some amusement as I scoot closer to the bar on the stool with noticeable effort. "Your finest vintage of Diet Coke please my lovely." This is my request when the bar lady asks what I would like to drink. Jayden insists on a full-strength Coca-Cola and requests a double. The older woman seated next to Jayden laughs. Jayden quietly scrolls though notifications on his phone. I check my own device and read a rather sullen message from Bryce. The content doesn't register in my mind properly after skimming it for the first time since I am not totally with it. I must think about the meaning of the words and after taking a beat, start to laugh hysterically. I muffle the noise I am making with my arm. It isn't long before I can't control myself and my laughter becomes louder as I convert the words using my colourful imagination into pictures. My laughter is contagious. The bar lady begins to giggle whilst she looks at her colleague all the while whispering something to him. It is then when I notice the bloke to the right of me looking at me with an inquisitive gaze. "What the hell? What is so damned funny?" Jayden demands whilst trying to look at the screen of my phone. I put the device into flight mode and place it upside down on the bar, desperately trying to regain my composure. "What the hell?" Jayden asks again. I stop laughing long enough to take a breath about the same time the 2015 vintage Diet Coke is set in front of me. I gulp it down in record time and swallow the ice cubes, using my free hand to motion for another round. "Were you the one that drew the swastika on Bryce's back?" "No, that was Austin. Don't you remember those two arguing about all the bullshit going on in the Middle East last night?" Jayden appears intrigued. "Why do you ask?" "I don't remember much about that conversation but that is not the point. I saw the swastika on his back this morning. My father saw it too and made some comment that it was drawn incorrectly. Anyway, Bryce had to turn up to supervise some youth swim class at his school this morning and he didn't know that was drawn on his back." I pause to watch Jayden both pucker and then tighten his lips and shift them to the right, a result of him being pensive. "He went to the pool with no shirt on, not knowing what was on his back. Both the children and parents saw Austin's artwork and there was outrage, to say the least." "Oh yeah, I have a mental picture of his back mate. I put that photo on Instagram too. So why should anyone care? Austin was just having a laugh whilst Bryce was passed out." "He goes to a Jewish school you idiot." I roll my eyes and grab the empty glass. "Oh shit!" Jayden reconstructs his pensive look again. "That is bad. That is so wrong." My best mate reflects thoughtfully and then takes a drink of his full-strength Coca-Cola. "His mother had to turn up and collect him. He got lectured and was nearly thrown out of school. Good thing that Austin drew it the wrong way. I guess it has a different meaning that way so he could blame it on a prank that he knew nothing about. Anyway, he is not very happy and is the shit." I feel bad for Bryce but then find the humour in the situation again. It is just the inconvenient timing of his responsibilities at school on a weekend after a huge night of all things that caused this drama. Jayden swipes at the screen of his phone. He stares at the photo of Bryce that he posted on Instagram and shows it to me. "A masterpiece." Jayden muses. Bryce passed out on the floor of my room with my soiled underwear adorning his head like a crown of thorns with the reverse swastika drawn on his back. We both begin to laugh in unison. If we were drinking alcohol we would have been cut off and thrown out of the restaurant. Instead, the bar lady turns up and asks us if we want a top-up of soft drinks and then asks us if we are ready to order. Only two words are exclaimed simultaneously. The words "lobster" and "roll" are blurted out and then we confirm that we want two of the amazing offerings each to commence our gourmet lunch experience. Jayden sits up as straight as he can on the stool and stretches his arms over his head. "What a night mate. That James bloke seems like a sketchy character. Hell, he wouldn't even have a drink with us. You can’t trust a bloke that will not take a drink when offered." I follow Jayden's lead and stretch my arms over my head and try to snap the tension out of my neck by pushing my head to its side. I accidentally knock into the man sitting on the stool next to me with my elbow and quickly put my arms down. The outsider glances at me and turns away. Feeling self-conscious, I put my nose as close to my armpit and inhale. Not detecting an odour, I put it down to teenage enthusiasm distracting him with an elbow to the ribs instead of a stench. "I dunno. There is something about James that intrigues me." "How could you possibly be intrigued by that idiot?" "I really can't say. I don't know. It just seemed like a good idea to invite him around and all. It is probably like Austin drawing the reverse swastika on Bryce's back. I think the wine just made us act like fools." I start to question as to why I even bothered to respond to the message James sent me earlier, however, justify it in my mind that I just shouldn't be rude and I would like a beer. A tasty cold beer would probably make me feel better. "Do you reckon you will bother seeing him again? There are plenty of other guys that aren't so sketchy mate; ones that obviously aren't as-" Jayden pauses, "um... old and experienced." He utters the last word implying a slew of other connotations but remains politically correct as the woman sitting next to him is eavesdropping. I wonder why the members of the public prefer to listen to boring teenage dramas instead of living lives of their own. Another glass of Diet Coke is placed in front of me. I gulp it all down and swallow the ice cubes again, motioning to the bar lady that I am very interested in yet another round. "I am seeing him later today." I lick the rim of the empty glass. "For what it matters." "What the fuck are you thinking mate? That bloke is twenty-five years old and is just some silly retail slut. You know he only wants one thing. Is that all you want you whore? To get it up the arse?" I continue to lick the rim of the glass and focus on the back of my throat that is now freezing. The bar lady begins to pour another round in a clean glass from an open can. "Since it matters to you so much, I haven't ever had it up the arse as you so eloquently put it. Who is to say that that I don't want to give it to him up the arse?" The man sitting next to me shifts his weight and moves his body closer to me so he can hear every word of our conversation. "Jesus Christ, what is it of your business anyway, Jayden?" "I just don't want you abducted or fucked over mate. That is all. Whatever makes you happy I guess." Jayden understands that he is not going to talk me out of my liaison. His facial expression morphs into one that includes a sullen look and I feel relieved. I don't want to talk about sex with Jayden any longer. Another glass of Diet Coke is placed in front of me and the bar lady winks. I manage a smile and I roll my eyes, which ultimately rest on Jayden. The lobster rolls are delivered and devoured in between grunts and gasps which translate as how 'damn' good they are. We are so pleased that we order two more of the delightful lobster rolls. Jayden slides off the stool and stands upright. He puts his arms behind his back and tries to crack it. "Goddamn, these rolls are good. I will be right back, I need to hang a leak." "You are all class." I grab my phone and take it off flight mode, being conscious that the device did not have a full charge when I left home earlier today. Alerts once again flood in, along with a message from Bryce saying he is going to 'kick Austin's faggity arse' and as I am about to respond, I am distracted by the man sitting next to me tapping my bare shoulder with his finger. "Excuse me, are you in that band?" I finish tapping out a few words of encouragement to Bryce and suggest that Austin meant no harm. Whatever good it will do is unknown but I tap to send it anyway and then look at the stranger on my right. "What band?" My eyes meet those of the curious restaurant patron. He is holding some sort of mixed alcoholic drink in his hand and I am immediately distracted by the ice cubes glistening in the light. He then looks at my shirt and points at the 5 Seconds of Summer logo. "That band?" I smile and state matter-of-factly, "believe me mate, I am certainly not Luke Hemmings or Michael Clifford from 5 Seconds of Summer." I don't know why I start to name the individual band members or why I am speaking so rapidly. I reach for the empty glass of Diet Coke and look at the wall of spirits behind the bar hoping that the gentleman will not ask me any further questions. I have suddenly become the victim of the awkward feeling of being overly self-conscious. "Well, you look familiar. What university do you boys attend?" I briefly wonder why the diner wants to continue a conversation with me and ignore the beautiful woman that he is with. I remind myself of one of the lessons learned from yesterday with James. I should not represent myself as being something that I am not. I, therefore, do not lie and simply ignore the question as I don't want to admit that I am really in Year 11. "Why are you so interested mate?" I ask but it sounds rude after coming out of my mouth. Before I can correct how I phrased it or even apologise, he responds. "Not at all. Sorry to intrude, but we couldn't help but overhear you blokes and I just wanted to say that age is relative. If you like someone, age shouldn't matter." With that fatherly advice, the gentleman turns away and sips his alcoholic beverage from the glass in his hand. I gently place a hand on his shoulder. "Sorry mate, I didn't mean to sound like a dick. That came out wrong. Sorry." My sincerity should be obvious by the look on my face. The gentle touch of his shoulder causes him to turn and face me once again. "No worries, it is all good. My name is Shaun by the way." Shaun bends his arm and partially extends it in my direction, eager to shake my hand. I reciprocate and say, "Chezdon. It is good to meet you mate. Again, I apologise." "That is a unique name. I have only ever heard of one other person named Chezdon in my life." After a dramatic pause which allows Shaun to sip his drink, he continues. "It sounds like you blokes had a big night last night. It was hard not to overhear." He takes another drink and stares at me, obviously waiting for an answer. I quickly muse about what Jayden and I discussed since sitting down at the bar. There was plenty of amusing banter but also a few offensive themes. I feel my face starting to get hot once again and I am confident that it is turning red. "Oh sorry about that. My mate can get enthusiastic at times. But yeah, it was a big night. I am still feeling the pain." For a few seconds' memories of the night that has come and gone overwhelm me once again. Before I am consumed by my midnight memories, Shaun introduces me to the woman sitting next to him who was ignored during our brief chat. She says she is his sister and just as I exclaim "g'day!" and shake her hand, Jayden appears in my periphery looking exasperated. I then introduce my friend to Shaun, and his lovely sister, Liz, who takes an interest in the lobster roll being placed in front of him by the now familiar staff. In what would be the most inventive way in recent memory to distract me from speaking with strangers, Jayden pokes me in the side so hard, his finger presses on one of my ribs. He repeats this until I give him my undivided attention and nearly scream in pain. "What goddamnit? What the fuck, mate?" "You are just always chatting up randoms. It is like cancer." Jayden shoves the tip of the lobster roll into his mouth which is suggestive. Both the imagery and the smell of the buttery roll makes me fondly recall Austin's scent earlier in the day. I start to salivate and unconsciously begin to collect the remaining bits of lobster that have fallen onto my white plate and shove them into my gaping mouth. "I wasn't chatting anyone up. I just having a conversation with the bloke sitting next to me whilst you were out messaging, pissing and posting status updates. Is that a crime?" I follow Jayden's lead and start to eat the last of my lobster roll. I watch him swallow and lick his lips suggestively once again and wink at me. "So, what do you want to do after this? When are you meeting up with the retail slut?" "Not until around six." I feel a sense of fatigue setting in as I become more relaxed perched on the stool. After ordering another Diet Coke, which I learn is really Pepsi Max, I float the idea of seeing a movie to bide the time. The discussion turns into a heated argument about what to see. "It is no secret what happens in 'Furious Seven' and I can't be bothered watching Vin Diesel. Besides, I can't stand The Rock. I exclaim after Jayden suggests we view the latest incarnation of the franchise that managed to drag out longer than Paul Walker's life. "Let's watch 'Woman in Gold.'" My enthusiasm for visiting the cinema increases exponentially. Jayden quickly reads the synopsis of 'Woman in Gold' on his phone whilst chewing on the last of his lobster roll. "Fuck off, why do you always want to watch such serious shit mate? Why can't you just go and watch some light-hearted comedy or a silly movie like the rest of the normal kids in the world like to do?" I roll my eyes and return to sipping from my glass of Pepsi Max since we are seemingly at an impasse. There is movement by my new friends to the right as they find their feet and begin to gather their belongings. Whilst I am distracted, Jayden startles me by sticking his finger violently into my ribcage again. Shocked, I bark out a sharp high-pitched "Jesus!" and turn my head and sneer at my best mate. "There is an advance screening of Unfriended today at the cinema. How about that?" Jayden was talking about wanting to see this movie earlier in the week. It is a masterpiece about a group of teenagers terrorised by an online stalker that should be deceased. The mysterious protagonist makes life difficult for these teenagers whilst sitting they sit in front of their computers. It seems like a very uninteresting and predictably boring story. A tale of cyber-stalking that apparently turns deadly, just like the stigma behind online dating if the hysterical media can be believed. A hand gently touches my bare shoulder which startles me yet again. I nearly hop off the seat but refrain from shouting an explicative or some form of blasphemy. The high dosage of caffeine that I have ingested must be affecting my nervous system. Shaun rests his hand on my shoulder. His skin feels refreshingly cold against mine. "If you want to see 'Woman in Gold', give me a shout sometime, Chezdon." Shaun removes his hand and uses it to retrieve a business card from his pocket. He places it next to my empty plate. I grab the card assuming Jayden will take it and raise my hand before saying "Cya" as I catch Shaun's gaze and then the eyes of Liz. I gyrate around to face Jayden who is picking up the individual morsels of crayfish off his plate and shoving them into his mouth using his fingers. "I really have nothing to say." He takes a dramatic pause and finds some words to add. "Let's get the fuck out of here." After requesting the bill from the friendly bar lady, I drink what is left in my glass of Pepsi Max. I am in no rush to leave and am content just chewing on ice cubes. They are not only cooling down my insides but the base sound of the crunching relaxes me. After a few minutes, the docket arrives on a small plastic tray. I am bemused by the line item that totals $30 for non-alcoholic drinks. Feeling ripped off, I pull some cash carefully from my pocket and toss it onto the tray before we stagger out of