We retreated back inside the house and then made our way back out onto the back deck, where glasses were refilled and the conversation was restarted.
Thankfully Jimmy and Shane sensed that I needed to talk privately with Beth and Tom, so they excused themselves and escaped to their room.
‘How about we call you when we’re about to light the barbeque,’ Tom said to them. ‘You can help us out with the cooking.’
‘Okay,’ Shane replied. ‘We’d be glad to help.’
We watched them as they disappeared inside, hand in hand, as if they had been doing it around us all for years. It was nice that they could be themselves and had taken Tom and Beth at their word.
‘You know, you may one day regret letting them have it so easy,’ I chuckled.
‘Oh, I don’t think so. You know, they remind me so much of you and Martin at that age,’ Beth sighed.
‘Us? We were nothing like this pair,’ I shot back. ‘We were naïve and innocent and completely unprepared for the world. These two guys have already seen and experienced way more than Marty or I had even dreamed of.’
‘That may be true, but what I was referring to was your looks and the way that you and Martin behaved around each other. Even at sixteen you were like an old married couple, doting on each other, so when the two of you finally came to us a year later, nervous and unsure of yourselves . . . well . . . let’s just say that we had already figured it all out and reconciled in our own minds that we would be gaining another son, rather than any grand-children.’
‘You did?’ I asked, sounding quite surprised. ‘We didn’t know that. Why didn’t you ever say anything?’
‘What? And spoil the one thing that you two had done and shared together, and which took more courage than anything either of you had ever done before? Sure, we could have said we already knew, that would have been easy, but as we knew how much guts it took for the two of you to come to us, together like that, we just couldn’t,’ Beth said.
‘We knew that what you two did was something that shouldn’t be taken lightly,’ Tom added, ‘so we decided to let you have your moment and hopefully take something from that courage.’
I remember that day well. It was a weekend when I had been staying over . . . which at that stage of my life seemed to be almost every weekend. Martin and I had been sitting in the kitchen one Saturday morning having a serious discussion about whether or not it was time to come out and tell them, as keeping things bottled up inside was eating away at us both, and the chances of getting caught were growing daily. We had both wanted to, but sometimes the difference between wanting to do something and actually doing it can be poles apart. At one point Tom walked through the kitchen and we both clammed up, tighter than a drum.
‘What’s wrong with you pair?’ he asked.
‘N-n-nothing,’ Marty had replied.
‘Well, for n-n-nothing it sounded pretty serious,’ Tom remarked, seemingly taking some delight in mocking his son, which I must admit did greatly annoy me at the time. ‘Well, if you need us to settle an argument, or anything else, you know where to find us.’
I remember those words as if they had been spoken yesterday, but at the time neither of us realised just what sort of an invitation that was. If I’d known back then what I know now, however, I’m sure I would have picked it up much sooner.
Bringing myself back to the present I said, ‘That’s amazing. I never knew that. Did Marty ever know?’
‘Yes, I’m afraid we did let slip later on, but he made us promise we wouldn’t say anything. But do you know what? I’m glad that we did what we did,’ Beth replied.
‘Why’s that?’ I asked.
‘Because you both changed after that day. Just as we had hoped, you both took courage from overcoming any fears that you had and it signaled the start of the period where you quite quickly grew into two bright and confident young men. We could see that nothing was going to stand in your way or stop you from becoming whatever you wanted to become, and that just made us so proud of our boys.’
I was stumped for words. I’d had no idea that Martin and I had been so transparent, nor that Tom and Beth had been so observant and accepting. I guess looking back now I can see it all, but when we were sixteen, well, what can I say . . . we were clueless.
‘So . . .’ Tom said, ‘when were you going to tell us about this new guy?’
It wasn’t said in any way that could be construed as challenging, or even judgmental. It was more like a concerned parent wanting to know what was going on in their child’s life.
‘I wanted to be . . . I don’t know . . . sure about him and about how I felt for him, I guess,’ I replied. ‘I still feel guilty about even seeing anyone else, but Adam has been supportive, and more than understanding, especially this week with my new job and being landed in the middle of these cases.
‘I was also a little scared about how you might react. I know those fears were totally unfounded, because you’ve never shown me anything but love, but still, moving on from Martin isn’t easy, and it’s even harder having someone take his place.’
Tom and Beth looked at each other and smiled, then reached out and took one another’s hand.
‘We knew this day would eventually happen,’ Beth said. ‘And we also knew how much love you and Martin had for each other. No matter who you love in the future, Martin will always have a place in your heart. Just as you will in ours.’
‘I know,’ I said quietly.
‘Do you love him?’ Tom gently asked.
‘If I’d been asked that question a week ago, I would have said I wasn’t sure. But after this week I’m feeling more and more certain now. So the answer is yes, I do love him, and I want you to meet him.’
