The Perks Of Loving You
by Camilo Mott
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I think everything seemed to stop and the sound of leaves rustling and water flowing came into focus. I took one more breath and slowly released it as I slowly opened my eyes.
“Come on, get up. We need to take you back to the cabin and get you out of these clothes,” I told him as I released him from my arms.
He nodded at me but his eyes kept peering into mine. They seemed lost, frightened and hopeless. He nodded again and began to move. I helped him stand up and then leaned him against me. I placed my hands around his back and supported him as we began to walk back to the cabin. When he began to shake and shiver some, I pulled him closer to me and tightened my embrace to at least provide him with body heat until we reached our cabin.
“Sa….say something!” he stuttered as we walked along.
“Don’t…” I whispered.
He abruptly stopped walking and broke away from my embrace. I quickly turned to face him and I saw a solemn expression.
“Say something!” he quivered as his eyes pleaded with me for an answer. But what answer can I give him…
“Luca, please, not here. I need to take you home; you’ll get sick,” I begged.
“I don’t care! Just, just just, fuck off!” he said, fighting to keep his voice from continuously cracking. He turned around and attempted to get away. I ran after him and wrapped my arms around him, preventing him from taking flight.
“Let go of me, Casey!” he cried.
“I’m not letting you go, Luca!”
“Let me loose!” he said, fighting me harder to break free, but it only made me hold him tighter. He continued to struggle until finally he rested on my chest and began to sob against my shoulder. He continued to cry on my shoulder as I hugged him and patted his back. After he stopped I loosened him within my embrace to lift his head once more.
“Feeling better?” I asked him.
“Can we go home now? We need to get you changed,” I gently whispered and he nodded, his eyes not letting go of mine.
I slid my arms around his torso and supported him as we resumed walking. He seemed calmer now, and was no longer shivering. Our walk back to the cabin was silent, even our breathing was subdued. When we arrived at the cabin I walked Luca to the bathroom, where I turned on the shower for him and adjusted it to a warm soothing flow.
“There, nice and warm,” I smiled.
Luca smiled faintly before he returned to staring at the floor. He just stood in that place, not bothering to shower or even move – simply staring at one spot on the floor with hushed breaths. I walked toward him and placed my hands on his shoulders.
“Lift your arms,” I told him as I began to remove his shirt. He complied but remained drooped. I continued to unclothe him and then I guided him to the shower.
“Luca, you need to shower,” I told him.
“Okay,” he muttered but just stood still.
I sighed and then stepped the two of us into the shower. I turned him around to face me so I could slide my arms around his torso, pull him close to me, and hug him tightly.
“Don’t,” I whispered.
“Casey…” he whispered back.
“You are still one of the people that I care most about and want to be in my life, so don’t.”
“It hurts to see you like this, Luca. When I stared into your eyes you looked defeated.”
“I am defeated…” he murmured.
I held him tighter and replied, “To me you’re not.”
He sighed and quietly asked, “Can you leave me alone?”
“Do you really want me to leave?”
“Are you sure?”
“Will you be okay?”
I stepped out of the shower, my clothes soaked. I closed the shower door and removed my wet clothing there in the bathroom. After I looked toward the shower and saw a silhouette of Luca showering, I left and walked toward the bedroom. When I reached it, I saw in the mirror that my body was covered in small nips and scrapes from the thorn bush. Sigh, there were red marks and cuts all over my chest and arms. I walked toward the kitchen to look for something to rub on my cuts so they wouldn’t become infected and found a first aid kit. Then I walked back to the bedroom where I put on a pair of underwear and stood in front of the mirror, beginning to treat my cuts.
“Casey!” Luca shouted, causing me to turn around. Looking worried he hurried towards me.
“What happened?” he asked as he stood in front of me.
“Oh nothing,” I smiled.
“But you are covered in bruises and cuts,” he said as he pointed toward the marks.
“They’re just minor cuts, they’ll heal in a day or two,” I reassured him with a smile.
“How did you get them?”
“Um…a thorn bush,” I said quietly as I bowed my head.
I lifted my head and met his gaze, “Running after you.”
He placed his arms around me and pulled me in. He hugged me tightly and then said, “Thanks, Case.”
“I couldn’t let my best friend drown, could I?” I teased him and he tightened his grip around me in response.
He released me and then said, “Let me help you with it.”
I gave him the first aid kit and the bottle of antiseptic. He began to treat my cuts and when once in a while I gasped at the burning sensation on a cut, he would ask if I was okay before resuming the treatment.
“I’m sorry, Casey. I acted… I acted really immature…. I just…” he said to my back, but I stopped him.
“No you didn’t…” I quietly added.
“No… I was the one who acted like an insensitive jerk,” I said as I turned to face him.
“No, Casey, I was freaking out about us no longer being friends and then the river and then that and then here…” he said and then sighed.