the restaurant rubbing our stomachs. We walk to Federation Square where we purchase Slurpee's from the 7-11. My love affair with ice continues as we quickly traverse the public space looking for familiar faces that would be languishing about on this beautiful warm Melbourne day. After only finding tourists feeding the seagulls and so-called street performers, we walk to Collins Place and purchase movie tickets. I notice a franchise of Guzman Y Gomez and reconcile my finances in my head. Burritos and drinks there would have been much cheaper than the iced glasses of flavourless Diet Pepsi at Supernormal. I get lost in the moment thinking about how ridiculously expensive things are. The seagulls in Federation Square may be loud and obnoxious but the birds are indeed the smart ones as in the end they manage to eat and drink for free. We wait patiently for the movie to commence in the small air-conditioned cinema. At capacity, the room holds no more than fifty people and I can count on my hand how many people have paid to see this masterpiece. Another $17 can be flushed down the toilet as about fifteen minutes into the flick, I decide that the movie would have made a good candidate to pirate. It is not ground-breaking and is very boring. If I didn't have so much caffeine in me, I would try to go to sleep but unable to, my eyes are left to be tortured. My mind, fortunately, drifts first to exploring Austin's body earlier amongst my damp sheets and how the light that was being emitted from the television made his skin appear effervescent. Ignoring the ridiculous movie, I close my eyes and try to will my penis to settle from its current erect state. My imagination gets the best of me though and I begin to wonder yet again how it would have felt to shove my cock in Austin's arse. How long could I pound him for before I cum? Would it feel better than fucking a peach? I asked myself these questions and cannot even fathom an answer. Given my drug-fucked, drunk and horny state early in the morning, I assume if the feeling of being sick didn't inconveniently overwhelm me at the time, I would have tried to have my wayward way with my attractive friend regardless of what state the other guests in my room were in. I take a deep breath and scratch my eyelids in frustration. My daydreaming is interrupted by a hand smacking on my chest. I react by screaming since I am so highly strung. Jayden lowers his face into the palms of his hands and begins to giggle. His noise combined with my shrill gasp proves to be a very rude and unwelcome distraction for the other patrons enjoying the cinematic experience. Two girls in unison turn around to shush us. Instead of looking either one of them in the eyes, I look down at my crotch. My erection is situated so awkwardly that it hurts and the cockhead is rubbing against my skinny jeans with impunity. I attempt to shift my weight and adjust it which then turns out to be a futile exercise. Cleverly, I use the fact that Jayden is distracted by laughing uncontrollably into his forearm as an opportunity to shove my hand into my pants and adjust my manhood in the relative privacy of darkness. With an extended deep breath, I find relief and I try to focus on the grown adults acting like teenagers on the big screen. As my physical pain has thankfully passed, I try to make sense of the movie. Why don't these characters just don't turn off their damn computers and unplug their router? You can't be stalked online if you aren't online. Thinking critically about what is playing out on the screen just manages to frustrate me more and it is a state that I remain until the movie mercifully comes to a predictable end. The credits roll. I yawn and the lights in the theatre are returned to normal. The teenage girls that were seated in front of us stand up and give Jayden a death stare. This just encourages him to slap my shoulder, laugh and carry on one last time as the girls walk away from us down the aisle. "Let's get the hell out of here!" I exclaim after standing up and walking briskly towards the door without waiting for Jayden to acknowledge me. Matriculating from the cinema and into the plaza, I take my phone out of flight mode and patiently wait for the messages and notifications to appear. One message that takes me by surprise is James announcing that he is leaving work early and that he is keen to meet ahead of schedule. After scrolling through Twitter notifications and reading comments about my white arse being visually appealing and random girls sending their greetings, Jayden catches up with me. "Hey, I better get back to the homestead. Mother thinks I should be home to get ready for school tomorrow. What a laugh. Did you like the movie, mate?" I continue to read my Twitter feed and don't bother looking at Jayden. "The movie was shit. I get to pick the film next time." I look up and find Jayden's blue doe eyes staring at me and I give him a hug. "Okay, mate. See you tomorrow." I pat him on the back and walk backwards, wave and then jog to the tram stop. Whilst the tram squeaks and comes to a stop at the platform outside of the cinema, I exchange messages with James. I predict being at the bar in Collingwood, which is where he wants to meet me in fifteen minutes. The iconic mode of Melbourne public transport travels the opposite way from where Jayden is travelling and away from the central business district. The tram rattles and hums until I arrive at Smith Street, not far from the nominated bar. Most Melburnians consider this suburb as a haven for hipsters and an enclave of LGBTI-friendly bars and clubs and of course the home of the dreaded Collingwood Magpies footy team. The Grace Darling Hotel is where I am meant to meet James and it is only seconds away by foot once I alight from the tram. I haven't taken the time to overthink this date so when I arrive and find James wearing sunglasses and sitting outside at a table puffing on a cigarette, I can't help but chuckle. Two pints of beer are sitting on coasters in front of him. "Hey mate. I bet you like Coopers Green. After last night, I would assume you would drink anything and everything though." James smiles, stands up and extends his hand. I shake it and immediately decrease the pressure that I am exerting as it feels like I am squeezing a pancake. I don't want to break him just yet. I pick up the pint glass and take a drink of the tasty beer before sitting down on the wooden bench. "That is nice. I needed that. Thanks, mate. It is good to see you again. I honestly didn't think that I would ever hear from you again." The next sip of beer that I take is intentionally slow. It gives me time to look at James closely. He is wearing a white collared shirt which is what I assume what he wore to work. The material is thin enough for me to notice that he has tattoos on his chest and piercings in his nipples. "I have to admit Chezdon, I did have second thoughts about this but I think you are pretty cool and you couldn't really control what happened yesterday." James takes a long drag from his cigarette. He flicks ashes into the tray and then takes a drink from his pint glass. "Our party yesterday was not exactly planned, but the best ones are not, I guess." I take another drink and structure my thoughts into words. The smell of cigarette smoke begins to irritate my nose. "Apologies for having to deal with my parents. They weren't supposed to be around, but they are pretty cool and harmless for the most part." I glance at the table next to us where four blokes are seated and staring at us. Feelings of self-consciousness begin to overwhelm me again and I begin to question my motives for being here. I distract myself by playing with my hair and looking at the pedestrians that are walking past. "You are so well spoken for your age. You act like you are in University by the way you carry yourself. It is so cool. You are kinda hot too." James winks at me before taking another drag from the cigarette and drinks the rest of the beer in the pint glass. "Thanks. I think." My thirst which is directly proportional to my anxiety level encourages me to finish the remaining beer in my glass in record time as I ponder what to say next. Normally I am not at such a loss for words. "I would shout the next round; however, I am afraid dressed like this, the barperson probably will ask me for my I.D., and that would not end well." I quickly shove my hand into my pocket and arch my back. "Don't worry about it, I will get the round." James takes the last drag of his cigarette which exhausts the tobacco in the cancer stick. Although he blows the smoke away from me as he gets up, a gust of wind blows some of the white haze back on me, along with a few ashes as a consolation prize. "I'll be right back." I start to tap and swipe on the screen of my phone and appear to look busy. I don't want to make eye contact with the group of blokes at the table next to me even though they are doing their best to get my attention. After responding to a few messages, I send a friendly query to Bryce quizzing him as to the outcome of the battle of Berlin at the Jewish pool earlier and whether he survived the Blitz intact. Searching for a way to waste time, I also message Austin and ask him how he is feeling after our night of debauchery. At least if the conversation dies a slow death or if I start losing interest in James, hopefully, I will be inundated with incoming messages and they will provide me with a legitimate exit strategy. It would sound pathetic to have to blame the fact that I must leave because my parents expect me home at a reasonable hour on a Sunday night. My drinking partner returns with what I assume to be another pint of Coopers Green. I greedily begin drinking the beer as soon as he hands it to me. Before I know it, I have consumed half a pint long before James has even sat down. Another cigarette is liberated from its box. Whilst watching James light it, I decide that he looks like a caricature of how movies and television shows typically portray a camp homosexual twenty-something. I wonder how the mannerisms on display by James and the associated preconceived stereotype has classified us to the group of very curious blokes at the table next to us. Do they care what our motivation for being at this bar on a sunny Sunday afternoon is? I doubt that I appear that I am even close to being of the legal drinking age of eighteen but I am knocking back the amber ale with a vengeance whilst my admirer plays catch-up. If I was sitting at the other table and looking at us right now, I would find the circumstances not only intriguing but ridiculous and criminal at the same time just judging from our body language. "Let me ask you this." James pauses to inhale smoke, holds it in for what seems like an eternity and then exhales, not taking as much care now to segregate me from the second-hand plume. "Who is fucking who between your mates?" "What do you mean?" I take an interest in the craftsmanship of my pint glass. "Who is sleeping with who?" James takes another drag. His blue eyes find mine. "I have an idea of who is fucking who." I consider his bold question and briefly recall the events from last night. I smile and chuckle. "Jayden has a girlfriend. Bryce is single. I think Austin is single." "Wait, hold up. Who is who?" James inhales more smoke and quickly spits it out. "Who is the chunkier one of the three amigos?" The word chunkier makes me think of the character of Fat Bastard from the Austin Powers movies. "You mean Bryce?" I ask. "He plays rugby and is really the only one of us that plays any sport, so I would not call him chunky." "Yeah, that is his name." James takes another drag and then drinks some ale. "He seems pretty cool. He is cute too." A feeling of disappointment begins to overcome me. I surmise that James wanted to just meet me as he wanted an introduction to one of my friends. "Do you have a thing for his type? Sorry to tell you though James, he is straight." My self-esteem nosedives in a matter of seconds. I return my attention to rotating my pint of beer on its axis. Instead of looking directly at James, I focus on the edge of the glass that is glistening in the sunlight. James exhales more smoke before continuing. "Bryce is cute. I just wanted to make sure that you were not with him as I wanted him to be sloppy seconds if things do not work out between us." He takes a drink of beer and stares at me. Shocked, I look to the right and catch the gaze of all four blokes who continue to gawk at me from the other table. My eyes then find James. He is holding his beer with one hand and a burning cigarette with the other. His eyes jerk up to mine and I am determined to stare him down until he flinches. Fortunately for me, as I am still on a caffeine high, it is only a matter of seconds until I win the staring contest. I smile and retort. "The only other gay boy is Austin." "He is the one that gave me a hard time that dresses like a slut, right?" James rolls his eyes and places the cigarette between his lips suggestively. I wait for him to finish molesting the ciggy. He eventually smothers the burning end into the ashtray whilst I finish drinking my beer. "No, the male slut is my best mate, Jayden. I think it would be good if you knew him better before referring to him a slut though." The serious look on my face combined with my icy glare unsettles James a bit. He shifts his weight and quickly glances at the blokes sitting next to us. I patiently wait for him to pull yet another cigarette from the pack and light it. I continue to turn my pint glass on its axis and scrutinise his facial features. "Sorry, Chezdon." Another cloud of smoke passes near my head. " I meant no offence." "It is cool. I am just stirring you up. Austin is the blond guy with the obnoxious shoes, Jayden is the male slut with the black skinny shorts and the chunky one is Bryce. They are all good kids." James still appears unsettled as my body language was no doubt indicating that I was either upset or annoyed which would be masquerading the unease of the situation that I have put myself in. I lean back and begin to pull my right leg up so I can rest it on my left knee. "Sorry mate. No reason to go." James quickly takes a drag from the cigarette and lowers it so it burns under the table. I flash a wry smile at James. "I am not going anywhere. But I think you are. I am empty after all." He takes another drag from the cigarette before standing up and walking back into the bar. Finally, I have a chance to be alone with my thoughts and enjoy the ambience whilst James is presumably buying another round of drinks. I begin to wonder what I will be doing ten years from now and consider the chances that I will be sitting at this pub with my same friends or perhaps a new set of acquaintances that I met at University or even from some place of work. Everyone seems to be so familiar chatting about their personal dramas which are not too much different than what I speak about with my friends. It is all just varying degrees of importance, at least on a scale that is affected by perception. I begin to eavesdrop on tales of horrible bosses, relationship breakdowns, cheating boyfriends, parents dying of cancer, financial problems, an HIV diagnosis and an observation that the price of beer is too expensive. Most of the complaints originate from the table of blokes to the right of me. I then don't hear chatter about sport, arts, culture, politics or anything positive; just tales of woe which puts me in an introspective mood as I consider life and my future. James walks from the bar and back towards our table holding two pints of beer. "Wow, you look serious. Who died?" He must have noticed the look of consternation on my face as he sets the pint glasses down at the same time." I sigh and scratch the back of my neck. "Nobody. I was just thinking about life and times. Out of curiosity, do you hang out here with groups of mates on occasion or do you just come here for dates?" My throat suddenly feels dry. It