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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 - 31. Chapter 31 - Trying To Look Forward




I spontaneously burst into laughter while Leander lay there watching me probably wondering if I had lost the plot.

Oh...haha... oh, oh, that's a great one, Bear!" I said, trying to get control of myself. I didn't know whether my laugh was in genuine humour, shock, horror or all of the above.

"It's true," Leander growled at me. The first time I'd ever seen him genuinely annoyed.

"No, it can't be," I said, certainty in my tone, now becoming serious.

Leander nodded. "Clyde, over six feet, Duke, over six feet, Seb, Sam... Jesus, even Beth is taller than me. Ever wondered why I'm five-seven? Ever wondered why Josh is over six feet?"

"No... no, it can't be, that would be too... no, I mean, seriously?"

"I said it didn't I?" Leander ran his hands down his face. "I've wanted to tell you. I'm sorry. But things were going so well, and then my attack happened, and then... well."

"But... but your Mum, at the fair, she's your Mum. I heard you; you called her Mum, she called you Son, you and her, you were..."

"That's the secret, Luke. Mary? My 'Mum' found me at the entrance to the fair eighteen years ago. In all intents and purposes, I was randomly left there by a random desperate mother. The reality was much different."

"I'm not following," I said, giving Leander a sideways look.

Leander sighed. "My Dad, right? Scott? He was having an affair with Elaine, and..."

"So Taz was right," I mumbled.

"Huh?" Leander exclaimed, his eyes wide.

"Taz, he found out about Elaine and your Dad."

"And you never thought to tell me you knew about that?"

"Hey, we had more pressing matters we were discussing, like your back for one. Besides, it's a bit hypocritical to start spewing the 'why didn't you tell me earlier lines', yeah?" Leander swallowed hard, knowing I was right and said nothing. "Anyway, carry on; this just gets better."

"Well, you know it all, it seems. Dunno why you acted so surprised."

"I didn't know she was your fucking mother," I quipped, still in disbelief.

"Okay, so you know about the affair then?"

"Yes, but that's it. Look, let's not argue. If there are two people not to blame for this, it's you and me."

Leander nodded. "So, erm, my Dad got Elaine pregnant, and she was devastated. She threatened to return to Southampton, to tell Mary before going, and was never going to return. If the whole story is true, she told Scott she was going to get an abortion, but I'm not sure I believe that part. My Dad went to see her and threatened her, told her he'd give her £25k to shut up, but in getting that money, she was to give up the baby, so there was never a connection between her and me when I was born."


"If Mary had found out about the baby, she would have stabbed my Dad in his sleep... and, yeah, she would have. Plus Jerry? My Grandad, was alive then, and he would have broken my Dad's kneecaps if he'd found out about it. I think that was one of the very few times in my Dad's life he was scared of something."

"How do you know all this?"


"Pffft, and you trust her?"

"Two years ago, she brought up my birth certificate she'd had certified shortly before giving me up. It's got all my details on it. So there is no lie there."

"So let me get this straight. Your Dad, who's been having an affair with Elaine, gets her pregnant, forcing her to give you over. An elaborate plan is hatched to have you left at the gates of the fair for your new Mum, Mary, to find. She brings you up as her own, so nobody is none the wiser your Dad had banged Elaine and got her up the duff, is that right?"

"You have a classy way with words sometimes, Luke. But yes, pretty much... well, Dad told Mary... sorry, Mum, about the affair in the end, but never about the baby."

"And Mary? She still don't know, even now, that you are Elaine's Son?"


"And the drugs?"

"Money and infatuation mostly. It was as simple as that. While the affair was in full swing, Dad started getting her to take small amounts of Cocaine with her back to Southampton to be collected by some gang. It was put on a boat, hidden in compartments and then sold in France. The amounts then got bigger and bigger. But along with it, her cut. This kept her coming back for more. Finally, when I was fifteen, she came to the fair and told me she was my Mum. Obviously, I didn't believe her; how could I? But then, as I say, the following year, she brought my birth certificate with her. and threw it in my face. She said the fallout would have me out on the streets if I told anyone. As a young kid, hearing you could be homeless, disowned, and God knows what else by your family for telling a secret is pretty scary."

"And after that, when you got older? Have you EVER thought about telling your Mum, even when you were sixteen, seventeen or eighteen?"

"Yes, but the fear of my Dad got in the way of that. He and Elaine had taken so many measures to keep this all a secret. If I'd ever said anything to my Mum, he would have had me beaten to a pulp. So I just kept it a secret. It was just easier, Luke. All of it was easier, just not saying anything. Look, I know it's complicated."

