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    Wombat Bill
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The Covids - 36. She Told me You Were Different

After finishing the call with his father, Kevin called Steve.

“Hi mate, what’s up?” said Steve.

“It’s my Gran, she’s in hospital and they think it might be Corona Virus but we won’t know for sure till the test comes back, maybe not till tomorrow.”

“Shit! That sounds serious, I hope it’s not Corona, it can be deadly for old people.”

“Thanks Steve, just what I needed to be reminded of.”

“Hey man, didn’t mean anything awful, but you know what they say about this virus.”

“Yes, I know, I’m just a bit sensitive, that’s all.”

“Sure, I get it. Is there anything I can do? Do you need someone with you? I could come over right now.”

“Thanks, but I’ll be OK, Chris should be home soon and Dad not far behind her. You probably don’t want to get mixed up in our family stuff. It can get intense.”

“Yep, I know, but just the same if you need someone, at any time, I’m yours.”

“Steve, I...um...”

“What mate?”

“It’s just that...Oh doesn’t matter now. I have to get on with making dinner for us.”

“OK, keep me updated about your Gran. She’s a nice old lady and I know you wouldn’t want to lose her. I remember meeting her at your sixteenth birthday party and she told me she really loved you, even though you were different from the rest of the family. Do you think she knew you were gay?”

“Maybe, but I don’t think she meant that.”

“Well, how else are you different?”

“She knew from even before I was born that I was not a Covid, I think that’s what she meant.”

“Fuck, she knew but your Dad didn’t. How does that work?”

“I’ll explain some other time; don’t want to think about it now.”

“Fair enough, look after yourself mate. I care about you and I’ll be thinking of you and hoping your Gran gets well soon.”

“You sometimes surprise me Steve.”

“Why what have I done?”

“How caring you can be, or maybe it’s just the way I see things lately. Ah...gotta go now Steve.” A confused Kevin terminated the call without giving Steve a chance to say goodbye, then wiped the moistness from his eyes.

“Bugger, I didn’t mean to say that.”

 

While Kevin was getting himself some juice from the fridge, he also looked for some dinner ideas, then drifted off to thinking about Steve. Finally the fridge decided that was enough thinking time and started to beep, signalling its impatience with Kevin holding the door open for so long. Steve apologised to the fridge, closed the door, then leaned against it and went back to his thoughts. ‘Why did I say that to Steve, mates don’t say that sort of stuff. Did I really say he was caring? Maybe he didn’t hear me, probably not. Why is it getting to me that my mate cares about my feelings and my Gran and such. Maybe Steve sees me more than a mate. Do I see him that way? I hate this, always confused, never knowing why I feel something, not even knowing what I feel sometimes. Why do I even care what Steve thinks, but I do care. Yes, I do care and I care because I want him to like me. But he’s always liked me, that‘s why we have been friends for so long, because we like each other. So why do I feel different now?’

Before Kevin could answer his own question Christine called him from the hallway. “Where are you Kevin?”

“In the kitchen Sis, looking for something to cook for dinner.”

“Why are you crying Kev, is there more bad news about Gran, what have you heard?”

“I’m not and no.”

“You mean there’s no news about Gran?”

“Yes, er I mean no. Haven’t heard anything since Dad called about half an hour ago.”

“That’s good.” she confirmed and said no more as Kevin rubbed his eyes. She assumed he was upset by his Gran’s sudden illness.

 

The following morning all the family were at home for breakfast but conversation around the table was muted until Daniel’s phone rang. All eyes turned to him and when he said it was a blocked number calling they all waited in anticipation.

“Hello.”

“Mr. Daniel Covid?”

“Yes, who’s calling?”

“Frances, I am the Nursing Unit Manager from Prince of Wales Hospital. Is your mother Beryl Covid.”

“Yes, how is she?”

“Mr. Covid, I’m ringing to advise you that your mother’s test has come back positive for Corona Virus.”

“So what happens now?”

“The test results just confirmed the doctor’s original diagnosis. Her oxygen level was low when she was admitted, so she is having an oxygen supplement. The doctor has just prescribed Remdesivir to treat her viral pneumonia and she is having vitamin supplements. We are keeping her comfortable and monitoring her respiration. If her condition deteriorates her doctor will call you to discuss further treatment options.”

“Is it likely to deteriorate?”

“I can’t say Mr Covid, but we will continue to be keep you advised. Do you have any more questions?”

“When can we visit her?”