needs to be quenched by beer as the words are not coming out considerately, either because I am becoming a bit drunk or just because I am now feeling circumspect. "I don't have many friends in Melbourne as I just moved here from Perth a few months ago, so I really can't say, sorry." James takes a beat to light another cigarette. "I just like coming here as it is close to where I live, I can smoke outside and drink of course and not worry about much." "Fair enough." Either we will continue drinking and boring conversation that just summarises high-level facts that you would find on a Facebook profile will bring this to a natural end or I must try again to push things to the next level. "From what you read in the newspaper, you would think that the mining boom in Western Australia would be providing a fair amount of opportunities, not only in retail for the cashed-up housewives, but it would have made Perth more of an exciting city to live in. Is that the case?" My perception of Perth is disjointed and confused and what I know of the city has come from Jayden’s mouth. James stares at me with a blank look on his face. His mouth falls open slightly. He probably thinks that I am just a teenage wanker after that diatribe. "Right, are you sure that you are only sixteen?" He puffs on the cigarette and chases the smoke that he inhaled with beer. His question is overheard by two of the blokes to my right who once again take an interest in me and start whispering to one another. "Perth is a shithole mate. I lived there with my boyfriend for four years. There is nothing to do there besides have sex and get drunk." He sips from the pint of beer and sets the glass down gently. "Before you ask, we broke up just because we grew apart and no longer had any common interests." I hadn't planned on asking about the breakdown of his relationship or his revelation. James must have noticed an amused look on my face as I wondered what sort of interests he could have possibly in common with the other bloke that he lived with as he just doesn't seem very interesting at all. I muse that they must have shared a common appreciation for tobacco, beer and of course sex as he alluded to. After taking another sip, he asks, "What is so funny?" "Nothing mate. I was just hoping to get some insight as I am supposed to be going to Perth with my parents in the winter and I was just looking for some inside knowledge." I lie as I want to distract myself from imagining him having sex with somebody else and try to steer the conversation back to something banal. "Here is the deal." James takes what will be the final drag on his cigarette. This gives him time to collect his thoughts before extinguishing it in the tray. "I don't have any more cash on me, so if you want to know more about Perth you have to come back to my place. I have wine there and I know how much you like your wine. Besides, I need to get these shoes off me, they are new and giving me blisters. After I go to the toilet, would you be keen?" Many thoughts rush through my head as I finish drinking what is left in my pint glass. Is he out of money? Does he really have blisters? Does he want to ravage my young body? "Sure, go piss. Then we can fuck off." The blokes at the table next to us start cheering. I overhear one of them shout, "I knew it!" before James stands up and toddles back into the bar. I check the clock on the display of my phone. As I feared with the natural light fading it is now officially evening and exactly 6:00 PM. I need to be home by 8:00 PM to avoid being given a hard time, punished and most importantly avoid another argument with my father. There is no harm in going to wherever James lives, which I assume is nearby. He previously mentioned that this bar is local to where he lives. James emerges from the doorway of the bar for the last time. "Ready to go?" "Do you feel like a new man?" I ask trying to act clever. Judging by the look on his face, he didn't understand the underlying humour but I laugh at my own joke. We stumble at times for a couple hundred metres from the bar into a nearby residential housing block. After exchanging some small talk about the suburb of Collingwood, I admit that I support the Magpies in the footy. I get the impression that James doesn't even know what footy is, let alone what a magpie would be in the wild if one swooped down and pecked him on the head. I begin to question this home visit and wonder if it is a good idea. James then suddenly announces that we have arrived at his humble abode and that we need to climb a flight of stairs to what I find his small studio apartment which he graciously grants me entry into. I look around at the modest furniture and decorations whilst he removes his shoes. Where a refrigerator is meant to be is just a vacant space in the open plan kitchen. "You don't have a refrigerator?" I ask. I continue to inspect the free-flowing mess of organised chaos with varying degrees of purpose resting on the floor. I am startled when James comes from behind me and wraps his arms around my chest. I smell nicotine as he exhales near my ear. He whispers, "I have wanted to do this since the minute I met you." He sticks his tongue in my ear after he chews playfully on my earlobe. He then begins to nibble on the back of my neck, all the while feeling my chest with both of his hands. Although I was taken aback at first, it only takes a second for me to begin living in the moment. My erection rapidly resurrects itself as James continues to gently kiss, lick and suck on the side my neck. Without warning, he releases his hands from their gentle grip on my chest. His fingers first move to caress the skin exposed by my singlet before he thrusts both of his hands behind my shirt and begins to squeeze my hard nipples. His breathing accelerates as he sticks his tongue far into my ear. I can't help but to giggle and squirm as he increases the pressure on my nipples. The smell of tobacco begins to overpower my sense of smell as his tongue finds its way from my ear to my neck and then to my flushed cheek. As I turn around he removes his hands from inside my shirt and mercifully, he stops squeezing my nipples as our mouths smash together. I haphazardly attempt to insert my tongue into his gaping mouth. Thoughts of licking the floor of the bar that I was just at come to mind as the smell of cigarettes and the taste of cheap beer distracts me as I experience my first kiss with a guy. His arms glide down the sides of my body at the same time until his hands are firmly squeezing both of my arse cheeks. He forcefully draws my torso closer with my arse in his clutches which leaves my hard cock grinding against his. His mouth is ravenous and I accept his tongue which then explores the back of my mouth and then my teeth. His engorged pulsing penis throbs against my own cock through his trousers as he aligns with my body so he can once again grab my arse violently and heave my body into his. He returns to sucking on my neck which I find mind-blowing and get lost in the bliss of this new-found ecstasy that I have never experienced before. The tight grip on my butt is slowly released and his hands make their way gradually up my back. He gently feels my soft warm skin and pulls my shirt up and sucks on my right nipple whilst exploring my moist armpits with his hands. Tired of going along for the ride, I grab his arse and then muster the courage to feel the outline of his erect cock using my hand whilst he continues to explore my mouth with his tongue. Saliva drips off my chin as James abandons my mouth before crouching down on his knees. He pushes his nose on the noticeable bulge hidden behind my skinny jeans and inhales deeply through his nose. The smell of my crotch would be much more appealing than the tobacco, beer and nicotine I have the pleasure of smelling. My ball sack rests in stasis in a tortured state, imprisoned behind the mere fabric of my jeans and boxer briefs. I want him to pull the zipper down and liberate my dick from its prison. Before I can demand that he do so and suck my eager cock, he looks up at me and simply says, "hot." I suck in air using my open mouth as James stands up, rubbing my crotch. After kissing me on the lips he says, "I will be right back." He then staggers into the bathroom and closes the door behind him. Confused, I don’t know what to say or do next. The feeling then devolves into one of disappointment that our raunchy activities either were put on hiatus or have ended abruptly. When he doesn't return from the bathroom after a few minutes, I can only assume that he is taking a shit. I sit down on a chair after manipulating my hard cock and look around again at the mess that personifies the home life of James. Another minute or so passes. I consider taking my cock out and having a quick wank and blowing on some old slices of pizza that are still in a delivery box sitting on the coffee table. Finally, I hear the toilet flush and assume that James will be returning soon so I resist the urge to pull my hard dick out of my pants. I watch the door with my undivided attention but it does not open. More time passes and my raging boner becomes exhausted as I continue to wait for James to emerge from behind the closed door. The toilet flushes again and my excitement returns and my cock begins to stir yet again. More time passes and being left to my own devices I stand up and then wander around the small apartment. I find an open bottle of vodka next to the microwave. I take a swig directly from the bottle, only to kill the taste of tobacco and stale beer from my mouth. I nearly gag after swallowing fermented potatoes but it does eradicate the horrible tastes. My eyes go wide when I hear what sounds like a shower being turned on from behind the closed bathroom door. Vexed as to why this sexually charged experience has come to such a dramatic if not abrupt end, I first wonder if I did something wrong. Maybe my pubic region smelled awful after James took a mighty whiff through my dirty skinnies and that is the reason why he had to flee. Confused, but with a heightened sense of courage and curiosity fuelled by my alcohol consumption, I quietly walk to the bathroom door and gently turn the knob. Using my shoulder, I push on the door gently, so I can poke my head in and see what is going on. Time begins to move in slow motion. Water is flowing from the shower nozzle. James has his naked torso propped up against the wall and is squatting. He is trying to align the lip of a two-litre plastic bottle of Pepsi that has been filled presumably with water with his arsehole. It takes what seems to forever for him to complete the act and for the marriage to be consummated. He squeezes the bottle as hard as he can whilst his penis sways back and forth like a pendulum. The water in the plastic bottle forcefully explodes into his anus. Dumbfounded, I decide to look at his naked body and it is only then I notice how many tattoos he has. James remains squatting with his eyes closed and holds a volume of water inside of him. My pronounced gasp alerts him that he has an audience. With wide eyes, which become a permanent fixture on his face, James looks up. He resembles a kangaroo caught in headlights and shouts, "get the fuck out of here!" I watch water trickle down both of his shaved legs. After the shock and indignation of seeing me watch him carry out this hygienic task passes, the remaining dirty water from his bowels is forced out with a loud fart. He remains squatting in a vulnerable position with a look of dread in his dull blue eyes. I quickly retreat to the living room, closing the bathroom door behind me. My original feelings of shock and awe evolve into amusement. Having realised that he was cleaning himself out from the inside in preparation for me having sex with him was not only presumptuous but is also humorous. During the last year, I have read many articles about how to prepare my young body for the act of love. I never considered that it would be undertaken in such a sexually charged moment and assumed it would be more planned. He could have cleaned himself out before going to the bar, it wasn't like he was in a rush to meet me. A feeling of relief overwhelms me. From the moment that James first excused himself and went to his bathroom, I was very close to blowing my load. I was fearful that if he tried to undo my jeans, I would have ejaculated onto his face within seconds after my penis was liberated from its jail. Fortunately, with the benefit of hindsight along with the imagery of him shoving the large plastic bottle of Pepsi up his arse, I feel like I dodged a bullet. Would I have liked to lose my virginity under these circumstances? It is a moment in my life that will be branded into my warped mind until the day I die. These last few minutes include events that I cannot un-see and I decide it would be best to avoid an awkward conversation and just get the fuck out of this shithole. Since the lust of the early evening has come and gone and it will certainly not be replaced with romance let alone sex, I remove my phone from of my back pocket and leave. The slow-motion bathroom imagery seems like it played out for hours even though it lasted for even a minute. I can only smile and lick my lips as I walk back toward Smith Street and inevitably past the outdoor tables at the bar where I previously enjoyed pints of beer with James. Lost in my own world and overwhelmed with conflicting feelings of amusement and lust, at first when I hear "Oi!" being shouted, I ignore it. After I hear it repeated, I identify the bloke that is shouting at me. He is one of the drinkers that were sitting next to us earlier. Feeling emboldened as knowing the bloke that is shouting 'oi!" is not only the alpha male of the group but also the one that took such an interest in me earlier, I walk over and casually say, "hey, what's up boys?" The alpha male who looks like he visits the gym daily is the first to respond. "G'day mate. That was quick." He looks me up and down whilst his friends giggle. The wind catches my hair and I press it against my head with both hands. Confused at the question, I clear my throat. "What was?" I feel like I am playing the role of the dumb blond. I clear my throat again. The vodka has left it feeling peculiar. "What was quick?" One of the drinkers introduces himself as Damien and extends his hand. I shake it and tell him my name. After the pleasantries are out of the way, he continues. "That bloke that you were with, he is a bit of a tragic fag. Us boys drink here all the time and we always see him sitting outside smoking with some new random guy that he has picked up from god knows where." Damien then points at the guy that was shouting at me just minutes ago and takes a drink before finishes filling me in on his previous observations of James. "Tom here sees him on the gay dating apps all the time. He is always here before taking someone back to what I guess is his place to fuck. Sorry to be so crass, mate." I always wondered if I should download an application like Grindr to find some dates, but have avoided it. I briefly ponder the time that these blokes are wasting gossiping at this bar. I consider sharing my personal business and the many stories that I have actively been a part of over the weekend with these strangers. I am confident that I can amuse these blokes by revealing what transpired only minutes ago. My thoughts once again turn to cricket and the late and great Richie Benaud. I choose to say only what would be both considered positive and necessary at this bizarre moment. Something that would be considered useful but poignant. "Nothing happened boys." My audience hangs on every word, looking for a tragic story that belongs on a gossip website. "I am not a Pepsi kind of guy, I like Coke." With that enigmatic statement that summarises my weekend, I farewell the nosey revellers with a wave of my hand and then walk towards the Smith Street tram stop with a smile plastered my face.
  6. chezdon1997

