On the way home that afternoon, Kyle, Wingnut and I were laughing about how I'd thrown the lighty into the pool by picking him up by his Speedos, and giving him a major wedgy. I was using a falsetto voice to demonstrate the condition of his crushed balls.
Meantime, Wingnut hadn't given up hope of convincing me that Kyle had been lying. "I wish he'd stop lying while I've still got my balls… even if they are little… actually, they're not that little! Hey, Mark, who did you beat up on before I got to high school?"
"Kyle… who else?"
"No… I'm talking about lighties."
"Nobody… I was saving my strength for you."
"You ever give Kyle a wedgy?"
I didn't answer, but Wingnut and I smiled at each other, which motivated Kyle to spring to his own defense.
"No, he hasn't given me a wedgy… and he won't… and you won't either… or I'll kill you both!"
"Hmmm, we're both too strong for you," the grommet grinned. "Mark can hold you while I pull your Speedos up over your ears."
It was a pretty good vibe all the way home, even though we were taking the mickey outa each other. When the subject got around to our new English teacher, who was the spitting image of Rowan Atkinson, and whom we'd dubbed Mr Bean, Wingnut took the opportunity to mimick the dude, and had his voice and mannerisms down pat. We were all laughing so damn much, our stomach muscles were cramping.
That night, at the pizza restaurant, Wingnut was absent. Kyle explained that he'd had a chat with his little buddy, and that it was cool. The grommet had understood that there were times when the bigger guys needed to talk about older teen stuff.
Steve was there, obviously tired and strung out. Even so, the guy could still look like a million bucks. It provided me with an opportunity to have a private word to Kyle about Steve. I knew that Kyle thought the sun shone outa his surfer buddy's ring, so I needed to bring Kyle down from the fucking clouds.
"Steve's girl spoke to me 'cause she thought I was his best friend. She's worried about Steve getting totally aggro, and almost permanently stoned. She told me that he hit her one night, as well."
"That's not the Steve I know."
"That's not the Steve you think you know, Kyle. The guy's on a trip he can't control. Just look at him. Check out his face. He's gonna be a hundred before he's twenty. He's pushing his luck too far, dude."
"I've never known him to get so aggro that he'd hit somebody… well, except for me. And I remember one time he said that any guy who hits a girl needs to be given a fucking good hiding. I'll try to speak with him alone when I get a chance. Maybe I can help."
Next morning, I was in the gym, punching the crap outa the bag, and letting off steam, when I heard Kyle's voice.
"Hey, Kyle," I mumbled without looking at him.
"What's up? You're fucking soaked in sweat."
I hit the bag a few more times before I answered. "Nothing."
He walked around to the other side of the bag where he would've noticed my swollen and bruised left cheek. "Nothing?"
"Don't. I'm not in the mood for a fucking inquisition," I snapped as I continued to hammer the bag.
"Did you watch the cricket last night?"
"You're stressing. Besides, somebody's used you for a punching bag."
I stopped punching, and glared at him. "Kyle, I'm OK. I need some time to think. You're always trying to figure out my life for me. Just for once, leave me the fuck alone to sort it out by myself."
"Looks like you're getting it sorted out for you."
That was it. Kyle had gone too far. I totally lost it, and pushed him up against the wall. "Stop! You never know when to drop it! I'll sort myself out. If you carry on trying to be a fucking detective, I'm gonna brain you! Go help your buddy with his swimming or something."
"So what now? You think I'm not your buddy? Your eyes are on fire, Mark. I'm just trying to help."
I should've known it wasn't gonna be that easy to get rid of the dude. "I don't need help right now… I just need some space."
"Your mom's boyfriend do that to your face?"
Once again, he'd gone too far. I jabbed him in the stomach, causing him to double over, then I went back to the bag.
"You didn't need to do that, Mark. I just asked a question."
"Yeah, life sucks. Now leave me alone."
"Why? Is our friendship getting too intense for you to handle?"
"Where the fuck did that come from?"
"'Cause if we're friends, then we can share problems. Right?"
"I'll tell you something for nothing… and you can take this any way you like. There are times when you ask too many questions. And when I don't answer, you carry on, and on, and fucking on!"
"'Cause I'm your friend."
"Don't think I don't know that already. You're the only real friend I've had. But, fuck! you can be so damn annoying!"
"OK. So if I shuddup, can I just sit here and watch you sweat?"
"I need to be alone for a while."
"I wish you'd speak to me."
"Go! Before I take you into the ring, and send you to the sick room!"
"OK. But think about it. There's nothing I can do about your prob, but it may help just to talk about it."
