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    Dodger
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The Cockney Canuck - 118. Chapter 118 A Long Walk on a Short Pier

After revealing his plans to me on Friday evening, I was certain Alex would use every trick in the book to try to persuade me to go to Florida with him, but I had already decided it was a nonstarter.

As much as I would have enjoyed sending Don a Mickey Mouse postcard from Disney World, I had no intention of riding into the American sunset with Alex. There would be no happy ever after for us, although this was his intention, and I suspected, the real reason behind his crazy, half-baked plan.

While relations between us had marginally improved, it was clear we were still on entirely separate wavelengths. Despite endless apologies, he failed to understand how badly I was affected by what happened. The shame and humiliation never left me. I felt low, worthless, and dejected, while Alex seemed to be the complete opposite.

His mood was noticeably much lighter than it was in the immediate aftermath, helped no doubt by the realisation that I wasn’t going to tell anyone. I think he even expected us to shake hands and be friends again, but I knew it would never be the same between us.

I tried analysing what happened to understand why I was feeling the way I was. It wasn’t as if it was my first time. I had willingly and shamelessly done it to four different partners within the past year, and Alex was one of them. It was how I used to please Nathan, and I thought I was getting good at it. Now the mere thought of someone’s dick in my mouth was enough to send me running for the bathroom.

I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to feel or if I was overreacting. Making a mountain out of a molehill, was one of my mom’s favourite sayings, and I had perfected it to a fine art. Even Nathan called me a drama queen, but this time I wasn’t exaggerating. I needed advice; someone to explain something I knew nothing about, but the only person I could talk to was Alex, and he was in a completely different world.

After everything I said to him, he still believed we were meant to be together and was convinced that I would eventually come around to his way of thinking. He just wasn’t prepared to accept any other conclusion. He was crazy, I knew that now for certain, and he badly needed help, but he wasn’t about to volunteer himself for therapy anytime soon, and I couldn’t tell anyone without them finding out what happened.

Almost a week had passed since the incident, and I was up early on Saturday morning anxious to avoid him. He was still asleep when I tip-toed past his makeshift bed in the basement and headed upstairs in my pyjamas.

Sue was standing by the kitchen window looking out to the garden. She was unusually withdrawn and looked as if she had been crying.

“I wasn’t expecting you up this early,” she said, and she put on a false smile as I helped myself to a bowl of cereal and went to sit next to Amy in the dining room.

“Mom’s not well,” said my sister and she looked concerned. I guess that was the official line but Don’s absence on a Saturday morning told a different story. “I’m going to be in the Christmas play at school. Can you come?”

“Sure, who are you playing?”

“Bethlehem.”

“No, I mean. Oh never mind.”

I was distracted by the doorbell. It was still a little early for visitors, but Sue was quick to answer it. She told me to stay in the dining room, and it soon became apparent why. Through the frosted glass side panel, I could see the shape of a tall man in a suit.

‘Mr Symmonds’!

I panicked and prepared myself for a quick dash to the basement, but this time he wasn’t invited in.

“Who’s that man?”

“Shush Amy, I’m trying to listen.”

I crept closer, peering at the door from behind the plant in the hallway, shadowed by a talkative Amy.

“I know him,” she said. “It’s daddy’s friend from the church. He was here last week with another man and a lady.” My sister’s annoying chatter meant I could only grab a few words from Sue’s rather frosty exchange with Don’s designated hitman. I heard him mention my name and strained to hear more, but Amy’s voice drowned him out again. “I don’t like him. Why does he keep coming here?”

“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? WHY CAN’T YOU SHUT UP FOR A MINUTE?” I regretted my outburst immediately and apologised, but it was too late. I had never shouted at Amy before, and it must have come as a shock.

“I’m not your friend anymore!” she said, and she strutted into the living room to sulk, passing a bemused Nicola on the way. I had become a specialist at turning people against me, and making enemies out of friends, but this one hurt me the most. It was a bitter pill for me to swallow and another reason to hate myself.