“No you can’t visit, I understand that was explained to you yesterday and there is no change in hospital policy at this time.”

“OK, if I come in, can I get any more information from her doctor?”

“At this stage there is nothing more anyone can tell you. I suggest you remain away from the hospital as there will be no visiting allowed and we are limiting the amount of visitors to the hospital precinct. We will advise you if there is any change in Mrs. Covid’s condition.”

“Thank you for your help Frances, please call me at anytime 24/7.”

“Of course.”

“Thanks again.”

“You’re welcome Mr. Covid, please take care of yourself and your family. Goodbye.”

 

Daniel explained the situation to the family and as they all started to ask more questions he replied “I’ve told you all I know. They don’t give away much but I suppose they have to be careful what they say.”

“You’re right Dan they don’t want to be pessimistic but at the same time don’t want to give relatives false hope until they see some improvement.”

“It’s just so difficult to gauge her condition when we can’t see her ourselves. It’s very hard to just sit and wait and not be able to do anything. Not even hold her hand and assure her we love her.”

“Dad, Gran knows we all love her.” added Christine.

“Normally that’s so Chris, but since we had our disagreement I’m not sure if she feels that, and I don’t know how she feels about me. Damn this is hard not knowing and feeling so helpless.”

Later in the day Daniel had a call from the contact tracing section of the Health Department. They took the names and contact details of all Beryl’s known contacts in the past week. The operator also advised Daniel that he and the family should monitor for symptoms and go for testing if any symptoms appeared.

Daniel called Kevin’s school to advise the counsellor of the family situation.

“Thank you for calling Mr. Covid. I assume Kevin is already aware of his Grandmother’s condition.”

“Yes, we had a family meeting at breakfast but I’d like you to pass on the advice of monitoring for symptoms, to Kevin.”

“May I ask, has he been in contact with his Grandmother recently?”

“No, he’s not had any direct contact in over a month.”

“Very well then Mr. Covid, I’ll speak to him right away, check his temperature and if he shows any symptoms I will call you immediately to come and collect him.”

“Thanks, I appreciate your help.”

“And we yours, can’t be too careful in a situation like this.”

 

In the school yard at mid-morning break, Kevin was approached by Efron.

“Hi Kevin, how was your weekend?”

“Oh fine...” he lied, not wanting to share with Efron. “...and yours?”

“Not too bad, did some physio exercises for my knee, it seems to be improving each day. Other than that not much else except...”

“Except what Efron?”

“Um..er..I was thinking about you all weekend.”

“In what way were you thinking about me?”

“I think you know Kevin. Did you have similar thoughts?”

“It’s not likely that we had similar thoughts about each other Efron.”

“Are you still mad about what I did on Friday?”

“Of course I’m still FUCKING MAD with you.” A teacher on playground duty turned and looked at Kevin.

“Sorry Mr. Campbell, it just slipped out.” The teacher just nodded and walked away.

“Be careful” said Efron “We don’t want to attract any unwanted attention.”

“Well then, speaking of unwanted attention, your actions on Friday certainly fall under that heading.”

“I know, but I’ve explained that. It was just my clumsy way of finding out if you are like me.”

“I think we’ve settled that, but it doesn’t mean I want you in that way. I know how difficult it can be to have the secret and now that you’ve told me, I will be your friend, keep your secret and support you, if you want, but that’s all. Do you understand Efron?”

“Yes, I understand but I’m still disappointed.”

“Look, it’s like this. I think I’m already involved with someone, my Gran has Corona Virus and exams start in a few days. That’s as complicated as I can cope with at present.”

“I’m sorry about your Gran, I hope she recovers soon. Is it serious?”

“This disease is always serious for old people. My Gran has pneumonia and that’s not good but we are looking forward to her being well soon.”

“That’s a great positive attitude; good no ya.”

“Thanks Efron, now are we cool with this other thing?”

“Yes, I won’t pressure you and I am pleased that your want to be my friend. That helps a lot. Can you tell me, who’s your boyfriend, is it anyone I know, someone here at school?”

“No, I’m not saying anything about him or who he is. I’m not even sure myself.”

“You’re not sure who he is, that’s weird?”

“Of course I know who he is. I mean I’m not sure if it’s a ‘thing’ yet.”

“Oh, I see, but if it doesn’t work out I’m available.”

“Thank you for your offer Efron, I’ll let you know if your services are required.”

“That reminds me, I want to make up for my behaviour and what I did to you on Friday.”