‘And we want to meet him as well. He better be good enough for our boy,’ Beth teased.
‘Oh, I think he is,’ I chuckled.
‘What does he do?’ asked Tom.
‘He’s in the computer game, working for one of the high-end companies in town, programming systems for some of the biggest companies in the country. He owns a unit at Bondi, and he drives a BMW convertible, if that’s any help,’ I boasted.
‘Sounds like quite a catch,’ offered Beth.
‘Actually, yeah, I think he is,’ I chuckled.
* * *
As the sun was beginning to sink low to the horizon Tom went down to the outdoor barbeque area in the back yard and started giving it a bit of a clean down before lighting it up, while Beth disappeared into the kitchen to start gathering together the makings of something for dinner.
I headed down the hallway to check on Jimmy and Shane and found them lying side by side on the bed, with Shane nestled in close against his boyfriend, his head on Jimmy’s shoulder and an arm across his chest. Both of them were asleep, and I almost felt guilty about having to wake them. It had, after all, been a long day for everyone concerned.
In the end I decided to give them a few more minutes while I tentatively opened the door to Martin’s room instead. Almost immediately I was hit by a scent so raw, so familiar, that my head began to spin. When I stepped inside the room and closed my eyes it was as if I could almost feel him beside me, his breath hot on my neck, his gentle hands on my shoulders and his body pressed against mine, but when my eyes flashed open again there was no one there, only a room filled with a lifetime worth of memories.
‘Will you be okay sleeping in here again?’ I heard a voice from behind me say. ‘It was as much your room as it was his.’
I turned to see Beth standing at the doorway, leaning against the doorframe and with her arms folded across her chest, watching me.
‘Yeah, I think so. Thank you. This room always feels like home to me. I’ll talk with Adam later about what we’ll do tomorrow night, though. It might be a bit . . . errr . . . awkward for him if he stays here.’
‘I can understand that,’ Beth observed, as she took a few steps and joined me, putting her arm around my waist and allowing me to place mine around her shoulders. ‘You do know that he will be just as welcome here as you are, Ricky?’
‘Yes, and thank you, Mama. That means a lot to me,’ I replied, while quickly kissing her on the side of her head. With a nod and a smile she then left me, and a few seconds later I heard her knock on the open door to the next room.
‘Come on you two love-birds, it’s time to get up,’ I heard her say. ‘How about giving me a bit of a hand in the kitchen?’
I could hear a few mumbles and grumbles as the two boys were roused from their nap, then a couple of surprising yelps as Beth threw them a towel each, which she had grabbed from the hall linen cupboard, before then directing them to the bathroom to wash up.
I had a feeling that this first week was going to be a challenging one for both couples as they adjusted to each other, but I was also confident that this fresh start would be just what the boys needed and they would actually thrive under the care of Beth and Tom.
Turning my attention back to Martin’s room, I quickly scanned from one side to the other. It was much as I remembered it, apart from the fact that there were now no dirty clothes or smelly shoes littering the floor, nor was Martin’s desk covered with books or papers or piles of photographs any more.
As with the spare room next door, the adjoining wall was in fact back to back built-in wardrobes with full height sliding mirrored doors, behind which were all Martin’s clothes, shoes and sporting gear. These were on my right as I stood just inside the doorway, then scanning left there was the Queen sized bed, with its royal blue quilt cover and which we had shared whenever I had stayed over. On either side of the bed stood two small bedside tables, while on the pale blue wall behind the bed were some of his school awards, some photos he had taken, and a haphazard assortment of posters that Martin had collected over the years; from movies, or of singers or football or tennis stars whom we had taken a fancy to. They were all arranged in a rather slap-happy order, and mostly crooked – by artful design, of course – and while some of them were now looking slightly faded, they were still in relatively good condition thanks to each having been laminated before being stuck to the wall.
Beneath the window that looked out over the front garden stood the ancient wooden desk that had served him well for many years, upon which sat his old computer and an assortment of books, manuals and notepads, all now neatly arranged.
On the last wall was a rather large bookcase which was filled with just about everything except books . . . unless you count his many photo albums on the bottom shelf.
On the top shelf were an assortment of model airplanes and sporting trophies, mostly collected during his younger years as his interest in sport had started to wane by the time he was around thirteen or fourteen and his camera had begun to take up much of his spare time.
The next shelf down contained a small television and video player, accompanied by a number of framed photographs, all of which I was sure Martin had taken himself. Holding pride of place in the middle of the shelf was one he had taken of me by the river. All I was wearing in the photo was my favourite pair of blue Speedos and a broad grin as I held up a fish that I had caught. That photo had always embarrassed me, as I was standing slightly side on and the tent in my Speedos was quite obvious. When I asked him why he had not only kept it, but had also had it blown up to twice its normal size, he just laughed.
