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    Dodger
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The Cockney Canuck - 112. Chapter 112 The Blues Brothers

I arrived at Rory’s house a little earlier than expected. His dad answered the door.

“Come on in, Elwood, or is it Jake?”

I shrugged my shoulders and smiled politely. “We haven’t sorted that bit out yet.”

He laughed, gave me a pat on the back, and sent me upstairs to his son’s room.

The door was ajar, so I pushed it open to find my friend, still in his underwear. He was sitting on his bed pulling on his socks when he turned to me and gestured with his hand.

“Shut the door!” So I did, only for him to open it again a few seconds later and drag me inside. “I meant close it after you come in, stupid.”

It was a bit of a blond moment, as my friend would say. Rory had no reason to be shy in front of me. In school, we had been changing and showering together twice a week for the best part of a year, and that night after the party, I would be sleeping over in his room.

It made sense, Rory’s house was walking distance from Fran’s, and it wasn’t too cold yet to be travelling on foot.

I put my overnight bag on the makeshift bed and politely leafed through a magazine while he finished getting dressed.

“Your parents are okay with me staying over tonight then?”

“Of course, why wouldn’t they be?”

I wasn’t sure. I guess not everyone’s parents were as distrusting as Don and Sue.

“I had to lie to them,” I admitted. “I told them I’d be staying over at Fran’s house.”

Rory found this amusing. “And they were okay with that? My folks wouldn’t have been happy if I told them I was staying over at a girl’s house.”

“Horses for courses, Rory. They regard you as a bigger threat.”

“Me?”

“I know. It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?” I laughed. “But they’re happy at the moment because they think I’m trying to get back with Fran.”

“Sorry, but I think they’re weird.”

“Don’t be sorry. They are weird. You know, when Fran and I were dating. On our first night together, Don drove me to her house and stopped on the way to buy a bunch of flowers for me to give to her. Hoping it would help clinch the deal, so to speak.”

“You're kidding?”

“Seriously. He did everything he could to get me laid.”

“Did it work?”

“Of course it did. Apparently, it always works. But you’re missing the point. What I mean is.…” I stopped talking when I noticed him smiling. “What’s so funny?”

“If you want, we can pick up some flowers on the way tonight?”

“I’m not interested in Fran.”

“I’m talking about your date, silly.” He smirked and then backed off laughing as I tried to grab him.

“You bastard. That’s not fair. Besides, it only works with girls.”

It may have been a joke, but Rory hit on a sore subject. I had been worrying about it all day and was more nervous than I was prepared to admit.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” I confessed. “I haven’t been on that many normal dates, let alone a blind date.”

“I haven’t been on any.”

I stared at him for a few seconds and thought about it.

‘No one’s kissed those gorgeous lips yet’.

It still seemed like such a waste to me. Surely it was only a matter of time.

“There must be some girls at school you like?”

“Yeah, a few,” he said, but he didn’t elaborate.

“Which ones? Maybe one of them will be there tonight.” It was enough to send Rory into defensive mode, and the shutters came down. “I thought I was your best friend.”

He rolled his eyes at me and threw me a pair of dark glasses. “If I meet someone, you’ll be the first to know.”

“You’ll make a good politician,” I said and stood in front of the mirror to see the finished article. We already had the suits, but the sunglasses and hats were a vital part our costumes and essential if anyone were to recognise us as the Blues Brothers. Earlier, Rory emailed me a poster from the original movie, and I spent the afternoon watching clips of it on YouTube with Daniel.

I thought we looked good and the sunglasses were perfect, but as soon as we left his house, we encountered a significant flaw. It was impossible to see out of those cheap glasses at night. Even under the streetlights, we could barely see one another. It was like trying to walk blindfolded, so we were forced to leave them off, at least until we got to the party.

*     *     *

The ordinarily quiet street where Fran lived was busier than I had ever seen it before, and the driveway outside her house was filled with cars and people in various outlandish costumes. We were distinctly under-dressed for the occasion and looked more like a couple of waiters than Halloween partygoers. We needed the sunglasses if we were to have any hope of pulling it off.

There were a lot more guests than I thought and I had to remind myself that this was Fran’s parent’s party. They knew a lot of people and had spent a lot of money. Rory was impressed.

“I’ve never been to a party like this before.”

“Neither have I. Her family are quite well off.”

“You're not kidding; how come they’re so rich?”

“They’re the mafia, Rory. Didn’t you know? Her old man’s the Godfather. I’ll introduce you to him later. If you want someone bumped off, he can arrange it for you.”

“Yeah, so how come he never bumped you off? You dumped his daughter.”

“They tried, but I was too good for them. I always managed to stay one step ahead, just like James Bond.” I flashed him a smile and donned my sunglasses as we joined the line of guests at the front of the house.

“I can see the similarities,” he said dryly.

“That’s more than I can see at the moment, where are you, Rory?”

“I have no idea. I can’t see a thing either.”

I walked into the people in front of us and lifted my glasses to apologise just as Rory tangled with the bushes that bordered the driveway.

“This is crazy,” he said.

“Keep them on, Rory. You look good.” I took his hand and placed it on my arm. “Hold onto me. I know where I’m going. It’ll be easier to see once we’re indoors.”

It was a case of the blind leading the blind, and a disaster was inevitable. It was funny, but we were laughing so much, I forgot about the stairs to the porch and tripped taking Rory with me. He must have reached out to break his fall and knocked over a table with some plants on it, bringing everything down on top of us. We were covered in the soil, and some of the porcelain pots smashed on the decking.

If we wanted to draw attention to ourselves, we couldn’t have done a better job of it.