“Why would we no longer be friends?” I asked him. He averted his gaze and remained silent.
I stood up and then began, “No, Luca, that would never happen. Let’s see, it’s like…well…. look at it this way… There once were two puppies,” I said and began to pace back and forth. “They were the cutest puppies ever and they were both born in the same litter. Ever since they were young they played together and were really close. They would stay over at each other’s um… sleeping areas. They were friends until they started puppy training school and then something happened and the puppies began to not get along and to compete with each other. But one puppy still liked the other puppy even though the other puppy was kinda mean. Yet the puppies still liked each other. Later on, the puppies became close friends once more and one of the puppies was sooo happy to have his best friend back. Then one of the puppies shared something really important and personal with the other puppy and the other puppy kept quiet because he really wanted to think about it and he didn’t want to say something he would regret. But the puppy was too stupid, and messed everything up and made the other puppy cry. And so the puppy wants to apologize for being so stupid…”
I turned towards Luca and saw that he had a huge smile, “So I’m assuming we are the puppies?”
“Yeah…” I blushed.
“So does this puppy have a response yet?”
“No, this puppy needs more time to think.”
“Okay,” he smiled.
“Thanks,” I smiled back.
I walked back towards the bathroom when Luca called me. “I’m not done treating your wounds!” he said.
I walked over to him, sat down on his bed, and he continued to examine my back.
“Casey, I’m sorry I caused you to get hurt,” he apologized as he applied a soothing cream on my scratches.
“Puppies, Luca, puppies,” I replied.
“Oh, right. Puppies,” he softly chuckled.
A few minutes later he gently tapped my shoulder and told me, “All done.” I smiled and thanked him.
I stood up and walked toward the closet, grabbing a pair of shorts and a thin teeshirt.
“Luca, I’ll be right back,” I told him as I walked towards the front door and he nodded.
I grabbed my phone on the way out and began to walk toward the dock. It was a fine summer night, not too humid, not too hot.
I called my mom and waited for her to answer.
“Hello?” she answered.
“Hey Mom,” I replied.
“Oh hello Love.”
“Mom, can you pick me up tomorrow?”
“Something unexpected happened.”
“Yeah. So can you?”
“Yes Love, I’ll be there around noon.”
“Can I know about it?”
“Okay, I’ll be there for you tomorrow.”
I hung up and made my way to the end of the wooden dock where I sat down at the edge. I let my feet dangle from the edge, splashing around in the cool water.
I really need to get away from here….
I watched the water ripple and the reflection of the moon on the water distort. I guess what you think can so easily distort, just like that…
“May I?” Luca asked from behind me. I turned around to see him standing a few feet from me.
He sat next to me and submerged his legs in the relaxing water. The water seemed to ripple in two directions now, to the right and to the left of the dock. We remained silent, with only the sound of a summer night surrounding us. I hate this silence.
“So…” he said.
“So…” I added.
“No, not yet…”
“Really? I thought you would have just said no by now…” he wondered.
“It’s not as simple as that…”
“Can I ask you something?” I asked.
“When did…I mean how did…what made you…” I attempted as my feet stirred the water.
“When did I start loving you?”
“Ever since I met you…”
“Since back then?”
“Well yeah, I’ve always loved and cared for you, but it wasn’t until a year ago that I realized I was in love with you…”
“Yes, in love. In love with you…”
“So….do you think I’m cute?”
“Yeah…” he blushed, “very very cute.”
“Oh,” I blushed, and he began to softly chuckle.
“What?” I asked.
“See, this is so like you,” he laughed.
“What?” I blushed.
“Asking whether you’re cute or not.”
“Well…I just wanted to know, that’s all. Besides, sometimes I forget how damn sexy I am,” I grinned.
“Well, I never forget…”
“Oh…” I blushed.
He chuckled and then said, “Why are you blushing! You get people to tell you how cute you are all the time and some even do it on their own.”
“Ahh…. So…let’s head back to the cabin.”
We walked back to the cabin and went inside. “Hey, what do you want to eat?” I asked him as I walked toward the kitchen.
“Depends, are you gonna cook it?” he grinned.
“Ha ha ha, very funny, so what do you want to eat?”
“Whatever you can cook, Case,” he smiled.
I opened the fridge and scanned for anything decent that I could cook. Nope, nope, nope… nothing. Hmmm, what am I going to cook? Oh, how about hot dogs? Yeah, hot dogs… I mean, that’s good food, right… Yeah, hot dogs it is. I grabbed the hot dog wieners out of the fridge, grabbed the buns out of a nearby cabinet and began to broil them. After they were done I put the hot dogs together on a platter and added ketchup.
“So, what are you cooking?” Luca asked as he walked into the kitchen.
I turned, covering the plate full of hot dogs, and said, “I’m making a delicacy.”
“A delicacy? I can’t wait till it’s done,” he smiled.
