I just froze, but then I realised that it wasn’t my father. It was Jason. The little prick must have climbed in through the window.
‘It’s none of your damn business,’ I replied. ‘And what the fuck are you doing in here anyhow?’
‘So? Where have you been? Dad tried knocking on your door when Ben rang you. When you didn’t answer he just reckoned you must have been asleep . . . anyhow, that’s what he told Ben. I figured that you mustn’t have been in here, though. Looks like I know you better than dad, huh?’
‘Yeah, I guess you do.’
‘So, like I said, where were you?’
‘And like I said, it’s none of your damn business! Now fuck off!’
‘Hmmpppfff. Suit yourself,’ he said. ‘I’ll just tell them I caught you sneaking back in through the window at midnight.’
‘Oh, wouldn’t I?’ he challenged.
Fuck, I thought!
‘All right. What do you want then?’
‘Just to know where you were.’
‘Are all fourteen year olds as big a pain in the arse as you? I was with some friends.’
‘What friends? Ben wasn’t with you. He rang here looking for you,’ he said, as if he was challenging me.
‘Does Ben have to go everywhere I go?’ I snapped.
‘No, I suppose not. But he usually does, doesn’t he? So, if you weren’t with him, who were you with? Your boyfriend maybe?’
‘Just fuck off will you?’ I hissed, opening the door and almost pushing him outside into the hallway.
When I had locked the door again I stripped off and lay down on my bed. My heart was racing. My hands were shaking.
‘Fuck. What’s happening to me?’ I cried into the darkness. What had been a wonderful night had now ended up as a disaster.
Thankfully, no one could hear my quiet sobs as I cried myself to sleep.
* * *
‘Christ, mate. You look awful,’ Ben said to me when I met him at our corner.
‘Gee, thanks,’ I answered.
‘Sorry. But you do. And you went to bed early too; I tried to ring you and your dad said that you were asleep.’
I looked across at him and managed a grin.
‘You weren’t then?’
‘Not when you rang I wasn’t.’
‘So, where were you then?’
‘Down on the creeklands,’ I answered rather sheepishly.
‘With Guy? You sly dog,’ he said, slapping me on the back as he did so. ‘So, how was it?’
‘Fantastic, up to a point.’
‘No wonder you look buggered then. But what do you mean, up to a point?’
‘Well, let’s just say I didn’t want to go quite as far as he did last night.’
He thought about that for a minute, then when he realised what I meant, he said, ‘Oh.’
We walked on in silence for a little while after that, although I could tell that he was deep in thought about something.
Finally he asked, ‘So, what happened then?’
‘We fooled around for a bit, but . . .’
‘But what? He wanted to fuck you?’
‘Yeah . . . that’s when I think I panicked a little. I told him I wasn’t ready, or something like that. It sort of ruined the moment I guess.’
‘How did he react?’
‘Errr . . . he said that was okay, but from the tone of his voice I think he was disappointed.’
‘Yeah, I reckon that he probably would have been.’
‘How do you know that?’
‘Because it happens to me all the bloody time, mate. You know, with the chicks,’ he said, while laughing.
‘Oh,’ I simply said.
‘So, then what happened?’
‘Well, I suppose we fooled around for a bit more, then around midnight he dropped me home and kissed me goodnight. I snuck back in through my window, but then . . .’
‘I found Jason in my room.’
‘Yeah well, that ain’t the half of it. He wanted to know where I had been or he was going to tell Dad. He asked me if I was out with my boyfriend?’
That stopped Ben dead in his tracks.
‘You’re joking, aren’t you?’
I shook my head, then said, ‘I kicked the little shit out of my room and then just cried myself to sleep.’
As I told him this I could feel the emotion building up in myself and once again felt as if I was about to burst into tears. Ben sensed this and came over and put an arm around me and gave me a hug. In all the time that I’ve known him, I think that that was the first time I could ever recall him doing that.
‘Don’t worry about it mate. Everything will work out. I’m sure of it,’ he said to me.
I wished that I shared his confidence.
Guy never came along that morning to give us a lift. We saw him roar into the car park just as we arrived, with all of us only just making it in time for the first lesson.
‘Sleep in this morning, did you? Must have been a hard night then, was it?’ Ben asked him as we met Guy at the door.
Guy looked at me and saw me smiling, then said, ‘Yeah, something like that. It was worth it though.’
I quickly turned away, hoping that neither of them saw me blushing.
‘Yeah, I bet it was,’ I heard Ben say behind me, but I didn’t turn around to look at either of them, I just headed straight for the classroom.
* * *
When we approached our usual table at lunchtime we found that Samantha and Cameron were already there, and were obviously having a major disagreement about something.
‘What’s up?’ Ben asked as we approached the table, but they both just shut up and wouldn’t say anything.
As we sat down at the table Cameron got up and said, ‘Later,’ then just walked away.
‘What’s up his arse today?’ Ben asked.
‘Oh, he’s just a bit jealous,’ Samantha replied.
