For obvious reasons, the remaining Mark chapters will now be told from Mark's point of view. MrB
I hadn't phoned Kyle all that often since I'd visited him for his 19th birthday on July 1. My life in Joburg was kept pretty damn busy with work on the yacht, which was progressing well. Hey, it was actually beginning to look like a yacht! Candy was also keeping me busy, both in and out of bed. I guessed it was kinda weird for me - an 18-year-old teen - to be dating a 30-year-old woman. But she was all class, and she had a maturity about her that made me feel mature as well. Actually, I had to admit that I was more mature than most guys my age. I'd learned to look after myself as well as my mom from an early age. The responsibilities of cooking, laundry, and general housework were nothing new to me. I'd never been afraid of hard work, which was something my boss 'Fingers' appreciated. We'd be up at the crack of dawn, and wouldn't finish work on the yacht 'til late. It was heavy, tiring, and demanding work, but it was satisfying. And it helped keep me in good shape physically.
When I did manage to find the time to phone Kyle, we'd swap news, and just chat about things in general. His job at the surf shop was going well. Like me, he was a hard worker and took his job seriously.
"Have you thought about my offer? Coming to Joburg and working in the boat building business?"
"Sorta. But I really don't know what I wanna do just yet. My grades at school were good enough to get a college scholarship somewhere overseas, like the States or wherever, but I don't wanna leave my family right now. It's not just a comfort zone thing, Mark. It's just that I'm not up to it right now. Besides, my savings are coming together - kinda - so we'll see where it goes from there."
"College in Cape Town?"
"Maybe. Hey listen, Mark, why don't you get an email addy? We can keep in touch that way, and it won't send our phone bills through the fucking roof."
OK, it wasn't such a bad idea, so I organized an email addy and we began to correspond on a pretty regular basis. But when I received one particular email from Kyle, there was no way I could respond using the written word. He'd written stuff about how much he loved me, plus a whole paragraph about us having BJs, and how he loved having my hard dick in his mouth, and the taste of my juice. What the fuck??? I was mad as all fucking hell. I had to phone him at home right there and then.
"Are your folks home?"
"Nope," answered the familiar voice. "Hi, by the way. You get my mail?"
"Are you outa your fucking skull, Kyle? Huh? How the fuck could you write about that stuff?"
"Whoa! Sorry. Fucking hell, I didn't mean to freak you out."
It was then that I visualized the shocked and embarrassed expression on his face, which was evident in the sound of his voice, and decided to cool it a little. "Hey, I know how you feel about me, and I love you too... and I enjoy being close to you. But I don't want you fucking talking about it. OK?"
"OK, I'm sorry."
"I'm not sure you are, Kyle. Do you get off writing that shit? Huh? Jack yourself off at the comp after writing all that crap?"
"I just wrote how I felt," came the meek reply.
"About my cock in your mouth? Are you mad?"
"Calm down. I hear you."
"Yeah... whatever. You really know how to piss me off. You know that?"
"I said I'm sorry. What else must I say?"
"Say goodbye. I'll chat to you sometime."
"Wait a sec!"
But it was too late. I hung up the phone and stormed into my room. What the fuck did that guy think he was doing? Guys didn't talk like that to each other! Well, maybe faggots did, but we weren't faggots. Then, as I laid on my bed and stared at the ceiling, I remembered some of the things I'd said to him... once at the beach as we sat on the rocks, and again on the mountain when I told him I loved him. So who was I kidding? I'd often jacked off thinking about the two of us making mad passionate love. And on top of that we'd had sex together.
I got off the bed and went to the phone. I'd dialed all but the final digit of his number when I reneged, and slammed the phone down. What the fuck was I supposed to say to him? I knew he'd be on a total fucking downer after what I'd said. But I didn't have the words to console him without also encouraging him. There was only one thing to do. Workout. I hit the punching bag 'til I thought my arms were gonna fall off. Then Fingers wanted to know if anything was wrong.
"You won't have any energy left for work tomorrow."
"It's cool, Mick. I've just gotta get something outa my system. I'll be OK."
And that was another fucking problem. So many times I'd almost called Mick "Fingers" 'cause that was the way Kyle always referred to him. Kyle had a way of burrowing into your brain - not to mention your heart - and staking a permanent claim there. What the fuck was I gonna do with that guy?
The next time I phoned Kyle, it was just after I'd heard the news of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. He was at the surf shop when I called early in the morning.
"I guess you've heard the news already."
"Yeah. Steph phoned me. She was freaking big time 'cause her folks are in Europe, and she's home alone."
"They should fucking nuke those terrorist bastards! Hey, buddy, I'm totally amped to get into to some army and kick some butt."
"Calm down, Mark. You're shouting."
"Did you see those pics on TV? The buildings crumbling? Of course I'm fucking shouting! Those assholes need annihilating, and I'm amped to do it."
"Hey, Mark, the boss is giving me the hairy eyeball. I'd better go. He doesn't like me taking personal calls at work. I'll catch you later."
"OK, buddy. See ya."
I'd kinda calmed down after a while, and realized that the US and British military forces would take care of business, and flush that bin Laden fuckwit and his dickheads out of their rat hole. Besides, I had a yacht to finish and dreams to fulfill. There was a lotta world to see, and I was gonna see it crewing yachts. Maybe one day I'd even be a skipper.