There were a few seconds of silence while an elderly couple helped us to our feet and made sure we were okay before a chorus of laughter erupted around us.

“Oh my God, you are such a pair of dorks.” I recognised Fran’s voice but couldn’t see her until I finally surrendered and lifted my shades. She was dressed as a witch, and it was very effective. She looked hideous.

“Fran, you're green.”

“And you're covered in dirt. Look what you did to the plants! You can’t come into the house like that.” When I looked past her, the normally spotless hallway was covered in cobwebs and slime. I was about to point this out when she stopped me. “That’s fake dirt,” she said. “It cost a lot of money.”

“Well, ours is real, and it’s free,” I said as I brushed myself down.

“You're hopeless, you know that?”

“FINE. FUCK YOUR PARTY. I’M OFF!” The guests around us stopped talking, and everyone turned to stare at me as I stormed away in a self-infused rage.

“Where are you going? Robbie, wait!” I heard her running after me and stopped before I reached the road. My anger disappeared as quickly as it came on.

“Robbie, what’s wrong with you? You can’t just leave.”

“You don’t want me here.”

“Of course I want you here, silly. I wouldn’t have invited you otherwise. I just didn’t want you showing up covered in dirt.”

“Well, it’s too late.”

“No, it’s not. It’s not even that bad.” She brushed the front of my shirt with her hand and smiled at me. “Don’t leave. Rory will want you to stay and so will your date. Please.”

I had forgotten all about him, blinded by my sudden temper. “Shit! Is he watching?”

“No. He’s in the back garden.”

There were plenty of other people who witnessed my tantrum though, and a lot of them were still staring at me. I felt embarrassed as Fran led me away from them and out of earshot onto the dark lawn

“I’m sorry. I don’t know why I flew off the handle like that.”

“It’s okay, you don’t have to… are you feeling okay?”

I couldn’t answer, everything was just a blur. I held onto her, closed my eyes and tried to stand still as the ground started moving beneath me. I didn’t want to pass out.

‘Not here, not at the party, please’.

After a few seconds, I was normal again, sweating and taking deep breaths. “I’m okay.”

“Are you sure, what happened?”

“I dunno, just a dizzy spell. I’m fine now though.”

Even in the dark and under all that make-up, Fran looked worried. “Why don’t you lie down for a while. You can go upstairs to my room. No one’s allowed up there.”

She meant well, but I didn’t think it was a good idea, and I was feeling much better. “Thanks, but your bed’s too lumpy for me.”

“I have a new one,” she said proudly. “David broke the other one.” She smiled sweetly at me, kissed me on the cheek, and held my hand as we walked back to a bemused looking Rory.

‘David must be some kind of Superman. No wonder she’s always so bloody happy’.

“Sorry about your plants,” said Rory.

“Don’t worry about it,” said Fran and then she giggled, pointing to a dirty mark on his nose. His hands were covered in dirt where he tried to clean up. I wasn’t much better, and my clean white shirt was splattered with earth.

‘At least I’m conscious’.

Fran led us indoors, which looked nothing like the well-kept home I used to visit. It had been decorated to make it look old and spooky. There were some neat special effects, eerie background music, and in the corner was a skeleton sitting in an armchair.

“Looks like you did invite Nathan after all.”

“Don’t be horrible,” she said, but I already knew my ex-boyfriend wouldn’t be there. “You can clean up in the upstairs bathroom and then go and say hello to my parents. Philippe’s in the kitchen, he’s been looking forward to seeing you. Then I’ll introduce you to Conner.”

“Conner?”

“Your date, remember? I told him all about you.”

“Everything?” I swallowed hard while trying to think of another excuse to leave.

“Well, almost everything.” She winked at Rory, and he laughed, but I had a sudden attack of the butterflies. “Don’t be nervous, I’m sure it’ll be love at first sight.”

“I doubt it,” I said, throwing my shades back on. “I can’t see a thing.”

“Hey, it’s the Blues Brothers!” At least David recognised our outfits. He was dressed as a very sexy looking Viking and gave me a pat on the back before wrapping his arms around my ex-girlfriend and making me jealous. “What happened to your shirt?”

“They had a fight outside.”

“No shit, with who?”

“With my dad’s plants,” she said. I looked at Rory and drew an invisible line across my throat. “Did Robbie tell you my dad’s the Godfather.”

Rory nodded as I tried to change the subject. “You're a Viking,” I said to David. “Nice.”

“No, I’m Thor! God of thunder. That’s why I’ve got a hammer.”

I was wondering what the rubber dildo-like object was in his hand. It looked mighty suspicious to me, and Fran’s eyes were practically glued to it.

“You should have wings on your helmet.” You could practically rely on Rory to come out with a real gem of a conversation stopper when least expected, and he didn’t disappoint. “Thor has wings either side of his helmet,” he explained bashfully to a deadpan audience.

“I’m sure David doesn’t want to show us those.” I put my arm around my blushing friend and tried to lead him away to safer pastures.

We were stopped by Fran wagging a long black fingernail in front at us. “I’m gonna have to confiscate your sunglasses,” she said. “Can’t have the Blues Brothers wrecking my haunted house.” Rory and I looked at each other like naughty schoolboys before reluctantly handing them over to the witch. “You can have them back in the summer.”

I took Rory to the upstairs bathroom and dragged him inside when no one was looking, then locked the door behind us.

“Is this really necessary?”

“Don’t be silly, Rory. It’ll save time; we’re only cleaning up.”

“I wanted to pee as well.”

“So, go ahead, I don’t care.” I wiped my face with a towel and then threw it on the countertop. “Bloody hell, Rory. Do you want me to wait outside, while you take a piss?”

