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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 - 21. Chapter 21 - Homeless


Wednesday 5:39pm - Luke


With a bag slung over my shoulder, I shut the door to my beat up car and stormed into Taz's backyard. Knocking on the back door, I waited for someone to let me in. I saw a shimmering image approaching me, and then the door opened.

"Oh hey, Honey, my, you look stressed."

"Hi Sharon," I said, greeting Taz's Mum. "I need a favour."

"Sure, what is it?"

"I'm homeless for three days. Dad and I, we uh... well, let's just say he kicked me out. But, but it's only temporary." I added quickly.

Sharon narrowed her eyes at me and invited me in. "So, what did you do?" She asked, gesturing me to one of the dining room chairs.

My mouth opened wide. "What makes you think I did anything?"

"Because if I know Len as well as I do, there is no way he would have started this. I can't believe you pushed him enough to get yourself thrown out. Your Dad is the calmest guy I know."

My shoulders dropped. "It's that Witch he's with. She's got it in for me. And I think she is trying to drive a wedge between my Dad and me."

"The new Step Mother giving you grief, eh? Well, Luke? You won't be the first young person to not get on with a parent's new partner, and I'm sure you won't be the last. I hated my Step Mum. But I'm not saying you should deliberately antagonise."

"She's just so... so, comfortable in my house. It's like she has been living there for ages. And she doesn't even live there at all. And then on top of that, Dad hires her to clean our place. That annoyed me too because I don't want her going through all my stuff."

"Have you told your Dad about this? Maybe so he can tell her not to go into your room? Based on what young men your age's bedrooms are like... and contain, I'd say that was reasonable." Sharon let out a chuckle. "Would you like a cold drink?"

"Yeah, sure, thanks. So where is Taz?"

"Hmm, well, he's having the talk."

I raised a brow. "The talk?"

"With his Dad. I gather Taz has told you?"

I scratched my head. "Oh, well, I didn't think it was a thing that needed bringing up. I'm sure it was just a passing thing, you know? I thought it was just a drunken moment. I was going to talk to him about it today."

"Sorry? What do you mean?" Sharon asked, a confused look etched across her face.

"Taz, you know? Isn't that what he's talking to his Dad about?"

Sharon slid her head back. "His Dad is telling him about why we're divorcing and the fact he's.... hang on, what are you talking about?"

I put my head down. "Shit!" I whispered to myself. I looked up again. "I'm so sorry, that was totally mad, wasn't it. I don't know what I was saying there; you had me all confused."

"Luke?!" Sharon whined, sitting down quickly and leaning into me. "I want the gossip!"

I laughed involuntarily. "Oh... haha, oh, well it was a silly thing, really."

"What was?"

"Well, you know, we got drunk, was messing around and chatting and..."


"Okay, so Taz kissed me... twice. But I swear it probably meant nothing. I don't think it's anything to worry about, I mean..."

"Worried? I'm not worried. I'm glad he's experimenting. You gotta try things at least once, I guess. God, I did all sorts of things when I was his age. Tried a bit of lesbianism, swinging. It was just that time in the world where people were doing, and being. I'm not worried about Taz at all. He'll figure it out. We all do in the end. It just takes longer for some. And, even when you do think you have it figured out, it can all change. Look at Taz's Dad."

"So your not angry... I mean, well that I pretty much outed your experimental Son. You know he's going to kill me. I have screwed up so much today. Even Leander's Mum thinks I've turned her Son gay... Oooh," I hitched a breath. "Maybe that's what I do. Maybe I am spreading my scent or something and turning these people."

Sharon got up and grinned. "Oh, don't be stupid."

"I'm serious," I whined. "It's like I just ruin people. Leander, Taz, Josh..."

"Who's Josh?"

"Oh him! He's a dweeby lanky ginger fellow. Elaine's Son. The woman Dad is dating."

"You don't like him either? What's he done?"

"He gives me the creeps. He's got this smile he does, which is like that clown out of 'IT'. He looks like one of those people that is up to something all the time—scheming, plotting... things like that. So I pulled a stunt to get him out of the closet. I wanted to upset his Mum. It was a horrible thing to do, actually. I would have been mortified if someone had outed me to my parents and taken away my choice and time."