I turned again, picked up the plate, and then turned back towards Luca. “Voilà! Des Hot Dogs!” I said.
He began to chuckle. “Hot dogs?”
“Non, monsieur. DES HOT DOGS!”
“Oh sorry, DES HOT DOGS!” he chuckled and grabbed one from the plate as he headed towards the small kitchen table and sat there. He began to eat as I watched him eagerly. “Hmm, it actually tastes okay,” he added.
“Of course they taste OKAY…they’re made by me, and I’m great, so my greatness rubbed off on them.”
“How could I forget?” he laughed.
I sat down and began to eat a hot dog. It was… it was good. I mean, he seems to like them, so…
“I’m leaving tomorrow. My mom’s picking me up tomorrow and if you want, she can take you home also.”
I sighed. “Yeah Luca. I need to think and clear my mind.”
“But can’t you do that here!”
“No… I can’t.”
We remained quiet until he spoke up, “Where are you going tomorrow?”
He was quiet, looking down a little while. Then he continued, “I mean, can you…?”
“I’m going to see Amy tomorrow.”
“Oh…her,” he mumbled.
“Yeah, we haven’t seen each other in a while and I really want to see her again. I’m spending a couple of days at her house.”
“Yeah, you remember her, right?”
“Yeah…I guess…good luck, and have fun…”
“…are you coming with us back home?”
“Are you sure, Luca?”
“I am sure,” he said in a curt tone.
I guess Amy was right, even Luca hates her. I don’t know why they do. Amy is a really nice girl and she is sincere and honest. Maybe they could get to know her better and maybe we could all become friends…sigh, that will be tough.
“So…” Luca said, interrupting the silence that had enfolded us.
“Um…where are you going to sleep tonight?”
“Oh yeah, sleeping together is not gonna work out,” I chuckled, but Luca remained quiet and he turned his gaze from me.
“Sorry, forgot about that…I mean, I like sleeping with you, but…it’s just…I don’t think it’s…” I tried to say. “I pass.”
He laughed softly and then smiled, “You pass?”
I blushed and then added, “Yeah…I…well…yeah, I pass.”
“Oh, how about I just sleep in one of the sleeping bags?”
“What sleeping bags?”
He chuckled, “The ones from our camping trip!”
“Oh crap, I forgot we had those! I could have just slept there…and not with…”
“Nope! I’m the one sleeping in the sleeping bag, you sleep in your bed!”
“Case, I’ll sleep in the sleeping bag.”
“I’m sleeping in a sleeping bag, and that is final, Lucas!”
“So am I, Casey.”
I sighed, “Lucas.”
“If we both sleep in sleeping bags then no one will be sleeping in the bed.”
“No, when you cave and decide not to sleep on the hard cold floor, then there will be an empty bed for you to lie in.
“Me giving up?”
“Yep,” he said as he stood up from the small kitchen table. “I’m just gonna go get my sleeping bag ready.”
“Oh can you also get mine?”
“Why do you need one if you already have a bed?” he teased.
“I need one because I’m letting my friend sleep in HIS bed since MINE is broken and thus I need to sleep on the floor, not take HIS,” I smirked.
“Well, this puppy thinks he should allow his puppy best friend to sleep in the nice comfy bed as a thanks for helping him today.”
I sighed and blushed, “Oh yeah, puppies.”
“No, I’m not sleeping in the bed!” I added.
“Then we are both sleeping on the floor,” he replied.
“So…can we make it a sleep over then? I mean, since we are both sleeping in sleeping bags why not have fun doing it?”
“Oh yeah, it could be like the old times.”
“But I get to pick the topic!”
“Okay, you choose.”
He grinned, “Just like old times.”
I helped Luca set up the sleeping bags and grabbed our pillows from the bedroom. We turned the light off and snuggled into the sleeping bags.
“So ladies first?” he teased as we lay in our sleeping bags next to each other.
“Right, so go ahead Luca, I’m all ears,” I smirked.
“Oh you’re so funny, go ahead Miss.”
“No, I would be delighted if you went first, Missus.”
I began to softly laugh, “You’re not gonna cave, are you?”
“Rock, paper, scissors?”
We sat up and began to play to see who would go second.
“I win, so you got to go first!” I roared.
“Fine,” he mumbled.
“Sorry, I didn’t catch that, what was it?” I grinned.
“Fine,” he said louder.
“Aww, sorry Miss, the correct answer is, ‘Yes Case, you beat me fairly because you are just so awesome.'”
He sighed and then repeated, “Yes Case, you beat me fairly because you are just so awesome.”
“Okay, now you can begin,” I giggled.
Luca began telling his favorite ghost story; there was something about it that made it nostalgic. I guess it must be because I’ve heard it so many times. It’s been a long while since the last time….
He began, “The man trekked through the knee deep snow, putting full effort into every step he took. The snow had really started to come down and the sun was almost gone behind the mountain which lay on the horizon. He saw his cabin come into view.”