“It’s okay,” said Sue. “He’s gone now.”

“Who was that?” asked Nicola. “And why is Robbie hiding in the plant?”

She still looked half-asleep as she took my seat at the table wearing a knee-length t-shirt but little else.

“Mr Symmonds,” I said. “And I wasn’t hiding.”

“Was you supposed to see him today?”

“No, I never want to see him again.” I looked at Sue for backup.

“It’s okay, hun. I told him he wasn’t to come here anymore. I don’t want those people in the house.”

“It’s dad who invites them in,” said Nicola.

“Not anymore!”

I exchanged a curious glance with Nicola as Sue headed downstairs with the laundry.

“What did mom say to him?”

“Don’t ask me. I couldn’t hear them over Amy.”

She tutted at my incompetence as I sat down next to her. It was where we differed. Nicola would never have missed such a glorious opportunity to gather information.

“You're useless.”

“And you're a mess.” Her eyes were red, and she still had makeup around them. She looked as if she hadn’t had much sleep. Another date with Mr Lube, and it didn’t seem as if my sister was playing hard to get.

“Thank you. You don’t look that great yourself.”

“Couldn’t you find anything to wear on your bottom half?”

“Does it bother you?”

“Yes. You're half-naked.”

And you're still wearing those stinky pyjamas. Have you even bothered to get changed in the last few days?”

“No, not since Thursday, but at least I’m wearing something. And they’re not stinky, they’re super comfortable right now; like a second skin.”

“How gross.” She yawned and then stared at the bowl of soggy cereal in front of her before pulling a face and pushing it along the table towards me.

“What time did you get in last night?”

“About an hour ago.”

“You're joking?”

“Shush. Don’t let mom know. I sneaked in after dad left and before she woke up.”

“He didn’t go to work,” I said. “He didn’t come home last night.”

“Are you serious?”

I nodded as Sue walked past on her way back to the kitchen. “What are you two whispering about?”

“Nothing,” said Nicola. “I was being nice to him.”

Sue was nowhere near naïve enough to believe such nonsense. “And pigs will fly. If you really want to help out, Nicola. Then you can keep him company while I go shopping.” I giggled, expecting my sister to beat a hasty retreat, but she surprised me.

“Sure, I don’t mind staying with him. We don’t get to spend enough time together. Do we, Robbie?”

“We don’t?”

“No.”

I would have said the opposite, but I was pleased to get her mom off my back for a while knowing Nicola wouldn’t be so attentive. Sue looked as if she had bigger fish to fry and was quick to take advantage, gratefully accepting her daughter’s offer before whatever drugs she was taking wore off. I had no say in the matter and was promptly traded to my sister for the rest of the day, but Nicola had her uses. I knew her presence was likely to keep Alex at bay and that was my priority.

“So what do you fancy doing today, little bro? Can I cut your hair?”

“No, definitely not!” I pushed her hand away from my fringe as Sue left to go upstairs. When she was out of earshot, my sister’s tone changed completely.

“Dad can be a real asshole sometimes.”

I disagreed. “No, he’s an asshole all of the time. And a great, big hairy one at that.”

“You're disgusting, but you're right. I just hope he’s not up to his tricks again.”

If she had lifted her head from the table, she might have been able to see my ears prick up as I latched onto what sounded like a deliberate faux pas.

“What tricks?”

“Don’t tell me you don’t know.”

“I don’t know,” I said, but I had a feeling I was about to find out.

“He had an affair about two years ago, and they nearly got divorced. She forgave him, but there have been others. I know there has.”

‘The dirty scumbag’.

I tried to look shocked by my sister’s news, but I was more surprised that it had taken her almost a year to tell me. I wanted to know how come this tasty titbit had eluded me for so long.

“I thought Daniel would’ve told you,” she said. “It’s not like it’s a secret. He was a womaniser before he met mom and he hasn’t changed.”

