I guessed that phoning my dad from Kyle's house was something I'd needed to do for a helluva long time. It was a small gesture, but obviously an important one 'cause I could notice the difference in my attitude. That, together with the exams being over, and the upcoming school holidays, had improved my mood dramatically… so dramatically, that not even Wingnut could upset me in the quad at lunch break.
"Hey, Conan! Heard you're into wrestling now. Wanna take on someone more your own strength?"
Kyle and I grabbed the cheeky grommet before he knew what was happening, and pummeled the shit outa his arms. He wasn't quite black and blue, but he caught a few painful mouseys.
"One day, you guys are gonna have to watch your backs!" he threatened, trying as best he could to deepen his adolescent voice, "'cause I'll take you out one at a time." Wingnut's menacing stance didn't fool either Kyle or me, though. The grommet was like most kids… he actually enjoyed getting roughed up.
If we needed proof that winter had arrived, the howling north wind and rain had certainly given it to us. But it wasn't a prob in the gym next morning. In a matter of minutes, Kyle and I would be hot and sweating.
"Don't you wear a box [jock strap] when you're training?" he asked as we swapped our school uniforms for boxing shorts in the locker room.
"Not always. It depends on whether or not I'm gonna spar with someone. Today, I'll be skipping and hitting the bag… or you… whichever comes first… I think it's gonna be you... I think."
"'Cause I can feel it coming."
"That's why you should wear a box."
"Well, if you can feel it cumming, it'll land in the box. Right?"
"What the fuck are you talking about?"
"Your satin shorts. They're kinda lazily draped over your buns and furniture. So? Am I the only one who notices?"
"Fuck, Kyle… you're so fulla shit! You should be a sailor 'cause you've got a real semen brain."
"Yeah, well you should wear something 'cause I can see your dick clearly through your shorts."
"Shut up, Kyle."
"Hey, go check in the mirror."
"Are you gonna talk shit all morning, or help me here?"
It was a crazy game that Kyle and I played. He would taunt me, and I would threaten him with instant extinction, if not before. Yet we would continue to play the game… a form of verbal sparring. I actually enjoyed his attention, and the way he admired my bod, but I didn't quite know how to deal with it, apart from pretending that I was annoyed. Besides, Kyle was the kinda dude who thought about sex twenty four hours a day… in the gym, in the quad, in class, any-fucking-where. For me, there was a time and place for sex, usually the bedroom, in private.
After the walk home from school, Kyle invited himself into my house for a while, undoubtedly to watch me change outa my school uniform, and into my civvies.
"How's it going at the pizza restaurant?"
"I'm still in training… but I need to work during the hols."
"So when's that gonna be?"
"Fuck knows. When the owner thinks it's OK to let me loose, I guess."
"Hey, why do you always turn your back to me when you undress?" he asked as I was stepping into a fresh pair of boxers.
"It's not like you've got anything I haven't been up close to before."
"You're obsessed with my cock."
"It's not that," he lied, "I just wonder why you're… well, shy… even with me."
"It's just me, OK? Now drop it."
"Drop what? My boxers?"
Once again, he'd turned things around and caused me to laugh. "Fuck, Kyle, under which rock did I find you?"
"I'm being serious, Mark. It's just that I thought… well… I just thought that it wouldn't hassle you to get naked in front of me."
"Why is it such a big deal?"
Yeah, right. If it wasn't such a big deal, why the fuck did he keep talking about it? Anyway, I was mindful of that time when we were both drunk after a night out clubbing. He was sitting on the side of my bed when I pulled out my cock in front of his face, thinking that he'd freak. But, quick as a fucking flash, he had his lips around the damn thing. Was I gonna risk that again? Especially like now when I was sober or straight? No way, Jose. Hey, I could get to like it. Actually, I was damn sure I'd get to like it. And then what? How would that affect our friendship? And how could I face his dad again knowing that his son's lips had been riding my boner, and that I'd shot a load of juice down his throat? For that matter, how could I face Kyle's mom again? Or Steph? And what would Carol think if she knew? All of those questions hadn't occurred to Kyle. And why would they? He was the most spontaneous person I'd ever met. For him, life was just so damn fucking simple. Jump in the deep end, and don't give a fuck about the crocodiles… or in his case, the sharks.
"I've gotta wash my clothes in the laundry, and do the breakfast dishes. I didn't have time this morning."
"That's cool. I'll hang around."
