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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 - 7. Chapter 7 - That Woman!

Friday 8:07am - Luke


"Luke? Luke wake up!....... LUKE!!"

"Wha... what, what's happened?"

"It's gone eight, aren't you supposed to be up for work?" Dad said as I came around.

"What? Oh shit my alarm. My alarm didn't go off, fuck!"

"Well you better phone Derek and let him know you're going to be a bit late. Now come on, get up; you're eighteen. You shouldn't need me to get you out of bed."

"God, you're grumpy this morning," I said, swinging my legs over the side.

"No Luke I'm not, I'm just concerned when my son can't keep a schedule."

Dad walked out, and I heard him trot downstairs. I looked for my phone, which I'd thrown across the room a few hours ago, eventually finding it face down on the floor at the end of my bed.

The screen was broken, and it was off.

Ahhh, shit!

I left my room and went downstairs into the kitchen, where my Dad was reading the morning paper. "Can I borrow your phone, mine's broke?"

"Another phone broke? After breaking your last one at the gym, you just got this one. What do you do with your phones? I've had mine for seven years."

"Yeah, Dad, and I know why. Look can I borrow it so I can call Derek, please?"

"It's on the side by the microwave. And be honest with Derek; the truth is better."

"Yeah, yeah," I said as I padded out of the kitchen to sit on the stairs.

The phone rang twice, and Derek answered. "Oh, hi Len, how unexpected."

"Actually, it's Luke. Hi Derek."

"Luke, are you okay? Where's your phone?"

"It's broken... look, I'm really sorry, I'm going to be late. I kinda slept in. This is only because my phone is broken, and my alarm didn't go off."

There was silence for a moment. Then, "Luke, you're an extremely reliable person, so I will forgive this blip. Get yourself here as soon as possible, but don't drive like an idiot. I'd rather you here in one piece."

"Thanks, Derek, it won't happen again."

"I know it won't, Luke. See you soon." 

He hung up, and I walked back into the kitchen and gave Dad his phone.

"What did he say?" Dad asked, putting his paper down and looking at me.

"Oh, he's cool. I am an extremely reliable person."

"Keep that reputation, Luke. Did you take a sleeping pill in the end?"

"No, I must have been overtired because I fell asleep. Which took longer because all I could think about is how you deceived me. Where is she anyway?

Dad sighed. "Her name is Elaine, and she's gone home to check on her Son Josh, he's got covid, and he's not very well."

"What the hell are you inviting her here for then? We don't want that virus in the house!"

"She tests before she comes here, and don't use covid as an excuse. What's the real issue here?"

"She was in your bed last night. Mum's bed, and... and you didn't even tell me she was here. We spent ages talking out in the garden last night. Did it ever occur to you to mention she was in our house, upstairs in bed?"

"Do I have to tell you?"

I reeled my head back in surprise. "Oh, I see... oh, I really see what's going on. Okay fine. That's fine. You do what you want. I'm just a lodger now."

I started to walk out. "Luke, what's gotten into you? Are we in conspiracy territory now?"

"No, Dad, this is about you being honest with me. I think... I think it's awful that... hang on, what's that?" I asked, suddenly noticing something on Dad's neck. "Is that... oh my God, is that a love bite?"

Dad rubbed his neck and clearly went red, I could see the change in his cheeks. "We just got a little bit..."

"Really, please. I don't want to know. I need to go to work, Dad. But, by all means, move her in."

"We'll talk about that later, Luke. Have a good day."

Dad returned to reading the paper, but I was incensed by his last comment and had to say something. "Are you saying what I think you're saying?"

"We had the discussion, yes, but it's not something for now. There, I'm being honest with you."

I threw my hands up in the air. "Dad, you've known her a week!"

"Three weeks, actually. We were talking long before I told you. And look, I said we'd discussed it. I didn't say it was happening. She wants to clean here," Dad said out of the blue.

I squinted my eyes. "She wants to what?"

"She's a cleaner; that's what she does. So I thought it would be good to have her clean here, and I'll pay her."

"What's that got to do with her moving in?"

"Nothing; I was letting you know she will be here a bit more and sometimes when I'm not here. You okay with that?"