It suddenly made so much sense. The way he was acting when he drove me to Fran’s house. The flowers he bought for me to give to her. He knew they would do the trick, and he was right. They even recognised him in the flower shop, like he was a regular customer, but now that I thought about it, I couldn’t recall him ever buying flowers for Sue. It should have been obvious to me from the beginning.

'He's a player'.

“She doesn’t deserve that,” I said. “He’s supposed to be married to her.”

It was more ammunition to use against him, but that didn’t interest me. I was annoyed by the double standards and lack of self-control from a man who seemed to spend every waking hour preaching family values. He was the epitome of hypocrisy, but what upset me the most was the fact that he was my mom’s brother.

Nicola, seeing my reaction and perhaps realising her mistake, tried to make light of it and turn the conversation back towards the church people.

“He was probably with the crappy clappers,” she said.

“All night, you mean. I doubt it.”

“Well, maybe he’s poking Mr Symmonds.”

I was shocked by her humorous accusation, but it made me laugh.

‘What I wouldn’t give for that to be true’.

“Anyway, those people give me the creeps,” she said. “They’re perverts. One of them kept watching me the other day when they had their Bible study. He kept looking at my feet!”

I almost choked on my soggy cereal. “They’re disgusting,” I said and laughed as she stared at me. “I mean the church people.” She narrowed her eyes at me uncertain if I was laughing at her or not. “You're right though, that is kinda weird. You should probably wear shoes when they’re here.”

“Go jump in a lake,” she said as she dragged herself into the kitchen to make a drink.

I thought about it for a while and wondered what it would be like to drown.

‘This time of year the cold would probably kill me first’.

My thoughts were disturbed by a more imminent threat. Rapid footsteps on the stairs signalled the arrival of Cobourg’s version of the Tasmanian Devil, in the form of Luke. I covered my groin, but this time he ran straight past me to complete a lap of the ground floor before continuing his journey to the basement. His intended target was his brother who responded in predictable fashion rattling off a list of profanities that would have cost anyone else a year’s allowance. Alex didn’t get pocket money, and Sue had long since abandoned trying to enforce her anti-swearing policy.

Luke stayed downstairs to watch the cartoons, and it was another hour before Alex dragged himself out of bed for breakfast. He sat at the counter, and I watched him as his eyes followed Nicola’s legs around the kitchen. She was probably too tired or hungover to notice him drooling, but I thought it was odd behaviour from a boy who was apparently on the cusp of coming out to the world as gay.

I was no longer interested in Alex’s sexual persuasion, but I wasn’t impressed by his depraved grin, which disappeared the moment he noticed me observing him from the dining room.

‘So much for being gay’.

If anything, I agreed with his girlfriend Jenny’s synopsis. He would likely fuck anything that let him, although in my case, apparently, he didn’t need permission.

I was pleased when my sister decided to put some clothes on. She took her coffee upstairs with her and told me to stay put. “If you start feeling dizzy, call me, and I’ll come running down to catch you.”

“Thanks. What would I do without you?”

According to Nicola, my recent health issues were grossly exaggerated, but with Sue out shopping for groceries I was left temporarily exposed to Alex. He sat down opposite me in the dining room with a tentative smile, then reached across the table to rest his hand on my arm.

I pulled it away and glared at him. “Don’t touch me, please!”

“C’mon man, I’m trying to be nice to you.”

“You don’t need to do that, Alex. You don’t have to change for me, just be yourself.”

He took my remark the wrong way, thinking I was being nice to him, but my expression should have told him otherwise. He flopped back in his chair; frustrated by my negativity.

“What do I have to do to make it up to you?”

“You can’t do anything. It’s too late. You can’t change what happened.” I found it difficult to keep my voice down. “We shouldn’t be talking here, and I don’t think you're ready to come out either.”

“It doesn’t matter anymore. I don’t care who knows about me.”

“Does he know?” I nodded towards Luke who was still watching us. He knew we were talking about him and stopped chewing his cereal to listen.

Alex turned and smiled at his brother. “Not yet,” he said. “But I guess he will when he sees us….”