    Chapter 9

    The pouring rain saturates both me and my stuffed backpack from the top down as the blustery wind plays havoc with the cheap umbrella that feebly protects my body. I briskly walk to St Kilda Road doing my best to take cover wherever possible and avoid the torrential rain whilst remaining vigilant. Hopping over puddles so that I don't end up slipping and falling on my arse, my freshly cleaned and pressed school uniform is left to be abused like a battered piece of fish. Mud and water are splashed onto me as motorcars drive past and turn into a five-star hotel. I am sprayed wantonly as I adeptly slog from the Southbank Promenade which protects me from the weather momentarily by enabling me to take refuge and transit through the Southgate food court and ultimately wander past the infamous fast food Indian takeaway place which caused me so much anguish a few months ago. My exodus is to the nominated place where I was told I could be picked up by Austin's mother since neither Daniel nor Mel were around this morning to act as my personal chauffeur to school. I was prepared to beg for a ride but in the end, a text to Austin sufficed which saved me the indignity of getting a lecture from my father for not being better prepared for events that are beyond my control. The wait for an Uber mimicked that of forty days and nights because of a transport workers union strike today in Melbourne. The selfish taxi union followed suit and they are striking for the day along with the tram drivers which is causing transport chaos. Under my breath, I curse the unions and their industrial action as the wind once again retards my umbrella. I fall into the Plexiglas enclosure of a vacant tram stop and wait, segregated from the driving rain. A black BMW X5 screeches to a stop in front of me. It isn't too often that you see motorcars being driven on the designated tram tracks in Melbourne but with the public transport not operating today because of industrial action, Austin's mother obviously thought it would be prudent to use the tram lane as her own private expressway to our school. I accidentally smack Austin with my wet backpack as I thrust my body into the back seat of the SUV. After dropping my broken umbrella on the floor and unintentionally pushing my elbow into Austin’s ribcage, I notice his mother staring at me through the rear-view mirror. "Hi, Julie.” "Ouch! Mate, how much crap do you have in that?" Austin extends his hand. I shake it at the same time he sticks out his tongue and erratically wobbles his head in silence. I feign a smile despite feeling generally uncomfortable because of my wet shirt sticking to my body. "What did you get up to yesterday?" "Remember that guy James who stopped by on Saturday?" Austin's eyes open wide and his eyebrows move up and disappear under his blond fringe. "I caught up with him briefly. Oh, Jayden and I went to Supernormal before going to see the movie Unfriended." Not realising that the other two pairs of ears that are travelling in the front seat are hanging on every word that I utter, I am taken aback when Austin's mother interjects. "I love Supernormal. Did you order a lobster roll? They are to die for." I once again see Julie looking at me in the rear-view mirror. Austin's sister turns around and places her hand on my damp knee. "Oh my god, Unfriended. I so want to see that movie. What did you think?" "The lobster rolls were pretty awesome and the movie was average to say the least. The movie is worth seeing and it is a bit of a laugh if anything. It was a really short movie so there wasn't much character development, but I reckon you don't go to see a movie like that to analyse it." I do my best to remain politically correct considering I am getting a free ride to school. "Yeah I did!” I exclaim. “Jayden ate three lobster rolls. They are so good." I shoved three rolls down my mouth too but I don’t want to come across as a pig. "So, when is the wedding?" Is Julie speaking to me? I surmise that I appear stunned and at a loss for words as she stares at me through the rear-view mirror again. I assume she is making some sort of insinuation about Jayden and I being overly close. My silence provokes her to add additional clarity after clearing her throat. "I mean your mother's wedding." I obviously have missed some gossip over the weekend being when I was in a drunken stupor and chasing cock. I know for a fact that Daniel and Mel are not getting married anytime soon, so I am at a loss at to what Julie is talking about. Then it hits me like a ton of bricks. Julie is talking about my birth mother. After my parents separated, she remained active as a Melbourne socialite and persisted in maintaining her relationships with the parents of my friends and acquaintances. Julie would be aware that I do not speak with my mother though. "Not sure." My uncomfortable demeanour is noticed by Austin who cuts in and starts making not only small talk with his mother but then his sister. He provides a timely distraction which allows me to be alone with my thoughts and stare out the window until a sharp left turn is made, which throws me into Austin. The car comes to an abrupt stop outside of school where we are safely dropped off without the fear of being drenched by the falling rain. "Thanks for the ride, I appreciate it, Julie." I throw the door of the X5 open and slide out, leaving a trail of moisture behind me on the seat like a snail would. As I wait for Austin to disembark, the front passenger window is lowered. Chloe sticks her head out and looks me up and down, like she is inspecting a side of beef. "You have a nice arse." Her comment is met with a blank look of bemusement and I shudder. Austin starts to chuckle and slams the car door closed. "You know, from the Instagram post on Saturday night. I love it!" If the commentary is starting so early from Austin's conservative sister, I will have to mentally prepare myself for what is in store for me behind the school gates. I disregard the surprising yet new-found knowledge that my mother is getting married and resolve to talk about it with my father and Mel later. It is not a big deal. It isn't like I plan on going to her wedding and silently wish her and whatever bloke that is silly enough to marry her good luck and a happy life. After walking past the iron gates and onto school property, I am approached by friends, acquaintances and many teenagers that I would not know from a bar of soap. I am asked to fill in the blanks about the 'fucking awesome' party that I threw over the weekend. Austin is also asked to give his observations since it is understood that he was in attendance. He was nearly as prolific with the tweets and posting of pictures on Instagram as Jayden so he cannot escape from the interrogations. I am forced to defend why I didn't invite various classmates and make empty promises as I proclaim that I will be throwing another party sooner rather than later. Was my impromptu gathering of four, and briefly five people at one point even a party? I silently wonder however since my peers who must not have nothing else incredibly interesting in their own little worlds interpret things differently. Both fact and fiction travel long and far throughout the corridors of Melbourne Grammar School. Photographic evidence uploaded to the various social media platforms are hypothesized and remarked on both online and within the physical realm that is truly outside of my control. Gossip and innuendo fuelled by both Austin and Jayden exaggerating the extent as to how our 'good times' evolved adds fuel to the burning fire. Stories spread like wildfire and it doesn’t take long before Bryce sends me a message saying tales of our debauchery found their way into the social media feeds of the unwashed masses far beyond my school. The dark clouds gradually give way to sunshine as I stare out the window. Not feeling enthused to concern myself with the lecture on ancient history, my thoughts wander to my mother. I ponder what type of bloke would be interested in marrying such a bitch; a woman who is so morally bankrupt and ridiculous that her only son cannot even be bothered to speak with her. The question will never be answered as my opinion of her will not change despite the happy announcement that I heard in the day. I silently promise myself yet again to tell my father the gossip that I unexpectedly learned later and be done with it. Stepping outside of the school grounds coincides with exhaling a deep breath. Feeling revitalised with the sun shining on my face and the tedious day that consisted of one thousand questions about my personal life is now finished for the most part. “Bastards.” I utter under my breath as I recall that the trams are still not running because of the industrial dispute. Just as I begin to cross over St Kilda Road, my phone vibrates in my hand. I message appears from Austin who asks if I want to go to Nandos with him and more importantly that he is offering to buy. Generous offers to buy me Portuguese chicken are made only every other blue moon and I can’t help but smile. After responding in the affirmative, I cross St Kilda Road again and wait for Austin on the corner. For five minutes I am left to my own devices checking my usual social media feeds until Austin dashes across the street, avoiding a speeding taxi. Austin scratches at his earlobe. "Is Jayden coming?" The first words out of his mouth confuse me. Why should it matter? I smirk. "No, why? Are you hard for Jayden?" Austin and my best friend are merely acquaintances if that and have never gone out of their way to hang out with each other. "I want to talk to you about something important and I didn't want him listening in. I want your opinion and no I am not fucking hard for him as you put it." Austin leads the way and I follow him down the road in direction of the Nandos that is curiously located in the Alfred Hospital shopping plaza. I always wondered how many people on their deathbed request some take away chicken and extra hot piri piri sauce to be brought to them in the in the hospital. "You mentioned earlier that you saw that bloke James yesterday, how did that go?" Not feeling encumbered by the truth for a change, I detail the events, not leaving any detail out of my story. When we are finally standing in the queue at Nandos and waiting to order, Austin finally expresses what I assume to be shock by exclaiming "oh, God!" multiple times. He hangs on every word and detail until just before the dramatic conclusion. Before I can describe how James cleaned himself out using a two litre Pepsi bottle, Austin is asked to order. Half of a chicken, coleslaw and a 600ml bottle of Coca-Cola. I start to laugh which confuses Austin who raises his eyebrows suggesting that I might be deranged. He doesn’t realise what I perceive to be so funny until we sit down and I share the details of the Pepsi bottle experience. Austin immediately begins to laugh and twirls the 600ml bottle of Coke in front of him on the table. "Jesus, mate. I couldn't imagine 600ml of water being squirted up my arse let alone two litres. That is crazy." I chortle. "I assume that he was going to have multiple goes at cleaning himself out but I didn’t stick around to find out." After purposefully grinning I start to drink from my bottle of Diet Coke. "That is full on.” Austin begins to twirl the large wooden cockerel that has the number four imprinted on it. It is meant to provide the server with a clue as to where to deliver the food. “What did he do?” Austin’s brown eyes stare at me intently as I begin to speak again. "He got angry, swore at me and told me to get the fuck out. In hindsight, I believe he just wanted me to stop staring at him in the bathroom, but I just got the hell out of there. Even if I wanted to fuck him, after seeing his performance in the shower, which was better than the Unfriended movie by the way, I was not in the mood. He also smelled like nicotine. It wasn't attractive at so I left as I said and just went home." Austin doesn’t blink and seems to be enthralled in my tragic tale. "Do you think you will see him again?" Austin asks with a curious inflexion to his voice. “Do you want to see him again?” "No. I will never see him again and have no desire to. He sent me a message earlier just saying 'hey' but I didn't reply and I don’t intend to. Fuck him. He should remember that I have school to attend anyway." I smile and Austin laughs. Our respective orders of spicy chicken and coleslaw are delivered to our table. I immediately begin to devour my lunch using a plastic cutlery. "I should probably just message him and say that I am not interested. It would be the right thing to do." I pull the leg off the chicken carcass and start to gnaw on it. "Why do you ask?" I ask in between bites. Austin finishes the remaining Coke in the plastic bottle and sets it down gently on the table. "About six months ago." Austin pauses and then nervously laughs before looking around the restaurant. "I can't believe I am telling you this. Anyway, I downloaded ‘Grindr’ and made a profile which said that I am eighteen. I posted a picture of me wearing a beaning so that none of my hair was visible in my profile. I would have been mortified if I was spotted on the street or worse since it is all GPS based." Austin pauses, looks around the restaurant again and lowers his voice. "I started to meet up with random guys that are on that app. I made it clear on my profile that I didn't want sex and just was looking for friends and have some people to talk to if you can believe it. Eventually I started to meet guys for coffee. The twenty-somethings always wanted to meet around a gym funnily enough. There was never any mention of getting a drink, which is why I find the situation that played out with you and James so interesting. It was just a coffee meet where I was measured up and judged in a matter of seconds. These blokes, and there were quite a few of them, always wanted to go back to their place to fuck even though I was crystal clear that I wasn't looking for sex. Most of these guys were pretty tragic like that guy James, so I expanded my scope and started meeting up with the thirty-somethings. Then the forty-somethings which are certainly more interesting and tame. Strangely, a few were married with kids. One wanted to be a guide in my corrupt life, or as he described it. A few offered me cash for sex after I said I just was interested in having a chat and drinking coffee." Stunned, I interrupt Austin. “Speaking of drinks, do you fancy another round?” He nods his head and begins to twirl his empty bottle of Coke on the table once again. Standing in the queue again gives me time to contemplate everything Austin told me. Even as I tap my debit card on the machine to pay for the bottles of Coke, I am still trying to figure out what motivated Austin to meet up with so many random blokes. It has made me realise that there is so much you don't know about what happens in the private lives of your friends. I return to the table and set the bottle of Coke in front of Austin. "Sorry mate, I worked up a thirst listening to that. Don't stop, please continue." I smile which hopefully gives Austin the reassurance I feel he needs right now to continue. Austin twists the cap off the bottle and drinks half of it down his mouth without taking a breath. My phone vibrates in my lap. Another message appears from James; however, I ignore my phone as Austin begins to speak