I shook my head. "No... no, it's fine. I mean, yeah, it's complicated, sure, but now you've explained it, it kinda makes sense. Sort of."

"She does bank accounts now, too," Leander said, making me look up at him.

"Sorry, who?" I asked, now pacing the small room and stopping at the window.

"Elaine. That's why she's dating your Dad. She has plans. I should have been upfront with you sooner, but the fewer people know about all this, I thought the less complicated."

"What will she do?"

"She'll ask to open a joint account after they are a couple for a while. Then she'll get your Dad to sign the forms. Only, one of those forms will be a Third Party Mandate. It will look like a normal account application form, but what it will do is give her access to your Dad's sole account. She'll then transfer whatever is in there to the joint account, withdraw it all in cash, and she'll be gone. And the scary thing is?"

"Shit, what?" I asked, gripping my forehead.

"She's done nothing wrong in the bank's eyes. The transfer is legit, the joint account is half hers legally, and she has a right to withdraw cash from it."

"And... and she tells you all this?"

"She takes delight in it, Luke; it's her little game. And I have to sit there and listen to it. I have to agree to see her, buy her coffee, and spend time with her. Because if I don't, the old threats and blackmail spill from her toxic mouth, that says she'll tell Mary and my family the truth about me. But, now my Dad is dead, and I am dead to my family anyway; she's got no hold over me any longer."

"This has worn me out, Bear."

"Funny, really. Even though I'm stuck in this bed with a broken back, paralysed from the waist down, I've never felt so free. That really only just occurred to me after telling you my secret."

"You've really suffered, haven't you?" I said, stroking his hair.

"That's why I have always tried to keep myself to myself. It's safer that way. Elaine once said I was the conduit that every lie went through, and if I failed, the whole lot failed, and I would be disposed of. So I learned to be quiet, out the way and polite."

"Qualities I fell in love with, though."

"Yeah," he said, forming a rare smile of late. 

"So I think I need to have a conversation with my Dad, right?" I asked, already thinking about the hurt my father would feel when he knew of Elaine's plans and future deception.

"Luke, if you want, you can bring him here, and I'll do it?"

"Why would you do that?"

"I'll explain it accurately. If you do it, no matter how much he knows you're doing it for his benefit and safety? There will always be a bit of him that resents you for ruining what was."

"Pffft, hmm, you're probably right. With my history with her already, that actually makes a lot of sense."

Leander nodded. "Bring him here; it'll be fine."

"Hey, can I ask you something?"


"How would you feel if I were to come live with you when you got out of here?"

Leander grinned. "So we wouldn't live together? You'd live with me, is that it?"

"Well, it would have to be your house, but... aww, shit, that came out so wrong, didn't it?"

"I knew what you meant. But, erm, well, I hadn't given it much thought, but are we ready for that?"

"Probably not. But, erm, I was thinking... well, you're gonna need help, and I want to be there for you, and..."

I stopped, seeing Leander's expression change to almost disbelief.

"You want to be my carer, is that it?"

"No, nothing like that. Ahh, shit, I don't know how to explain it to you. But look, I really want to be with you, broken back or not, wheelchair or not. I don't care. I want to be with YOU. And... and if that means we have a different kind of relationship to most people, well, I don't give a fuck. I want us to be together."

"You mean it, don't you?"

"YES," I shouted, exasperated. "Ain't that obvious?"

"Even with all my shit?"

"Even with all your shit, Bear."

"But why? What is stopping you from walking away? It would be easier?"

I looked at him, confused. What sort of question was that? I thought. "Would you prefer it if I did? I never quite know what you want or how you feel."

"I grew up hiding my feelings, Luke. It's not intentional. I... I think a lot of you, hell, might even love you if I could understand my feelings. But this is a huge commitment; you get that, right?. And as young as I am, I do get it if it was too much for you... I do understand that."

"Let me decide what I am committed to, please."

"And my family? You do know there could be aftershocks."

I shrugged. "I've seen their worst; I don't fear them."

"And erm... and our first time? You do know there might not be... well, I don't know what works down there. You in for that too?"

"Oh, oh God, yeah, no worries there, absolutely fine," I replied without a thought. Leander looked at me suspiciously. 


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I said to Leander to get some sleep. Telling me all this had left him tired. I could see his pain had gotten worse too. I saw him grimace ever more frequently as the time went on. 

I'd called my Dad outside the hospital and tried to be as calm and nondescript as possible about what I needed to tell him . But, unfortunately, that seemed to leave him very confused until, in the end, I just told him to come to the hospital after he finished work, but not to go home first.