Jesus! That kid could be so fucking persistent! And he was beginning to wear me down… as fucking usual. "That's not my style, Kyle. You should know that by now."
At break, I figured Kyle would gimme another truckload of questions, so I split and sat under a tree where I wrote notes in my black, hardcover book. He saw me, but must've realized that I wanted to be alone, 'cause he didn't bother me. Later, in class, I remained quiet, and just concentrated on the lesson.
During second recess, I sat with Kyle, but kept the convo away from personal things, and asked a few questions about the cricket. He was a big time cricket fan, so it gave us an excuse to chat without straying into sensitive areas. That afternoon, after classes, we had swim training, so that gave me an opportunity to focus on my performance, and let off a bit more steam.
By next morning, things were pretty much back to normal… whatever normal was. I was on prefect gate-duty, and saw Kyle and Wingnut approaching the school. The grommet's blazer was unbuttoned, which was something I'd have to report. Kyle must've convinced his li'l bro not to test me, though, 'cause it was buttoned by the time he'd arrived at the gate.
One of the things that had helped to put me in a better mood was the upcoming cricket match between England and Zimbabwe. Carol's dad had gotten us tickets, not only to the game, but to a party afterwards with the "Barmy Army" at a place called McGinty's. I figured it would be a total rave, and was looking forward to the diversion.
The other thing that lifted my spirits later that day was Wingnut's performance at the junior swim trials after school. He fucked up big time in the shorter races, but swam like a fucking dolphin in the longer events. He creamed the opposition in the 200m free, and made the team selection. He was the happiest little dude on the planet, and Kyle and I were totally fucking thrilled for the kid. Woohoo!
On Sunday, Carol and I took a stroll down to the beach where we met up with Kyle and Steph. They asked about the cricket match, where Zimbabwe had beaten England, and about the party afterwards. "Those "Balmy Army" dudes are a riot," I laughed. "We had a wicked awesome time. Those guys really know how to party."
"Gimme a break, Kyle. There was a bit of niggling, but only in fun." I purposely didn't tell him about one of Steve's friends who kept trying to hit on Carol. Steve had a quiet word with him, though, and saved his bud's face from being rearranged. Then, Steve invited us to some guy's house for a rave, but we opted out, mainly 'cause Carol didn't want me getting into a fight.
"Anyway," Carol interrupted, "we spent all of yesterday in bed. That's the only way I can keep this guy outa trouble."
Back at school, swim training was going pretty well, and I figured I had a good chance of creaming Ross that season. Kyle's performances were erratic, though. He kicked my butt in the fly, but I well and truly sorted him out in the free. Afterwards, he followed me into the showers, and chose the shower next to mine. Typical.
"Hey, why do you always come into the showers after the other guys have gone?"
"I hate it when guys stare."
"You know what I mean."
"Shit, you're so well loaded, the other guys are probably trying to figure out how they can get theirs like that. Maybe you tied a brick to it when you were a lighty."
"My name's not Jumbo." I could feel my cock beginning to become harder 'cause of Kyle's convo, so I turned my back on him, and began to soap myself.
"Cute buns. Neat dimples," he laughed. "Hey, I can't figure why you're still shy in front of me."
"It's just me, I guess. I get a compy when anyone stares at me."
"Fuck, Kyle… you know what I mean! Guys."
"What happened on Friday? I hear you were almost in a rumble."
"You being quizzy again?"
"Chill, Kyle. Steve has obviously told you, anyway."
"I wanted to hear it from you."
"I just got totally pissed off with this rich, smooth dude who thought he could hit on Carol. Steve warned him off, though, and they fucked off soon after that."
"Carol would've told him to fuck off, anyway."
"Maybe." This convo was getting seriously close to something that I didn't wanna tell Kyle about, and it was making me helluva nervous. Fortunately, he changed the subject.
"Anyway, I've gotta breeze and get stuck into homework. Fuck, our bio bitch has really laid it on… a full project by the end of the week."
"Maybe I'll come over and do some at your place one night."
"Any time. How are things at home?"
Jeez! Not that again! I needed a diversion. "Are you seeing Steve later?"
"He's got some stuff for me."
"You buying now?"
"A few joints, Kyle. That's it. You should come and share one with me. Who knows? I might let you gimme a blow job."
"Yeah, right," he laughed. "Before or after you break my nose?"
"Just testing you."
We walked home together, but didn't say a whole lot to each other. He was giving me the impression that he wasn't too happy about the dope I was getting from Steve, but I didn't wanna argue about it. When we reached my house, we said our goodbyes, then he headed home.
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