It wasn’t until we were getting ready for bed one night and he had turned the photo face down that I found out just why he was so fond of it.
‘What did you do that for?’ I asked him.
‘I don’t need him tonight,’ he smirked. ‘I’ve got the real thing with me now.’
That was when the penny dropped. I had just found out that I was Martin’s wank fantasy, so that night I gave him the best blow-job ever!
While I was standing there looking at the photos I heard a sound at the door and looked up to see Jimmy and Shane standing there.
‘Hey, cool room!’ Shane said, as he looked around at the posters on the wall and Martin’s stuff on the bookcase.
‘Come in if you like,’ I said to them, ‘but just remember what Tom and Beth said about Martin’s belongings, okay?’
‘Sure thing,’ Shane replied.
They entered the room somewhat cautiously, looking around them as they did so and taking it all in. I guess it wasn’t that different from most other teenager’s bedrooms, apart from now being much cleaner than it once was perhaps. I watched them as they gazed at the posters and school awards and photographs on the wall behind the bed, then turned their attention to the desk and then the bookcase.
‘He must have been good at sports,’ Jimmy observed.
‘Yeah, he was. At least through until early high school,’ I replied. ‘After that he started getting really interested in photography.’
‘Did he take all these photos?’ Shane asked.
‘Yeah, or at least most of them I think.’
‘Hey that’s you again!’ Jimmy exclaimed after his eyes settled on the large photo in the center of the shelf. ‘Oh shit! And you’ve got a boner!’ he added, while pointing excitedly at the image.
‘That was his favourite,’ I confided.
‘What? The photo or that boner?’ Jimmy taunted.
‘Both actually,’ I chuckled.
It was just then that Beth saved me from any further embarrassment by calling the boys once more. Obediently they traipsed out of Martin’s room and headed down the hall toward the kitchen, once again leaving me alone.
I looked again at my photo and couldn’t help but smile, fondly remembering that mischievous streak and penchant for fun and games that Martin had always had. I truly missed that.
On the bottom shelf of the book case and neatly organised, all standing up and in order, were a row of Martin’s old photo albums, together with all of our school year books. I sat down on the floor in front of the book case and pulled out the year book from our final year at school. It was then that I noticed there were also a couple of small boxes on the shelf, of around the size and type used for mailing books through the postal service. I knew immediately what they had once contained, but somehow doubted that they would still have those same contents.
The boxes had once resided under Martin’s bed, being the perfect size to fit the small gap between the base of his bed and the floor. Obviously during her clean up of his room Beth had discovered them. I wondered what her reaction would have been when she examined their contents.
Picking the top box up I gave it a little shake and could tell straight away that it still contained something, and so I ventured to take the top off the box, holding my breath as I did so.
Cautiously I looked inside, not knowing if the contents had been changed, only to be rather surprised that it hadn’t. Right there, in all their glory were the two Falcon Studios VHS tapes that we had obtained during our last year of school. Smiling to myself I replaced the lid and set the box down on the floor, then turned my attention to the second box. It too felt as if it still contained something, and when I opened the box I found the small stash of glossy gay porn magazines that we had managed to collect over the years.
I couldn’t help but give a little laugh.
‘Beth wanted to throw all that out,’ a voice suddenly said, and looking up I saw Tom standing at the door. ‘I told her no, I didn’t think we should.’
‘Yeah,’ he replied, as he came into the room and perched himself on the edge of the bed.
I could see that he was thinking things through and was likely to say something more, so I sat and waited.
‘Everything in this room made up a part of who our son was, and even if we didn’t like some of it, it was still a piece of Martin,’ he sighed. ‘I wanted to be able to hang onto that for as long as I could. The good and the bad. I wanted to always remember him just as he was.’
‘I can understand that,’ I said.
‘Anyhow, if anything was to ever be thrown out, I figured that we should talk to you first, seeing as the two of you were so close, and some of it, like this stuff, was what the two of you had collected together anyhow.’
‘Thank you,’ I said to him. ‘To be honest, I’d almost forgotten about a lot of this. I can’t even remember where half of it came from.’
‘Which is probably a good thing,’ he chuckled.
‘Yeah, I think you might be right. I’m tempted to pass them on to Jimmy and Shane . . . I mean, they certainly couldn’t be corrupted any more than they already are . . . but given my job that might not be entirely appropriate.’
‘I’m glad you’re thinking that way,’ Tom replied. ‘Still, if you did want them to have them, I’m sure that something could be arranged. I know it wouldn’t bother me, but as for . . .’
I grinned at him. ‘We’ll see,’ I remarked.
We sat there in silence for a few moments longer, before Tom decided to get to his feet, and walked the few steps to the doorway, before stopping and turning back toward me.
‘Beth said you weren’t sure about what arrangements to make for Adam for tomorrow night,’ he said.