“No,” he said, and I began wiping the front of my shirt as he took a leak.

“You really needed to go, didn’t you?”

“I told you.”

“I’m not joking, that’s the longest piss I’ve ever heard. How big is your bladder?”

“I dunno, the same as yours, I suppose.”

“I don’t think so. I would never be able to pee for that long. I should’ve timed it. You could’ve set a new world record, without even knowing it.”

He groaned and flushed the toilet, clearly annoyed by my banter. So I kept quiet and sat on the bath as he washed his face, and brushed the grit from his jacket.

When he was finished, I put my hand on his shoulder and smiled at him.

“I’m sorry, mate. I’m just a little uptight.”

“I know you are, but you don’t have to be. He’ll like you.”

“I’m not worried about him,” I said frowning. “I don’t care what he thinks.”

“Whatever.” Rory wasn’t fooled and stood to grin at me. “Can we go now? I don’t want people seeing us leaving the bathroom together.”

“The party’s downstairs, nobody’s gonna be up here.”

“We are.”

“Ex-boyfriend privileges, my friend.” I smiled to ease his concerns and opened the door to a line of people.

“That was embarrassing,” said Rory as he followed me downstairs. “Did you see the way those girls were looking at us?”

“How was I to know there would be a sudden rush on the bathrooms. They should have rented some port-a-loos.”

“What?”

“It doesn’t matter; it must be an English thing.”

Thanks to me, Rory’s already tattered reputation had taken another battering, and it was difficult to see how he was ever going to make it in the straight world. At least we looked a little less earthy, and I was able to make my obligatory visit to my ex-girlfriend’s parents.

I left Rory talking to a couple of girls he knew from school and headed to the living room where I was spotted by Fran’s very animated Italian mother. She seemed happy to see me and insisted I followed into the dining room where her husband, the Godfather, was entertaining a group of his elderly Sicilian friends. This was the family’s inner circle and the only people at the party not wearing fancy dress.

Despite my soiled shirt, I fitted in perfectly in my dapper suit, black tie, and trilby hat, and the old man—who had likely never heard of the Blues Brothers—was particularly impressed. He stood up, pulled me in for a hug, and introduced me as if I were his long lost son.

In true Italian tradition, I was allowed a small glass of the red wine they were drinking—the real family business—and it would have been rude of me not to accept.

For him to treat me so well, I could only assume that Fran had given me a good write-up. Whatever she said to her father though, his praise for me was almost certainly undeserved. After all, the only thing I did for his daughter, was take away her virginity.

Who knows, perhaps that was what we were toasting, but the bambini were only allowed the one, and I was relieved when I was told to go off and enjoy myself.

“Find yourself a beautiful young lady,” he said to me, and it began to make sense.

‘So Fran never told him the real reason why I left her’.

It didn’t matter, I got a small glass of wine from the deal, and even though I hated the taste, it was already warming my insides and helping me relax.

‘What is it with this place and alcohol’?

I had been drunk on two occasions in my life, and both were in this house. I didn’t need reminding of my past indiscretions, and I didn’t particularly want them broadcast either, but I should’ve known what to expect when I saw Fran’s brother Philippe.

He looked terrific dressed up as a pirate. Like Jack Sparrow with all the trimmings. I was chuffed when he recognised me and dragged me into the kitchen.

He had a beer in his hand as he introduced me to his friends. “This is Robbie, my sister’s ex-boyfriend.” He put his arm around me and smiled as he squeezed me against his well-decorated chest. Then embarrassed me by telling them the story of when Fran and I got drunk. Rory appeared in the doorway just in time to hear how Philippe had to put me in the shower after I threw up, and then call my aunt to make an excuse why I couldn’t come home that night. “He was trying to poke my sister,” he said, which wasn’t exactly true. “But she passed out. And my folks were downstairs the whole time. I saved his ass that day.”

I smiled politely and soaked up the laughter, but despite the fact he would always embarrass me, I still liked Philippe, and it wasn’t just because of his dark, masculine good looks. They did help though, and it was impossible for me not to love him as he made a fuss of me in a brotherly kind of way, and then sneaked Rory and me a beer.

“Just the one, though,” he joked. “I’m not looking after you if you get yourself hammered.”

I promised, but he was already looking after me, even if he didn’t know it. It was an odd attraction and probably not a healthy one. Maybe I should have been more interested in meeting my date. A boy my own age with the same sexual preference, but Philippe’s company was as addictive as it was confounding. He reminded me of Alex, only a richer version. A bit of a rogue but he made me feel safe.

It made a mockery of the feelings I had worked so hard to understand, and left me confused and convinced I was broken. I was sure this wasn’t normal. It was just another thing that was wrong with me, which I couldn’t explain or talk about, and almost certainly couldn’t be fixed.

The other problem was even scarier. When Philippe asked me about my accident I was quick to boast of my recovery, then as I turned to look at Rory, I was hit by another dizzy spell. It didn’t last long, probably less than half-a-minute and this time I was able to disguise it, but I knew something was wrong.

*     *     *

I was in the bathroom splashing water on my face when I heard a familiar voice outside.

“Nicola! What are you doing here?” My sister was dressed, quite impressively as Queen Elizabeth the first, or someone from that era. She had white make-up and an enormous dress that swept the floor.

“Don’t think you're the only one who gets invited to parties,” she said, before introducing me to her court jester. He was wearing the customary black and red chequered suit with bells on his feet and one attached to his hood. “Mike, you’ve already met my dorky brother.”

I recognised his cute face from somewhere, but his costume threw me. It wasn’t until he said hello, that I remembered.