again. "I just want you to know how much fun that I had on Saturday. I think it was one of the best days of my life." I chuckle, interrupting Austin. "Wow mate, you need to get out more." I flash him a wide grin so that he knows that I am joking. I sip from my bottle of Coke. It isn't usual that I order full-strength soda, but I am craving sugar for some reason. "Not to give you an even bigger head mate, but I think you are a really cool guy." I didn't foresee a compliment. I look around to see if someone is filming me for a reaction and speculate that I am going to end up as the star of some prank YouTube video. Austin pours the rest of the Coke down his throat. "I am pissed off at you though mate." "What did I do?" My eyes go wide in anticipation of an answer and my heart starts beating quickly as I am at a loss as to how I upset Austin. "I didn't know that you liked guys until you made your announcement on Saturday. I have always liked you and think you are kind of hot.” Austin takes a deep breath and exhales slowly. He stares at the empty bottle of Coke intently and begins to twirl it on its side. “I thought that if I asked you out after we both proclaimed that we are homos that you might not only say yes but also save me from this destructive cycle that I am in of just meeting up with random old gay blokes just to have a chat. I had about a minute to figure this all out before that dickhead James turned up at your apartment, and we know how that turned out." With his assessment over, Austin begins to play with his hair whilst glaring at me with an intense stare. Recollecting the events from Saturday, it is fair to say that James appeared at a very awkward moment in our young lives. Austin surprises me and continues with his diatribe looking flustered which immediately stops my daydream. "All the big talk from Jayden about how you like older guys just made me feel really jealous. It is a feeling that I have never felt before and it is pissing me off. I have been fuming all day since you said this morning that you went out with James last night. I know what these blokes want, so you don't know how refreshing it is to learn that you didn't get fucked, or worse." "Wow, I don't know what to say." I start picking at the chicken carcass in front of me and finding some more white meat, pull it from a bone with some skin. "I wasn't expecting you to say all of that Austin. I really don't know what to say." "I think we are both mature enough so whatever happens after we leave here; our friendship will be fine. However just so you know, I have given this plenty of thought. I just want to ask you if you would be interested in going out on a proper date with me, or are you just into older guys? Will a mature sixteen-year-old do it for you?" Austin smiles and folds his hands in front of him as he sets them on the table. Memories of his near naked body in my bed return and I feel the blood rushing to my penis. I take a deep breath as I ponder this unexpected situation and Austin’s words. "I have always had a thing for you Austin, I just didn't know that you liked guys. One reason why I am interested in older blokes is simply because they don't go to our school. I don’t really want to play in the sandbox with the babies in the corridors of Melbourne Grammar daily." A devastated look appears on Austin's face as he is interpreting my words before I can finish my diatribe. I move my right hand and place it on his knee under the table and start to rub it. "You are right though, we are both mature enough and I would love to go out on a proper date with you." Austin's big brown eyes look to be filled with relief and a smile immediately forms on his face. Austin's voice crackles and coughs. "Really? Jesus. I am so sweaty right now. I don't know what to say. I will be right back though, I need to go to the toilet." Austin puts his arm under the table and squeezes the top of my hand which is still resting on his knee before he stands up and walks off. I use the next few minutes to put this new phase of my life into perspective which calms my hard dick. I consider the ramifications of dating a guy, let alone one that is a friend that goes to my school. I have feelings of lust for Austin, and going on a date and taking part in what plays out in romantic comedies just don't seem to be something that I want, if I even know what I want at this awkward time of my life. Austin returns and doesn’t sit down. “Do you want to get the fuck out of here?” I wipe at my mouth with my serviette, grab my backpack and stand up. "Do you want to go back to my place and watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones?'" "Fuck yeah! Let's go." Austin hits me with his backpack and snickers. “That is for making me think you were going to tell me to fuck off earlier.” He smiles. I remain quiet for several minutes. Without trams and a lack of available cabs to service our needs, we walk back to my apartment in Southbank. After the proclamations and the agreement on our way forward at Nandos, or what I will now refer to as the 'Nandos Accord' for all posterity, how we interact with one another thankfully doesn't change. After snapping out of my initial pensive state, there are no additional awkward silences. We are certainly not lost for words when discussing and at times debating various politics and even banal celebrities. Austin as mature as me and I feel that dating him will work out. I never even considered Austin as boyfriend material until now. We walk down the footpath and I consider how much more stable he seems compared to James and find that amusing because James is nine years older than Austin. As he talks about the government's border protection and asylum seeker policy, I begin to contemplate what Austin was really looking for during his multiple meetings with the older legion of Grindr suitors. Perhaps he just wanted to talk with gay guys about something more than the high price of coffee in Melbourne. He is an attractive guy that is quite popular but perhaps they are not very strong friendships. I begin to consider how superficial his friendship is even with Jayden and recognise a pattern of how he has developed his social circle. I don’t think there is much depth to his friendships as I once again begin hanging on every word that he is saying, “-so fuck the government.” I try to change the topic. "So, you never hooked up with any of the Grindr guys then?" I smile. My query seems to take Austin by surprise. "No mate. Well, I kissed a couple of them and one grabbed my arse. Half of them wanted to fuck me though and they made that clear in the first few minutes after meeting them. The other half just wanted to talk about their boring lives. A few of them bought me dinner, on what I guess would be considered a date. I thought that when they wanted to give me a kiss or squeeze my arse, I should at least allow them that as a thank you." Austin begins to unravel his tie and in the process of putting it in his backpack, hits me with it again. "Whoops." "So, it begins. I am going to be the abused wife in this relationship if I don't have dinner waiting for you I see. Don't hit me! I will be better, I promise. Just let me squeeze your arse!" I shout and put my hands up in front of my face. Austin laughs and pushes me. I end up on my back sprawled out on top of the wet grass. "Don't hit me again.” I shriek. “Please, help!" A woman pushes a baby carriage past us. I throw my arms over my head whilst laying on the grass and plead in the direction of the witness. "Please help, this abusive man is sending me back to the kitchen to slave over a hot greasy pan. Please!" "Comedy central in real life." Austin offers the comment to the lady as she passes next to him who nods her head in agreement and smile. He then picks up my heavy backpack off the grass. "Come along now. Your hot kitchen awaits you." I hop up and snatch my backpack from Austin and continue the journey to my apartment via the arts district. Time flies as we chat about nonsense until we arrive at my front door. After opening it, a very appetizing smell envelops me. Mel must be cooking from one of her many celebrity chef cookbooks. We drop our bags in the foyer and walk to the kitchen. "What's cooking Mel?" I start to look through the refrigerator, hoping to find something for us to drink. "I am trying to follow a lamb recipe from the Heston Blumenthal book. It is taking bloody forever." She is carefully inserting sliced cloves of garlic into the fat of the lamb. I retrieve cans of Cherry Dr Pepper and hand one to Austin before closing the refrigerator door. "Do you want some help, Mel?" Austin kindly offers and she immediately refuses it. Mel wants to be responsible for creating this gourmet masterpiece and explains that she can execute the prep work without any assistance. Besides, she considers cooking complex meals a hobby. I walk to the living room and request the Foxtel cable feed to go live on the integrated remote control. After falling onto the lounge holding my can of soft drink, Austin follows. He collapses close enough to me so that our arms touch. Given the size of the lounge, Mel will probably think this is weird, but I don't move. I begin to scroll through what has been recorded recently and play the latest episode of Game of Thrones. I turn up the sound as “A Song of Ice and Fire” begins to play and the cast is introduced on the television screen. We remain quiet and absorbed in the show, which is the penultimate episode of the season. When Stannis Baratheon decides to burn his daughter alive, Austin becomes enraged. He uses profane words are used and his negative opinion of the fictional character is articulated. "Burn in hell Stannis!" “Shhhh!” I want to hear the dialogue. Austin's vitriolic reaction to this storyline encourages Mel to come into the room. She would be intrigued by what is causing such an emotional teenage reaction. In another case of bad timing, her curiosity is piqued just as The Red Woman, Melisandre, is starting a fire under feet the feet of a young girl that is tied to a stake. Mel doesn't appear very interested in watching the adolescent immolate unlike her counterpart on the television. The look on her face implies that she is also aware of the inside joke that my father and I have shared for so long about Mel looking like the Red Woman too. She quickly loses interest in what Austin was originally so excited about and returns to the kitchen to attend to the dead lamb. Austin smacks my shoulder. "She looks pissed." I blow the sound of "shhh!" again and final minute of the show is enjoyed in silence. We both shout "Jesus Christ!" in unison as the credits begin to roll. I pull my phone from my pocket and message my father saying that Mel knows about our inside joke and briefly add that I heard gossip that his ex-wife is engaged to be married. As soon as I tap send, new messages arrive. One from Jayden requesting my status and my location. The other is from James. "He is persistent." Austin surprises me when he whispers into my ear whilst reading the message over my shoulder. “What a psycho.” "Yeah, I know." I place my phone on my lap and try to compose myself. James is a non-issue for me but he is obviously an annoyance for Austin. I want to address this elephant in the room as I don't want the first hour of our dating to descend into drama. I quickly tap out a message to James thanking him for the pints and the chat and simply say that I don't think things will work out between us. I show the message to Austin who nods his head before I tap send. "Okay, one down. Don't be worried about James, mate. I am finished with him.” I then craft a follow-up message to my father saying Austin’s mom told me that 'Voldemort' who I refer to as my mother, is seemingly getting married. "So, you really didn't know that your mother was planning on another round of matrimonial bliss then?" Austin looks at me incredulously. “That is shocking.” I stand up to stretch and notice Austin staring at my exposed navel as my shirt is pulled up momentarily. "It was certainly news to me. You know I don't speak to Voldemort. I wouldn't have a clue what the bitch does and I really don't care." I shrug my shoulders and walk towards my room with the intention of changing out of my sweaty-soaked shirt and school uniform. Austin stands up and follows me. A feeling of anxiety overwhelms me as I briefly stop in the laundry room to retrieve clean clothes. Getting undressed in front of Austin in the recent past seemed natural but now it has other connotations. I pick up a large stack of folded clothes that have been laundered which belong to me and notice there are small items in a blue plastic tray that is positioned on the corner of the shelf. Before the cleaner does our laundry, she always checks the pockets and puts anything that she finds in separate trays that have our names affixed to the sides. Besides a handful of coins, which I ignore, I notice the business card that Shaun passed me at Supernormal before leaving with his sister. I walk past Austin who is waiting patiently for me and into my room, placing my laundered clothes on my properly dressed bed. The smell of vomit, lewdness, and filth has been vanquished by chemicals and the strong arm of our cleaner. Lustful thoughts quickly return as I fondly recall waking up next to Austin the other night. With my back to him, I unbutton my white shirt, pull it off and discard it on the floor. I am startled when I feel his hands lightly touch me on both of my sides and then feel his warm breath on my neck just before he licks it. Heavy breathing through his nose acts as a precursor for him to start passionately kissing my neck. His warm hands begin to explore my naked torso as I gasp as blood begins to rapidly rush to my penis. Austin is shocked as I break his embrace and quickly turn around, only to lock my arms around his body as I pull him tight against me. I don't care that he can feel my erection at first poking him and then grinding against his thigh as I start to explore his mouth with my tongue. Eventually, I move my hands up his outreached arms and grasp the back of his head, violently drawing his face towards mine. I assault his lips with my gaping mouth which ultimately evolves in me trying to consume his salty face. "Oh my god. Sorry!" Our passionate session is interrupted by the exclamation of a female voice. I return to the real world and rest my chin on Austin's shoulder only to see the Red Woman briefly as she walks away from my open bedroom door. "Shit!” I take a deep breath and wipe my mouth on Austin’s shoulder. “Timing is just fucked today." I continue to hold Austin but pull my face far enough away so our noses are gently touching. "That was nice." I smile and examine his retinas. "I can't wait to do that again when there is more, um, privacy." "Jesus, I have wanted to do that for ages." Austin lowers his head and gently places it on my shoulder. "Just don't change, Chez." I am left to consider how a caterpillar will evolve into a butterfly after his ambiguous comment about changing. I reluctantly release Austin from my clutches and turn around once again. With my back-facing Austin and my open bedroom door, I pull off my trousers and quickly hop into a pair of black skinny jeans. After pulling on a clean black shirt, my erection is effectively cloaked. I twirl around and face Austin. "We should probably go talk to Mel." "Awkward!” Austin gasps and scratches