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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Luke Hanson's Mind & Punishment: A Teen in Despair - 13. Chapter 13 - Throwing Stones at Windows

 

Sunday 12:41pm - Luke


Taz was standing behind my chair, massaging my shoulders while I ranted on about Elaine. I finally came to a stop when Lee walked into the back yard.

"He stressed again?" Lee asked, obviously talking to Taz.

"I am here, you know," I said in a sulky tone. "And yeah, I am stressed. That fucking Witch has made it sound like I am going nuts. I know what I know."

Lee took two paces back from me, holding up his hands. "Whoa, steady, I have no clue what you are talking about, Buddy!"

"He's talking about Elaine... his Dad's new bit of fluff. She's found the secret buttons that turn our boy here into a Tazmanian Devil."

"Shut up, Taz!" I said.

Lee sat in a free chair and wiped the sweat from his forehead.  "Jesus it's hot today! So anyway, I'm going to the match later. I thought I'd stop by and say hi. It looks like I walked in at a delicate moment." 

"Who they playing?" Taz asked.

"Wolves. It should be an easy win for us. So what's cooking on the barbie? Any going spare?"

"Sure, Lee," I replied. Taz let go of my shoulders and sat down again. "Thanks, you fixed me!" I said grinning. "So, Lee, there is chicken, burgers... er, oh yeah and sausages."

"Anything is fine, thanks, just don't poison me. I am looking forward to this game." Lee replied,

"Beer?" I asked the both of them, eyeing that Taz's bottle was empty.

"Not for me, thanks," Lee replied. Taz nodded. I sighed and got out of my seat, feeling a little more reserved after Taz's massage. Walking out from under the parasol, I felt the heat pounding down on my bare shoulders.

I walked over to a bucket Taz had filled with cold water and ice, dug out two bottles of Czech Bud, and headed back to my seat. Taz opened his bottle and chucked the opener at me. I caught it like a pro, earning an impressed look from Lee.

"Hey, where are your parents at, Taz?" Lee asked.

"Gone to the home to see my Nan. They'll probably go shopping for food after that." Taz said before tipping his bottle back and taking some healthy sips. 

"Lee, you keep looking at me," I said, noticing he'd been doing it since he got here. "What is it?"

Lee scratched his head. "So erm... I was wondering how things went down with that guy at the fair?"

"What about him?"

"He gay?"

"Nope, maybe Bi. I dunno."

"You seeing him again?"

"Dunno, maybe," I replied, not giving anything away. 

You see, Lee is a lot more, erm, how should I say it? So, he's cool with gay people... like so pro-gay and stuff, but he doesn't like the love and sex parts rammed down his throat. His main reason for asking me about the guy was to see if I was okay. I know his interest stops there, hence the reason for my one-line answers. It's just best that way. Taz on the other hand is totally all in!... But you knew that I guess?!

"Well, as long as you're okay, Luke, that's all that matters," Lee said, smiling.

See!

________________________________

The scorching golden sun had slowly drifted across the sky, mostly unnoticed, while Taz and I were enjoying the day. However it had caused no end of parasol adjustments from me, as we desperately tried to stay ahead of the cosmic timing that had me up every so often to adjust the angle of defence. On some parts of my body I knew I'd overdone it and looking at Taz's red lobster blotches in random places, he had too.

"Man, I am stuffed," I said to Taz as I leaned back in my chair and rubbed my stomach, which was full of every farm animal cookable.

"Beer?" Taz asked, looking me pressing on my almost visible abs.

"Nah, I'm gonna let this lot go down first."

"Cool. Anything from Wonderboy?"

I scolded Taz with my eyes. "D'you know I have been doing so well to not think about it, and you bring it up. Now I have to check my phone."

Taz grinned. "Yeah, for the four hundredth time."

"Do you think I should message him?" I asked, looking at my phone and seeing nothing from Leander.

"No!" Taz whined. "Give the guy some space. He's probably working things out in his head or working full stop."

"I know. It's just, well... what if he's changed his mind?"

"About liking you? Don't be daft."

"He might have," I said, my brain now convincing me.