“’Finally’ he thought as he was near exhaustion from the long hike through the woods. When he reached the cabin he thought, ‘Hmm, that’s weird’. The simple entry door was left wide open. He could have sworn he had shut it tight before he left that morning. He walked through the door, just happy that he was able to get to a warm, dry place. He took off his coat and called for his dog. But his dog didn’t come like it always did. He searched all through the cabin, but couldn’t find the dog. He wondered if he had run out while he had been gone, but that wasn’t like him. He never ran off.”
“After making one more sweep through the cabin with no luck, he decided to go look for the dog. It was almost completely dark out, but he didn’t care. He had had that dog since it was a puppy and he was not going to let it freeze to death. So he loaded his rifle, bundled back up and stepped back out into the night. He started walking north, where he and the dog often hunted, deep into the woods, calling the dog’s name.”
“He soon came across prints in the snow. They were barely visible after the heavy snowfall, but there nonetheless. What struck the man as odd about the prints was not that they were huge or belonged to something he couldn’t identify. It was the sight of human footprints as well. ‘There isn’t anyone else within a hundred miles of here’ he thought. Even though something gave the man a bad feeling, he decided to follow the prints anyway and see where they led.”
“The man labored through the snow for two hours following the tracks. Just as he was about to give up and turn around, his eye caught a flame of light off in the distance. He squinted at the light and soon realized it was another cabin! But that was impossible. He had been to this area many times and never seen a cabin before. He continued toward the cabin and finally reached it. ‘That’s strange’ he thought. ‘It’s built exactly like mine’. The man walked around to peer in through a window. He looked in and what he saw almost knocked
him off his feet. The inside of the cabin was identical in every detail to his own. Every piece of furniture, the layout, everything! But what he saw next was unbelievable. There was a man inside. Sitting in a chair, staring at the roaring fire. The man was him, he looked exactly like himself. He was himself! The man scrambled away from the window, shocked at what he had just seen. He fell into the snow and suddenly his whole world went black.”
“The man awoke, inside the cabin, hanging upside down from the low ceiling. He looked around and saw him standing just a few feet away. When him noticed that he had awoke, he slowly walked over with a large, blood-stained axe in both hands, just staring with no expression. The man tried to scream, but no sound came out. He tried again, and again no sound. Him lifted the axe above his shoulder and brought it down with one, clean blow to the neck. The man’s world went dark again.”
“The man awoke the next morning, terrified at the nightmare he had just suffered. He looked around and saw that he was home, in his own cabin, his dog at the foot of the bed. He realized that it had all just been a dream. A silly, stupid nightmare. He got out of bed and decided it was a beautiful day to go walk around in the woods. He bundled up, called for the dog and left the cabin heading north.”
“The two walked all day, enjoying the cool, clear weather. Just as they were about to turn back, the man noticed a cabin in the distance. And there was a light coming from it. He walked closer to get a better look, curious because he thought he was the only one in these woods. He got close enough and suddenly it hit him. It was the cabin from his dream……..”
“DUN DUN DUH!” he said after he was done and began to cackle his evil laugh: “Mwahaha”. I began to chuckle, “It didn’t work ten years ago, it’s not gonna work now.”
“Aww, come on. Aren’t you the least bit scared of my evil laugh? Mwahaha!!!”
“Nope, not even a bit,” I laughed.
“Okay then, your turn!” he said enthusiastically after he was done. I smiled and replied, “Okay.”
I began, “Up in the Hills of Western Connecticut, in the heavily forested thickets where there is nothing to see but rolling hills mottled with trees, lives a ghost – not just any ghost: the White Lady. On eerie nights, when there is but the light of the moon illuminating the desolate roads, the ghost appears. A pale white bride no more than twenty years of age hovers above the plains, floating in and out of pastures as though looking for a lost possession.”
“She’s a mean-spirited soul who resents being abandoned by her groom. She detests men for they remind her of the betrayal she suffered. The people who live around this place know to avoid her and her realm of haunting: Litchfield Road, a deserted road that crosses through lonely hills.”
“One day, a group of guys on the prowl for adventure and excitement decided to test this legend. That brisk October night, they travelled up the back roads of Western Connecticut until they reached Litchfield Road. They drove over it from end to end to preview it, so that when the sun set they could make the trek on foot.”
“While driving the road, they found nothing out of the ordinary. ‘Total bullshit’ one guy commented, ‘just some old tale somebody made up’. The others agreed with hmms and nods, yet as soon as they did the windshield fogged and a message was sketched with scratchy lettering.”
“‘LEAVE OR YOUR COCKS WILL PAY,’ it said.”