"Okay, so the kid gives you the creeps? Probably no need to punish him. He's not your adversary, is he?"

"No, and I do plan to apologise. I just don't want to give that bitch the satisfaction of seeing me do it."

"Well, going back to your question about staying? Of course, you can. You know you're always welcome. Just keep the place tidy, and encourage that boneheaded Son of mine to do the same!

"Yes, Miss!" I grinned.




I was upstairs in Taz's bedroom when I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. The door flung open, and Taz strolled in with a big smile.

"Mum said you were here... I thought you were coming around tonight?"

"I'm homeless," I replied, rolling my eyes.


"Yeah, I had a little plan to execute after we finished messaging, and it kinda backfired. Also, I think I kinda got my suspect wrong in Josh."

"Confused dot com. Sorry?"

"I accused Josh of being my stalker but also tried to bait him into having sex with me."

Taz grabbed his hair and exposed his teeth to me. "You don't do sex, remember, and aren't you with Leander? And, what the... I mean why would you do that?"

"Taz!! I wasn't going to do anything, stupid. I was just trying to force him out of the closet to his mother. Look, it was cruel, and I am beating myself up over it, honestly. Fuck, my life is a mess!"

"Hey, firstly, calm down. You are not homeless. You can stay here as long as you need."

"Yeah, your Mum said, thanks."

"And second? You can fix this quickly. Just apologise, and it's done. I mean shit, I don't know... say you were having a breakdown or something. Plead momentary insanity. It will be fine."

"Meanwhile, that bitch has caught my Dad in her web aaaaand, is still there."

Taz sighed. "I hate to say it mate, but I think she's there for a while. I don't know how you resolve it, but you have to. This is not doing your relationship with your Dad any good, is it?"

"Speaking of fatherly relationships, how did it go?"

Taz fell on his bed, kicking his sneakers off. "It was good, yeah. It was an honest conversation. He says he's not seeing anyone but wants to. There's a guy he works with, and they have become close. Dad says they haven't done anything. I don't know if I believe him, but what choice do I have? He says he would never do that to Mum." 

"Well, that part, I believe. Your Dad has always been someone with morals, as far as I can tell. So maybe you should give him the benefit of the doubt."

"Well, Mum has, so it's probably right I do."

"Exactly...Sooooo, starry-eyed love child, let's move on to last night?"

Taz covered his mouth and face with his hands and let out a howl. "Awwww, do we have to? Can't we forget it ever happened and live our lives as they were?"

I lay down next to him and let my head fall in his direction. "I'm curious, that's all. I mean, what was that?"

"It was nothing, honest. I'm sorry I put you in that position. It was a drunken moment."

"Wanna kiss me now?"

"What?!! No, I don't. Why are you asking?"

I shrugged. "Just wondering. Just to see what you'd say."

"It won't happen again, Luke. I am comfortable with my sexuality. I was just..."

"Yes?" I grinned.

"I was just lonely and needed you in another way, that's all."

"You used me?" I asked, feigning surprise. "Really, Taz, I'm a piece of meat to you?"

"Of course not. I just wanted a little affection from something... someone. It was the heat of the moment, and yeah, I was lonely. It's the only way I can explain it to you. I'm sorry if you felt used."

I laughed. "I'm just messin' with ya. I really didn't think that. But I must say?"


"That slow and sensual way you kiss is actually quite endearing."

Taz's cheeks turned bright red, and he landed a pillow square in my face. "Let's never speak of it again."