“There is no us,” I hissed at him. “How can I make you understand that?” I lowered my voice and talked slowly hoping he would get the message. “Look, Alex, we’re not a couple, okay. I know you like me, and I messed you around, but I’m not your boyfriend.”

He dismissed it with a chuckle. “Whatever. But you're still coming to Florida with me. Don’t try and back out of that one.”

“I’m not backing out, Alex. I never said I was going in the first place.”

“C’mon, man. Don’t let me down. I need you. I’m gonna call my cousin today; he’s looking forward to meeting you.”

“I’m not going!”

“Why not?”

“Because…. Because it’s a crazy idea, that’s why.”

“But last night you said….”

“I didn’t say anything. Look, I know things aren’t perfect for me here, but running away will only make it worse. And what will happen when I collapse again. Is your cousin gonna pay my hospital bills, because it’s not free down there?”

For someone who claimed to have everything planned, there was a lot of important details omitted from Alex’s preparations, but he wasn’t doing this for my benefit. I wasn’t even sure he had a cousin in Florida. It sounded too much like a ploy to me.

‘How convenient that he suddenly sprouts a relative near Disney World. One of the places he knew I wanted to visit’.

His plan reeked of desperation and was a sure sign of his fragile mental state. I wasn’t even convinced we would make it out of Canada without permission from our parents, but such logic was lost on him.

“I can’t do this without you.”

“Then don’t do it at all, because I’m not going!” I pushed back my chair. “I have to get dressed.”

“Shame, I kinda like you in those girly pyjamas.” His words sent a shiver down my spine.

“Stay away from me, Alex,” I whispered. “I mean it. I’ll fight you this time; I don’t care!”

He backed down and laughed it off, perhaps realising his position was tenuous. “I was joking,” he said, but I knew otherwise.

Hearing him talk like that was a warning I could no longer afford to ignore. It was clear now that despite his remorse, he was still not only capable but likely to do it again. Maybe next time would be worse, especially if he thought he could get away with it.

“I’m serious. If you come anywhere near me, I’ll tell everyone…!” I stopped talking the moment I heard someone behind me and saw the look of panic on Alex’s face.

“Don’t let me interrupt you.” I was surprised to see Nicola back so soon and dressed in a fraction of the time it normally took her. She was still brushing her hair as she walked over to where we were sitting. “What is it that you're gonna tell everyone then, Robbie?”

Alex looked nervous. “It’s nothing. We were just joking that’s all.”

She glared at him. “Is your name Robbie?”

“No.”

“Then shut the fuck up!” I had no idea how much of our conversation my sister heard, but her mood had changed dramatically in the few minutes she was gone. When she turned towards me, so did Alex and it wasn’t difficult to read his intimidating stare. It was a warning not to say anything, but Nicola could see it too. She followed my eyes back to him, and then to me again. “What’s going on here?”

“Nothing.”

“Yeah right. Get dressed, we’re going out.” She hit me on the arm with her hairbrush, but I was already on my way.

“Where are we going?”

“Away from here!”

*     *     *

I took a lot longer than Nicola to get ready, hindered by an unusually talkative Daniel. He sounded remarkably buoyant for a kid who rarely strung more than two words together before noon. He told me he was going to meet a friend as I followed him upstairs, choking on his deodorant.

“Are you ready?” Nicola had her coat on and was helping Sue unpack the groceries. I wasn’t surprised when I was told that Alex had gone out, and I suspected she had something to do with it. “He’s taken Luke to the park,” said Nicola and I knew she would want some answers, as soon as we were on our own.

“If you're going out, then make sure you're with him all the time,” said Sue. I hated being treated like a little kid; sometimes they talked as if I wasn’t even there. It was demeaning and another indicator of how my life had regressed in recent weeks.

Before we left Nicola pushed me into the bathroom and instructed me to have a pee. I could hear her outside talking to Sue as I struggled to pass more than a few drops.

“I’m not following him into the men’s washrooms when we’re out. Although it might be interesting.”