his earlobe. “Maybe I should just go." "Well, um, just stay here then. I will be back soon." I scratch my head as I walk from my room and toward the kitchen where I hear a hand blender at work. Upon rounding the corner and getting Mel's attention, she immediately turns off the appliance and begins to speak in a hushed voice. "Chez, first off, I am a big girl and I don't need you to chase me down to explain yourself. I know what I saw." I open my mouth to interrupt her but she anticipates it. "No, wait please, let me finish. I don't need consoling or talked to about what I just saw, but I hope someday that you trust me enough just to talk to me. I am trying hard to be your friend and I want to help you out when I can. It is called transparency. The more that I know, the easier it is to make your life more comfortable." I stare at the white tiled kitchen floor and rub my chin. "Sorry." "There is nothing for you to be sorry about Chez. Just try to trust me and talk to me from time to time. I have some experience with situations that involve the heart you know. Not as many years as that woman on Game of Thrones, but I am sure that you know what I mean." "Oh, sorry about that too." I can't help but smile as I continue to count kitchen tiles. "Again, there is nothing for you to be sorry about." Mel reaches for a glass of red wine and takes an extended taste of it before continuing. "I know that you and your father have your little inside jokes. I am happy that you do. I would be concerned if you did not. Don't worry about that." Mel takes another sip of wine. "How long have you and Austin been together?" "About one hour." I can feel my face turning red and my heart begin to race. “We decided to get together today.” I look up at Mel who is holding the glass of wine under her nose and I cough. "What are you doing talking to me then? Go be with him and spend time with him. Can I give you some unsolicited advice?" Mel drinks the last of the wine in the glass and sets it down on the counter. Feeling overwhelmed by how cool and calm Mel is being, a smile returns to my face. "Sure." "We all have five senses. Some say there is a sixth called Umami but that isn't the point. Every time you see Austin use your senses and discover something new that you like about him and tell him. Once you stop bothering to do that, reconsider what you want. You have a very strong personality Chezdon and I see how easy it is for you to suck people into your world. I want you to be doing it for the right reasons with Austin." Mel begins to pour wine into the glass and suddenly gives me a directive. "Now go, and talk to me later if you want." She smiles. "Austin is more than welcome to stay for dinner too." I walk back to my room and hear the hand blender roar back to life in the distance. As I pull on my shirt, I curse the damp fabric that is bunching up in my armpit. My worry about being caught in a passionate moment with my friend is now a thing of the past. Austin is noticeably surprised to see me return so quickly and stands up. "Is Mel fucked off? Should I go?" "No, it is all good." I shuffle toward Austin. He gasps when I push him onto my bed and then climb on top of him. I lean down and kiss him lightly on the mouth and then notice he is wearing some type of fragrance. "I really like the smell of whatever you are wearing. What perfume is it?" Austin leans his head back into my pillow and chuckles. "It is cologne you fool, and it is called Tom Ford Black. It isn't perfume." He grabs me by my waist and pulls me back. He pecks me on my lips. "You are a funny bastard." I push my nose into Austin’s neck and silently confirm my feelings for his cologne. "I really like how you smell." My green eyes stare into Austin's big brown irises and I momentarily resist the urge to chew on his nose. My tongue rudely pushes past his teeth and I use it to explore his warm mouth. Resting my forearms on his chest, I fumble with the buttons on his white shirt as I struggle to maintain balance whilst I savagely make out with my new lover. I somehow manage to get four buttons undone and get my hands inside of his shirt in one fluid motion. Perched on top of his legs, which gives me the ability to undo the rest of the shirt buttons, I greedily lean down and start sucking on his exposed left nipple and then move to the right one. Playful squeaks rapidly evolve into loud grunts, and I must put my hand over Austin's mouth as I realise that once again I have left my bedroom door open. I muster the courage to gently lick his chest, starting in the area between his nipples and then gradually move toward his belly button. With my new offensive tact, his grunts quickly turn into squeaks once again as I lick and suck on his slightly hairy navel above the black band of his underwear. I provide Austin with one last opportunity to put a stop to my indecent advance by retreating from him to close my bedroom door. My erection is being constrained, if not strangled conveniently on the right side by my skinny jeans and my shirt is covering the bulge. Austin is not as lucky as he is obviously hard as the loose cotton trousers that he wore to school today aren't doing him any favours. The obnoxious ringing of the video intercom in the foyer coincides with me shutting my bedroom door. The sound of the buzzer not only startles me but is extremely irritating and interrupts my lustful advance at least for a moment. I climb first on my bed and then Austin. As I lean in and kiss him my wayward plan to get into his pants is thwarted by Mel shouting. "Chezdon, it is for you!" I close my eyes and take a deep breath. "Really?" I mutter to Austin and look towards the ceiling. "Fuck. I will be right back." Austin rolls his eyes and reaches for the remote control which is resting on my bedside table. He powers on the television as I walk from my room and towards where the video intercom is mounted on the wall. I pass Mel who offers a wink. "Good luck." When I see it is James who is displayed on the video intercom, all I can do is huff and manhandle my throbbing bulge. He appears to be impatiently waiting for what I assume to be an exchange of words as he is tapping his fingers on the wall of the building. I dodged a bullet earlier when I was caught making out with Austin thinking that would lead to an awkward conversation with Mel, however, I know this chat is certainly going to be uncomfortable with James. I pause after lifting the receiver and ponder what James is trying to prove turning up unannounced. Finally, I manage a simple "G'day, mate" which startles James from what I notice. "What are you doing here?" It seems like an obvious question. "Hi. Ummm." After his salutation, there are many seconds of excruciating silence. "Can I talk to you?" James looks uncomfortable speaking to the keypad and the camera mounted in the wall. He knows that I can see him but he can't see me. My penis begins to soften against the pressure of the denim. "You could have just rung me on my mobile mate. What's up?" I am grateful it is no longer my cock. James begins tapping on the wall again. "Can I come up and talk?" He stares intently at the camera lens. Although I might have thought it was a good idea on Saturday whilst under the influence of wine to allow James up, my sober and pragmatic self now knows it would be a terrible idea being unaware of his agenda. After informing him via text message that I wasn't interested earlier, I would have assumed that he would not solicit further contact. Austin has retreated from my bedroom dressed and is approaching me. He would be curious to see who not only broke our sexual tension but also who rudely just stopped around to see me. I know I would be. "How about if I come down and see you. I will be there in a few minutes." I slam the receiver back on its cradle and look at Austin. "You know it is going to get stranger. Do you want to come down with me and see what he fucking wants?" "Didn't he get the message or something? What a psycho." Austin looks both perturbed and pissed off. "Sure, let's do this." Austin quickly turns around and walks back to my bedroom and I follow. We find our shoes and pull them on. Austin picks up the cricket bat that is resting upright against the wall in the corner of my room near my bed. “Hey, that is pretty cool. My father got it for me and is signed by Michael Clarke.” He is my favourite cricketer and the captain of the Australian national team. "Let's see if James knows who Michael Clarke is." Austin rests the bat on his shoulder and walks from my bedroom and I follow him to the front door, where I grab a set of keys and we leave the apartment. "What are you going to do? Beat up the bloke up with the bat?" The wry grin on my face makes light of the situation and noticeably calms Austin down. "Mate, he isn't here to kill me. I am sure he just wants to tell me off. Besides, I have you with me which he will not expect, so all will be good." I smile at Austin at the same time a dinging sound announces that the elevator has arrived. "We can walk out of the car park exit also and then meet him at the front of the building so he will not see us both coming." Austin uses the cricket bat to prop himself up. "Great idea. Let’s surprise the cunt." "I never thought of you as being so hardcore, Austin.” I brush an errant blond hair from Austin’s shoulder with my hand. "I just don't want such a nice day ruined by that arsehole. That is all." Austin adjusts his messy hair in the mirror whilst we descend to one of the lower levels of the building. His tough talking is a stark contrast to the vain teenager that I am now watching primp his hair. If you are going to maim someone with a cricket bat, I suppose you should look good for the camera that will take your photo at the police station. Austin doesn’t notice me begin to chuckle. We exit on the level of the car park that I have access to and walk down the various access ramps, exiting the building past a security guard. We walk around the building on the footpath and I am the first to see James leaning against a tree smoking a cigarette. "Hey, what's up?" I hope that my friendly interrogatory provides enough of a distraction for James not to care that Austin is standing behind me brandishing a cricket bat. James takes a drag of his cigarette and then flicks it into the gutter. Littering is a pet peeve of mine and it really annoys me when I see people dropping rubbish in my neighbourhood. "Did you bring the twink to bash me or something?" I turn around to see Austin standing not far behind me with the bat resting on his shoulder. "Oh him? No, mate. We are just off to hit some cricket balls." With conviction I lie. James tilts his head to the left. "Yeah right. Dressed like that. Sure." James removes a soft pack of cigarettes from his pocket. After a dramatic pause, he removes a cancer stick, lights it and takes what seems forever for him to inhale the smoke. Not feeling comfortable during the long silence, I try to move the proceedings along. "What did you want to talk about?" James exhales a plume of smoke in my direction. "I just came by to collect the money that you owe me." He finally educates us as to what was so important that he needed to see me in person, which leaves me confused. I scratch the back of my head. "Since when do I owe you money?" James flicks the end of the cigarette and an ash falls on the footpath. "You owe me thirty dollars." "What the hell for?" My frustration would be obvious. I turn around and make a confused face for Austin. He shrugs his shoulders and rolls his eyes. When James starts to speak again, I quickly turn to face him. "That is how much the beer cost that I bought for you yesterday. I want my fucking money back." "Are you serious? You make a personal visit to shake me down for thirty dollars? If I had fucked you would you still want this cash?" I am mortified and can't believe this is what he came over for to discuss in person. "Can you message me your banking details and I will make a transfer. That isn’t a problem." "Yeah, I am serious, and I want the money now.” James takes another drag from the cigarette.” You are such a cocktease and an arrogant dick. A fuck from you would be worth about five dollars, don't give yourself so much credit.” I can’t help but smile as this conversation is so absurd. Austin stands next to me and our shoulders briefly touch. He begins to tap the cricket bat on the concrete floor. "Whoa! Let's dial this back. There is no reason to be rude. Hold this." I grab the cricket bat and he rummages through his pocket. "I have never heard of anything so ridiculous." In between scraps of paper, a to-do list and the remains of a roll of Mentos, Austin retrieves some Australian currency and begins tossing it on the ground. First a blue note, then three pink notes and then completes the transaction by tossing five gold coins on the ground, which scatter in all directions when they strike the concrete. One curiously rolls into the gutter and rests next to the burned-out cigarette butt that James earlier flicked away. "Anything else arsehole?" Austin seizes the cricket bat and rests it on his shoulder. "You are such a cunt. You are a cunt too Chezdon." James takes yet another drag of his cigarette and then flicks it at me unexpectedly. The filter end of the ciggy hits my arm and falls to the ground. James bends down and begins to retrieve the plastic banknotes and coins. "You are so stupid, Chezdon. You have no idea what you are missing out on." I grin. "What is that? Fucking around with a loser?" Speaking the truth comes easily as James waddles like a duck picking up coins. He looks up at me. "You are right though. If it wasn't for you James, I wouldn't have realised what I am missing out on." I look at Austin and put my hand on his shoulder. James stands up holding his bounty. "Yeah, what is that?" I turn and kiss Austin on his cheek. “Fuck!” Noticeably enraged, James takes four steps toward us as Austin grasps the cricket bat and demonstrates that he is not afraid to swing it. James then retreats and shouts "fuck!" at the top of his lungs. In what plays out next happens in slow motion as he once again advances at us with a look of fury on his face. James must have assumed that Austin would not have the fortitude to swing the bat as it crashes into our attackers' arm. The volume of the thud and the resulting shout of "fuck!" is identical to his previous outburst. The resulting scream is riddled with equal amounts of pain and frustration. James falls to the concrete and ends up in the gutter with the butt of his cigarette. The coins and banknotes that he was previously clutching follow him and once again scatter. "If I see you again, I will be swinging this at your head." Austin points the bat in the direction of James as he slowly stands up, holding his left arm. "Now fuck off!" Austin steps backwards and eventually turns around and I follow him. When he gets to the corner he stops and gyrates in place to face James again, who is once again collecting money from the gutter. " James!" Austin shouts. James looks up. "There is a 7-11 over there." Austin points with the cricket bat. "They have a sale going on two-litre bottles of Pepsi. Use some of those coins." James lowers his head and looks not only physically but emotionally spent. Austin wraps his arm around me and I stumble as he pulls me to his side. He rests the bat on his shoulder again and escorts me around the corner.
  7. chezdon1997