“Mr Lube,” I said, and glanced at Nicola with a cheeky smile.

‘Blimey, she doesn’t waste any time’.

I still didn’t know what happened to her last boyfriend. This guy was better looking and slightly younger, but I preferred Jimmy, who was always good to me and quite smart. I suppose Mike wasn’t chosen for his intelligence, and I could tell by the way she had her hands all over him that he was already entertaining his queen. His outfit suited him perfectly, but I still wasn’t sure why they were at Fran’s party.

The link, of course, was Nicola’s friend Stephanie, who was also David’s sister and increasingly friends with Fran. Small town culture, Nathan was right in his critical appraisal. Everyone’s connected in Cobourg; you’re either dated or related.

Stephanie, rather strangely, had chosen to come as the tin man from the Wizard of Oz with a silver box type suit and a spray painted face. Some of it rubbed off on me when she gave me a surprisingly affectionate hug and a wet kiss on the cheek.

“Hi, sexy. Where’s your boyfriend?”

I thought she knew. “Nathan and I split up.”

“Not Nathan, silly. I was told you had a date tonight.”

I hadn’t mentioned anything to Nicola, but I should’ve realised she would already know. It was impossible to keep anything quiet, particularly if it involved dating, relationships, or sex, and in recent months, my name had featured more than most in the local gossip circles.

“There you are,” asked Fran. “I’ve been looking all over for you. Connor’s waiting to meet you. The poor kid’s nervous.”

He wasn’t the only one. I was also feeling a little jittery as Fran escorted me out to the back garden. This was where the real party was and where the loud, thumping, dance music was coming from. It was also much busier outside with a lot of kids from school, although it was difficult to recognise them in their costumes, and I didn’t particularly want to say hello.

“He’s over there,” said Fran, and she pointed towards the patio. “Are you ready to meet him?”

“No.”

“Don’t be silly, he’s a nice boy. You’ll like him.”

“Where is he then, point him out to me first.”

“He’s the one talking to Spiderman and the wind-up doll.” She giggled as my face dropped, then Rory looked and started laughing too.

“Are you serious? He’s come dressed as a gorilla.”

“Oh my God,” said Rory. “You gotta be kidding me.”

“No way, he’s much too hairy for me.”

“Don’t be such a jerk, it’s only a costume. He’s cute inside.”

“I’ll take your word for it, shall I?”

Rory thought it was hilarious and was holding onto my shoulder laughing.

“You might need to get under his skin.”

“Very funny. When did you get a sense of humour?”

‘Who turns up for a blind date in a gorilla suit’?

“I’m sure he’ll take off his head for you if you ask him,” said Fran.

“I’m not asking him that!”

We were joined by David and his sister, and soon I was the only one who wasn’t laughing.

“It’s not funny,” I said, but Rory disagreed. He pointed to someone behind me, and I turned around to see the girl dressed as a wooden doll. It was unusual and quite effective. She had bright red circles on her cheeks, two long blond ponytails, and a giant key protruding from her back, which I was tempted to wind.

“You don’t remember me do you?”

“No, are you one of my old toys?”

“Did you play with dolls when you were younger, Robbie?”

“All the time and I still do.”

She smiled and batted her black eyelids. “We met outside the Rainbow Cinema, a few weeks ago. I was with my friend, and you were with your boyfriend.”

“I remember. You're the girl with the gay brother.” She nodded, and I glanced at the gorilla as I finally figured it out. “He’s the one in the gorilla suit, isn’t he?”

“Yeah. He’s such a goofball sometimes, but I’m sure he’ll take it off for you. Come on, I’ll introduce you guys.”

“Go on,” said Fran.

I looked at Rory, and he was equally enthusiastic. “No monkey business though,” he said, and I laughed. That’s when the girl noticed our costumes.

“Oh, are you guys together?”

“What?”

“No,” said Fran. “They’re just friends.”

“Cool,” she said, and she smiled at Rory before turning around and hitting him with her key. “Oops, sorry, sweetie.” Then she grabbed my arm and led me away. “How old’s your friend?”

“Rory, you mean? We’re the same age. Sixteen.”

“He’s cute.”

“I know.”

“Is he gay?”

“Definitely not.”

“Does he have a girlfriend?”

“No, he’s very shy.”

“So’s my brother,” she said. “Hey, Conner. Take off your head, loser. This is Robbie.”

The gorilla looked at me, waved his paw, and mumbled hello.

“Take off the stupid suit so he can see you,” said the doll and she grabbed him by the ears and yanked off his head to reveal a red-faced, sweaty-looking, and slightly angry boy.

He snatched the gorilla head back from her and pushed his sister away with a feisty glare, before turning to me with an apologetic grin.

There was no mistaking they were twins, but they weren’t identical. He was definitely a boy with a slightly chubby face and short, dark blond hair.

“He usually looks a better than this,” said his sister. “But he insisted on dressing up like a monkey.” She sounded as if she was trying to sell him to me and it was embarrassing for the both of us.

“It’s more original than a doll,” he said. I loved his voice. Unusually deep for a teenager, but quite sexy. It kind of suited him.

“Well, I’ll leave you guys to get to know each other,” she said, and we were both happy to see her go.

He was more relaxed when she left, and we walked a little further into the garden. Where the music wasn’t so loud, and out of the range of my friend’s beady eyes.

“My sister can be a little overwhelming,” he said, and he removed his paw to shake my hand. “Sorry, my hand’s a bit sweaty.”

I thought it was a little formal but went with it. “It’s okay. I don’t mind sweaty,” I said and immediately regretted my choice of words.

