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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 - 20. Chapter 20 - Aftermath

Wednesday 7:39am - Luke


Leander led me out of the caravan and over to his Mother. She seemed to have this sort of thousand-yard stare going on about her. Finally, she looked up and smiled at her Son, revealing the close relationship they shared.

"I can't believe he's gone," she said, putting her hand on Leander's chest. "It was so quick. It's like it's not real."

"You have us. You have us all around you." 

"I'm not sure what to do, Son. I feel so lost."

Leander pulled his mother into a hug and rubbed her back. A large grey cloud had drifted over the fairground and was now temporarily blocking out the sun, as if to merge with the general mood of the place right now. 

"Mum, can we talk? I mean, do you mind if we talk?" Leander asked her, glancing at me as he did.

"Tea. I think we need tea," she stated, pulling out of his hug. "You here for deliveries?" she suddenly asked me.

"Uh, Mum, this is Luke. He's not here for deliveries. He's my friend. Luke, this is Mary."

"You want tea, boy?" she asked me, seeming to ignore her Son's information.

"Uh, yeah, sure," I said, looking at my watch. It was getting on for eight in the morning, and I knew a phone call to Derek was on the cards very soon. I'd never called in sick before, so I was hoping I could get this day off without issue. But at the same time, it was not a habit I wanted to get into. I'd always had a reliable reputation with people, and even though what Bear was going through was really sad, I still had commitments.

Leander and I followed his Mum towards her trailer, meeting another two lads as we got closer.

"Erm, Luke, this is Seb and Sam," he said. I walked forward and held out my hand. Sam took it suspiciously and nodded at me. His face was curious as if studying me. It was like I was an intruder to him.

Perhaps I was.

Sebastian was warmer, even giving me a glancing smile. "Hi," I said before letting go of his hand. 

"Erm, Seb is the youngest here, and Sam, the second eldest."

"Uh, Bear, who is this?" Sam asked. I tensed up, wondering what the answer was going to be.

"He's a friend, Sam. Be nice."

"Well he ain't here for no deliveries," Mary chimed in, waving her hand down.

Sam just walked away, and I was hoping he was oblivious to who I really was. I got the feeling he might be.

"Mum, I'm going to help Clyde," Seb said, leaving us to it. "Nice to meet you, Luke."

"Well, that went okay," I whispered into Leander's ear as we continued to follow his mother into her trailer.

Leander offered me a seat while Mary was in the kitchen area seeing to three cups of tea.

"There's a lot to be sorted," she said, pulling open a small fridge. "Clyde is going to make the arrangements with the funeral home. I don't think I can at the moment. I've said the fair remains closed today as a mark of respect. We'll take the hit on the financials. Tommy can adjust it all later. Now, where did I put my glasses? Jesus, I'm always losing the damn things."

"Take your time Mum. It's all going to fall into place; you'll see. We will give him a good send-off."

"I want horses, you know. Black ones, all dressed. And a carriage. We must get this right. it's what he would have wanted, bless his heart."

"Of course, Mum, whatever you want, horses, yeah. We'll tell Clyde to add in whatever you want."

Mary took her Son's cheeks in her hands and kissed him on the forehead. "I'm glad you're here," she said. 

With the milk stirred into each tea, she brought one to me, and I nervously took it from her.

"Mum, can we sit down for a few minutes?"

"We need to be quick, Baby; I have so much to do."

"I know, Mum, I'm going to help you. Can we just talk for a minute?"

Mary sat down before putting her cup of tea on the coffee table just in front. Leander sat next to me as close as he could without giving anything away.

"So what is this?" she said sternly. Leander glanced at me as if to tell me this was just 'her way'. I felt a little more relaxed but still on edge. I could feel drops of cortisol dripping into my bloodstream, gearing me up for a flight out of here. Well, obviously, I couldn't actually feel the drops, but I knew something was being pumped slowly into me, making my anxiety start to travel north.

"Mum, erm, so you know I have been going out a bit lately."

"Hmm, quite late at night, I hear. I did ask the boys if you were dealing drugs, but I was told no."

Leander chuckled. "Mum, I promise you I am not dealing drugs."