    Chapter 7

    If you keep leaving such enthusiastic comments mate, I will keep posting chapters. There are 35 of them The daily routine involves painkillers and San Pellegrino... or good old Vitamin B (VB)
  8. chezdon1997

    Chapter 7

    More like a cold shower after the shenanigans in that chapter. Thanks for the comment. It encouraged me to post Chapter 8, which is now in the Moderation Queue
  9. chezdon1997

    Chapter 6

    I am a die-hard Pies supporter and I have all of my real teeth too!
  10. chezdon1997

    Chapter 7

    Huffing water up my nose unexpectedly and the taste of gastric acid in my mouth evokes a fit of coughing and wakes me from my siesta. The horrific sounds that Bryce is now making as he pays his respects to the stained porcelain telephone begins to overwhelm me. I have been sleeping in the shower stall with the water spraying down on me for some time, evidenced by the wrinkled skin on my fingers. I wonder how long I have been napping. Without any concern for modesty, I stand up and turn off the flow of water and then exit the shower stall. After emerging from my glass sarcophagus, I retrieve a towel and wrap it around my waist. Bryce remains on his knees retching at a volume that would intimidate even Cerberus as he struggles to return his indulgences into the grateful toilet. I rub my hair and then my sensitive skin with the red towel and wrap it around my waist again. After pulling my electronic toothbrush from the charger, I apply a dollop of Colgate toothpaste to the brushing head and begin to polish my teeth and then my tongue. The whirring sound of my personal dental hygienist drowns out the moans and spitting noises that Bryce is producing. I kick the soaking bath mat into the corner of the room so I can stand on the cold white tiles. I notice purple puke on the floor near my feet and remember that it came out of Jayden's naked body. I place my hand on my side and recall why my body hurts so much. Propping myself using the sink, I stare into my bloodshot green eyes and take long deep breaths, and try once again to reconcile what is going on in this cesspit. My nasal passage is remarkably clear for a change, which I attribute to the white powder that I inhaled. This is the only positive that I can find as my body pulses with pain. Memories begin to selectively reveal themselves to me and wince as I rub my rib cage. After returning my toothbrush to its lonely docking station is when I notice that Bryce has a black swastika haphazardly drawn on his naked back. I remember thinking it would be funny if Jayden vandalised his skin after he passed out on my bedroom floor. Given how appalling I feel, the humour if there ever was any associated with this prank, is unrealised. I stagger into my bedroom and let the wet red towel fall off me naturally on the floor. My modesty was abandoned in the filthy bathroom as my feet are massaged by the soft carpet fibres. The sight of Austin sleeping on my bed evokes my memory again. I distinctly recollect how my fingers felt as I ran them over his warm moist skin. How he smelled like lavender and how his nipple tasted like salt before I had to flee to the bathroom. Fond memories cause blood to begin to rush to my penis and my heart begins to race faster. I turn my attention to Jayden who is sleeping on the floor near my feet looking like one of my soiled pairs of boxer briefs. I remind myself to pull underwear on. Sometime after Jayden spewed, he managed to find his skinny shorts and dress himself. I am left only with the fleeting memory of his naked body as I concentrate so I can step into a clean pair of underwear and not fall. I stumble around to the side of the bed that I sleep on and fall backwards, which wakes Austin up. "What the hell?" Austin rubs his eyes before he stretches his arms over his head. He takes an interest in what is being broadcast on television. At some point, the channel was changed from the Australian public broadcaster to the mainstream Channel Seven. Weekend Sunrise is screening which makes me deduce that it is early Sunday morning. The faux enthusiasm by the hosts of the breakfast show makes me close my eyes. I want to go back to sleep and maybe sleep for a week. Once a commercial begins to air during the break, I open my eyes and watch Austin's stretch his arms over his head again, snapping his knuckles and finally yawning. Bryce continues to cough and heave in the bathroom and flushes the toilet. I focus on Austin's armpit and do not let the background sound effects distract me. I reminisce about touching his pubic hair and then holding his flaccid cock as he slept. It doesn't matter how awful I may feel; the sight of his armpit hair improves my mood and I feel blood returning to my limp dick yet again. Despite feeling like I am on fire, I take refuge under the damp sheet. Knowing that my dick is stirring forces me to sacrifice the bliss of the cold air blowing in from the vent over my bedroom door. "What a night." My assessment encourages Austin's arms to collapse at his side. "How are you feeling?" Austin turns his head towards the bathroom where Bryce seems to be frozen praying to the god of porcelain. "Oh mate, certainly not as bad as him." The sounds of coughing, spitting, moaning along with Jayden's snoring makes me reminisce about the last time that I visited Melbourne Zoo. "Jesus Christ mate. Who needs to go to the zoo when you have these two animals to stare at?" I try to interject some humour which is either not funny, or not understood, as Austin turns his head to look at me. Even though my body feels like I have been hit by a car, my penis is painfully erect. Austin smiles and produces a loud growling sound and then giggles. Austin rolls off my bed and groans as he stands on his feet. He sorts through clothes that have been discarded on the floor, tossing anything that doesn't belong to him in the corner. He finds his blue skinny jeans and extracts his phone from the back pocket. I stare at his hairless white skin and then his brown eyes. He is absorbed into the world within his phone and finally scratches his butt. I am confident that I have ever been this horny before and I desperately need to jerk off. My imagination kicks in and I visualise putting my hard cock inside Austin's bulbous arse. He scratches his bum again. My dick begins to throb under the sheet, gently moving it up and down. I must still be affected the drug as my animalistic lust would mimic something primal that I have never felt before. "I've got to go," Austin announces. "My mother is pissed off." I watch Austin finish dressing himself and feel a sense of melancholy overwhelm me as he covers himself up with clothes. "Thank Christ that I sent her a message last night otherwise she would have called the cops." "How is your mother?" I am hoping that small talk about her will calm my penis. "How is Chloe?" Certainly, talking about his obnoxious sister, will kill my erection. "They are fine." Austin slips his feet into the silver DC shoes and swipes the black beanie that is resting on the speaker next to the television. He rolls the woollen hat onto his head, which tames his hair. "I’ve gotta zip. It was fun. Cya mate." Quoting the final words of one of the many recently deposed Australian Prime Ministers, Austin leaves my smelly bedroom and closes the door behind him. Some banter is then exchanged between him and Mel in the hallway. I am not surprised to hear her chirpy voice as she is always up early, even on the weekend. Once my erection has subsided, I slither out from under the security of the bedsheet and grab my black skinny jeans off the floor. Searching my pockets for my phone, I growl when I can't find it. I sit back on my bed again and try to get comfortable and distract myself by watching television. Feeling anxious and not being able to relax, I throw the bedsheet off me and begin to hunt for my phone. I pick up a dirty hoodie that Bryce was previously sleeping on and pull it over my head. After emerging from my reeking bedroom and into the relative order of the apartment, I breath in the air which smells like lemon. The citrus smell is much preferable to what four boys produced behind my closed bedroom door. A renewed sense of calm overwhelms me as I walk around the unit which is now devoid of any evidence that good times were had last night. Mel has tidied the place up. There are no empty bottles sitting on the counter. Only a note next to my phone which has a shattered screen. “Fuck!” I shout. The note that Mel left me suggests that I drink lots of water and take a vitamin. I pull two bottles of San Pellegrino from the refrigerator and return to my bedroom. Sounds of animals at the zoo greet me as I prop the door open thinking fresh air can only improve the smell. Bryce continues to hold on to the toilet bowl like a bus driver would grasp a steering wheel and is snoring. Looking around, I scratch run my hand through my hair and then massage the back of my neck. “Jesus, what a fucking mess.” I walk into the bathroom and gently shake Bryce and whisper reassuring words in his ear. I begin to massage his bare shoulders, but he doesn't wake up. I pour cold sparkling water on his head and slap the swastika drawn on his back which jolts him back to the land of the living. Bryce shakes his head back and forth and then slowly gets to his feet and props himself up against the bathroom wall. Looking crazed, he sits on the edge of the toilet and stares at me like a lemur. "Fuck man, I feel like shit!" "It was a full-on night." I hand Bryce a glass bottle of water. "Here you go. A gift from Mel." "Thanks, mate." He sets a new world record drinking 750ml of sparkling water and then stands up again. "What the hell happened last night? Where is my shirt?" He pulls his phone from his pocket and then mutters something in Yiddish. "Do you have an iPhone charger?" "Sorry mate, this is an Android house." My giggling doesn't improve Bryce's mood. "It would seem there are some clothes in the laundry room. Mel left a note saying some clothes were soiled after our boozing last night." "Goddamn, I hope nobody spewed on me as I can remember absolutely fuck all." I follow Bryce from my bathroom, past Jayden who remains sleeping on the floor and into the hallway and run into my father who smiles. He looks amused. "I hope your hangover is worth it today boys." My father says as soon as he sees us. "If you are going to draw a swastika on someone's back, at least draw it properly. The arms are going the wrong direction." Bryce doesn't have a clue what Daniel is talking about and darts into the laundry room. He sorts through the laundry that Mel kindly washed and finds his shirt. Free of stains or bodily fluids, Bryce pulls it on. "Please thank Mel for me." He looks at Daniel. "Mate, I really need to borrow a phone. My parents are going to kill me." The look of fear on Bryce's face subsides after my father hands him his mobile phone after he unlocks it. At some point in the call to his mother, Bryce sighs and smiles. He must have been reminded that he informed his parents that he was staying over. I do remember him making that drunken call last night now. "I will be home soon." He ends the call and hands the phone back to my father. "Thank you, Daniel, for the hospitality." Bryce shakes hands with my father, offers his thanks again and says all he wants to do is go home to his comfortable bed. I suggest that we can open another bottle of wine and have some eggs. After making my suggestion, he looks like he is about to projectile vomit into the laundry room sink. He quickly regains his composure though and limps down the hallway. The front door slams not long later. It startles me as per usual and puts me into a heightened state of awareness. I glance at my watch. Briskly walking into my bedroom of discontent I stop to admire the sleeping animal called Jayden on the floor. My room still smells awful. Red wine, sweat, spew, urine, shit and everything else that escaped from our bodies is producing a toxic smell. If I want to get to Westgate Park for prearranged meeting with the stranger, I must leave this place soon. As I attempt to make myself look presentable, I come to the realisation that my sexuality has been inhibited for sixteen years and has now come to a pinnacle of sorts. I am now facing the impatient stare of the clock on my bedroom wall and have a renewed enthusiasm to get my arse to the nature reserve. I pause to observe my best friend take a breath, snore, gargle, and gasp as he continues to sleep on my bedroom floor. I step around him and leave not only the smell from my bedroom behind but also the security of my apartment. My journey to Westgate Park is first encumbered by the sun as I leave my apartment tower in Southbank. I can barely muster the energy to walk and decide to catch the tram. Running is just not possible. "Shit!" I shout when I realise that I left my broken phone at home. I walk to the tram stop near the casino and hop on the tram at Clarendon Street illegally since I also left my transport card in my room. I try to relax but cannot seem to get any focus as I wipe the sweat from my brow with the sleeve of my dirty hoodie. The tram makes annoying dinging sounds as it squeals down the tracks towards Beacon Cove and I lose myself in the moment with my eyes closed. What I hopefully find in the public toilet at Westgate Park will be something new and like doing a line of cocaine, I hope it is a memory that lasts for my lifetime. The tram suddenly comes to a screeching halt and my eyes go wide. The conductor announces that we have come to the end of the line at Beacon Cove and that everyone should alight from the tram. Walking into the sunshine reminds me of not only my dream from earlier but also why I love Melbourne. “Four Seasons in One Day” is not just a song by Crowded House but is an anthem that plays on repeat living in this city, since the weather is so unpredictable. The sun begins to burn my neck for real this time. Five minutes later, the sun is covered by clouds and rain begins to fall, cooling my face and neck. Not having any energy to run, I walk past Sandridge Beach. The last stretch of the footpath that I traverse is bordered by dirt, where I am forced to follow the road and the loud pollution-billowing trucks driving to the docks for the last part of my journey. Having left my common sense behind in my bedroom with Jayden, my transport card and my phone, I anxiously stride down the winding dirt path into Westgate Park. I walk under an ornamental bridge and quickly find my way into a clearing near familiar picnic tables where I finally stop to take a breath. The public toilet is within spitting distance and nearly collide with a police officer once I turn the corner. The Victoria Police are securing the area with yellow tape. I watch a policeman escort a familiar looking bloke from the public toilet with wrists cuffed behind him. He is escorted through the clearing by the constabulary. I follow and watch the cops push the now familiar stranger into the back of what I assume to be an unmarked police car. The blokes who normally languish in their motorcars alone in the small parking lot turnover their ignitions in unison and slowly leave, assuming their company is no longer welcome in the public reserve. Despite the legacy of alcohol and drugs in my system, I quickly come to the realisation that I dodged a bullet. I look up at the sky to see clouds overhead and close my eyes as drops of rain begin to hit my face.
  11. chezdon1997

