In order to cope with Mark not being around, I'd been burying myself in work at the shop. It helped a lot, and I was in the good books with my boss. Sales were up.
I was trying not to think of Mark too much, but he phoned the other night again, sounding too fucking relaxed and happy. It was cool that he was enjoying himself, but it sucked big time that he wasn't homesick. His boss had a 250cc off-road motorcycle that he'd given Mark to use. Yeah, right. Probably sniffed the fucking saddle after Mark had been riding it.
Mark also mentioned that his boss's girlfriend was pissed at the amount of time he spent hanging around Mark. He even left his girlfriend behind to take Mark to a club on Saturday night. Then the dude apparently got all fucking miserable when Mark got hung up with some chick. Mark said that he hated making the guy unhappy 'cause of everything he was doing for him. Every morning, the dude would bring coffee into Mark's room, then sit on the bed and massage Mark's back. Hello? But Mark always made sure that the dude wasn't hanging around when he got dressed. The guy asked him one evening why he was always so shy about being naked in front of him, and not to worry 'cause he wouldn't touch him or anything. Yeah, right.
"He's cool, Kyle. But there's no way I'm gonna get naked in front of him. The other morning he waltzed into my room while I was putting on my boxers and caught a gander at my bare ass."
Mark told me that he was gonna connect again with that girl he'd met at a club. He was going to the movies and clubbing that weekend or some fucking thing. So I went all quiet, and he wanted to know what was wrong with me. I just said nothing, 'cept that I missed him. And he said that he missed me, too.
"Hey, maybe you can get up to Joburg for a weekend or something. How about that?"
"Yeah... and then get fucking depressed 'cause I'll have to leave you behind again."
"Hey, it's just a suggestion. Anyway, I guess it's gonna be too expensive."
"You're getting hung up with a girl up there?"
"Not really. Just met her. What's happening there? Tell me some news."
We chatted about work, the weather, and all our friends. But as we talked, I was getting the impression that Mark was pretty amped about the way things were turning out for him. I was thinking that his boss's attention would've freaked him out. Maybe I was hoping it would have. But that obviously wasn't the case. Anyway, I knew that Mark was the kinda guy who was totally capable of handling himself if the guy did decide to try something.
The rest of the week was a total drag. Busy, busy, busy. My only chance to make it into the internet cafe was on Friday to email Mr B. And I was dreading opening my own email 'cause I knew there'd be a stack of it. I didn't know what to do about it. I had the total guilts about not being able to answer everyone nowadays. And it wasn't like I could take all the mail offline and reply to it in sessions. I also had the guilts about my web site. Hadn't updated the damn thing for ages.
Yesterday was pretty cool, though. A couple of tourists from the UK asked me to take them to Long Beach during the afternoon for a surf. Then we toured around the different local surf spots. They bought me supper 'cause we got home quite late. So I did have my good days.
Being so damn busy all the time meant that I'd been neglecting Steph. Hadn't phoned her for days. Too damned exhausted all the time. When I did finally get in touch, she told me that Steve was moving in on Carol, and it looked like they might have a thing going. I guessed maybe it would work out provided Carol wasn't looking for the same commitment that she had from Mark. It was crazy, though. Mark walks out. Steve walks in. If it hadn't been for Wingnut grabbing me every other day to go cycling, I would've gone insane... or something like that.
Painting my shower? Yeah, well, why not? It passed the time. We'd had a helluva strong wind over the weekend, so that put paid to any ideas about going for a wave. Besides, my dad helped me. Every now and then, my shower would get a build-up of black mould, which was impossible to remove, especially on the ceiling. Looked pretty cool after the paint job, though. Bought a tropical fern and put it on the side wall of the shower. It was quite full and green, and hung down next to my wash basin.
"Hey, Mark! You wanna see what I've done to my shower?" Yeah, right. Fat chance. He was in Joburg. But like everything I did, I felt the need to tell Mark about it. He might have been on the other side of the country, but he was forever in my head. And I missed having him around.
Graham was a breath of fresh air. He was the new guy at the shop. Also eighteen, and totally cool. He'd worked at a similar shop, and really knew his stuff... a stack more than me. Anyway, we hit it off right away. "I know what you're thinking, B. I can hear your brain working overtime. Nope, no, nein, nyet. This dude is straight. And, ya, I did give him the once over. He's got hair like Mark's, but it's a bit longer, and wild, and spiky, and all over the place. It looks like he gets outa the shower, shakes his head, and that's it."
Late Saturday afternoon, I had a heart-to-heart with Mark on the phone. I'd already read B's email so I decided the bite the bullet. "Try not to be so negative on the phone," he wrote. "If you're miserable every time Mark phones, he'll stop phoning. Try to be positive. Be happy for him. Let him know that you love him and miss him, but don't give him the guilts. It won't be easy, but it'll be worth it."