[19:10] Leander: Hey, sorry I haven't been in touch, it's been an emotional and long day.
[19:10] Me: Cool beans. How are things? Are you okay?
[19:11] Leander: Mostly settled down now. The fair is open.
[19:11] Me: Really??? I thought your Mum said she wanted it to stay closed????
[19:13] Leander: Clyde!
[19:13] Me: Oh I see. He's the boss now then. I think I see how the hierarchy works now. So what you up to?"
[19:14] Leander: Just on a break at the moment. We all had a meeting together to discuss my Dad's funeral. Mum seems so lost it scares me. She's saying stuff that doesn't make sense. Clyde says it's shock and she grieves. I hope he's right x
[19:17] Me: And Sam, Seb and Beth?
[19:17] Leander: You have work tomorrow, right?
[19:18] Me: Yep, afraid so.
[19:18] Leander: I finish at 10. I'm not pressuring you am I if I ask to meet you?
[19:19] Me: I can do 10, it's okay.
[19:20] Leander: I would invite you here but Clyde has put a ban on guests in the grounds for a few days. We've had the media down today and he doesn't want any gossip going around. Don't worry. It's not that he thinks you're a reporter or anything. It's just for a few days!!!
[19:22] Me: haha, I am not jumping to conclusions for once in my life. You don't have to mother my feelings and explain. See you at 10. Meet outside your truck? xx
[19:23] Leander: Sure thing. Right got to run. See ya later.

I dropped my phone and sighed out of the satisfaction of hearing from Leander. I craved him sometimes like someone would a cigarette I am imagining. It's a lovely and horrible feeling all at once. I just want to be with him. But I am also conscious that I would have to give up other parts of my life, such as Taz and Lee, my family? No way. I won't be like other people and abandon them like disposable wipes.

"Leander?" Taz asked as he got to safety in a game he was playing. I'd been on my phone looking at Tiktock before Bear's message came through. We were peaceful and content doing our own thing. That was the great thing about being with Taz. It never felt awkward when there was no talking going on. 

"What? Sorry... I was deep in thought."

"I asked if that was Leander?"

"Oh, right, yeah, it was."

"He okay?"

"Oh, you know, many changes are happening with his family. I have sensibly been mature and not gotten involved. Even though I want to help."

"Tough luck about his Dad dying, though?"

"Yeah, but I am starting to find out he was a bit of a bastard."

"To Leander?"

"To all of them. Well, not Bear's Mother or Sister by all accounts, but all the boys in the family. Leander's got Cousins who work at the fair too. My god, some of them are smokin' but I'm not sure of the relationship he had with them. But yeah, some of them I saw walking around... wow, just wow!"

"Hey, you are taken... well, sort of."

"I can appreciate a good-looking man, without wanting to jump ship, Taz."

"So erm... I've been meaning to ask? Since you blocked the guy stalking you, have you had anything? Like any trouble or anything?"

"Just that drink brought for me a while back. Maybe he's got bored or something? Anyway, you know I would tell you."

"I hope so. I know that was freaking you out. I still think you should have gone to the Police, but, I know, I know, you decided not to bla bla bla!"

"Well, as I say, let's hope he's got bored. Oh, by the way, I'm meeting Leander at ten tonight. Yeah, I know, another late one. But, listen, if you, erm... well, if you want me to sleep on the couch, then I am absolutely cool with that?"

"Don't be silly! Besides, I've actually got used to sharing my bed."

I leaned over and kissed Taz on the forehead and smiled at him. He looked up at me like some Golden Retriever and blushed a little. "Hey, can I ask your advice?"

Taz placed his controller down on the bed and turned over to face me, jacking himself up on an elbow. "Shoot."

"So this is gonna sound weird, right, but you know I share a bed with you sometimes?"

"Yeah, I am sort of there as well?"

"Don't be fickle. What I wanna say is... when does it become, like, sort of, not right?"

"I don't understand," Taz said, looking at me, forehead creased.

"I mean, well, I'm with Leander now, yeah? Well, technically, it's not been a spoken thing, but let's say we're officially dating. Do you think sharing a bed with another guy is wrong?"

Taz looked offended all of a sudden. "That what I am, just another guy? The shame of it."

"You know what I mean; come on! Like, for instance, if you had a girlfriend, but your best friend happened to be a girl, do you think she'd be happy if you were sharing a bed with a female friend?"

Taz looked up at his ceiling and inhaled deeply. "So I guess it would depend on what was going on and if the friendship boundaries were being kept to."

"Well, let's not go THERE, shall we?" I said, bursting out laughing. Taz did NOT look impressed. 