“They were spooked, but resisted and pushed on – ‘Yeah right, that lady better watch out for cocks!’ they joked. They waited till the moon was shining and exited the car walking in groups and following Litchfield Road. Then halfway through their trek light fog began to accumulate around them, crouching ever so closely. Suddenly, a glowing silhouette appeared and soon afterwards a pale bride hovered in front of them.”
“‘I warned you,’ she cackled and added, ‘You will pay.’ Soon after, a skeletal deer materialized itself in front of them. It growled and stomped, glaring with fiery red eyes. ‘See this deer,’ she pronounced, ‘it was killed by a group of men much like yourselves. Poor Bambi ran and panted as they chased after it, shooting at it until it finally died.'”
“The guys looked at each other, petrified by the beast in front of them. ‘Sic, ’em Bambi!’ she commanded and the deer began its chase. The guys scattered along the road, helplessly running, searching for trees to hide them, but to no avail. One after one, the deer stamped on them, ripped off their jeans and with its usually gentle teeth mauled their cocks until there was nothing left. Paralyzed with pain, they groveled on the ground.”
“The following day, some nearby townspeople found them: Five dead guys, with no cocks. To this day, men fear Litchfield Road, or as it’s better known – Cockless Road.”
Luca looked at me and then broke out laughing, “Cockless Road” he chuckled.
We continued to tell stories – not necessarily ghost stories, just stories – until we both fell asleep.
I woke up around 6 am in the morning, despite staying up all night talking to Luca. I sat up, looked around and everything seemed still, as if it too was awakening from sleep. I turned towards my side and saw a sleeping Luca, held within a sleeping bag. There is something about slumber that makes his expression blissful and content. His eyelids are not shut together; rather, the upper lid rests as gently as a feather on the bottom lid. His lips are slightly parted, curling upwards to make a tender smile.
I continued to gaze at him, hearing his soft breaths. I leaned towards him and lowered my head until I was a short distance from his lips. I felt his warm breath against my face as I continued to gaze into his blissful expression. I laid my lips on his. I felt his warm breath graze my lips as he slowly exhaled. I lifted my lips from his. His lips feel….they feel…
I moved away until I was in my own sleeping bag, where I looked back toward Luca, but he was still asleep. I took a deep breath and stood up, walked to the bathroom and turned the shower on. I undressed and entered the shower, feeling the water flow down. His lips…they felt…sigh, they felt…they felt so right. I exited the shower and started drying myself with a towel. I continued to dry my chest and navel area and then looked into the mirror. Luca thinks I’m cute…
After I was done dressing, I packed a week’s worth of clothes into two duffles, went into the kitchen and grabbed a box of cereal. I poured it into a bowl and added milk. I chewed slowly, trying to enjoy the chocolatey goodness of my CocoPuff.
“So whatcha eating?” Luca asked as he walked into the kitchen.
“Cold cereal,” I said.
“Aww, want me to make a hot breakfast? I’m in the mood for pancakes!” he said in a wistful tone.
“You seem cheery,” I said as I sipped the chocolatey milk from my bowl.
“Yes, I am! I had a really good night’s sleep and I woke up energized.”
“I’m glad,” I smiled.
“So you want me to make you breakfast?” he asked.
“That would be nice, Luca, but the fridge is empty and there is nothing to eat except for cereal,” I replied and pointed toward the fridge.
“I’ll go buy some!”
“That’ll take time, and… and my mom will be here any time
“It won’t, Casey, I’ll do it quickly!”
“Come on, Case.”
I sighed, “Okay.”
“I’ll be right back,” he smiled and ran toward our room. A few minutes later he dashed into the kitchen, now changed into shorts and a tee, and exited out the door. Sigh, and I was planning on leaving right when my mom got here…
I decided to clean up a bit while I waited for Luca to come back from the store. I cleared the floor and stowed away the sleeping bags. I went into our room and saw the two beds – mine still broken on the floor. I walked toward my bed and lifted the mattress and leaned it against a wall. I cleared the wood out of the cabin until there were no signs of my bed in the room.
“I’m back!” I heard Luca shout from the kitchen.
I walked into the kitchen and greeted him.
“I’m making you pancakes and bacon and hashbrowns and sausage and…”
“Okay, okay, I get it, you’re making a big breakfast,” I chuckled.
“Umhmm,” he smiled.
I then heard a car pull into the driveway and immediately my phone began to ring – my mom.
“Hello,” I answered.
“Good morning Love, care to open the door for your mother?”
“Yes Mom,” I giggled.
I hung up and opened the door. She gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek as soon as I did. I hugged her back.
“So what’s the big emergency?” she asked.
“Let me guess, the same it’s always been, only you don’t want to tell me,” she smirked.
“Yeah….I’ll tell you later when I figure it out, Mom.”
“It’s okay Love, you take as much time as you need to for you to connect the dots and figure it out.”
“Connect what dots?” I asked.
“So where is Lucas?” she asked.
“He’s in the kitchen making me breakfast.”