"Good because I didn't wanna ask ya as I was frightened I'd string you up by you're tackle if there was a hint. And You'll be needing that so I get my Grandson! So, you were saying?"

I thought Leander was going to bottle it, such was the length of his pause after Mary's comments, but he must have found some inner strength.

"Well, erm. I've met someone. And in the process of that, I've kind of learned a little bit about myself."

"Okay," she responded, looking more engaged now.

"So I have been feeling a lot for a person which I wouldn't say was conventional in our family."

"Baby, will you get to the point, please?" she interrupted. She didn't say this in an angry way or anything, but I did agree that Leander was taking his time getting to where he was going. But I knew this was super huge for him.

"So, erm, that person is in fact next to me. Mum, I have feelings for Luke."

Mary drew in breath. "Jesus, the delivery guy?"

"Mum he's not the fucking delivery guy. How many more times?" Leander shouted, shocking me and his Mother.

There was silence in the room immediately. Mary had her eyes on me. I was looking at her back while Bear switched between the two of us. I saw Mary swallow hard.

"Does Clyde know?"

"I wanted to tell you first, but Clyde knows, yes," Leander said, swallowing hard as I saw in my peripheral vision.

"You did the right thing telling him first. So you're queer?"

I felt Leander flinch, but he remained composed. "Mum, we don't use that word."

"Baby, I don't understand. You always said you liked girls. We both asked you, your Dad and me. We both asked you several times, and you always said you were waiting for the right girl to come..."

"Person, Mum! I said, waiting for the right person. I was consistent with that word.

"Person then. But we expected it to be..."

"Expected?"

Mary backed down completely as Leander moved to the edge of the seat. "You look happy," She finally said after a pause.

"I am. But..."

"What, what is it? You want my blessing, Baby? Is that it? My husband has just died... your father. Don't you think you could have picked a better time to do this?"

"This is the best time. And IN time, you'll see why Mum. And no, I'm not asking for your blessing. I'm asking for your love to continue."

"Bear, don't play hot and fast with me. You know my love for you is unbreakable. But, I need to think about this. We've never had a quee...a person like you in the family. I'm not sure what your brothers will say. Are you sure Clyde is okay with this? I can't handle any disputes right now."

"Mum, you want to know what Clyde said to me?"

Mary looked up. I'm not sure what answer she expected, but it surprised us both when it came.

"What? What did he say?" she asked expectantly.

"He said he loved me and that it was high time the family was brought into the twenty-first century and realised that not all people are like what we've been brought to believe."

"He never said that!" Mary squealed.

"Actually, I did," came a familiar voice from the doorway. 

Mary looked up, shocked, seeing her Son with a look on his face that said deal with it.

"Boys, I'd like to be alone for a little while. I need to grieve for Scott, your father and my love."

I saw Leander and Clyde nod, and we both got up from our seats. Clyde stepped backwards to let us through, and Leander closed the door behind him, leaving the three of us outside.

"There are things to do, Bear. We have a fair to run." Leander nodded, and a smile developed on his face. Clyde smiled too, ruffling up Leander's hair as if to say well done on the Mother front. 

"You need to get to work, don't you?" Leander asked as Clyde walked away to do whatever he was doing.

"Erm, I was going to take the day off to be with you."

"Can I be honest with you? I think I just need to be with my family. Like, alone at the moment. Please don't take that the wrong way, but people will want to talk about stuff, and you being here might delay or prolong that process which needs to happen."

I nodded. "No, no, I understand, of course."

"You're okay?"

"Sure, look, I need to wash and change. After that, I'll head off to work. I can let you deal with stuff as long as you're good. Just, erm..., just contact me when you're ready."

"Thanks, Luke. Drive safe, yeah?" I nodded and moved in to kiss him but then stepped back on impulse, knowing perhaps it was not a good idea. Leander grinned at me. "Let's not rub anyone's face in it just yet, shall we?"

"Whoops," I replied. "Hey, uh, good luck with Sam and Seb, yeah?"

"Yeah, great. I have a sister too. She's going to be okay, though, I think."