‘That was such a stupid thing to say. He’s gonna think I’m some kinda creep’.

If he did, it didn’t show, and he didn’t come across as overly shy either.

“So you're English?”

“Yes, I mean no. Well, sort of, it’s a long story.”

He laughed, and I liked that too. “Yeah, Fran told me all about you.”

“She did?”

“Well, probably not everything.”

“She didn’t tell me anything about you.”

“You talked to my sister though, right?”

“A few weeks ago. Yeah, she told me you live out of town.”

“Yeah, we live on a farm.”

“A farm?”

He seemed a little embarrassed, but I thought it was cool.

“You mean a real working farm?”

“Yeah, it’s weird I know.”

“No, I think it’s great. Do you have real animals and stuff?”

“Yeah, some cows, and a couple of horses.”

“No shit!”

He laughed. “Actually, there’s quite a lot of shit.”

“Oh yeah. I suppose there is.”

‘So he has a sense of humour’.

He was also quite cute, in an everyday kind of way. I noticed it more as he began to relax and his face returned to its normal colour.

“We live in the middle of nowhere, it’s like a twenty-minute drive from here.” It didn’t sound like much, but I knew you could drive a long way on an empty road in twenty minutes. There were only small towns to the north of us, and then cottage country.

“So, how did you get here and how are you getting home again?”

“My dad gave us a ride. He’s coming to pick us up after.”

“Right. You don’t get out much then?”

“Not since we moved here. We’ve only been in Ontario for six months. We used to live in Saskatchewan.”

“Wow, I can’t even pronounce that place, but I know it’s a long way.”

“Yeah, it took us three days to drive here.”

“So is this a permanent move or are you going back?”

“No, we’re here for good now. What about you?”

“Me, oh yeah. I’m here for good too. I didn’t really want to be here at first, but I got used to it. It’s my home now.”

“I understand. It hasn’t been easy for me either. Making friends, you know, especially where we are. I made a couple of friends at school, but that’s all.”

‘And no one who’s gay, I bet’.

I felt sorry for him. Coming into a small community was bound to be difficult, especially for a gay boy. I wasn’t sure if I should mention it or not, so I decided to wait for him.

“It must be fun living on a farm though. Do you have a big family?”

“I have a younger brother, and you already met Becky, my twin.”

She was more outgoing than her brother, and I got the feeling she dominated him at home. There was a tinge of resentment whenever he mentioned her, but without his sister, he wouldn’t have been at the party.

“My sister’s been trying to get me to go to Cobourg with her to meet guys like me, you know?” He blushed as he flicked his eyes at me and struggled with the next line. “Gay guys.”

I was impressed. He breached the subject better than I would have, even though we were both aware of each other’s circumstances and sexuality.

“Sorry to break it to you, Conner, but there’s not a huge gay community here. It’s not exactly San Francisco or even Toronto. In fact, there’s only a handful of gay people in Cobourg I know of.”

He laughed and blushed again. “That’s okay, I’m only looking for one.”

“Right.” I was trying to work out exactly what he meant by that. It deserved a witty response, but my brain deserted me, and I found it difficult to reply.

‘Shit, I’m more nervous than he is’.

At the back of my mind was the fear of failure. It wasn’t something I had even considered before, but I would have been stupid to just assume he was going to find me attractive. I wasn’t anything special, and even though I played it down, I knew there were other options available. Other potential suitors.

Like Nathan, for example.

‘How would I feel if Nathan somehow managed to snatch him from me’?

The thought flashed through my mind and was quashed immediately before it could do any damage.

It was a good enough reason though, not to take any chances. Conner was no model, but he was cute, and most importantly he was gay and looking for a boyfriend. It was something to build upon, and I wasn’t going to let him get away without at least making arrangements to see him again.

I was sure he was angling for the same thing when he began probing me about where I went for fun. I was brutally honest.

“There’s not many places in Cobourg where you can have fun. Except for the beach in the summer. It’s just about getting to know people and I’m still doing that myself.”

“Cobourg looks like a nice place. This is the first time I’ve been here.”

“Really, so you haven’t been to the beach yet?”

“No, never, but I heard a lot about it. I didn’t wanna go there on my own.”

Conner was so obviously hoping I would offer to take him. He couldn’t have been more blatant, even though it was nearly November.

“I can show you around if you want?”

“You don’t mind?”

“Of course not.”

‘How else am I gonna get you naked’?

“We can meet up next weekend if you’re not doing anything, and I’ll take you to see the famous landmarks and tourist attractions.”

“Are there any famous landmarks and tourist attractions?”

“No, but I needed to say something to get you to go out with me.”

He laughed. “I don’t mind going out with you, Robbie.”

I liked the way he said that, and thought it was cool he used my name at the end. I was impressed with this kid. He was much different from what I expected and quite laid back. He was definitely interested, without looking too eager, like me.

“Okay, well, we can meet up early. Then we can have the whole day. If you want to, that is.”

“Wow, there must be a lot to see here.”

“Yeah. No, I mean. It’s actually pretty boring. But I thought you might like to hang out with me for a while. We could have lunch and stuff. If you wanted.”

“That sounds really cool. I’d like that.”

I let out a deep breath and gave myself a silent cheer. “That’s great. I can call you in the week to make sure you’re still available. If you don’t mind me having your cell phone number. Do you have a cell phone?”

“A cell phone?” He shook his head. “We stay away from all that new technology. Not much need for those on a farm.”

I stared at him and swallowed hard. “Are you one of those Amish people?”

He started laughing. “No, of course not. I was just kidding, I’m sorry.”

“That’s okay.” He definitely had me fooled, but I was relieved to be wrong and laughed with him.

