Thursday, August 11, 2011
The xxx's are to prevent spoilers/confusion.
Like before, this is a pretty rough draft, so forgive the lack of elegant prose.
“Did you see a lot of Disney movies growing up?”
“Aye, I loved them. I thought America would be like that. Bright colors, singing and dancing. Heroes and villains easy to tell apart.”
“Was it like you imagined?”
“It was almost as colorful. And God knows, people sing and dance on television constantly. But the good guys and bad guys weren’t as clear as I thought they’d be.”
His gaze shadowed, and I waited for him to tell me xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxxx xx xxx.
Instead he brightened and dusted the powdered sugar off his hands. “We’ve had a bit of drama around here, too.”
“Bad and good. Martin, my best mate from the neighborhood—” He cut himself off and spoke bitterly. “My only mate now. He’s moved in with us.”
“‘Only one now’? I thought you were hanging out with all your old friends.”
“Not after what they did to Martin last week. After he came out of the closet.”
“Did they beat him up?”
“Naw, it wasn’t as if he was doing something truly shocking, like supporting the wrong football club.” He wiped a spot of sugar off the corner of his mouth. “But they said stupid things, the bastards. He got angry, which he deserved to be, and next thing I know, I’m caught in the middle. I had to choose. It was easy.” He frowned. “No, not easy. But simple.”
“It does, because on any other day, any of us lads’d take a punch—or a bullet—for any o’ the others.”
“So why’s Martin living with you? Did his parents kick him out?”
“No’ officially. But they suddenly decided that now he's seventeen and not at university, he should start paying rent. My parents said he could stay here for free, on the condition that he cheers me up.”
He nodded. “I can’t wait for you to come and meet him.”
My belly warmed at the idea of visiting him in Glasgow. That wasn’t part of our December itinerary, so it meant he was thinking ahead. Part of his “plan.”
“Is he home? Can I say hi?”
“Aye, he’d adore you. He’s at work now, at a pub down the road, but it’s Monday, so they should’ve closed by now.” He suddenly started, as if remembering something. “Oh.”
Zachary leaned in close and spoke in a near-whisper. “There's something you need to know about me and Martin.”