Kyle entered my room, and apologized for what he'd said about Carol. "I didn't mean that. You know I didn't."
I ignored him, and continued packing.
"Where are you going?"
"Got myself a small garden flat [apartment] in town."
What could I say? Anyway, everything that needed to be said was in the note. There was no fucking way in the world that I could have verbalized those words. Kyle was standing there silent and dumbfounded as I packed my toiletries. Then I rolled my duvet around my pillow and folded sheets. By that stage, tears were rolling down my cheeks, and my nose was running. I brushed past Kyle and headed for the ensuite shower, where I blew my nose and dried my eyes. I checked my face in the mirror. A fucking disaster.
"How are you getting there?" he asked as I returned.
"With all your stuff?"
"Two bags and some bedding. It's cool."
"My dad will take you through."
"It's OK... I can manage here." I took the sealed envelope with the note inside, and handed it to Kyle.
"It's got my name on it."
"I was going to give it to Steph. Don't open it now."
"Why don't you just tell me what it says? I'm here."
"You can read it later."
"You ever coming back here?"
"What about Carol? Have you seen her? Does she know you're going?"
"Are you leaving 'cause of me?"
"You know that's not the reason."
"Am I gonna see you again?"
"Are we still friends?"
I took my attention away from the packing to look Kyle directly in the face despite the fact that my eyes were still brimming with tears. "Buds forever, right?"
"I need to say goodbye to my mom, Kyle. Maybe you don't wanna be here."
"I can give you a hand with your stuff."
"I can manage."
"You want me to leave?"
"I think it's better... for now."
"Catch you for coffee tomorrow morning?"
"How can I get hold of you?"
"Will you phone me?"
"I'll see, Kyle."
"I'm fucking hating this!"
"Look... I'll try to phone you later, or maybe see you for coffee."
"I'll see," I said as I offered him my hand, which he shook with his trademark, firm grip. "See ya, Kyle."
"See ya, Mark. I love ya."
Saying goodbye to my mom wasn't easy, either. Nothing was easy. My life was in tatters. Everything I'd become used to -- the 'hood, Kyle, Carol, nights out together -- had been caught up in a sudden gust of wind and scattered like so many thousands of pieces of confetti.
As I walked toward the railway station, laden with my gear, heading toward the great unknown, I heard that voice again.
"Thought you'd gone."
"Yeah... well, I knew you'd need a hand," he smiled as he grabbed one of my bags, then walked beside me. "Anyway, I wanna make sure you leave." He paused for a moment. "I read your note."
"I knew you would... 'cause you never fucking listen."
"I'm gonna hate not being able to run around to your house and see you."
"I just need some time."
"Will you ever move back?"
"My mom wants me to stay, but she also understands."
"I know you need to move. Don't have to like it, though."
"I'm gonna miss the 'hood."
"Thanks for the note."
"I also thought that it was pretty special."
Pretty special? Like how many times had I written a note like that? Try once. And to a guy! Well, not just any guy. For the rest of the trip to the railway station, we didn't say much. This was a first for me... a total departure from routine... the beginning of a new chapter where only a few words had been written so far, and the rest remained a total mystery.
Kyle had been through an experience similar to this when Paul and his folks had left Cape Town to settle in England. When Paul came back to Cape Town for Kyle's eighteenth birthday, it became immediately obvious to me that those two guys were as thick as thieves... soul bros. And now Kyle had attached himself to me like glue. Once again, it begged the question I'd asked a million times before: "What am I gonna do with you, Kyle?" But now there was another question without an answer: "What was I gonna do with myself?"
He sat with me on a bench while we quietly waited for the train to arrive... the same platform where we'd waited so often before for the morning train to take us to our respective jobs. Neither of us could have ever anticipated this scenario... the final scenario... the last trip.