    Chapter 5

    Coffee in Melbourne is one of the many things I miss about the greatest city in the world.
  12. chezdon1997

    Chapter 6

    Glad you like it! You gave me the motivation to post the next chapter. I thought nobody was interested in this amazing book
  13. chezdon1997

    Chapter 6

    The walk to Port Melbourne along my usual jogging path was warm yet pleasant. I regret not wearing my sunglasses as I sit back, relax and sip the frothed milk and taste the roasted beans from the balcony of the usual café at the end of the tram line. My watch advises me there are just enough time left to get a natural high from caffeine before my morning appointment inside the public toilet with the stranger. In a case of good timing for a change, there are no messages or social media notifications distracting me from what I want. The intensity of the oppressive sun is burning my neck and exposed shoulders. A few sunbathers on Sandridge Beach stare at my glistening white skin from afar and point at me. I am confident they are laughing at how my untanned shoulders contrast against my tanned arms but I really don’t give a fuck. I take some time to feel the sand, look at the bay and admire the architecture of the beachfront property. Even with my dawdling, I have just enough time to get to Westgate Park before my untoward meeting is scheduled to commence. Normally, the small parking lot is at capacity. There are no cars here today which will mean that there will be few people in the park which will potentially interrupt proceedings. Am I just lucky? Maybe it is a coincidence or something that I should find queer? The sun is shining and the weather is glorious. There are a few black clouds on the horizon floating in from the southwest though that look ominous, which is concerning. It is as quiet as a morgue as I enter the picnic area near the public toilet. I check the time again on my phone only to learn that it is 10:30 AM exactly. My bladder is legitimately full and I have a legitimate reason to visit the shithouse. The cracked screen of my phone lights up and chirps as I had set an alarm to remind me of my date with destiny. I leave the watchful gaze of the bright sun and step through the open door of the public toilet. My eyes thank me for the more subdued light in the small smelly room. The now familiar metal trough remains in stasis waiting to drink my urine. A man slowly turns his head and grins at me as I walk forward the eager trough. I slow my pace and nervously rub the back of my hot damp neck which has been burned by the sun. The stranger continues to smile as I step onto the metal grate at the base of the trough. Despite urgently needing to vacate my bladder, I stare into the eyes of the stranger who is now standing next to me. I am certain that he is the bloke which so boldly gave me the piece of paper yesterday. He nods his head and then stares at my crotch with vacant and dead eyes. My new acquaintance reverts his gaze from my crotch and looks down at his massive throbbing erect penis proudly. It looks like an inverted exclamation point, something that resembles a punctuation mark used on a menu in a Mexican cantina. Despite my bladder causing me extreme duress, I resist the urge to pull out my cock and piss. I shuffle closer to the stranger; the shifting of my weight causes an odd sounding clunk to resonate from the metal trough. An alarm sounds and water begins to cascade down the back of the trough, effectively washing away the stale urine, spit and anything else that has been deposited in it. The flowing water stirs up a horrible smell and pipes begin to rattle. Not to be thwarted by these distractions, I reach over and grab the shaft of the stranger’s throbbing cock. Not having experience with a foreskin, I gently push it down and examine the pink penis head. My small soft hand gently slides down the shaft of the cock until its movement is arrested by big balls and pubic hair. My hand is so small that my index finger and thumb cannot touch whilst gripping the huge schlong which leaves me feeling inadequate as I caress the flesh. The pipes continue to rattle yielding a horrible clunking noise. My stomach and my left thigh begin to heat up. Is this what it feels like to self-immolate? My insides are beginning to feel as hot as my neck and face. The ambient noise in this dark room begins to become unbearably loud as I continue to stroke the stranger’s dick. An excruciating pain in my bladder lurches me from my dream state and back to consciousness. Like a pig, I return to the real world sprawled out on my bathroom floor rolling in a puddle of urine. I pissed myself during the dream sequence. Jayden kicked me in his rush to put his head in the toilet bowl. He begins to shout into the big porcelain telephone in the same manner that I did earlier. The wretched noise that Jayden is producing drowns out the sounds of snoring and music emanating from my bedroom. The urine which has saturated my underwear is cooling down, much to the relief of my body but I find it disgusting. Reality begins to take hold as I come out of my stupor. I am further revolted when I find Jayden's vomit on my torso and left leg. The retching sounds continue as Jayden's head is swallowed by the toilet bowl. I extricate myself from ground zero and prop myself up against the glass wall of the shower stall. The thumping pain in my head matches beats in time with my heart. "Fuck me," I whimper. “Fuck.” Messaging my head provides no relief. Urine runs down both of my legs as I use every bit of strength that I have left in reserve to stay standing up. Much like legs of red wine would run down the side of a Riedel glass, my body is now feels like it will soon fall victim to gravity. The feeling of nausea returns and the room starts to spin again. Without any concern for modesty or decorum, I pull off my saturated boxer briefs and step away from them. I leave them in a puddle of bodily fluids next to my best friend who continues to retch with his head in the toilet bowl. I try to ignore the dream that continues to play on a loop in my mind and will myself to get into the shower stall with my cock pointing at the ceiling. An ice-cold shower will make me feel better and hopefully cool my burning body down. Freezing water has never felt so good as it sploshes off my scorching skin. Out of desperation, I open my mouth and drink from the ejaculating showerhead, propping myself up against the tiled wall in the process hoping that my equilibrium will stabilise. Jayden rolls away from the toilet bowl and collapses against the cabinet under one of the sinks. He stares at me but I don't think in his condition he is watching me. All my senses are overwhelmed. Before I can reconcile the memories of the previous day, night and now morning, gravity once again grips me and pulls me slowly to the floor. My naked back presses against the wet ceramic tiles until I finally sit on my bare arse. I hold my knees close to my chin as I look up to the shower head. It continues to ejaculate on my face and from the safety of the floor, I close my eyes.
  14. chezdon1997

    Chapter 2

    It is a bit of a juggernaut to navigate and if you factor in all of the extras on Amazon, it could make the weak of heart gasp and throw in the towel. I am not going to give Amazon exclusive rights though as I want to get the final draft out on Google and Smashwords also. Sadly all of the business of self-publishing distracts me from writing. The day job does a good enough job of that, who needs the extra overhead? Good luck with your journey too btw
  15. chezdon1997

    Chapter 5

    Thanks for the support!

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