I was pretty cheerful on the phone, and so was Mark. He was telling me about how cool it was to have a bike to get around on. "And you know that girl I met at the club? We're getting along pretty well. She spent the night at my place on Friday."
"Steph slept over at my place on Friday, too."
"Eventually," I laughed. "Oh! And I found out that the Steve and Carol rumor was a loada bullshit. Carol says that she and Steve are good friends, but that's it. Nothing serious."
"Carol? Yeah, she's doing fine, Mark. You gonna stay in Joburg?"
"I'm not sure. I don't really like the place, but I've been happy here. Met my dad this afternoon, and my bro and sis. It was pretty cool. My dad wants me to study up here. He can help pay towards it... if I want. He's not putting any pressure on me. He says I should stay with the yacht thing, and maybe go to Durban to do a skipper course or something."
"So you're not coming back here?"
"I'm not sure, Kyle."
"Look, it's cool. I'm learning how to handle it... kinda. I just wanna know 'cause I've like put everything on the backburner here. My feelings for you are so fucking intense. But I need to know that I must move on."
"You make it sound like it's easy for me. I'm also learning how to move on a bit, Kyle. We've got such a special friendship that I can't explain 'cause I think of you a lot. I do... really. I miss everything about Cape Town. But I just wanna see how things pan out up here, and take it from there. We both need to get on with our lives, Kyle. But that doesn't mean losing what we've got, and we'll see each other again. I want a repeat of what we shared that night at my flat [apartment]. You've no idea how often I think of that. But we both need to look a bit further. This girl I've met... I know it's only been a short while... but she's really special."
"Hey, don't stress. I'm cool. I just want you to know that I'll always love ya. So tell me about her."
"Well, her name's Candy, but she's a bit older than Wingnut's Candy. She's twenty four, and she does public relations work for a computer company up here. She travels quite a lot."
"Twenty four? Whoa! She could be your mom!"
Mark's immediate response was laughter, followed by a typical, "Fuck you! Fuck you, Kyle."
It was way cool to hear Mark's infectious laugh again, though. "Well, at a pinch she could be Wingnut's mom. She nice?"
"You'd like her."
"Oh? Good sex, huh?"
"That, too," he laughed again.
"So, are you two sleeping together?"
"What do you think?"
"So, what's she like?"
"Well, she makes me feel like a god. Says that I'm fantastic in bed... y'know."
"No, I don't know. Tell me. Hope you're using a condom."
"Nope... she's on the pill."
"I wanna hear all about the disgusting details. How did it start?"
"You're a pig, Kyle," he cracked, "but I love ya. We both got trashed on Friday night, and ended up in my room. Next thing, she's undressing me."
"Fucking hell, she must've gotten lessons from you or something. She lets her fingernails and tongue do all the walking."
I'd gotten an instant boner just listening to Mark talking about that chick undressing him, and I was imagining the whole thing happening. His pecs, shoulders, abs, butt, legs, boner. "Yeah... and next? C'mon."
"Well, she starts eating me. So I started to undress her, then I ate her out."
"Aaaagggghhhhh!!!! More, more!"
"Fuck you, Kyle. You know I've never spoken about this kinda shit before. I'm giving myself a fucking erection here."
"Can I come play with it?"
"Anytime... come and get it, bro."
Jeez, if only I could! I could visualize the damn thing, and my lips sliding over it's big, swollen knob. "She good in bed?"
"Hey, Kyle... stop there before you jizz all over your folks' phone."
"She an animal?"
"Yeah, she's a fucking animal. So stop already."
"You juice her insides?"
"No! Wait! Dammit! You can't stop now! It's like pulling your mouth away at the critical moment."
"How are things with Steph?"
Now that was a Freudian reply if ever I'd heard one. "Pretty good. Like I said, she spent Friday night with me."
"You porking her in your bedroom with your folks around?"
"My mom's not sure if I am or not. My dad knows for sure, but he's cool with it, so long as Steph doesn't get pregnant."
"You make a good couple... you two."
"So do we... you and me."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hey, listen, I've gotta jet. I'll phone you again during the week."
"Hey, how's fingers?"
"The dude with the morning coffee and the back massage."
"Oh, he's pretty cool. It's like a morning ritual now. I wake up with his fingers caressing my back. He doesn't go any further than that. He's getting some flack from his girlfriend, though. She reckons he's paying too much attention to me."
"Wonder why. Yeah, right. Working hard?"
"Believe it... and it's not just an eight hour day. I work until I'm ready for bed, then I'm up early in the morning again. I've gotta go, Kyle. I don't wanna run up a huge phone bill."
"OK. Hey... love ya, buddy."
"Love ya, too, Kyle. Miss you, bro."
"Thanks. See ya."
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