Hang around for what? I thought. To watch me do my domestics? There was a dude who risked life and limb in the surf, winter and summer alike, and who had more friends than he could count, and he wanted to watch me launder my clothes? He had to be crazy.
"I'll make coffee after I do the dishes."
After I'd done my chores, and we were sipping on our coffees, we talked about school, the upcoming hols, exam results, and other shit, but all the while I was wanting to know why Kyle liked me. OK, he was obsessed with my cock, and he thought my bod rocked, but there had to be something more… something deeper.
"How come you're not surfing?"
"It's crapped out."
"Otherwise you would be."
"So that's why you're here?"
"It's not the only reason. You're my friend."
"And you like the way I wash my clothes?"
"Yeah… I do."
"You're fucking crazy, Kyle. You know that?"
"Why? 'Cause I like to be with you? Hey, you punched the shit outa me this morning in the ring, and you threw me around like a rag doll yesterday when we were wrestling. Doesn't that kinda give you a teensy weensy clue?"
"That you're crazy? Yeah, it does."
"So you want me to leave?"
"It's easy for you to express your feelings, Kyle. You just open your fucking mouth and it comes out. It's not so easy for me. You had to be there."
"Where I come from. You come from the 'house of hugs'. It's like you and your folks spend half the fucking day hugging. That kinda thing doesn't happen here… it never has, 'cept for mom."
"You and Carol hug, though."
"Carol's not family, Kyle. It's different with her."
"I'm not family, either."
"Maybe not. But who else would wanna hang around to watch me launder my clothes, and do the dishes?"
"Or watch you change outa your uniform into a clean pair of boxers?"
"You're so fulla shit, Kyle. So, why are you still here?"
"Why did you come around to my house almost every day when I was sick, and keep me up to date with school work?"
"We're in the same classes."
"Was that the only reason?"
"Listen, Mark, I know there are some things you don't wanna talk about, or can't… stuff you find difficult to express. But you don't need words, bro. You say it all by the way you act… and you know what they say... actions speak louder than words. Right?"
"You mean like when I punch the shit outa you in the ring?"
"When we were sitting on the rocks at the beach in the wind… that night after what happened between Steve and Steph… and you came down and sat next to me, and you said that I was the one who'd taught you the meaning of friendship. You think it's all been a one-way street? You think you haven't taught me stuff?"
"Like how many times you and I have argued and fought… like how many times we've blown our short fuses… like how many times we could've ended our friendship right there and then… but we didn't. Hey, Mark, making friends is easy… keeping them isn't so easy."
"For you, making friends is easy. For you, it's like falling off a fucking log. And that's the thing that puzzles me about you. Why me? And don't gimme that lamo shit about my bod. Why me?"
"I hated you at first. I thought you were a total fucking jerk. Then you chilled, and invited me to punch the bag with you. Even then, you were still aggro and fulla crap. But I guess I got kinda curious. It was like I had some kinda notion that there was a nice guy in there trying to get out."
"I've given you a million reasons why you should've fucked off, but you never did."
"How do you know they weren't a million reasons to hang around?"
"Nobody else would've."
"So they lose, and I win."
"You just don't see it, do you?"
"My bod? Sure, I see it. And you keep making a big fucking deal about it. So that's it, huh?"
"It helps," he grinned, "but it's not just your bod. You make great coffee… and macaroni and cheese."
"I don't get it. You act like I'm Mr Fucking Perfect or whatever. So how come I don't have a stack of friends like you do?"
"You don't let people get close. You wouldn't let me get close either, at first, but I wouldn't take no for an answer."
"You can fucking say that again."
"Are you glad?"
"Yeah, I suppose I am. OK, I am... but I still don’t understand it. To tell you the truth, Kyle, if I were somebody else, I wouldn't want me as a friend."
"You're not somebody else, Mark, so how can you say that? You know what I think? I think you're scared of having people like you in case they discover the real you… the you you're afraid of… the you that you think is hidden deep down somewhere, and that will surface all of a sudden… the you that your dad beat up on… the you…"
"Stop it, Kyle. Drop it."
"Mark, why can't you just accept my friendship without all this analytical bullshit? I'm here 'cause I wanna be here. Being with you is totally fucking cool, whether you're doing laundry, or sitting at my desk at home, or sparring in the gym, or just having lunch together at school, or whatever. Why can't you just accept that?"
"I dunno, man. There's a lotta stuff you don't understand."
"Maybe there's a lotta stuff you don't understand."
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