I waved my hand at him and shook my head. "This is too much for me now, and I have to go, Dad; thanks for ruining my morning. I have to go. I need to get to work."

Dad just blew air from his cheeks and ignored me. I marched out of the kitchen and upstairs to put some clothes on.

I was seething inside.

~

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~

At Saunders, it was the usual quiet, busy, quiet Friday I usually enjoyed, knowing the weekend was mere hours away. But today, I felt miserable. Tomorrow I was going somewhere I didn't want to go, and things were now rough with my Dad, which was really unusual. And because it was unusual, it made it feel ten times worse. I never liked to be on bad terms with anyone, especially my Dad.

Derek was on the computer fiddling with some spreadsheets, and I was next to him out the front, not having any remaining stock to put away. Fridays were usually like this. There was not a lot to do as it was all done earlier in the week, so my job was to serve while Derek did... well, nothing really.

"Derek, can I ask you something?"

"Err, yep, just let me put these final few figures in to the..aaaannnd, great! Yes Luke, go for it."

"So, If you met a woman online and you had known each other for three weeks, do you think the conversation of moving in together would be on the to-do list?"

Derek laughed. "Well, I've been married to Margaret for twenty-six years. So I don't think that would ever happen anyway."

My shoulders dropped, and I sighed. "No, but if it did. Like three weeks in. What would your conversations be about?"

Derek scratched his head. "Well, um, I guess we would be speaking about our past, kids, what happened to our previous partners. Then, perhaps discussing a weekend away together."

"Do you think you would be talking about moving in together?"

"Me personally, I don't think so. But if you click with someone fast, it can sometimes lead you to believe there would be a good outcome to such a decision."

"Diplomatic answer Derek; I like your style."

"We by any chance talking about your Dad here? He met someone, and your nose is out of joint?"

"I think it's reasonable to get upset when your Dad is sneaking a woman around behind your back and discussing things that impact me, yeah."

Derek turned on his stall, so he was facing me. "Look, Son, your Dad has been on his own for a while now, and since your Mum passed, he's probably really glad to be feeling a little bit of happiness. Everyone gets a little carried away when the feelings are new. Go easy on him. That's my advice. Let him have that teenage feeling I'm betting he's got right now. Yes, you'll have to put your feelings to one side for a while. But look at it this way; if it was the other way around, do you think he would be happy for you?"

"You think I'm overreacting?"

"No, but I think since your Mum passed, you have naturally gotten really close to your Dad, and you might see this new woman as a threat to your relationship with him."

"How do you know all this stuff?"

"Cos I'm old, as Lee keeps telling me."

"Oh yeah, my Dad is old too, and I always tell him. Well, thanks for the advice. Hey, do I still get a lunch break today cos I was late?"

Derek looked at me strangely. "What do you think this place is, a gulag?"

"Thanks, Derek."

~

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~

I pulled into my driveway, eyeing Dad's van had not moved. Being a self-employed electrician, work for him was as and when he wanted it. I'd hoped he would be out when I got in as I didn't want to face the other side of our discussion this morning. I was tired, a little grumpy, and now on edge.

Switching off the engine, I sat in my car for a moment until the heat forced me out. I really didn't want to go in there and even thought about bolting it to Taz's, but I knew he was at work so that plan was out.

I slammed the door and walked around the back as I couldn't even be bothered to put my key in the front door. Dad was sitting out in the garden under our parasol. A few beer bottles were placed specifically, showing that someone else had been sitting in another chair.

"Hi, Dad," I called sheepishly, walking over to him.

"In a better mood, Son," Dad asked, his tone non-confrontational.

"Sorry about this morning. I was a dick!"

"Forget it, Luke, I realise in some ways you are still a teenager, and little spurts of anger will spill from you now and again. Good day at work?"

"Quiet, then busy, then back to quiet again. Who's is the beer?"

"Elaine's. She's just having a shower. It's been scorching today, as you may have felt."

I wanted to bite at the fact the woman was now using our facilities, but I came home with the mindset of if I had to deal with this morning's discussion, I wanted to end the arguments. So I said nothing.

"No work today?" I asked instead.

"Thought I'd take the day off. I have a few small jobs that need doing, but I thought I'd have a long weekend. How was yours?"

"You asked that, is your memory okay. Are you ill?"