“You can have my cell phone number,” he said. “I’ll definitely be okay to meet up with you next Saturday, but you can still call me in the week, if you want. I get a bit bored in the evenings.”

“That’s cool, I like talking too. Do you wanna take my number?” I was cursing myself for being so enthusiastic, but I couldn’t help myself.

“My sister’s got my phone,” he said. “No pockets!”

“Yeah, of course. Monkeys don’t usually have phones. You might wanna wear something more appropriate, next week.”

“Oh, so you don’t like my monkey suit?”

“I’ve nothing against dressing up, but it looks a little hot in there.”

“It’s like a sauna,” he giggled. “I’ve lost a lot of weight tonight.”

I wondered what he looked like without the outfit. It was difficult to tell what kind of body he had, with only his head showing. He was definitely shorter than me, but I wanted to know if he was athletic. His face was a little chubby, but that was fine by me. Nathan was way too skinny.

“So do you wanna drink or something. I may be able to get us a couple of beers if you want?”

He didn’t seem over-enthusiastic about the prospect of alcohol, so I didn’t mention it again, and decided I could do without beer.

‘Maybe this guy will be good for me’.

It was exciting, and I was pleased I went along with it in the end. I could even see him discreetly checking me out when he thought I wasn’t looking. It was a nice feeling, and I turned my back on him, pretending to look for someone so he could check out my ass.

‘I’m such a flirt’.

“What happened to your shirt?”

“We fell over.” Then I told him about the sunglasses incident, which made him laugh.

“So where’s your friend, the other half of the Blues Brothers?”

“I think your sister has him.”

“You're kidding.”

“That’s the impression I got. She thought he was cute and was asking me about him.”

“Is he cute?” It sounded to me like a trick question, and I was careful with my answer.

“I suppose girls might find him….”

“He’s cute,” said Conner. Then he flicked back his hair and smiled sweetly at me. “In which case, you might not see much of your friend for a while. She usually gets what she wants.”

I wondered if the same applied to him. Contrary to his sister’s description, I thought Conner was quite a confident boy and not at all shy. The good thing was he seemed to like me and providing I didn’t mess it up, I was certain this kid would soon be ending my post-Nathan drought.

It was infinitely better than chasing a lost cause with my best friend. I was glad now that Rory had been so obstinately straight and stuck to his guns, instead of giving in to my persistent attempts to get into his pants. It would have been so easy for him to say yes to my constant advances, and abuse our precious study time with endless acts of rampant, shameless boy sex.

I was so happy he said no.

If you enjoyed this chapter, then please take the time to leave a comment below and follow the story. Members are invited to discuss the story and characters with others, and there is a discussion on the forum via the link below.

 

http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/topic/42134-the-cockney-canuck-by-dodger/

 

In the next chapter, a new boyfriend brings some cheer into Robbie’s life and helps take his mind off a growing problem.

Copyright © 2017 Dodger; All Rights Reserved.
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Story Discussion Topic

For discussion of themes and topics. The book can be found here: https://www.gayauthors.org/story/dodger/thecockneycanuck After 47 chapters and lots of drama I think it's time this story has a discussion topic where readers can interact with the author and each other. There are certainly plenty of situations, characters and emotions to bring up, and of course most of all Robbie the Cockney Canuck. Dodger has kindly given me permission to start this thread and has promised to be part of the di

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It’s heartening  to see better quality people filling Robbie’s life to counterbalance the toxic, pernicious beings that have plagued him. Rory is an honest to goodness friend, even Fran seems to care about Robbie’s welfare, and Connor appears to be a complete breath of fresh air!  The love pendulum has swung wildly from a narcissistic, bitchy scene boy to a down-to-earth farm boy with a non-toxic sense of humor.  Talk about stark contrasts!

 

It would be delicious irony indeed if the very guy that Nathan shamelessly drooled over, sight unseen, (which finally convinced Robbie that he’d had enough of Nathan) turned out to become Robbie’s new (and loyal) boyfriend!  I hope Connor is who he seems to be because Robbie desperately need someone like him in his life.  Here’s to hoping that caring friends and a new love interest will finally convince him to get medical and psychological help.

Edited by tesao
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1 hour ago, Benji said:

A week of rest without stress. Perhaps Rory's house or maybe Walter's place! 

Or maybe a week in the country on a farm outside Cobourg?  ;–)

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7 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

Or maybe a week in the country on a farm outside Cobourg?  ;–)

😎……………….I thought about that, but that is pushing things too quick and he needs rest.  Besides Conner can always visit at Walters place! 🙄

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Might there be a tumor?  Might this story turn out not to be a HEA?  Thanks for posting more frequently, Dodger.

Tony

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6 hours ago, Benji said:

😎……………..An ape?  Never let an ex 'fix-you' up with a blind date, as pay back can be a bitch!  Yet, sometimes it works out well, as in this case,  I like Conner right off, whereas Nathan was your 'pretentious, self-absorbing got to the be center-of-attention kinda ex-bf. Conner is your every day bigfoot country boy, definitely different for our London based city boy.  I like the lets go easy with relationship and just get to know each other first.  Don and Sue don't get to vote in Robbie's choice of friends, just as Robbie doesn't get any say in their new church friends invading the cramped family home to practice whatever craft they chose.  Okay, I got curious and looked up Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)  The symptoms include physical complaints (dizziness, fatigue, headaches, visual disturbances, trouble sleeping, sensitivity to light and sound, poor balance), cognitive changes (poor concentration, memory problems, poor judgment and impulsivity, slowed performance, difficulty putting thoughts into words), and psychosocial concerns (depression, anger outbursts, irritability, personality changes, anxiety).  Good news is these symptoms are part of the normal recovery process and are not signs of brain damage or medical complications. These symptoms are expected as you get better and are not a cause for concern or worry. The majority of patients with PCS (Post-Concussion Syndrome) recover completely in 3 to 6 months. For a minority of patients, approximately 20%, symptoms may persist for a longer period of time. Most patients don’t develop PCS symptoms until days or even weeks after the accident, but the syndrome can begin sooner. Either way, the symptoms often disappear without any special treatment.  I still think Robbie should be reevaluated by a competent doctor that recognizes a concussion injury to the brain, and Robbie needs to be truthful in revealing his symptoms.  A week of rest without stress, (definitely not at home with Don, Sue, the family, the church group and Alex's uncontrollable little brother)  Perhaps Rory's house or maybe Walter's place!  Great chapter!