"Let's talk about something else; I have obviously set off a bush-fire in your head."

"Yep, thanks for that!"


___________________________________

 

It was now getting on for ten in the evening, and Taz and I were still sitting outside chatting about all sorts of things - from work to holidays and occasionally Leander. It felt good to talk and empty my mind a little. Thankfully Taz was a good listener and would allow me to go off on all sorts of tangents without interrupting me. I'm not sure if he listened to all of my crap, but his face made a good effort to convince me he did.

"Well, I think it's safe to drive now," I said, checking my watch. "I should probably get home and sort out my life for work tomorrow. Damn, my shoulders are red, and we've been under this umbrella all day; what gives?" I said, trying to look at them.

Taz shrugged. "You have been up and about quite a few times and cooking on that barbie. You probably caught the sun. Want some cream?"

"Bit late now, they're pretty toasted. Nah, I'll just make sure to turn the shower down before I get in it."

"Well, thanks for today; it was good fun. I see on my phone, Liverpool won the match; I bet Lee is pleased."

"Pffft, football. I genuinely try to engage but as soon as he mentions it, I just glaze over. Does it show?"

Taz answered me, but I was distracted by my phone going off, so I didn't exactly know what he said. I picked it up from the table and looked at the screen. It was WhatsApp.

[22:14] Leander: I'm a prick for doing this by message, but I'm a gutless wimp. I don't think I can see you again. I'm sorry. Like soooo sorry, but I'm going mad here and it's creating suspicions with my family. It's not you. L x

I slowly put my phone down on the table and felt a massive wave of grief envelop me from the waist upwards.

"Fucking hell, man, what's up?" Taz said, seeing my expression. "Is everything okay? Has there been an accident."

"What?" I said, drifting into shock. I now felt cold and clammy. The look on my face must have really looked awful.

 Taz was almost out of his seat. "Luke, what's happened? Is your Dad okay? Talk to me."

"It's Leander. He said he doesn't want to see me anymore."

"Ahh, shit. Did he say why?" Taz collapsed back into his chair.

"Not really, just that his family were getting suspicious. I presume because he's distracted. I have to go, Taz. I'll see you later, yeah?"

"Huh?" I heard Taz say.

Without a thought for anything and anyone, I just left Taz sitting in his garden while walking out, unlocking my car, getting in, and driving away. As I looked in my rear view mirror, I saw Taz standing outside his house, watching me as my car took me away down the street.


_____________________________

 

I got to my house in mere seconds and switched off the engine, deciding to sit in silence as the white noise of no sound permeated my ears. Just to check if the message from Leander was real, I reread it... and again, and again. Yep, it was real, and I felt like my whole body was going to fly apart at the seams, the unhappiness I suddenly felt pressurising me like a fucking Instant Pot!

I stare, and stare, and stare. I type!

[22:26] Me: I don't know what to say, I'm numb from your message. I think I should say something to let you know how sad I feel. This has crushed me. I know that's stupid cos we just met. I don't have the right to say you're wrong, because I know it's tough with your family. But I wish you would reconsider??? xx L

I sat looking at what I had sent back for about five minutes. Two blue ticks had come up to say he'd read it. There was no response. But a glimmer of hope was floating around in my head, knowing that he HAD read it but not blocked me. 

I let out a long sigh and got out of my car, locking it up behind me. I felt five stone heavier, not from the food but emotionally.

Inside I went into the lounge and saw Dad had fallen asleep on the sofa with the TV on. At least the Witch had gone, I thought as I grabbed the remote and placed it on standby.

I must have disturbed Dad as he made me jump suddenly speaking.

"Good day?" he asked, a bit groggily.

"Yeah," I said, beginning to head out and go upstairs.

"Luke?"

"Not now, Dad, yeah?" I said, my tone mildly irritated. I didn't need this.

"No, Luke, no! I'm not having this. You live under my roof, and your moods lately have been quite frankly rude and disappointing. I don't care how old you are; you come back here, sit down and show me some respect!"

I reeled my head back, shocked. Dad hadn't spoken to me like that since I was about fifteen, so I found myself complying with his demands.