"Of course, yeah, I forgot. You have so many bloody siblings," I chuckled. "Right, I'm going. See you soon."

_____________________________

 

I got to work with a few minutes to spare after driving straight there in the end. There just wasn't time to go home first. I don't know why I thought there would be. The day felt long, and I didn't hear from Leander all day. I was dying to message him, but I needed to give him space. I knew that. Derek said I looked like shit, and I replied that he was right. I was left alone most of the day. I think he knew I hadn't slept much, and I was not asked why.

Driving home after lugging boxes around all day, I felt utterly exhausted. My need to close my eyes while on the road was nearing a dangerous level as I almost missed a red light. Thankfully, minutes after the event, I pulled into my driveway unscathed.

I was dead tired.

Locking up the car, I walked around the side of my house and unlatched the gate, heading through to the backyard. The kitchen door was open, and I made my way in, seeing Elaine at the sink.

"Oh, Luke. It's been a while since you showed your face. Your Dad has been worried about you."

"I'm eighteen. I come and go as I please. And I've had no messages from him, so, your point?" I replied, giving her the dirtiest look I could muster. "Where is he anyway?"

"He's gone to pick up Josh from college while I clean."

"He's a taxi service now? Wow."

Elaine came over to me as I stood at the doorway - half in the kitchen, half out. She put her face quite close to mine, staring me down.

"I have a lot of patience, Luke. But let's be clear. I'm here, I'm with your father, and you need to start treating me with respect. I have done all I can to be polite, courteous and welcoming, and you..."

"Welcoming? This is MY house. And who the hell do you think you are? The way you speak to me is not polite OR courteous. You need to accept that this is a relationship I am neither interested in, nor asked for."

"Well, it seems we are at a stalemate then. But don't cross me, Luke, you understand?"

I was about to push past her to head upstairs when I heard the front door rattle open. "Hey Elaine, it's... oh, hi Luke, where have you been, Son? We've missed you."

I reeled in my chin. "We? Jesus, please, can we stop this??!" I demanded, banging my fist on the worktop. Elaine flinched and stepped backwards.

"Luke? Are you okay?" Dad asked, clearly unaware of what had just happened before coming in.

"I'm gonna move out, Dad. It's what she wants. It's what she's been working on since she turned up."

"What? Luke, what's happened to you?" 

"What's happened to me? Dad, have you just landed or something? Before all this... all you and her, it was just us. We lived together in peace and harmony like that bloody Coke advert. And she comes in and chucks a load of Mentos in the bottle. Dad, I am sick of her speaking to me like she has some authority over me... over anything. I pay rent to live here. This was Mum's house too, and she would be turning, no, spinning in fact, like a fat, round, fucking jet engine in her grave if she knew what toxic megalomaniac you had dug up to shag!" 

Josh came in moments later carrying a supermarket bag full of shit and a duvet. The worse thing is he smiled at me, and it wasn't a smile that left me entirely comfortable. "Everyone okay?" He asked.

I rolled my eyes and walked past all of them, heading upstairs to my room. Before showering, I needed to sleep for a little while. I'd gone from feeling just plain exhausted to raging, miserable, and sooo frustrated. Those fucking pair in my house. That weird guy! Jesus.

___________________________

I woke up to the sound of my phone alarm going off. It was around six forty-five, and I pushed myself onto my elbows. Apart from the birds outside my open window, I could only hear the gentle sound of muffled chatter downstairs. I screwed up my face and grabbed my phone.

[18:47] Me: Guess who's here?
[18:47] Taz: I can't think, Elaine maybe? You had a rough day I take it? Didn't bother you as I knew you would tell me everything soon anyway.

I smiled at Taz's pathetic message and replied back.

[18:48] Me: No, you haven't contacted me because you are too embarrassed about last night. Am I right?
[18:49] Taz: ...
[18:49] Me: Don't give me that, you know what I'm on about.
[18:50] Taz I preferred it when you were talking about the Witch!!!
[18:51] Me: We'll talk soon. Right now I need to be somewhere.

I saw an opportunity open up in my mind, so I dropped my phone, then took off my t-shirt and shorts. Leaving just my boxers on I went downstairs. Dad was talking to Elaine in the kitchen while Josh was in the lounge sitting on MY sofa, the Bastard!