I think Robbie was pleasantly surprised by Conner. He wasn't happy with the fact that Fran arranged for them to meet, and who could blame him for being nervous when the guy's in a gorilla suit, but it seems to have worked out well.

 

As for his continuing health issues, all I can say at the moment is you seem to have researched this quite thoroughly.

 

 

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On 1/10/2019 at 12:03 AM, spikey582 said:

The temper tantrum wasn’t normal.  I’m not an expert on anything but it almost seems like a mixture of both psychological and physical problems.  I tend to think he’s having panic attacks, but the mood swings and violent responses lead me to believe it’s after affects of his head injury.  

 

I have a hard time relaxing and enjoying this story.  I just feel like the problems following Robbie around are just always looming.  He gets a chance to meet this really nice guy who’s seemingly interested in him, and it’s all tarnished by his increasingly intolerable home life.  Plus, he has something seriously wrong with him, and I think needs medical help, and his horrible pseudo parents couldn’t give a damn.  He has to lie about staying with a male friend now.  How the hell did this family get so goddamn dysfunctional?  

You're right, it certainly isn't the best environment for Robbie to be in and it hasn't helped his recovery from what was a very serious injury. The good news is, he has made some very good friends who can have been and will continue to help him. He needs to inform the hospital about his dizzy spells instead of trying to cover up his problems in the hope they will go away.

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22 hours ago, chris191070 said:

I like Conner, he seems a good influence on Robbie.

Conner may be the type of boyfriend Robbie needs and a perfect antidote for his post-Nathan sadness.

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6 hours ago, Benji said:

😎……………….I thought about that, but that is pushing things too quick and he needs rest.  Besides Conner can always visit at Walters place! 🙄

He might like visiting Tom in London (the one on the Thames in the UK) even more!  ;–)

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Oh and I have to get this off my chest:

 

I really disagree with the way people are talking about Nathan. There are some disturbing undertones in there.

The general consensus seems to be: he should have tuned it down and luckily the new guy is a "normal" boy. 

Have you all checked lately that your name isn't Don?

 

Edited by Freerider
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11 hours ago, pvtguy said:

Might there be a tumor?  Might this story turn out not to be a HEA?  Thanks for posting more frequently, Dodger.

Tony

 

Occam's razor; the guy was pushed down the stairs and was in a coma...

 

But you never know what Dodger thinks of to make life difficult for Robbie 😈😇 

 

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On 1/10/2019 at 5:56 AM, Freerider said:

Is there any progress in finding Robbie's attacker? Seems like the school/police/Don/Sue are not taking the attack seriously. Not even Robbie seems to take this as a serious issue. Denial on Robbie's part maybe, but the others....?

I think the school and the police will be taking it seriously but without any new leads or information, there's not a lot more that can be done. Robbie has never been interested in finding out who did it or for what reason. He prefers to to think of it as an accident because it's easier for him to deal with it that way.

2 hours ago, Freerider said:

Oh and I have to get this off my chest:

 

I really disagree with the way people are talking about Nathan. There are some disturbing undertones in there.

The general consensus seems to be: he should have turned it down and luckily the new guy is a "normal" boy. 

Have you all checked lately that your name isn't Don?

 

This is an interesting point and I have to admit I was also wondering yesterday how it was Nathan that suddenly became so unpopular. I have suggested that perhaps Don will be more accepting of the new boy but I wasn't being critical of Nathan. It was more a swipe at Don's inability to cope with Nathan's camp side. Let's face it, Nathan has done little wrong that we know of and certainly Robbie still has a lot of feelings for his ex-boyfriend. He still believes he made a mistake by walking away and not contacting him and maybe he did. Take heart, Nathan is a central character in this story and still has a part to play.

2 hours ago, Freerider said:

 

Occam's razor; the guy was pushed down the stairs and was in a coma...

 

But you never know what Dodger thinks of to make life difficult for Robbie 😈😇 

 

I'm trying to go easy on the guy. He hasn't had the best of years. Thanks for your interesting comments @Freerider sorry it took a while to reply.

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On 1/10/2019 at 8:20 AM, Timothy M. said:

I guess they don't read Terry Pratchett in Canada, or somebody would have commented on the difference between a monkey and an ape. The Librarian is one of my favorites. Oook ! Shame Robbie or Rory missed the chance to be a smart ass.

:rolleyes: No, Thor does NOT have wings on his helmet, jeez.  https://satwcomic.com/nordic-halloween 

 

I'm glad Robbie got along well with Connor, and if his sister dates Rory, she'll be happy to take Connor to town with her. Btw identical twins are always the same sex.

 

Ook. Thanks for mentioning the Librarian. I wasn't familiar with Terry Pratchett's work, but your comment pushed me to do a little research and I've ordered The Colour of Magic. I believe this is the first book of Discworld.. It looks interesting and it's the kind of book I would have enjoyed reading when i was younger.

