I felt on the up after chatting to Mark. Until then, I'd never realized that his voice was one of the things I liked about him when he was in Cape Town. I guessed I just took it for granted. But now that he was in Joburg, his voice was the only physical contact available.
Saturday night, Steph and I went to a movie, then pizza, where we met up with Wingnut and Candy. Brian and his girlfriend were with them, and we all had a pretty good time. Actually, I didn't know what I would've done without my friends. They could never in a million years have filled Mark's shoes, but they took my mind off him, even if it was only for a while.
After I'd walked Steph home, I stopped on the way back to my place to piss against my tree. Then I got a lump in my throat thinking about Mark again. The dark streets could be pretty lonely places at night.
Monday, after a long, exhausting day at work, Wingnut was waiting for me, and insisted that I go train with him at the school pool. It was totally wicked to be swimming again, but I was buggered big time by the time I got back home... slept for half an hour before supper.
When the phone rang, it was quite late.
"Hey, I was just getting ready for bed... thought I'd phone a friend."
"Hey!" Damn! It was so fucking good to hear Mark's voice again. And it brought back memories of the time he put his finger to my chest and said that he would always be here, just like ET.
"The grommet's got me training at the pool. There's a smartass senior on the team, and Wingnut wants me to kick his ass. Dunno about that, though. The guy's fast... maybe faster than you or Ross. Anyway, after everybody had gone home, Wingnut and I were sitting on the wall when he called me a wuss. Before he knew what the fuck had happened, he was on the bottom of the pool kicking and struggling for air. That'll teach the little fucker to give me lip." I waited a few seconds to listen to Mark's laughter. "It's so damn cool to hear you laugh again, man. So what's up with you?"
"Same old, same old."
"No, seriously, what's up? You sound different."
Mark began with a sorta embarrassed chuckle, then added, "Would you believe that I'm homesick all of a sudden? Just happened."
"You gonna be OK?"
"Yeah, I'm sure. Just wanted to say goodnight to you."
"Cool! That is so awesome! So how's work and the old lady?"
"She's not that old," he giggled, "and it's going good. Work is hard."
"Here? Like he's there now?"
"Can't talk about him, huh?"
"Not really, hey."
"Has he got a boner?"
"You're fucking disgusting. No."
"You just in your boxers or something?"
"Yeah, I was getting ready for sleep when I wanted to phone you."
"He has got a boner, then. Just turn and check it out."
Within a few seconds, Mark's giggling had become a huge guffaw.
"He has, huh?"
Mark was still giggling his tits off when he asked me how the fuck I knew.
"'Cause I would've had one, too."
"I've gotta go, Kyle. Jeez."
"Cool. Thanks for the phone call, man. That is so fucking stylish."
"See ya, Kyle."
"See ya, Mother Hubbard."
"Shame on you... giving that old dog a bone."
More giggling. "BYE!"
"I'm gonna jack off thinking about being buried down your throat."
It had been a good week... so far. Two calls from Mark, and then his phoning just to say goodnight. That was a total fucking plus. Hey, the guy did love me. He had to! So all my fears about his just disappearing into thin air and forgetting about me were unfounded.
Fingers was kinda interesting. Maybe Mark had told fingers something about me. Maybe not everything, but some of the stuff... like our being best friends or whatever. Maybe fingers would become Mark's version of my fossil, B... someone to confide in about personal stuff just to get it off his chest. Anyway, Mark's attitude toward fingers was pretty amazing, probably 'cause it was the first time he'd ever received genuine affection from an adult male... 'cept for my dad, of course, but that was different. When it came to fingers and shitforbrains, though, they were like chalk and cheese, and the difference between those two guys had impacted on Mark big time. He actually cared for the dude... not enough to let fingers get his way, but enough to be tolerant. Even more than tolerant.
Meantime, I'd registered for Kostik's chat room, but my application was still pending. Fucked if I knew why. I'd done the whole thing with Yahoo's approval code and whatever. Somebody needed to get their finger out. It'd be cool to see B and the other guys in there.
Lately, the wind had picked up to gale force again, so that put paid to another SCUBA dive trip. I really wanted to go again, even if it was just the reefs. I wasn't all that amped about diving a wreck, not after what I'd read about wreck diving... becoming disoriented and all that shit. Besides, my breathing wasn't up to scratch yet, and I was using more air than I should.
One thing I had on my to-do list was to read the Daniel Meets Joshua stories. I'd been saving the chapters to disk.
On Friday, I found out that Carol had a new guy. Nope, not Steve. This guy had the same sorta looks as Mark's... good looking, dark hair. Didn't have Mark's personality, though. Fact was, he was an ego-ridden prick. I discovered this new scene when we all went back to Carol's place after a night out. The dude was about the same size as Mark... good bod. Big prob, though, was that Mark had a better bod... better looking and without the ego. In fact, Mark actually got embarrassed when you talked about his bod. What really pissed me off was that he was stepping into Mark's place.