“I’m sure that won’t be necessary, dear,” said Sue and I listened to them laughing as I looked in the mirror and fought back tears. The image I saw wasn’t me. The boy I was looking at was sad, lonely, and frightened. Too sick to be left alone and too weak to defend himself. I hated the person I had become but couldn’t see any way of turning things around. Every day just seemed to get progressively worse to the point where I no longer wanted to wake-up. I was in a dangerous place; stuck in a downward spiral and contemplating things that would have been unthinkable in the past.

We took a cab to the mall, a regular haunt for teens on a Saturday and a predictable destination for Nicola, who dragged me around several stores looking at girl’s clothing. It was an experience which I could have done without, and I was soon bored, but so far she hadn’t questioned me about Alex.

I amused myself by looking at the bras and was amazed at some of the sizes.

“Do they really come that big?” I pointed to a big-chested mannequin wearing an equally oversized bra. “I could wear that as a hat.”

Nicola threw me a look and dragged me away by my arm.

“Yes, they do come that big, but it’s not a problem you’ll ever have to deal with, is it?”

“Been there, done that.” It made her laugh, but from that moment on, I started noticing girl’s breasts, something I hadn’t paid much attention to in the past.

Nicola had a reasonably large pair, but I doubted if they could fill the bra on display. My only real-life experience of female breasts was with Fran, who never wore a bra. She was fairly flat chested, which was probably one of the reasons I found her attractive.

Nicola was laughing at me.

“What’s so funny.”

“I’m trying to imagine you with Fran. I bet it was hilarious.”

“Well, she didn’t complain at the time.”

“Uh oh, did I upset your male ego? I’m sorry, I forgot how sensitive boys are when it comes to sex.”

“I’m not sensitive. I know I wasn’t much good at it, but I wasn’t terrible either.”

She put her arm around me. “Oh my God, I’m only making fun of you. Don’t be so serious.” She kissed me on the cheek, and I pushed her away as someone called her name.

It was inevitable that we would bump into a few of Nicola’s friends and I was soon the only boy in a gaggle of teenage girls. I was largely ignored and tried to slip away only to be pulled back into the fray by my sister’s extendable arm. Her friends found it amusing, but they were more interested in talking about the real boys who played on the football team than fakes like me. I already had a boy who played on the football team, although I wasn’t sure for how long.

The only one of her friends I knew well was the irrepressible Stephanie, and she was allowed to take me aside for a chat. The first thing I noticed was her boobs, she was even bigger than my sister, and I could see the outline of her bra. I wondered how uncomfortable those contraptions were and wanted to ask but thought better of it.

“How are you feeling now?”

“Better thanks, I’m going back to school on Monday. I can’t stand staying at home anymore.”

“It must be boring for you to want to go shopping with Nicola.”

“Well, I didn’t really have much choice, and I’m not allowed out on my own.”

“Couldn’t you go out with Conner. I bet he would look after you.” She winked. I knew Conner would have gladly spent the day with me, and night too if he had the opportunity.

Stephanie was easy to talk to, but I was distracted by someone walking towards us. It was the worst thing about living in such a small town. I should have known better than to visit the mall on a Saturday.

She turned around and followed my eyes. “Is that Nathan’s new boyfriend?”

“I suppose,” I mumbled as my ex walked by without even a glance in our direction. He was deep in conversation with the tall Hispanic boy from the photograph he showed me and probably didn’t see us. The actor from Toronto, whose name escaped me, apparently preferred to spend his Saturday’s at the Cobourg Mall.

‘Nathan has to be offering him some kind of incentive to come here’.

Nicola was more concerned about their age difference, which I hadn’t even considered until then.

“How old is that guy that Nathan’s with?” she asked.

“I dunno, seventeen?” I was laughed down by her friends.

“Yeah, right. He’s twenty at least and with a fifteen-year-old. That can’t be legal.” She was probably right, but dwelling on it only made me upset again, and I had no desire to make trouble for the boy who still owned a part of my heart. It was likely he would be my only real boyfriend.

‘I hope he won’t hate me’.