Over the following month or two, Kyle and I chatted on the phone, or emailed each other pretty regularly. Every now and then he would tell me how seriously in love with me he was - and I knew that - but he was also honest enough to accept that there was no future for us as lovers. There was no point in living in some loopy fantasy world. Besides, he was getting along fine with Steph, and they had a pretty good relationship happening.
And me? I was doing really well and enjoying myself. Candy and I had a pretty tight thing going. She even spoke to Kyle on the phone once. After she'd handed the phone back to me, Kyle was raving about how awesome she was. "She sounds really cool! But you can hear how she sounds a helluva lot more mature than the chicks we normally hang with. Just the way she talks... and fucking hell, has she got a sexy voice or what?"
"Calm down, Kyle. You'll give yourself a fucking hernia."
"You got one yet?"
"Hey, buddy, Candy's been talking about maybe I can take some time off the yacht and we can both rock over to Cape Town in December."
"You serious? Wooooooohoo! That'd be awesome!"
"OK, buddy. I'll let you know our plans next time I call. See ya, buddy."
"Hey, wait! I forgot to tell you... I had a really cool dawn patrol with my dad the other day. We hadn't done that in ages, and it was really awesome. It was good to see him relax a bit 'cause he's been kinda stressing lately."
"Your dad's a way cool dude, Kyle. Tell him I often think of him... and thank him and your mom for always treating me like a son. I owe them big time."
It was just a few days later that Kyle's dad phoned me. I was surprised 'cause he'd never phoned me in Joburg before.
"Mr T? Hey! How ya doin'?"
"Are you sitting down?"
"I've got some bad news. Kyle was involved in a serious motor accident early this morning."
"Fuck! What happened? Is he OK? Is he gonna be alright? Oh, shit! I don't believe this!"
"He thumbed a ride home after having a few beers in town with his workmates. The car was doing 160 ks when it crashed."
"Fucking hell! 160 ks? Is he OK? Is he hurt bad?"
"He was taken to hospital. They performed emergency surgery on him."
"I'll be on the first plane outa here, Mr T. I'll be there as soon as I can. Tell Kyle I'm coming. Tell him to hang in there."
"Thanks, Mark, he would really appreciate you saying that, but it's too late. Kyle passed away a few hours after surgery."
"WHAT?" I couldn't believe what I was hearing, and had to pause a moment to unscramble my brain. My eyes were darting all over the room. "What are you telling me? You mean... Kyle? He's dead? That's impossible! He can't be! No way, Mr T. Noooo fucking way!"
"We're all in deep shock, Mark. Deep, deep shock. Wingnut was here this morning, ready to bounce on Kyle's bed just like he always did after Kyle had had a night out. He was totally devestated. He rushed into Kyle's room and cried his poor little eyes out for hours."
"Oh, my fuck! And you?"
"You can imagine how we feel, Mark. And I can imagine how you must be feeling right now. But I had no choice but to tell you... If it's any consolation, Mrs T and I had a chance to be at Kyle's bedside before he..."
I could hear the muffled sobbing at the other end of the phone, and it was just too fucking much for me. I went totally to pieces. My whole body was convulsing uncontrollably as my tears flowed freely. Never in my life had I cried like that. Never.
Maybe five minutes later, Mr T had composed himself sufficiently to tell me that he would call me back, and let me know what arrangements they'd made for Kyle's funeral and memorial service. I thanked him, then gave him and his wife my love, but without really being aware of the words I'd uttered. I was making noises but none of it was making any sense. The world had gone crazy.
After I'd hung up the phone, I wandered around in a daze. I repeated Kyle's name over and over and over. It had to be a nightmare. It was a nightmare! I'd imagined the whole thing. My mind was playing tricks on me. None of this was true!
I rushed back to the phone, and punched in Steve's number. "Steve? It's Mark. I just had... or at least I think I just had a call from Kyle's dad."
"Yeah. I got the news from Steph. She was in tears, and it took me ages to get the news out of her."
"Tell me it's bullshit!"
"I wish I could, Mark."
"Fuck it! I don't believe this! Steve? Tell me it's fucking bullshit!"
"I don't wanna believe it either for fuck sake! How do you think I feel? I'm fucking shell shocked. We all are."
"It's some kinda practical joke, right? Jesus fucking Christ, Steve! Kyle's trying to get me to admit something... like I love him or whatever. For fuck sake, Steve, tell me it's bullshit! He can't be dead! He can't be!"
"I'm truly sorry, Mark. Honest I am. Sorry for you, sorry for me, sorry for all of us."
It took some days before I could come to terms with the reality of Kyle's death. No more phone calls. No more email. No more smiles from that cheeky face. Yes, I did love him. More - much more - than I'd been willing to admit. And now it was too late. How many Kyles did a guy get to meet in a lifetime? One. One if you were lucky. "I love you, Kyle! I love you, Kyle! Dammit! Where the fuck are you? Why the fuck did you have to die? Oh, Jesus! this is just so fucking hard!"
When Mr T phoned again, he told me that they'd organized a private cremation for their son, but that there would be a memorial service about a week or so later. "Paul is coming over from England, and we'd like you to be there, too. I've asked Paul to write a tribute to Kyle, and read it at the memorial service. I'd also like to ask you the same favor, Mark. I know that Kyle loved you very much. He never stopped talking about you."
"Me? Read a tribute? I don't think I could handle it, Mr T."
"I'm counting on you, Mark. Please do it for Kyle."
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