by Andy Boreham

I DIDN’T normally take calls so early in the morning, but that was the day Josh wanted to book Gaga tickets. He didn’t know I was maxed out. “I can be there in 20,” I told the guy at the other end. Before I knew it I was parked outside some suburban house with the morning sun beating down on my face. I flicked down the mirror for one last check. Ugh, I should have brought my concealer. Fuck it.

His lawn was littered with kids’ toys. I wonder if his family knew. Dirty bastard. I navigated my way over trucks and around a paddling pool filled with mucky water. I could see his silhouette through the frosted orange­ brown glass, moving slowly towards me. He was huge. Great.

But the guy that opened the door was young. A teenager. He wasn’t good looking at all, but I could tell he was a nice guy. I can read people like that. He was fat. Really fat.

His room was messy. He had posters of the solar system on the wall, and hanging above his single bed was a model solar system. The Earth is so small, I remember thinking. That awkward moment before seemed to last forever. That bit where you know you’re just on the edge. Just about to touch. I could tell he liked me, so decided I’d just push him on the bed and grab for his crotch. He must have been shy ‘cause he immediately pushed my hand away and pulled me down.

“Can we hug?” he asked in a polite tone I wasn’t really used to.

I figured he wanted to be the little spoon even though… yeah. He smelt like he’d just had a shower. His hair stunk of passion fruit. We just lay there, on our sides. I had one arm under his neck and one around his waist. Cradled. I was hard. I always get hard. I would have pushed my hard dick against his butt but it felt wrong. Then I heard him sniffle. And again. I lifted my head and caught a tear rolling across his nose. It landed on his white sheet and disappeared into nothing.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Sorry.”

“What’s wrong?”

He scratched his nose where the tears had tickled and sniffled again.

“This is gonna be my life,” he whispered.

“What is?”

“This. Paying people. No one will want me.”

I knew what he was saying. “Of course they will!”

“No they won’t”, he sighed, resigned.

He rolled around to face me. His eyes were red. “Do you want me?” I didn’t know what to say but he knew my answer. His stare broke.

He closed his eyes and buried his head in my chest. He breathed in, as if he was breathing me.
About half an hour passed and then he asked if I would take my top off. I whipped it off like a pro and lay on my back. Basking. He rested his head on one hand, staring intently, and softly touched my stomach with the other. He seemed obsessed with those V bits on each side of my groin. Then he pulled at my stomach as if he was trying to grab some fat. There was none. My abs looked great — the sunlight was at just the right angle. I felt a little guilty.

His head flopped against my bare chest and he breathed out a giant breath. Then he lay there, motionless.

Before long we were standing at the front door. He apologised for being “emotional” and said he really enjoyed being with me. I felt sorry for him, but at the same time I know what the world is like.

“How much is it?” he asked. At that moment I wondered where he’d got the money from. Pocket money? After school job? It didn’t really matter, I figured, ‘cause it was a business transaction. “200.”

Those trucks must be his little brother’s.

The car was stuffy from an hour in the morning sun. I flipped down the mirror again as I wound down the window. The light was harsher now, and my skin looked terrible. I remembered why I didn’t like taking calls this early. Fuck it, why didn’t I bring my concealer?

This story first appeared in the 2014 OutStanding Short Story Competition, and was given a highly commended award. The competition is now open for 2015, with winners to be announced in September. For details, visit outstandingstories.net or become a fan on Facebook: facebook.com/OutstandingLGBTQIShortStoryCompetition

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**This story was first published in the June edition of the Star Observer, which is available to read in digital flip-book format. To obtain a physical copy, click here to find out where you can grab one in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and select regional/coastal areas.

 

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