“If you ask me, I think you got the better deal,” said Stephanie. “Conner’s way cuter than that guy. Even in a gorilla suit.”

I smiled at her attempt to cheer me up. “He doesn’t wear the gorilla suit all the time. Just special occasions.”

“Really? Kinky eh. Can you both fit into that costume?”

I could have thought of worse things than being stuck in a monkey suit with Conner, but it didn’t excite me the way it should have, and I had to admit that maybe it wasn’t meant to be. He was a nice guy who deserved better than anything I had to offer.

‘I hope it doesn’t hurt him too much’.

“Are you okay?”

I was staring into space. “Huh?”

“You don’t look well,” said Stephanie. “Maybe you should go home.”

I didn’t want to go home, but I didn’t want to stay at the mall either so Nicola, and I took a bus downtown and walked to the harbour. It was an opportunity for her to quiz me about Alex, but I was drawn to the lake. There was something mystical about it that always captivated me, and now I knew what it was.

“Are you seeing Alex?”

“No! definitely not.”

“But something’s going on between you. You can talk to me.”

“There’s nothing to say. We just don’t get along anymore.”

She stopped and turned to face me “I wanna know what happened on Sunday?” She glared at me and crossed her arms. For a second it could have been her mom. “I know it was more than just a fight. What did he do to you?”

“Nothing.”

“I don’t believe you. You're lying, I know you are.” Nicola would have made an excellent detective; she could read me so well. She was also the only person in the family who knew about my previous indiscretions with Alex. It was the reason why she didn’t like him, and she made no attempt to conceal it. “I’ll find out. You know I will.”

I never doubted her determination or her ability to see right through me, but as much as I wanted to confide in her, I couldn’t bring myself to talk about it.

“Can we walk along the pier?”

“Are you crazy, it’s freezing.”

“No, it’s bracing,” I said. “But you're probably right. I am crazy.”

In the summer there was a fair on the pier, and it was packed with teenagers, but on a cold and windy afternoon in November, it was deserted.

“How cold do you think the lake is?”

She looked puzzled. “You wouldn’t last that long if you fell in, that’s for sure.”

“I love the water. I was a good swimmer when I was younger.”

“You're not exactly old now,” said Nicola. It felt like it though. It felt as if I had lived for a hundred years. “Maybe you should start swimming again. Try out for the school team.”

“I’m not good enough.”

“Sure you are, you passed your lifesavers course.”

We walked as far as we could to the end of the concrete pier which formed the harbour wall, and I gazed out across the lake. It was choppy and looked cold and foreboding. A far cry from the beautiful blue water that enticed me in the summer.

‘It would be so easy’.

“Do you think my lifesavers course would save me if I jumped from here?”

Nicola was clearly uncomfortable, and I could see her studying my face from the corner of my eye.

“No,” she said. “So maybe you shouldn’t stand so close to the edge.”

I didn’t answer her. Instead, I closed my eyes and smiled as the wind buffeted my face making it difficult to breathe. It pounded my eardrums, isolating me from my increasingly panicked sister who grabbed my arm and yanked me away from the edge.

“WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?”

“Just thinking.”

“Well, you can think back here. What if you fell or collapsed?”

I shrugged. “Then I’d probably die.”

She didn’t like my answer and stared at me hard before deciding we should leave. Maybe the end of a pier wasn’t the best place for someone suffering from dizzy spells, but I wasn’t scared of dying. The lake was my friend. My get out clause if all else failed and the reason why I was drawn to it.

“I’m sorry I shouted at you,” she said. “Let’s go home.”

She linked arms with me, and we walked back to the beach. After a tough start to our sibling relationship, I thought it was nice that we managed to finish on a high. It was important to me. I didn’t want her to shoulder any blame.

“You scared me back there,” she said.

“You don’t have to be scared, Nicola. Whatever happens, it’s not your fault.”

She stopped walking. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It doesn’t matter.”

“It does matter, Robbie. It matters a lot.”

“Then you know what I mean.”