The important thing was not to let Elaine know her plans were fucked. Seeing her face in my mind left me wanting to slowly twist a blade through her neck, laughing all the time I did it.

"Fucking Elaine," I said, kicking the side of my car. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and messaged Taz.

[15:12] Me: Are you finished at McTwats yet?

After waiting three minutes for Taz to respond, I jumped in my car and went to get some fuel, knowing I was on empty as I liked to live dangerously with my fuel gauge.

I hauled it out of the hospital grounds and drove north to the BP station I frequently used. It was always a couple of pence cheaper than Texaco nearest my house. 

I flew onto the forecourt and stopped beside a pump. Making a note of the number I was using, I began to fill my tank. I usually chucked about 20 quid in but decided it was best to fill it up due to all the driving around I was doing. When it exceeded fifty pounds, I began to baulk at the display but carried on regardless. Finally, it stopped just shy of fifty-eight pounds.

"Fucking thieving, robbing bastard government," I mumbled as I placed the nozzle back in its holder. Then, walking over to the small shop, I went in, grabbed a pack of chewing gum and paid on my card. 

As I walked out, my phone dinged. I already had it in my hand, so I looked at the screen, chucking the pack of gum inside my open car window.

[15:24] Taz: Finish at half 3, you okay?

I got in my car and moved to a waiting space before replying.

[15:25] Me: What a day I've had. Elaine is going to fleece my Dad. She's worse than we could have imagined.
[15:26] Taz: WHAT?? Where r u?
[15:26] Me: Sitting in a petrol station. Been with Leander, talking. He's told me loads of shit. We should get together, I need to talk to you.
[15:27] Taz: Yeah, wanna come to mine?
[15:27] Me: Sounds good. Taz, I'm so all over the place.
[15:28] Taz: Just get to mine. No one is in. You know where the key is. Grab a drink, I'll see you soon.

I chucked my phone on the passenger seat and reversed out of my space. I was hoping talking to Taz would keep me from going into a foreseeable panic attack. Leander and me? 

That was becoming rather complicated.

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

1 hour ago, drsawzall said:

Who's watching Bear while in the hospital...all alone

Where is Duke?

We are going to need a scorecard shortly to understand all of the goings on...

I'm reminded of an old comedy routine....


Hahaha, great! Love it :D 

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7 hours ago, Etotsira said:

Thank you. I’m fucking infuriated right now at work stuff (like getting home at 5am every night), and this helped. 

I've been there with Game of Thrones! :D 

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I wondered over the Josh comment as well.  If the point was that all of his fake mom's bio kids were tall except him, why add Josh into that.  If all of Scott's bio kids are tall, wouldn't Leander be tall too?  Inquiring minds want to know.

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On 7/25/2022 at 12:46 PM, Summerabbacat said:

"Clyde, over six feet, Duke, over six feet, Seb, Sam... Jesus, even Beth is taller than me. Ever wondered why I'm five-seven? Ever wondered why Josh is over six feet?

Hey Cincy,

I think, but I don't know definitively, that Bear was referring to the fact he has a different mother due to the difference in height of all of his siblings. Mary seems to have produced tall children... or was it Scott? Where as Elaine, not so clear cut. However, I wanted to make it a little more of a head fuck because Josh is tall and belongs to Elaine (or does he?) lol. But I think the general consensus is that Mary has the tall ones and Bear was not, indicating that something was afoot with the biological pattern. One could point to looks, but it's often hard to look at a man and say he looks like his mother. The thing wish Josh is - Bear is not fully aware (no one is) that Josh belongs to Elaine. Remember that Bear did not meet Elaine until he was 14. Scott has never been proven as the father either. Bear has made the announcement, but also the assumption that Josh is the spawn from his real mother. Interestingly, Bear also says in a later chapter that josh is her "Assistant" implying his purpose and existence could have come later on in Elaine's life and she is indeed nothing to do with him - Just someone she can manipulate to help her in her dodgy endeavours. I've left it up to the reader in these bits to implode with different scenarios. I tend to do that (For Everything You Were) LMFAO!! I'm sorry... not sorry.


That's what I think anyway, I don't know what's in Bear's thought patterns really :P 

Edited by James Matthews
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On 7/25/2022 at 12:46 PM, Summerabbacat said:

The payment amount may be coincidental,

It was - I can close any suspicion on that down for you now. That's just me with £25k on the brain. Perhaps It's the amount coming my way!

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