"Dad, you really can't do the angry father thing, can you," I said, almost wanting to smile. "Rude and disappointing? I almost want to say, is that all you got?"

Dad tried his best to stay serious, but a grin started to form on his mouth, and then we both laughed, which meant he agreed with my statement.

"So, let's cut the BS, Son. What's going on with you? Come on; we talk about everything. At least I hope we do."

I put my hands behind my head and fell backwards in my seat, puffing air through my lips.

"You wouldn't understand! All I can say is, I'm glad your love life is going well!"

Dad raised a brow. "Boy trouble?" He asked. "I didn't think you were seeing anyone at the moment."

"I'm not. That's the issue."

"Who is he... was he?"

"No one special," I said. "Just my soulmate!"

"O oh, you haven't gone and fallen in love, have you?"

"He's the guy from the fair," I said, not believing I was entering into this with my father.

"Sorry, I don't understand. You mean the summer fair that's in town?"

I leaned forward and rested my elbows on my legs. "You remember when we went together, and I lost my phone on that ghost train with you."

"Yeah, some young lad fetched it back for you, I remember."

"Bingo," I said, pointing at my Dad.

"He's the guy?"

"Yes, but he's just told me tonight... by message, that he cannot see me anymore."

"Oh... oh, Luke, I'm sorry to hear that. How long have you been seeing him?"

"That's the crazy, complicated and sooooo me part, Dad. We were not even dating. I've had face-to-face contact with him for a total of about two hours, and that includes the time when I was with you at the fair last summer! Honestly, I feel like a pathetic love sick puppy. A deranged one at that."

"And yet you seem really upset about it," Dad said - his failure to get why I feel so upset irritating me. Even though he was right to be confused because it's such a ridiculous situation, I mused.

"Let's change the subject. How was your day?"

"Well, erm, I... actually, you don't want to hear about it, do you?"

"Because it involves Elaine? Not really, but I want to change the subject away from Wonderboy, so fire away."

"Wonderboy?" Dad asked, a grin coming from one corner of his mouth.

I rolled my eyes, not realising what I'd said. "It's just what Taz and Lee call Leander."

"The guy from the fair?"

"Yeah."

"Hmm, thought so. A very Romani name that," Dad said, his collection of useless knowledge never failing to astound me.

"Really?"

Dad nodded. "Leander to the Romani is like Wolfgang to the Germans."

I nodded, pulling my lips down. "Well, thanks, Dad; I feel educated. So, your day?"

Dad looked up at me. "I met Josh!"

I stood up "Dad, he's got covid," I cried, in horror.

"On the video, I meant. Yeah, he called his Mum. She gave me her phone."

I felt myself relax.

"What's he like?" I asked, curious.

Dad shrugged. "Kinda normal, you know, polite."

"He's probably putting on a good show for you, ready for when you become his Step-Dad," I said, a hint of sarcasm in my tone.

"Oh, Luke, don't be silly. He's Elaine's Son, that's all. So anyway yeah, I made dinner, we ate, had a glass of wine and went to the garden centre together."

"Jesus, you two really know how to date, don't you?" 

"You wait until you get to my age. I keep telling you; you'll be the same."

I gave my Dad an over-the-glasses look. "Dad, I hate gardening."

Dad looked thoughtful for a moment. Then, "You know, Son, your Mum ditched me a week into us going out."

"Wow, I didn't know that. Why? Why did she do that?"

"Her Dad didn't like my hair and said I was scruffy."

"Really? That's harsh. Sorry, why are you telling me this?"

"We didn't have phones and stuff back then, so I went to her house after dark and threw stones at her bedroom window. I begged her to talk to me, and with a little persuasion, I convinced her to see me again."

"How?"

Dad coughed a little. "Well, back then, I was a little less reserved, shall we say?"

"And?"

"I said it's her life and that her Dad should go fuck himself." He said loudly, almost as if he was forcing himself to re-live the moment.

"Oh, Dad, you? You said that?"

Dad almost seemed embarrassed. "Yeah, I know!"

I shook my head, smiling to myself. My Dad was a mild-mannered man who did not swear often, and when he did, it was usually the mild words like shit and bastard. But not usually fuck.