“He’s what?” she grinned.
“I mean, he’s making us breakfast, not just for me, for us and I’m part of the us and so is he, so he’s making himself breakfast but I’m also getting some, so it’s for both of us breakfast…”
She giggled and I sighed in response, “He’s in the kitchen, Mom.”
“That’s all I needed to know, Casey,” she smirked.
We walked into the kitchen and Luca turned around as he heard us come in.
“Hi Helen,” he smiled.
“Don’t be shy Luca, come here and give me a hug,” she smiled brightly.
Luca set down the spatula he was holding, walked toward my mother and gave her a hug.
She hugged him back and said, “See, that’s a proper greeting.”
They released each other from the hug, and Luca went back to cooking and my mother sat down in a chair opposite me.
“Oh, would you like some coffee, Helen?” Luca asked.
“That would be great, Lucas,” she smiled, and Luca poured her a cup of coffee, going back to the stove to flip pancakes. My mom took out a magazine from her purse and opened it. Hehe, just like her to bring at least one along.
My gaze locked on Luca’s back and his actions. I watched as he slightly adjusted his hand as he flipped, how he wiped his forehead with the nook of his elbow, how he would often place his hands on his waist and examine what needed to be flipped or scrambled.
“Take a picture, it’ll last longer,” my mom quipped as she sipped her coffee.
I immediately diverted my gaze toward my lap and began to blush a rosy hue, which caused my mom to giggle.
Luca turned and asked, “What?”
“Oh nothing, dear, just Casey being Casey,” she said in between giggles.
“Oh,” he said and turned his back toward us while I continued to focus in my lap.
After a few minutes, Luca was done and brought all he had cooked to the table. He served us orange juice and told us to begin. We ate quietly until my mom interrupted the silence.
“Would you two stop being nervous already, you’re even making me nervous. Lucas there’s no need to be formal, I’ve seen you butt naked, running up the stairs chasing Casey.”
I giggled as I watched Luca blush intensely. “And Casey, he wasn’t the only one in his birthday suit. Need I go on?”
“No Mom! We get it!” I said.
We continued eating, quietly, until we were finished with breakfast. My mom and I thanked Luca for making it. Sigh, like always, the food was so so good.
“Are we ready to go?” she asked.
“Yep,” I answered and afterward my mom directed her question toward Luca, “Are you ready to go?”
“I’m not going, I’m staying here,” he smiled.
“You’re sure, Lucas?” she asked.
“Yeah, I kinda wanna stay here by myself and think.”
“Are your parents okay with that?”
“Yeah, I called them yesterday and they were okay with it.”
“Okay dear, you can call me if you change your mind, I’ll turn around and pick you up.”
Luca laughed, “That won’t happen. I’m looking forward to being here by myself, and if I need anything, I can just ask Coach.”
“Okay, but make sure you ask him if you need anything, even if it’s not an emergency. I’m sure John will gladly help you.”
“I will, Helen,” he smiled.
“I’m just gonna take my stuff to the car,” I interrupted as I pointed to my luggage. I walked to the car and opened the trunk. I laid my bags in it and then closed the trunk lid. I made my way back to the cabin and saw my mom giving Luca a hug.
“Take care, dear,” she said as she walked out of the cabin.
“Casey, I’ll be in the car, take your time,” she said as she walked past me.
I reached the door, where Luca was waving good-bye.
“Umm, good bye…” I said.
“Until later,” he replied.
“So I’ll see you in a week?”
“Yeah, I’ll see you in a week, so…”
“Bye,” I said as I walked back toward the car.
“Bye ,” he said as he waved me good-bye.
I got in the car and my mom asked me if I was ready to go. I told her yes and we drove off. During the drive home I kept looking out the window. This was worse than the drive up to the cabin. In some way, I didn’t want to leave, but I had to. I still have to.
We stopped at a rest area and my mom parked. “I just need to make a phone call, Love,” she said and began to dial.
“Hi John, this is Helen,” she said.
“I’m doing fine and you?”
“Yes, I picked up Casey today.”
“No, he’s staying at the cabin, which is why I am calling you.”
“Yeah, I just wanted you to keep an eye on him and help him if he needs anything.”
“Bye,” she said and hung up.
“There, now we can resume our drive home,” she smiled and started the car.
We arrived home a few hours later and as I was about to get out my mother asked, “Love, are you okay? You were quiet during the whole drive.”
“I’m okay,” I smiled. “I’m just tired and sleepy.”
“If you say so. Remember I’m always here to listen, Casey, so if you have anything at all, I mean anything, that you have to get off of your chest, just tell me and I’ll be happy to listen.”
“Thanks Mom, but I’m okay,” I smiled.
We both got out of the car and she gave me a quick hug. “So, do you want something to eat?” she asked as we entered the house.
“Nope, I’m just gonna call Amy and then I’ll go to sleep,” I told her.