I watched as her face turned crimson. “Don’t ever talk like that again. You hear me. DON’T YOU DARE!”

“Nicola, you have to understand. Maybe I don’t wanna live like this. Sometimes I think it would better for everyone if I wasn’t here. And better for me too.”

“Are you serious?”

“I’ve never been more serious. I hate who I am. I hate my life.”

“Do you hate me?”

“No!”

She let go of my arm and hit me in the chest. “I WOULD NEVER FORGIVE YOU IF YOU DID THAT!” she screamed and aimed another wild punch at me, missing and falling onto the wet sand.

Maybe it was a sign of how far I had regressed that I was able to talk so matter-of-factly about my own possible demise. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t thought about it before.

“I’m sorry.”

“You should be.” She was sitting cross-legged on the deserted beach but refusing to look at me, so I sat next to her. “You need help, Robbie. You're sixteen, you shouldn’t be thinking like that. I need to tell mom. Don’t be mad at me, you know I have to.”

I didn’t tell her not to, but I didn’t take any of it back either. At least someone knew now how I felt. That was important.

“Is your life really so bad you would consider doing something like that?”

“Yes, it is. Believe me, it is!”

“Then we have to change it. We have to do something. Why didn’t you tell me this?”

“I just did. Don’t cry, we were having a nice time.”

She frowned at me and pushed me away as I tried to put my arm around her. “That was before you told me you were gonna kill yourself! I swear if you did that I’ll…. I’ll. You don’t even wanna know what I’d do to you.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You're so selfish, you know that. You can’t just walk into our lives and then die when it suits you. When we love you. That’s not fair! You should’ve done it when I hated you.”

“But I was happy then.”

“Thanks!”

“I didn’t mean it like that. Come on, Nicola. I love you too.” I put my arm around her as she wiped her teary face on my sweater.

As we walked to the bus stop, she made me promise not to do anything stupid, and I had to laugh.

“It’s a little late for that.”

“There’s gonna be some changes around here, you’ll see.” Then she held my hand. Anyone who saw us must have thought she was my girlfriend.

‘What teenage boy holds hands with his sister’?

I didn’t complain though. I think I needed her.

“Thanks for taking me out today, Nicola.”

“It’s okay. It’s been fun,” she said. “Up until a while ago.”

It made me smile. Nicola was never short of things to do and spending her precious Saturday with her morose brother was definitely more an act of charity than fun. For a boy bereft of confidence, I was willing to accept anything that came my way, but I had to admit on this occasion, she sounded quite genuine.

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.

 

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In the next chapter, worried about Robbie’s mental state, Sue turns to Mr Andrews for help.

Copyright © 2017 Dodger; All Rights Reserved.
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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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49 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

Has Nicola been reading our Comments?

;–)

Was wondering that myself

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13 hours ago, droughtquake said:

So what can and will Nicola do now that she knows that Robbie is suicidal? And how long before she weasels out what happened between Robbie and Alex? If Robbie won’t talk to a therapist, he should at least talk to the Retired Social Worker™ who would have at least some basic training in psychological issues – probably about the same or more than a clergy person who has actually attended an actual theological college.

 

It’s about time they turn to a professional!

We know Nicola is a useful ally and unlike Sue she's not hampered by Don. I think she understands now that her brother is in a very dangerous frame of mind and he needs professional help. She doesn't trust Alex and already has a good idea of want went on so she will want to keep them apart.

 

I think if Robbie was convinced he wanted to kill himself he would have already done it. He made sure Nicola found out, maybe because he wants to be stopped. Sue's reaction will be crucial but she's a nurse and should know about teenage suicides. She will need to put her marital problems on hold for a while and take his threats seriously.

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13 hours ago, droughtquake said:

Has Nicola been reading our Comments?