“I’m listening.”

“I could offer you a blowjob by way of reparation.”

“How come you’re in A class, that’s supposed to be for advanced studies?”

“Why do you ask?”

“Because you’re a slow learner, Efron.”

 

At lunch break Kevin updated Steve about his Grandmother and added “I need to talk to you about something, but not here, there are too many flapping ears.”

“Sure, how about we walk home together, instead of taking the bus?”

“I’d like that.”

 

Throughout the afternoon lessons, Kevin was not concentrating fully as he was conflicted about how to tell Steve about Efron, or if he should tell him. His inattention went unnoticed by his teachers and he was eventually distracted from his thoughts by the final bell.

“One more thing boys before you go. Use the next two free-study days wisely and good luck with your English exam on Thursday.”

“Thank you Sir,” they chorused as they scrambled towards the door.

 

The two boys set off from school, their backpacks laden with text books for two days of cramming. “I saw you and Efron talking at break time today. I didn’t think you two were friends, I’ve never seen you together before.”

“Ah just chatting in passing, he was telling me about his busted knee.”

“Yeah he was really pissed off about something after the game on Friday. I think he really wanted to play in the final ever game for our year.”

“That’s probably it. Do you know much about him?”

“We’re in a few subjects together and I sometimes play against him in Rugby. He’s a good wing player, plays fair and pretty fast, but other than that not much. Why the sudden interest?”

“Well, as you saw, we were speaking and I wondered why he approached me.”

“Did you ask him?”

“Not as such, are you sure you don’t know anymore about him?”

“Kev, you’re acting weird, what’s going on. Is there something between you two?”

“Well, sort of.”

“Sort of what?”

“Did you know he was gay?”

“No, why, has your gaydar been scanning around him?”

“I didn’t need gaydar, he told me.”

“When, today?”

“No, on Friday, during the game.”

“How come you two were hanging out during the game?”

“We weren’t hanging out, as you put it. He came into the sports store because he couldn’t play and we just got chatting.”

“Why would Efron, one of his team’s best players be talking to you instead of watching the game?”

“Because he wanted to find out if I was gay and tell me he is gay. It’s not complicated.”

“Well, I didn’t know, but somehow it’s not surprising. I couldn’t put my finger on it but he did seem a bit different to the rest of the guys. I just thought he was the quiet type, as they say. So why did he come out to you?”

“Because he thought I was gay. I guess I don’t hide it as well as you do.”

“Oh well, another member joins the rainbow family. By the way, how come you didn’t tell me this on the weekend?”

“I didn’t know how to tell you.”

“Like you just did now.”

“Yeah, of course, but there’s more.”

“Are you going to tell me?”

“He wanted to suck my dick.”

“And did you let him.”

“No! Of course not.”

“Good call.”

“But...oh fuck it...I’m in the shit now...I might as well tell all.” Steve looked questioningly at Kevin. “...I sucked him off.”

“Why did you do that?”

“He forced me to...I mean it was a test...it was like a dare from his mates...um no it was...I didn’t want it to happen, it just did.”

“What are you talking about, all this test and dare stuff, I don’t understand.”

“If I tell you exactly what happened, will you let me get it out without interruption? It’s going to be hard to tell you, so I just want to blurt it out, get it over and done, then face the consequences. Can you do that for me?”

“Sure, if that’s what you want, but do you really want to do this while we’re walking. The park’s around the next corner, let’s sit down for a while.”

Kevin told Steve the whole story, honestly and without any omissions. At the end, he sat silently for a while, waiting for Steve’s admonishment, but Steve said nothing. Eventually Kevin said. “Well, what have you got to say? What are you going to do? You hate me don’t you, I just know it. Go on lash out, tell me how foolish I am, how I’m not worth a piece of shit. Go on.”

“It doesn’t look like I need to beat up on you. You’re doing a pretty good job on yourself.”

“Is that it?”

“Oh, there’s one more thing.”

“I knew it, lay it on me.”

“Exactly what I intend to do.” said Steve, as he kissed Kevin.

Copyright © 2020 Wombat Bill; All Rights Reserved.
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Ah that’s a sweet ending to a somewhat somber chapter. I hope Beryl recovers quickly before Daniel gets grabbed by security for breaking protocol and we won’t even talk about the worst case scenario as that’s just putting out bad energy into the universe.

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A nice sweet ending to a turbulent chapter. I can see Daniel getting arrested by security at the hospital when he trys to visit Beryl.

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