“Okay Love, sleep tight and I’ll be downstairs if you need anything.”
“Night Mom,” I said and walked toward my room.
Wow, it’s been a while since I was last here; the room still looks the same, but yet a bit different. I lay in my bed and looked at the ceiling. It does feel good to be home, in my comfy bed. I lay there for a couple of minutes more, just resting until I decided to get up and call Amy.
“Ello,” she answered.
“Hi Amy, it’s Casey.”
“Casey, what’s up buddy!”
I chuckled, “Not much.”
“So, you ready?!?!”
“Ready for what?” I asked, confused.
“To come spend a week with me, of course!”
“I am!” I laughed, “That’s what I was calling you for…I’ll be ready earlier than I expected…”
“Ummm… Like now, early.”
“So you’re ready right now?” she asked curiously.
“Yeah, I got home a few minutes ago and I’m just gonna…”
“So you have nothing planned?” she interrupted.
“So three hours from right now you would be home doing nothing at all?”
“Yeah, that’s what nothing means,” I chuckled.
“It’s a date then!!! Pick you up in three hours!”
“See you in a few Casey, bye!”
She laughed and then hung up. Sigh, what did I do? I just wanted to tell her I was home, not to pick me up right now, besides, I’m sleepy. I lay back again on my bed, staring at the ceiling. I closed my eyes and yawned; maybe if I just take a nap, just a small nap…
“WAKE UP!!!” someone screamed in my ear as I felt someone on top of me, shaking me. I opened my eyes and saw the face of a girl shouting and shaking me.
“Shit!” I shouted as I rapidly sat up and began to move away from her. “Fuck!” I shouted even louder as I hit my head against the wall, which caused her to laugh uncontrollably.
“Who the fuck are you!” I shouted as I rubbed the back of my head, yet she continued laughing.
“Casey!” my mother yelled from the hallway through my opened door.
“Is that any way to treat a friend, especially one who drove so far to come see you!”
I looked at the girl sitting in front of me and with amazement asked, “Amy?!?!?”
She laughed and said, “Duh! Who else would it be!”
“But, but, but…what happened?”
“Casey!” my mom yelled again.
“It’s okay Mrs. Lock, boys are slow and stupid,” she said.
“And dense, you forgot that one,” my mom added.
“Yep, dense as bricks,” Amy chuckled.
“I’ll be downstairs, call me if he misbehaves,” my mom giggled and then left.
“So can we go now?”
“But your hair, it it…then…but it used to, it’s BLACK!” I stuttered.
“Yes, it’s black, now let’s go! Where are your bags?”
“Did you even pack anything?!?!?”
“No… I kinda fell asleep,” I blushed.
“Then get your ass out of bed and start packing, we have a party to go to!”
“What?” I asked dumbfounded.
“Would you stop asking questions and pack!”
I quickly got out of bed and ran toward my closet. Clothes, clothes, clothes. “No, no, no,” I muttered as I looked through a very empty closet. Where the fuck are my clothes?
“Mom, what happened to my clothes?” I shouted.
“I don’t know, what did you do with them after you unpacked?” she responded from the kitchen.
“Oh, right…I never unpacked,” I murmured loud enough for Amy to hear. She began to laugh once more.
“I guess I am ready to go,” I blushed.
“Let’s go then!” she said and began to rush me out of the room.
“Let me say bye to my mom and then we’ll leave,” I said as we went into the kitchen.
“I’ll see you in a week, Mom!” I told her as a I hugged her.
“But you just got here…” she said.
“I know, but…”
“It’s okay Love, you go have fun.”
“Bye mom!” I said as I exited. I got outside and saw a large pickup truck parked on the driveway.
“No…” I muttered as I pointed at the truck.
“Yep, now get in there!” she said and then spanked me. I jolted in surprise, which caused her to laugh.
“What, you don’t like to be touched down there?” she teased.
“NO! I like it!!! I mean, it’s not that, it’s just…..”
She chuckled, “Just get in the truck!” I did as she said and walked over to the truck to open the door.
“Casey!” I heard someone shout as I was getting in. I turned around and saw Linda running towards me.
“Hello,” I greeted her.
“Where’s Lucas?” she immediately asked.
“We’ll obviously he’s not here. Where is he?”
She grunted, “Didn’t he come down with you?”
“No, I came by myself.”
“I thought you two followed each other like puppies,” she grumbled.
“We don’t. I need to go now.”
“Bye and have fun with your girlfriend,” she grinned.
I ignored her and climbed into Amy’s truck. “Let’s go,” I said. She started the truck and we drove off.
“Awww, did the girly girl leave you in a pissy mood?” she teased.
“I hate that bitch!” I shouted.
“I take that as a ‘yes’,” she laughed.
“It’s just… Why the fuck does Luca put up with her as a friend, much less a girlfriend!”
“Someone’s a little jealous,” she teased.