"And IT ALSO DEPENDS," he shouted. "And it also depends on whether the person was attracted to the same or opposite sex. That would make a difference. So for me, sharing a bed with another guy would probably make no odds to the girl I was dating."

"So, If I tell Leander we share a bed sometimes, you think he'll be okay?"

"What are you asking me for? You're the one who's seeing him."

"Helpful!" I said, giving Taz an attitudinal look.


So I haven't written in my journal lately, and I thought I should say a few words about the Leander situation. It's been a tough couple of days, obviously, with Scott, his Dad passing away from a heart attack, and Bear coming out to his family on the same day. I think doing that was brave, but I can't help thinking how much his father's death must have played second fiddle to revealing his relationship with me. I get that he firmly believed this time was the best time, but seriously? I just can't think of a worse time to make significant announcements. Perhaps it's the Sheperd family system coming into play, which I must admit is pretty... hmm, well, unconventional.

I gotta say I am seriously starting to fall for this guy. Just when I think it can't go any deeper, I surprise myself with how much I think of him. I sometimes hurt with the yearning I have, and I know I got it bad because we have seen each other practically every day since we met. I'm not sure how he feels about me, though. There are singular points of time when we're together that I think I have him all worked out, and then he'll say something that makes me rip up my script on him. But maybe I'm just thinking too deeply as usual. The poor guy has had to navigate a medieval family system, his own feelings, which I know will have been eating away at him and then, of course, his Dad dropping dead. It can't have been easy, and I must keep pulling on my leash to hold myself back. I must say my arm aches!




Ten o'clock crept round like time was in half speed. Taz and I had exhausted our conversation for the night, and I was left on my phone just passing the minutes in the end. But here I was, in the cool summer night air waiting by Leander's truck, ready for him to whisk me off again. I was hoping he would open up a bit more tonight as I wanted to know a few things more about him. It felt like he knew so much about me, like deeply! But my understanding of him was just surface stuff... the fluffy stuff. 

"Awww, here he is," I said as Leander came into my view. I'd been leaning against the back of his big truck daydreaming, watching as people moved around the fair, just over the perimeter fence. "Hey you, good night?"

"Is that a serious question?"

"So, I mean, as good as it could have been under the circumstances?"

"Ready?" he asked, ignoring my question. 

"Yeah," I said, feeling my comment had bruised him a little. He got in his truck without saying anything further, and I pulled on my side and got in too. "You okay?" I asked. Usually, there would be lots of talking at this point because we were pleased to see each other, but something was different. He was quiet. Too quiet.

"Let's get to the old house," was all the answer I got.

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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Posted (edited)

Much left unfinished in this chapter. I agree with @pvtguy about the serious  conversation Luke and his father need  to have.

Without much effort, Hurricane Elaine has moved in wreaking destruction and havoc and leaving bitter feelings in her wake.

While I understand Luke has issues, serious ones at that, Elaine is a psychopath.

It is clear she wants to run not only her house but Len and Luke's as well. She clearly doesn't respect or understand boundaries. From the first she was determined to let Luke know there was a new sheriff in  town, that there were new rules to live by without any sort of discussion.

More to the point, Luke is 18, pays rent to live in the family home...it is Elaine to fit into that family dynamic, not impose another one! I am afraid that now Len is getting his end wet, most likely for the first time in quite a while, he's not thinking with the head on his shoulders!

How I see Elaine...swap her name out for Florence

21 Hurricane Florence Memes That May Be Too Soon - Funny Gallery ...



Edited by drsawzall
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You all make compelling points about the situation and I agree with much of what was written so far. Pvtguy I would say seems to have his smell on the right track. I won't say anymore of course, but from what I've already written, I can see why you would think the the way you are.


The Witch must be tamed! How? We don't know yet. I don't know yet, but she is the monster that has been created! hahaha

It's going to get rocky for a few chapters I think. Will it end in disaster or happily ever after. Who can say. 

I am loving this right now. Escaping with these characters after a long day at work brings me so much peace. Glad to have you all my readers along for the ride.

James :) 

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