Guy and I glanced at each other, having had our suspicions now realised.
‘What of?’ Ben asked innocently.
‘Not what Ben. Whom?’ Samantha replied.
Ben thought for a moment, then it dawned on him. ‘Not me?’ he asked, hesitantly.
‘Who else?’ Samantha and I both said at the same time.
‘What did he say?’ he asked after a couple of minutes. ‘You two weren’t an item, were you?’
Samantha smiled sweetly and shook her head. ‘No, we went out together once or twice and that was it. He’s a really sweet guy, but we’re just friends. That’s all.’
‘Are you sure about that?’ I asked her.
She looked across the table at me and nodded her head, but her eyes gave her away. There had been something more than just friendship there, I was sure of that, but I doubted very much if she would ever tell us that now. My only hope was that Ben wouldn’t get hurt out of this.
We finished our lunch in silence, then just as we were about to head off for classes again Ben asked, ‘Hey, we’re all still going to the movies this weekend, right?’
‘Hell yeah,’ I answered.
‘Sure,’ Guy answered.
‘You want me to pick you up?’ Samantha asked Ben.
‘That would be great,’ he answered.
‘How about I’ll pick Tim up and we’ll meet you there, then?’ Guy offered, giving me a wink as he said so.
I wasn’t sure, but I thought Samantha might have noticed that, as I saw her do something of a double take and then look at us both for a moment. It was in that appraising sort of way that I had seen her do quite often since I had started to really get to know her, as if she were almost sizing us up, or seeing us in a new light. I hoped she wouldn’t go jumping to any conclusions.
She left us after that, giving Ben a peck on the cheek as she was going, and we headed off for our final lessons of the week. We struggled through the afternoon and at the end of the day Ben said that he wanted to go and find Samantha again, which left Guy and me alone to do our own thing.
Ben’s last words as he left us were directed at Guy. He said, ‘Don’t you hurt him,’ then skipped down the stairs to try and find Samantha, leaving Guy and me just staring at each other, him looking stunned and me looking embarrassed.
‘What did he mean by that?’ he asked.
‘I . . . errr . . . I told him about last night,’ I answered, somewhat sheepishly.
‘About what exactly, from last night?’
‘Do you always tell him everything that happens in your life?’ he asked, rather coolly.
He walked over to the balcony railing and leant against it, looking out over the school gardens. I joined him there and he looked up at me and smiled, then after a little while he said, ‘Well, I suppose we all need someone we can share things with.’
‘You’re not upset with me, then?’ I asked anxiously.
He just shrugged and said, ‘No. Why would I be?’
‘Yeah. Of course I’m sure. Come on, let’s get going.’
We walked down towards the car, amongst all the other students and teachers, then when we reached it Guy unlocked the passenger door for me and I got in. I watched him as he walked around to his door and then I reached across and unlocked it for him.
‘Thanks,’ he said as he sat himself down beside me.
‘Anytime, mate,’ I answered.
‘Where to then? My place?’ he asked.
‘That’s as good a place as any,’ I answered, with a grin.
‘I thought you might say that,’ he replied, then started the car.
* * *
Nothing more was said between me and Guy about the night we spent together down on the creek lands, but it hung there all the same, dangling perilously between us. I knew that he had been disappointed. He knew that I was feeling guilty and unsure about things; about us, even. I could only hope that it wouldn’t become a major issue between us.
It was now Saturday morning, and we had spent the previous afternoon after school in each other’s arms on the couch at his place, watching television. There was no pressure, there was no fooling around, it was just us, relaxing together, my head resting on his shoulder, my hand tucked into his shirt, my fingers lying over his chest, feeling his heart beating. Neither of us made any move to go any further, possibly for fear of fucking things up between us well and truly, so we just sat and held each other.
What more can I say, except that it was nice.
He had dropped me home just before dark and I had retreated to my room, telling everyone that I had homework to do, but in reality I just sat there at my desk, gazing out the window, watching the last remnants of sunlight fading away, while wondering what was going to become of us.
About an hour later there was a knock at my door and my mother’s head soon appeared from behind it.
‘You coming out for dinner dear?’ she asked.
‘Yeah, thanks,’ I answered. ‘I’ll be there in a minute.’
She nodded, but didn’t leave. She stayed by the door, looking me up and down, with worry etched into her face.
‘What’s wrong?’ I asked.
‘Are you all right? We do worry about you, you know.’
‘I’m fine Mum, thanks. And you don’t have to worry about me.’
She reached out and patted me on the shoulder and said, ‘Well, if it’s about what your father was saying the other night, you don’t have to worry about that. I’ve already spoken to him about the school show and I’ve told him that he should be proud of you doing something like that. He hasn’t said anything else about it since, so I think he’s under control now . . . at least as far as that is concerned.’
I stood up and hugged her. ‘Thanks Mum. I really appreciate that.’
‘You’re welcome. Now go and wash up before dinner.’
The night proved to be a quiet one. Dad and I were even civil to each other for a change, although Jason kept smirking at me. The little shit.