After the train had pulled in, I boarded it with all my gear, then turned to Kyle. "I'll see you Monday morning." He looked like somebody had stepped on his bottom lip. Then he began to move sideways. No. It was an illusion. He wasn't moving. I was. The train was. And as it slowly gathered speed, I knew that my life was destined for dramatic change. Irreversible change.
I'd never felt so totally alone in all my life. Just me, two bags, and a bunch of bedding. That was it. And the train seemed to be in control, taking me somewhere I wasn't sure I wanted to go.
My mood had totally changed when I met Kyle the next morning for coffee. Once I'd settled into the flat, and had seen my belongings neatly arranged, there was a sense of familiarity... of home.
"I sat on the bed and looked around. It was incredible! No more shitforbrains! I was free at last! I was in my own digs! Independent! Hey! What's the matter with you? Kyle! Lighten up, man! Today I'm gonna buy some food and shit. Once I'm sorted out, we can go out for a rave, and you can stay over... better than hiking all the way home. Are you listening? Carol's gonna spend a few days here while she's still on school hols... gonna fix up the place a bit... y'know, a woman's touch. She was a bit upset about my moving at first, but she's cool about it now. She thinks I'm better off without all the shit at home. And I'm gonna get myself a cell phone -- used -- so that I can be contacted. Kyle? Hello? Anybody home?"
"Yeah... hey, it's cool, Mark. I think it's great."
I didn't think Kyle quite understood the significance of my moving outa home, and into the flat. It was like a ton weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Sure, it made it more difficult to stay in touch with my mom, Kyle, and Carol, but shitforbrains was outa my life forever. FOR-FUCKING-EVER!
The next day, after work, I phoned Kyle from my boss's house. He told me I could use the phone anytime, but I didn't wanna make a nuisance of myself. And there was no way I wanted to receive incoming calls.
"Hey, Kyle! I've just been putting some posters and stuff on my wall. This is really coming together. Now I just need to get a cell phone."
"Can I come over?"
"All the way here?"
"Only kidding," he laughed. "Wish I could, though."
"I wish you could, too. It's a bit lonely, but it'll be cool once I'm sorted."
"Got a TV?"
"Yeah. The boss's wife gave me a small, color one."
"Seen Carol yet?"
"No... but I'm hoping she's gonna call in tomorrow."
"Fuck, you're impossible! No, I haven't."
"You're gonna now, though.... 'cause I've just mentioned it."
"I'll get hair on my palms."
"Guess it's a bummer that you can't smoke there, though."
"Fuck! My boss and his wife smoke... and they're into a lot more."
"Do they know you smoke?"
"Yeah... but I don't do it all the time." Then I laughed, and added, "Only when you're around."
"You're sounding happy."
"I am, pretty much."
"I miss you."
"But you mentioned them being cokeheads just now."
"That's not what I said... and they've just come in from somewhere."
"Oh? They don't mind you using the phone?"
"I've gotta pay for it. They get a detailed bill."
"Can I phone you there?"
"Rather not. It won't go down too well. Wait 'til I get a cell."
"I've gotta go. See ya, buddy."
"Yeah, see ya... and hey!"
"Love ya stacks, buddy."
Back in my flat, I hung the calendar that Kyle had given me for Christmas on the wall... the one he'd written little notes on. "This was the day we pissed on the tree." "This was the day you beat the crap outa me." Then I realized that Carol would see it, and start asking questions. How could I possibly explain to her how deep my feelings were for Kyle when I couldn't explain those feelings to myself? So I put the calendar in a drawer.
But he was right about my jacking off after he'd mentioned it on the phone. I thought about that night we'd had a 69, and how incredible it was to be fucking his face... the intensity of the pain/pleasure when I offloaded and heard him gagging and swallowing... the way he'd taken my balls into his mouth... the way his tongue had electrified my cockhead to a point where it was bordering on unbearable. Fucking hell! There was only one Kyle. There could only ever be one Kyle.
After I'd shot my load onto my tanned chest, I looked at those blobs of white, sticky juice, and imagined them gliding down Kyle's throat.
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