"Why don't you just tell her?" I said, leaning against the door frame, squeezing myself. I was out of sight from the Witch and my Dad. Excellent! "Why don't you just tell her you're into me, huh?"

Josh coughed, almost choking on a Crunchie bar he was eating... probably mine. "What?"

"I'll tell her if you want?"

"You're evil," he gruffed at me.

"And you and your mother are taking the piss out of my father's generosity. So where is your own father?"

"Dead, and you know how that feels," he said, catching me slightly off guard, it should be told. "Must you stand there like that?" He said, trying so hard not to stare.

"It's my house! I could take them off if I wanted, but my Dad and I are not quite that close. But you? You on the other hand could be though, if you wanted?"

Josh looked all around the room for some reason before leaning forward. "Have you ever... well, you know?"

I waved my hand at him, hitching a breath. "Oh, yeah, loads of times. I bet I could make you squirm and fidget like a slippery wet eel. You uh... you wanna come upstairs. I bet I can make it fast for you?"

In my head, I was gagging at some of the things I was saying, but I needed to take things to another level.

Josh smiled at started to get up, but I walked over and pushed him back into his seat. "Gotcha!"

"Huh?"

"It's you, you sick fucker. That's the final thing I needed to work out."

"It's me what?"

"Open your phone!"

"What? No!"

"Open your phone, or I will tell your mother what a twisted and sick Son she has. And I will tell her everything you wanted to do to me when you were sitting in your computer chair with your boxers at your ankles messaging me."

Josh got up and walked out of the lounge, but my Dad and Elaine had got to us first, probably from the heated words being exchanged.

"What the hell is going on in here," Elaine bellowed. "You! Look at you! Undressed again. Speaking filth no doubt, if I've got to know you. So it's my Son you're going after now, is it? Why, because I won't go?"

"He's a pervert!" I shouted.

"Luke!" my Dad snapped.

"He is. He's been stalking me. And I just invited him upstairs to get him off, and he stepped up faster than a Russian conscript."

"Luke, that's enough!" Dad shouted at me. 

"I have never heard such disgusting, vile talk in all my life," Elaine growled as she pointed at me violently. "You are utterly depraved."

"Elaine, that's a bit harsh. He's not that bad," Dad remarked, trying to back me a little.

This was better!

"Nah, let her speak her mind Dad. She's digging her own grave and hopefully you can see what she really is. She hates me, and the feeling is mutual," I seethed. "Fancy thinking you could come in here and get your feet under the table. Look at the frustration on your face as you fail miserably. You really thought you could come between me and my Dad? Pffft!"

Dad shook his head and turned to walk out of the lounge but changed his mind and fixed his gaze on me.

He spoke softly, as if you keep himself calm primarily. "Luke? I don't know what has lead to this. I'm not sure what is going on right now in your mind, but... but I think you should maybe be cool off somewhere else for a while."

"Good, because i'm going to Taz's tonight anyway."

"No, Luke. I mean you should perhaps make it a bit longer than just tonight."

I stepped back, not really wanting to, but my body just jolted. My throat closed up and my mouth went dry. I felt I was getting light headed and my fingers became prickly and sweaty.

"Dad?"

"Son, look at you. You're standing in the middle of the lounge in next to nothing accusing Elaine's Son of stalking you. If that's not bad enough? Some of the things you have said... especially about me digging up Elaine. I've tried to talk to you. I've tried to be a good supportive father, but you're out of control. And as an adult, I can't be responsible for that anymore."

"You're throwing me out?"

"No, I'm asking you to take a break from the house for a few days. Go sort your head out. We'll talk, but I need to create some space between you and this environment for at least a few days..

"So you're throwing me out?"

"LUKE!" My Dad yelled. His face screwed up and red. 

I shook my head. "And you lecture me about how I've changed!" I spat, walking upstairs.