And now it was Saturday night, and I was out on the front porch waiting for my . . . for my what? Date? My date that wasn’t really a date because I couldn’t bear the thought of anyone thinking that that’s just what it might be? Oh shit, my life was starting to get complicated!
Guy arrived a few minutes later, blowing the horn at me as he pulled up at the front of the house. I waved at him, motioning for him to come up to the house, so he turned off the car then got out and started walking up the driveway.
I was never really one to take notice of what people wore too much, but on this night I couldn’t help it. God how beautiful he looked, I thought as he walked towards, me wearing dark blue casual trousers and a pale blue shirt.
I was grinning when he reached me, and I started licking my lips.
‘What’s your problem?’ he asked me, laughing, as he climbed the few steps up onto the front porch.
‘Do you have any idea how good you look? I could eat you, you know that?’
‘That’s just what I was hoping for,’ he replied, with a sly grin.
‘Really? Well, come inside and meet the folks first, okay?’ I said to him.
We went inside and found Mum and Dad in the kitchen getting dinner ready. They looked up as soon as we entered, and both of them immediately started looking Guy up and down.
‘Mum, Dad, this is Guy. Guy, these are my parents,’ I rather clumsily said.
They all shook hands and then there was an awkward silence, before Mum stepped in and saved the day.
‘So Guy, Tim tells us that you are new to town?’
‘Yes. Mum and I just moved back here a couple of months ago. Mum lived here when she was a kid and just decided she wanted to come back after she and Dad split up.’
‘Oh, dear. I’m sorry to hear about your parents,’ Mum said.
Guy just shrugged and said, ‘It happens.’
My parents nodded, as if they fully understood everything, but I was sure they were just trying to be agreeable.
After that, more silence.
‘Come on, we had better get going otherwise everyone will be wondering where we are,’ I said to Guy, eager to get us both out of there before anyone started asking too many questions.
‘It was nice meeting you,’ Mum said as we made ready to move.
‘Yes, you too. Thank you,’ Guy replied.
Dad just nodded and then I virtually pushed Guy out the door.
‘Sorry about that,’ I said to him as we headed for the car.
‘What for? They seem All right.’
‘Mum’s pretty cool. But the old man can be a bit odd sometimes.’
‘Ha. All old mans are like that mate. It’s a fact of life. Didn’t you know that?’
I just thumped him in the arm and grinned at him.
When we reached the car I looked back towards the house and noticed both my parents standing there watching us. They both waved to us, we both waved back, but for the entire trip to the movie theatre I couldn’t help but worry about what they may have been thinking.
Ben and Samantha were waiting for us outside the theatre when we arrived there, with Ben leaning back against a railing and Samantha lying up against him, gazing into his eyes, their arms wrapped snuggly around each other’s waists.
‘This pair has got it bad,’ Guy said as we walked up the steps towards them.
‘Tell me about it,’ I replied.
‘Are you two going to stay like that all night?’ Guy asked them as we reached the top of the steps. ‘Or are you coming inside with us?’
They soon parted, then both leaned back against the railing, standing there hand in hand.
‘Oh, I think we’ll go inside. We were a bit worried though, we thought you wouldn’t make it,’ Ben replied.
‘Oh well, you know how it is,’ Guy answered.
They just grinned at us, then we all headed for the doors.
Even allowing for the fact that it was a Saturday night, we found that the place was fairly crowded when we got inside. It was probably something to do with the fact that it was only the third night that the movie was being shown here and everyone would be wanting to see it. It had been released elsewhere for several months, but living in the country like we did, we tended to have to wait a while for anything new to make it out here.
We joined the queue for tickets and drinks and popcorn, and when our patience was eventually rewarded we went straight inside, managing to find some seats in the back row which we thought would do just fine.
I found myself sitting between Ben and Guy, with Samantha on the other side of Ben. His arm was draped over her shoulder within minutes, which both Guy and I both noticed at about the same time. We glanced at each other, no doubt both wishing that we could do the same, and he winked at me and smiled.
We had to settle for letting our knees rub together for the entire session, although once the lights went down and the movie started, I did put my arm down by my leg and tentatively reached out and touched his thigh, to let him know my hand was there. He looked at me, then looked down and I saw him smile, and before long I had his hand in mine, hidden between our legs, with the aid of the darkness that had enveloped us.
I don’t think that we let go of each other for the entire length of the movie. And I don’t think anyone was any the wiser, so engrossed were we with what was happening on the screen in front of us.
For two hours we sat there, simply mesmerised by the amazing sounds and colours of Paris.
We laughed and we cried . . . and yeah, even Ben did in the end, and while I don’t know about anyone else, when we left the theatre I had that song simply buzzing inside my head. I just couldn’t shake it!
Afterwards we all had a drink at the cafe, and then Guy and I said goodnight to Ben and Samantha on the steps before wandering off towards Guy’s car. We were both still humming the song as we climbed in and Guy started the car, and we were still humming it when he pulled the car to a stop down on the creek lands.