Anyway, the guy and I had a bit of an altercation... something really insignificant. I made a comment about this situation reminding me of one night we'd all been out together, and that I remembered it 'cause Mark had been in such a cool mood. So this cunt says, "Mark's history, bro. Let's rather not mention him. OK?" Steph whispered to me not to start anything. She could tell that I was fucking seething. The one thing that this dude and Mark had in common, though, was aggro 'cause this guy was itching to climb into me.
Later, when Steph and I were in bed, I asked her what the story was between Carol and this new dude.
"She's known him for a long while... pre Mark... but they never had anything going. It was only last weekend that they connected."
"And she's been fucked by this dude already?"
"So what's Mark doing? Is he celibate now?"
Steph accompanied me on the trip to town on Saturday morning. She had a bit of shopping to do. Later, she waited for me to finish work. All the guys in the shop thought she was pretty spunky, which gave me a helluva big head... but I kept it behind my fly buttons. When we got home, the grommet was waiting to ambush me about the school Swim Gala.
Tuesday morning was totally cool... well, the weather was hectic and hot. But the first year varsity students were selling their 'rag' mag, which they did to raise money for the students' health and welfare thing, called 'Shawco'. The mag was fulla jokes, and a fucking cool read.
A bunch of the varsity guys came into the shop, including Ross. They were all dressed weird, but Ross took the cake, and I could see why he was like the best mag seller in the group. He was wearing old, stuffed-up sneakers, a pair of torn boxers over his Speedos, and no top. Hey, when it came to bods, not too many guys could look as good as Ross. Woohoo! The elastic in the waistband of his boxers was broken, so he had them held up by braces. I had to try like hell to stop from getting a boner 'cause he looked so damn hot. His hair had been dyed bright red.
Anyway, everyone in the shop ended up buying a mag. The girls were also totally hot, but I figured Ross was the main attraction. Everyone was all over him like a rash, including me. We got to chatting about the swim comp on Saturday, and he was pretty amped. He was also determined to thrash the schoolies. He said he'd already spoken to Darren, and that they were ready for this thing. They were gonna kick ass.
Mark phoned last night, and we chatted for a while. He said that things between him and Candy were going pretty damn good. Fingers had been paying him even more attention... bought a home, gym set, and set it up in a spare room. He'd asked Mark to help him train.
"He's done it so he can watch you train!"
"I know that... but it's cool. He can watch all he likes. He bought a cool boxing bag 'cause I was telling him about boxing at school. You'd piss yourself laughing, Kyle. He wants me to push him to get fit, but he pisses water after like doing anything for only two minutes. He's really cool, though, Kyle. You'd like him."
"He sounds OK. Does it freak you out, though? Him touching you all the time?"
"Sunday morning he did. I was making breakfast..."
"You cooking for him now?"
"Shuddup and listen. I was making breakfast, and he came up behind me. Normal thing. Hands on the shoulders and massaging me. Then he put his hands around me, then under my t, and onto my stomach. Now that freaked me out. I told him to take his hands away or I'd break his fucking arms."
"What's the fucking diff? Your shoulders or your stomach?"
"'Cause he was right up against me. And as soon as he touched my stomach, he started getting a fucking erection. And that freaked me. Anyway, he left the kitchen, and looked pissed off for most of the morning. He relaxed afterwards, though, and was back to normal. He seems to be terrified of pissing me off."
"I can understand that."
"Which is maybe cool. What?"
"Anyway, his girlfriend came around and took him out somewhere. Later, when we were alone, he started to get a bit quizzy... like you do. He asked me what the big deal was about him touching my stomach, and how good I looked, and all that shit. I eventually told him to shut the fuck up, but in a friendly way."
"Oh, yeah... like shut the fuck up... with a smile on your face."
"Yeah... I did."
"What does Candy say about this guy?"
"I haven't told her what he's like. You're the only one who knows. I don't wanna screw things up for him here. He's been pretty fucking good to me, and he's being a good friend. Who knows? Maybe one day I might piss Candy off or something, and then she goes and spills the beans to this dude's friends or shit like that."
"Oh, by the way, Carol's got a new guy."
"I know. We spoke. He's pretty cool, though. They used to be friends long before I came on the scene."
"He's a prick."
"He's good for Carol."
"'Cept he thinks he's like God's gift to women."
"Yeah... whatever... her choice. He and I got along OK. Guess you and he have hit loggerheads."
"I think he's itching to fuck me up."
"Yeah, well, don't even start with that dude, Kyle. He's got a rep as a no-rules, streetfighter. If he gets you down, his boot is gonna go in."
"Hey, I'm not gonna look for shit with him. He's fucking built. Not as built as you, though."
"Anyway, I've gotta get moving 'cause Candy's pulling in just now, and we're going to the Randburg waterfront."
"OK. See ya."
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