“I’m not jealous! She’s just a, a, a… I hate her! Let’s just leave it at that.”
She laughed and then asked, “Okay, so how you been, Casey?”
“Meh, I’ve been good.”
“Okay, let me rephrase that; what has happened to you since I moved away?” she asked slowly.
“Oh, umm… Let’s see…” I began. I told her about how fun school had been, about swimming, about my mom and me, and about Luca. I told her about the rowing and all the things we had done together ever since we became friends again.
“So there, that’s what’s been happening in my life,” I smiled.
“You done? You sure you don’t want to add a little bit more of your honeymoon in Maine with your husband?”
“Argh, he’s not my husband; it’s not like that!”
“Every other sentence you said had Lucas in it” she laughed.
“That’s ’cause he’s my best friend and he’s important,” I mumbled.
“So you like him, like him?”
“No! I mean, yes! I like him, but no, not that way! But yeah…”
“Hmmm, so…..you are still confused whether or not you wanna sex up Lucas?”
“But isn’t he your…”
“I didn’t say anything!”
“So you’re not confused?”
“No! I’m perfectly comfortable with my sexuality, okay. Let’s just end it!”
“Feisty!” she said as she pinched my cheek.
I sigh, “You really haven’t changed, have you?”
“Nope, now start picking out what you’re gonna wear to the party!”
“It’s not really a party, more of a get-together. Maybe it’ll change the pissy mood girly girl left you in,” she grinned.
“I’ll go, I’ll go, but just because it’ll be fun.”
“Oh it’ll be fun.”
After about ten minutes of driving, we pulled into a driveway. “Let’s go, we only have a few minutes to get ready,” she told me as I exited the truck.
I grabbed my bag as she grabbed my other hand and hurried me to the house. We entered the door and she shouted as we made our way to her room, “Mom, I’m home and so is Casey, but he doesn’t have time to say hi because we have to get to Wes’s house right away!”
“Okay,” a woman responded from somewhere in the house.
“Don’t you think I should say hi to your mom first?” I asked as I was being rushed up to her room.
“Nope, she will keep you for hours, asking you questions about every single thing that you’ve done ever since the last time she saw you,” she said as we entered her room, closing the door behind us.
“Okay,” I said as I gazed around at her room, which was of course also black. There were books, CDs and clothes scattered everywhere and there was a faint smell of incense in the room.
“Hey, stop daydreaming and start changing!” she ordered me.
I did as she said and grabbed the best pair of jeans I had and a shirt. “There,” I said when I was done.
She turned around to face me, examined me and then said, “Come here.”
She grabbed a handful of gel and began to style my hair, then straightened my shirt and said “Much better” as she slapped my butt.
“Now, wait while I get pretty,” she said and began to undress in front of me. My eyes scanned her body but locked on the butterfly tattooed on her upper left shoulder.
She noticed me and then said, “Oh, you perving on me, Casey? Am I making you horny?”
“No!!! I was just looking at your…”
“My breast,” she interrupted and brought her hands to her chest and began to caress them.
“Okay, I’m just going to wait outside,” I said as I dashed for the door, causing her to laugh.
I walked down the stairs into the living room. “Mrs. Allen?” I called out.
“Here, Casey; in the kitchen,” she responded.
I walked into the kitchen and she greeted me with a smile. I returned a weak one and said, “Long time no see.”
“Why Casey, you’ve grown up so much,” she said as she stood from her seat and walked toward me.
“Well, it’s been a while.”
“You’ve turned into a dashingly handsome young man.”
“Yeah, I get that a lot,” I blushed.
“And you’re still as confident as always,” she chuckled and I smiled.
Then, just as Amy had predicted, she began questioning me. She asked questions about my mom and even questions about my teachers. Finally, Amy came down and dragged me out of the house, telling her mom that we were going to be late getting in that night.
“Wow, your mom does ask a lot of questions,” I said.
“Told ya. Now hurry and get in the truck,” she instructed.
“I see you’re still as pushy as always,” I teased.
“Some people need a little push, others – you – need to be dragged.”
“Oh, you think you’re so clever, don’t you.”
“I am,” she smiled.
“We’ll see,” I grinned.
“Oh we will see,” she smirked.
A few minutes later we arrived to a house with a few cars parked around it, not as many as for most of the parties I usually went to, and there wasn’t as much noise of people and music coming from inside. We exited the truck and headed to the door.
“Oh Casey, by the way, I’m a lesbian,” she said nonchalantly as she knocked on the door.
“You’re a…” I stuttered but was interrupted by the door opening and a guy shouting, “Amy!”
“Wes!” she responded and they hugged.
“So, who’s the guy?” he asked.
“Um, let me introduce him,” she said and walked into the house.
“Guys!” she shouted to get everyone’s attention and it worked.
“This is my friend Casey! He just came out, so treat him nicely!”
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