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

Do you think he went a bit overboard, or got it just right. Although it didn't do him any good in the end :( 

Game Over No GIF by CBC

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14 hours ago, pvtguy said:

Very fine chapter!  Luke gets introduced to Bear's mother and she doesn't explode;  he goes to work and fulfills his commitment - great work ethic; and then, he comes home to the female version of Eddie Haskell (hope you get that reference - if not, I will explain).  Can't wait for this to resolve. 

Thank you, glad you liked it :) 

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11 hours ago, VBlew said:

If he has figured out Josh correctly then what he has done is right, but it seems he’s angered his father in the process.   With the introduction to most of Bear’s family h may be able to join them helping operate the fair rather than Bear staying in town with him??

Hmm, Luke operating a Roller coaster? LOL.

Well anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

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15 hours ago, weinerdog said:

Like the good Dr. in the above comment I'm going to wait to see what transpires because I  really don't know what to think.I will say Elaine doesn't have the best way with words "welcoming"? Boy was that the wrong word to use.

Although Luke was spot on about Josh's orientation  I would say it's a stretch to say he's the stalker unless there is another piece of info we don't know yet . Josh did refuse to open his phone though🤔 man all that drama got us to stop taking about Bear

I think you are in the... "He went overboard" grouping :D 

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45 minutes ago, James Matthews said:

Do you think he went a bit overboard, or got it just right. Although it didn't do him any good in the end :( 

Game Over No GIF by CBC

I think what happened is as follows...Once again Elaine was way out of line, both in action, word, and deed. It was if she was hunting for Luke...just to set him off with the ulterior motive of eliminating the threat she see's him being in order to snare his father...what was up with Josh bringing in a duvet...should he not be staying at his own house???

As the following attests to...I see Elaine acting if she is the Queen of someone else's house, so terribly wrong and out of place 

I have a lot of patience, Luke. But let's be clear. I'm here, I'm with your father, and you need to start treating me with respect. I have done all I can to be polite, courteous and welcoming, and you..."

"Welcoming? This is MY house. And who the hell do you think you are? The way you speak to me is not polite OR courteous. You need to accept that this is a relationship I am neither interested in, nor asked for."

"Well, it seems we are at a stalemate then. But don't cross me, Luke, you understand?"

I was about to push past her to head upstairs when I heard the front door rattle open. "Hey Elaine, it's... oh, hi Luke, where have you been, Son? We've missed you."

I reeled in my chin. "We? Jesus, please, can we stop this??!" I demanded, banging my fist on the worktop. Elaine flinched and stepped backwards.

"Luke? Are you okay?" Dad asked, clearly unaware of what had just happened before coming in.

"I'm gonna move out, Dad. It's what she wants. It's what she's been working on since she turned up."

"What? Luke, what's happened to you?"

"What's happened to me? Dad, have you just landed or something? Before all this... all you and her, it was just us. We lived together in peace and harmony like that bloody Coke advert. And she comes in and chucks a load of Mentos in the bottle. Dad, I am sick of her speaking to me like she has some authority over me... over anything. I pay rent to live here. This was Mum's house too, and she would be turning, no, spinning in fact, like a fat, round, fucking jet engine in her grave if she knew what toxic megalomaniac you had dug up to shag!"

Josh came in moments later carrying a supermarket bag full of shit and a duvet. The worse thing is he smiled at me, and it wasn't a smile that left me entirely comfortable. "Everyone okay?" He asked.

Raw Video: Ships Collide in Whaling Clash - YouTube

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There will be a slight delay in chapters for a little while as the schedule has caught up with me. I am now writing to get one done for each 24 hour posting. I don't want to force a chapter if the ideas are not there so there may be some gaps now until I get ahead again. I normally write the most on a Sunday when I can relax a bit more. :) 

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8 hours ago, James Matthews said:

Do you think he went a bit overboard, or got it just right. Although it didn't do him any good in the end :( 

Game Over No GIF by CBC

It took my dense brain a moment until "DING" oh I get it Family Feud except at the moment I refuse to think of Elaine as family:angry:

However I would love to see Steve Harvey observe Luke and Elaine and then after one of his classic expressions make one of his comments

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Good old Dolores Umbridge has succeeded in turning Luke's dad against him, which he will regret one day.  I hope he comes to his senses and chooses his son over a woman he has known for about a month.

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