Dad grinned and ignored my comment. "You seem happier, although flagging a little bit. Why don't you go for a nap?"

"I might do... listen, Dad, about this morning. I realised a few things today. Well, actually, that's a lie. Let's say Derek made me realise a few things. Anyway. I was out of order this morning. I was probably just tired and tetchy. I didn't mean to give you a hard time about Elaine."

"Luke, I'm not going anywhere if that's what you're worried about?"

Just then I heard footsteps behind me.

"Ahh, there he is, home from a hard day's work," Came Elaine's retched voice. I tensed up, a little agitated too because I was in the middle of apologising to my father. I turned around and worked hard to force out a smile.

"Hi Elaine, nice shower?" I asked, trying ever so hard not to let my sarcasm through. I think I did okay.

"Oh yes. My, your water pressure is much better than ours. Josh is always complaining about it."

"I hear he has Covid?" I asked, trying to make conversation. I could see my Dad visibly relaxing in his seat.

"Yes, poor thing, this is the second time. He spends a lot of time at the gym, you see. I think that's where he picked it up from. Your Dad tells me you go to the same gym by all accounts?"

"Do we? Well, I only go on Saturday mornings to keep in shape."

"Well, when he's better, you two should meet, seeing as your dad and I are going to be seeing more of each other."

Another tense, angry feeling burst into my veins as she said that. Had anyone touched me right then, I'm sure they could have felt me vibrating.

I gritted my teeth. "What's he into?"

"Oh, erm, well, same as all lads your age. Computer games, the gym, Netflix. He doesn't go out much, though. Seems to spend a lot of time in his room. I do wonder what he does up there all day. I still have to pull his curtains open in the morning, or they'd remain closed all day." She rolled her eyes. "Six foot-four, my Josh, very good at tennis. I keep telling him to play more tennis instead of going to that bloody gym," She said, chuckling.

"Well, I um, I'm gonna get in, it's roasting out here, and my pits are soaked."

"Oh my," she said. "Boys!"

"Yeah, sorry, Elaine," my Dad laughed. " It's been us two men for a while. We forget that sometimes, hey Luke?

"Just us for a while, Dad," I repeated loudly before turning around and walking towards the back door.

Oh my days!

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

17 hours ago, pvtguy said:

Luke is going to naturally compare any woman his dad would like to his mum.  In that Elaine is apparently the total opposite of what his mother was (at least by his description of her) annoys him.  His anxiety and youth do play a part in his perception too.  His dad is really laid back and not easily fazed by Luke's outbursts.  This is exactly what Luke needs.  It might well take Luke a bit to see his dad as more than "dad". 

Good point raised there. This could be exactly the reason for his rebellion. Who knows, I dont :D

 

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Update on an Update. Just so you know, Chapters are being released daily at 6:50pm - 6:55pm GMT. I have put a message on the forums about the time being reduced to 12 hours which Myr kindly answered. I rather thought it would be a point blank no, but apparently they are looking at doing just that - reducing the publishing time down to 12hours a chapter, which would be great - More M&P :D :D :D 

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We can easily say Luke is, for the most part, a stereotypical teenager...and at his age, he needs a right sorting out. Not only is he having anxiety/psychological issues, which I believe stem from the inability to distinguish can't from won't, toss in a case of impetuousness and impulsive behavior and what could possibly go wrong/right??? 

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36 minutes ago, drsawzall said:

We can easily say Luke is, for the most part, a stereotypical teenager...and at his age, he needs a right sorting out. Not only is he having anxiety/psychological issues, which I believe stem from the inability to distinguish can't from won't, toss in a case of impetuousness and impulsive behavior and what could possibly go wrong/right??? 

I totally agree, and we don't know what kind of teen he was prior to being 18. Only from what Taz has said (Whoops did I say that?). But from his nature, I'm doubting there was much rebellion seeing as his Dad and him get on well and he still has a job with Derek.

Good points made Dr :) 

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An interesting chapter, especially Elaine.  At least this time she was a lot less rude.  Her description of her son sounded off somehow.  She didn't say much, but her list of his interests and behaviors says he spends a lot of time alone.  She doesn't mention that he does anything with friends. Is he trying to avoid his mother?

 

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