;–)

She always does. :whistle:

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13 hours ago, Butcher56 said:

Fantastic chapter. I’m glad that Robbie is telling Alex that he isn’t going to Florida with him & Luke. I seriously don’t think there’s a cousin that lives near Disney World as Alex said, Robbie thinks that as well. I hope Nicola doesn’t tell Sue about what Robbie said about possibly taking his own life, although I think she needs to know what he’s thinking about and try to get him some help. As far as Alex is concerned I agree with Robbie that it’s a little bit late to try making amends now and not thinking about his actions prior to the act. As a result of Alex’s actions Robbie was hospitalized again and just like the other times the doctors are sure that there’s a problem they just haven’t been able to figure out what it is that is causing Robbie to pass out. I think I know who will be called when Sue talks to Mr Andrews about the situation with Robbie. 

I don't think this is something that Nicola will be able to handle on her own. She needs to tell Sue and probably Don as well and she will have to act fast. Mr Andrews will be a good place to start because he knows the people who can help and they are already aware of Robbie's situation. Alex also needs help before he self-destructs.

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13 hours ago, Wesley8890 said:

Nicola gained even more favor with me.

She can be headstrong, stubborn, and a real pain in the ass to live with but as loyal as the day is long. She is about to become Robbie's self-appointed body guard. It will drive him nuts but maybe it's what he needs. 

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10 hours ago, chris191070 said:

Fantastic chapter. I’m glad Robbie has told Alex he’s not going to Florida. I like Nicola, she was good with Robbie today.

I don't think she could have done anything more. It was the reaction of someone who really cares and Robbie needs to understand this. There are people who love him.

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Why am I not surprised that Don has a history of affairs? It fits him perfectly. I wish Robbie would tell someone what Alex did as well as his crazy idea to leave for Florida though sort of get his reason. I’m glad Nicola has found out how depressed and somewhat unstable Robbie is as he needs help. Thankfully with Don currently being absent hopefull Sue will actually get him proper help rather than whatever twisted plan Don would likely come up with to turn this to his advantage.

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20 hours ago, Benji said:

😎.................Hmmm, maybe a goofy hat or mask for Don, and get Sue a Dumbo hat!  But definitely a couple of therapist for that household is very much needed.  But Robbie is in the most important one in this saga that could use the therapy the most. It is Walter that Robbie needs to talk to, as Walter has probably been there done that, or at least has dealt with these issues before.  I think Alex is a lost cause, and will probably do something stupid.  Likewise, I think Nathan is a lost cause hopefully, Robbie will not blame himself when Nathan does a crash and burn too!  But I am wondering if Conner is the right choice for Robbie when he is in  a severe depression like he is.  Great chapter!!

Alex is a sad case who hasn't been dealt the best of hands. It's difficult to see him ever getting his life together. Robbie was probably his best chance and he certainly would have been a good friend if nothing else. I still don't blame Alex. I think his parents have a lot to answer for, but that is another matter. Robbie has been more fortunate but at the moment he's the one who needs help and very quickly. Nicola realizes this and she's not the type to pussyfoot around. I expect her to shake things up a bit and maybe this was the reason Robbie allowed her to find out. Thanks @Benji   

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17 hours ago, hobo said:

again a very good kapitel.die story is and remains interesting.i think Alex Robby raped again because he got away with it the first time.

By not reporting the incident, Robbie was running the risk of encouraging Alex to strike again. Robbie needs to be firm now with Alex to avoid a repeat although I'm sure Nicola will help sure up the defenses. Danke @hobo

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1 hour ago, Dodger said:

Alex is a sad case who hasn't been dealt the best of hands. It's difficult to see him ever getting his life together. Robbie was probably his best chance and he certainly would have been a good friend if nothing else. I still don't blame Alex. I think his parents have a lot to answer for, but that is another matter.

The problem is that Alex hasn’t admitted he needs help. Until he does, he’s going to continue on his self-destructive path. Possibly, if they took Luke away to be fostered by someone else and separated from Alex, Alex might see the need for change. Maybe…

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wow ! so dons joined a christian sex cult ! hehe,,,let me at him ! I'll turn him Hindu and soon have him running naked up and down the banks of the Ganga river covered in ash !!   LOL ! Im Glad Nicola is switched on to robbie.poor bastard.

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