 

I'm not really sure what those things are on the side of Thor's (Marvel version) head, but according to Rory, they're wings and they're on the guy's helmet. In England, I once met twins, male and female, who were almost impossible to tell apart. They were much younger than Conner and his sister and they were obviously going to change as they got older, but this is where I got the idea.

 

Thanks @Timothy M.   I'll let you know how I get on and what I think of The Colour of Magic.

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23 hours ago, tesao said:

It’s heartening  to see better quality people filling Robbie’s life to counterbalance the toxic, pernicious beings that have plagued him. Rory is an honest to goodness friend, even Fran seems to care about Robbie’s welfare, and Connor appears to be a complete breath of fresh air!  The love pendulum has swung wildly from a narcissistic, bitchy scene boy to a down-to-earth farm boy with a non-toxic sense of humor.  Talk about stark contrasts!

 

It would be delicious irony indeed if the very guy that Nathan shamelessly drooled over, sight unseen, (which finally convinced Robbie that he’d had enough of Nathan) turned out to become Robbie’s new (and loyal) boyfriend!  I hope Connor is who he seems to be because Robbie desperately need someone like him in his life.  Here’s to hoping that caring friends and a new love interest will finally convince him to get medical and psychological help.

Thanks @tesao. I think both boys were unashamedly drooling over Conner's sister's description of her twin. Trying to out-drool each other. We will see what happens but first, Robbie will need to focus on his health and mental issues.

Edited by Dodger
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15 hours ago, pvtguy said:

Might there be a tumor?  Might this story turn out not to be a HEA?  Thanks for posting more frequently, Dodger.

Tony

Thanks Tony. We have to hope this is not the case, but Robbie should be more honest about the way he's feeling and not try to hide it.

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9 hours ago, droughtquake said:

He might like visiting Tom in London (the one on the Thames in the UK) even more!  ;–)

I doubt if Don will allow Robbie to stay with a gay man and he definitely wouldn't want him to go back to England. Probably the only place he would be allowed to stay would be Fran's house, which is probably the most dangerous place he could be. Surrounded by alcohol. Looks like Robbie may need to be hospitalized again if he is to get proper rest.

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1 hour ago, Dodger said:

I doubt if Don will allow Robbie to stay with a gay man and he definitely wouldn't want him to go back to England. Probably the only place he would be allowed to stay would be Fran's house, which is probably the most dangerous place he could be. Surrounded by alcohol. Looks like Robbie may need to be hospitalized again if he is to get proper rest.

What? I don’t get points for having found out that London, Ontario also has a river named after the much more famous English river too? I thought it was very clever to pretend to describe London as being on the Thames, but crossed out and clarified!  ;–)

 

I had never even heard of London, Ontario until there was a mention of it in the late, great Canadian comic strip, For Better Or For Worse!  ;–)

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1 hour ago, droughtquake said:

What? I don’t get points for having found out that London, Ontario also has a river named after the much more famous English river too? I thought it was very clever to pretend to describe London as being on the Thames, but crossed out and clarified!  ;–)

 

I had never even heard of London, Ontario until there was a mention of it in the late, great Canadian comic strip, For Better Or For Worse!  ;–)

The river in London, Ontario is called The Thames River, whereas the much larger and more famous river in London, England is called The River Thames. London, Ontario also has the world's oldest baseball park still in use, and is the birthplace of Justin Bieber, your favourite pop star.

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3 hours ago, Dodger said:

Ook. Thanks for mentioning the Librarian. I wasn't familiar with Terry Pratchett's work, but your comment pushed me to do a little research and I've ordered The Colour of Magic. I believe this is the first book of Discworld.. It looks interesting and it's the kind of book I would have enjoyed reading when i was younger.

 

Thanks @Timothy M.   I'll let you know how I get on and what I think of The Colour of Magic.

 

The best Disc World book is Reaper Man, I always recommend new readers to start there. But it's also OK to read chronologically. Then you'll find out why the Librarian is an ape. Have fun.

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This is destined to be one of my favorite chapters — in one of my favorite stories. I’m not sure how often it happens in life,  but I’m so relieved that Robbie’s blind date went well — with the likely potential of blossoming into a longer term relationship that could be great for both boys. My impression is that Conner will probably have a valuable stabilizing effect on Robbie. I think he’s gonna be a great character! I’m hoping for the best. If everyone just leaves them alone they will probably get along just fine.

 

like everyone else invested in this story, I’m very concerned about Robbie’s symptoms. They don’t sound like the kind of thing that will just go away, and it’s tough to see how anything good can come of them.

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On 1/13/2019 at 5:51 AM, SolarMaxx said:

This is destined to be one of my favorite chapters — in one of my favorite stories. I’m not sure how often it happens in life,  but I’m so relieved that Robbie’s blind date went well — with the likely potential of blossoming into a longer term relationship that could be great for both boys. My impression is that Conner will probably have a valuable stabilizing effect on Robbie. I think he’s gonna be a great character! I’m hoping for the best. If everyone just leaves them alone they will probably get along just fine.

 

like everyone else invested in this story, I’m very concerned about Robbie’s symptoms. They don’t sound like the kind of thing that will just go away, and it’s tough to see how anything good can come of them.

Thanks @SolarMaxx. To be honest, I'm not sure how often blind dates work out either. The one and only time I agreed to something like that was a total disaster. Maybe Robbie will have better luck. He's due a slice of good fortune and Conner seems like a nice boy, but first of all Robbie needs to concentrate on his health. 

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