"Wow," I said, sitting back.

"Anyway, Luke. The moral of the story is if you really like someone this much? Don't mope about telling your Dad how bad your life is. Go and put some elbow grease in and get this boy back."

Dad's words gave me a moment of pure enthusiasm, and I immediately got up from the chair and walked into the hallway, grabbing my keys.

"Thanks, Dad," I said, opening the front door.

"Where are you going, it's pretty late?"

"To take your advice and throw stones at windows!"

With those words, I walked out the door, closed it, and almost ran for my car.

It's common in the UK for folks to put an X or two at the end of a message. Its basically a kiss (perhaps a peck on the cheek 'shrugs'). It's placed as a sign of affection. I understand in the United States this is not "a thing." No? Please by all means drop a comment if it is. I am not sure of the tradition in other countries. I hope I'm not teaching anyone to suck eggs, but thought i'd just add a note. :) James

Copyright © 2022 James Matthews; All Rights Reserved.
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Trying a different style and a couple of new things in this book and my only benchmark on how that is going is you, my loyal readers. So I have a small favour. Please do click a like if you're enjoying the story and please do recommend the book. If you have a thought or comment I'd be made up to hear what you think. All feedback is relished and of course I do love hearing your ideas, opinions and banter. Many thanks, folks! Now, let go forth on to the next chapter :) 

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

38 minutes ago, BoyLove said:

Like the story so far!😊 Curious though, what is"stone"? In America it is gravel, rocks...etc.

Thank you, Boylove.

Erm, a stone. Hmm, the word comes so naturally to me I guess. Never really thought to question it. But yes in "Brit" speak it could be classed as gravel. Although we would think of gravel as sharp pieces of odd shaped stones. hahaha. So our stone is a rounded piece of gravel I guess. But due to the stupidity of our language It also means a very hard surface don't it? 

It also comes from a saying (not connected to Luke's metaphor) that "people who live in glass houses should not throw stones"

 

So yeah, Boylove. Just translate each stone to rock and it will mean the same :D 

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29 minutes ago, James Matthews said:

 

PS. I always end up learning so much American culture when I read the comments to my stories. More than I ever did in school hahaha.

 

I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing (BTW my area has Aldi)

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A couple of comments:  1)  Many here in the States use "xo" when writing - meaning kisses and hugs.

Yes, we have Aldi stores here.   Good stuff.

I really like the relationship between Luke and his dad and Luke and Taz.

 

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BoyLove

Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, James Matthews said:

Thank you, Boylove.

Erm, a stone. Hmm, the word comes so naturally to me I guess. Never really thought to question it. But yes in "Brit" speak it could be classed as gravel. Although we would think of gravel as sharp pieces of odd shaped stones. hahaha. So our stone is a rounded piece of gravel I guess. But due to the stupidity of our language It also means a very hard surface don't it? 

It also comes from a saying (not connected to Luke's metaphor) that "people who live in glass houses should not throw stones"

 

So yeah, Boylove. Just translate each stone to rock and it will mean the same :D 

Just wondering, because you mentioned after he got the message he said he felt like he weighted 5 stone more.

Edited by BoyLove
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13 hours ago, BoyLove said:

Just wondering, because you mentioned after he got the message he said he felt like he weighted 5 stone more.

When 'stone' was used that way, it was referring to a unit of measurement, see link below...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_(unit)

I hope Luke isn't...

Pin on A fit of giggles ensues.

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I'm guessing the question about "stone" might actually have been about "I felt five stone heavier" rather than about throwing one at a window? That's a British measurement of body weight equal to 14 pounds (not £s) 😉

Edit: Sorry, I should have reloaded the page before commenting and seen that it had already been clarified.

Edited by dhphllps
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For the record, this U.S. Midwesterner has gotten all your "Britishisms" , no confusion here.  I love Aldi.  I did not know about Czech Bud, but it sounds typical for a 19th century business mogul to not care about copyrights. I'm wondering how Luke plans on finding the right caravan without alerting all the other fair people.  He doesn't want to do the same thing his middle school art teacher did!

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