‘No. I’ll talk to him when he gets here. I’m not even sure if he’ll want to stay.’
‘Well, if it’s any help I can drop the boat into the river if you like, and we can moor it close by. We were going to do that on Saturday anyhow, so one day earlier won’t hurt. It actually sleeps four people, so if that’s of any use to you just let me know.’
‘That sounds like a terrific idea. Thank you.’
‘Okay then. I’ll leave you to your reminiscing,’ he said. ‘And I’ll give you a call when the steaks are ready.’
‘Thanks, Tom. That would be great.’
* * *
After placing the lid on the box of magazines and putting them back on the shelf, I picked up Martin’s copy of the year book from our final year in school.
I had my own copy of it back in my Sydney apartment, not that I had looked at it in quite a while, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to delve back into that year of my life once more. Getting up off the floor I moved to the bed and sat down to start reading, quickly flicking straight through to the section for our specific year, where I soon found the familiar faces of our former class mates staring out at me.
Waratah High School was a co-educational school, administered by the Anglican Church, and while it had a religious background, that was something which was never forced down our throats, unlike some other schools with religious ties.
It wasn’t exactly a secret at school that Martin and I were a couple, but thankfully it hadn’t ever been made a big deal of. Of course there were those who thought we would become easy marks and tried coming on to one or the other of us — unsuccessfully, of course — while there were others still who managed to voice their disapproval; the usual jock thugs who tried bullying us, or the occasional ‘concerned member of staff‘, giving us a talking to and wanting to save our souls, but for the most part we were pretty much left alone, which was just the way we liked it.
The Year Twelve class for that year was composed of eighty seven students. There were thirty nine boys and fourty eight girls, but of these there were barely half that I really knew, and that was mostly only because we had known them from the early days of primary school.
We did have a few friends that we would hang around with. There were Andrew and Graham, whom we had known since kindergarten, along with Melissa and Joanne, plus a few others that seemed to come and go. They had been there for us, supporting us, when it had become known that we were an item . . . and they were there for me when Martin’s body was lowered into the ground on that fateful day years later.
On our last actual day of school, which had been a few weeks prior to the start of our exams, we had been given something of a farewell, as had been the custom for many years. Unlike what they do in some countries, where they have a graduation day and where high school diplomas are handed out, ours is a different system. The graduating class had a farewell assembly, and yes, speeches were made and some awards were presented, then afterwards there was a barbeque lunch for the students and staff for the year. When all that was over we adjourned for the remainder of the afternoon, before later gathering that evening for our formal, or prom as it is known in other parts of the world.
For Martin and me the night proved to something of a disappointment, after having been explicitly told that we were not to engage in any activity that would make the other students uncomfortable or embarrass the school. Mel and Jo had tried to get us to give them a big ‘Fuck You!’ by dancing together, but neither Marty nor I was really interested. In the end we felt we did the dutiful thing by showing up for the event, but then left early, to go and sit on the beach in our rented suits and hold each other close, while watching the moon rise out over the ocean.
Two weeks of study and revision would follow our school formal, then straight after that we were plunged into the middle of our final exams. The countdown was on. We would soon be free . . . or so we thought.
Now, as I flicked through the year book and looked at the many photos of that last year, most of which had been taken by Marty, if I wasn’t mistaken, there were many smiling, hopeful faces looking back out at me, of both students and teachers, and I wondered what had become of them. I know it was only five years, but a lot can happen in such a short period of time . . . I was living proof of that.
It was then that another thought struck me . . . one that chilled me to the bone. Would any of these faces be capable of murder? And if so, then why? What possible motive would they have to harm such a beautiful boy? My beautiful boy!
* * *
It was the night of Martin’s last exam when our world had come tumbling down around us. It had been an afternoon exam and for a subject that I hadn’t taken, and as I had now finished all of my exams I was free that day. That morning I had ridden my bike down the road to his house and wished him well for the exam, giving him a good luck kiss before heading back to the caravan park to mow the lawns for the owner, earning myself a few dollars in pocket money.
Little did I know at the time when he kissed me back and said, ‘Thanks babe, I’ll see you later this afternoon,’ that these would be the last words he ever spoke to me.
Martin had said he would be home at about four-thirty, so I made sure that I had finished the lawns by around four and packed everything away, before taking a quick shower, changing my clothes and jumping on my bike to pedal toward Martin’s house.
About half way there I was stopped by our friends, Andrew and Mel, who were driving past and flagged me down. Mel had just sat the same exam that Martin had, so we chatted for a few minutes. She mentioned that Martin seemed happy with how he went. As I waved them goodbye another car pulled up beside me, with Josh Bell, one of our other classmates leaning his head out the window. Come to think of it, he was no mate . . . he was a total arsehole.
‘Hey, Cooper. How’s it hangin’?’ he sneered.
‘Wouldn’t you like to know,’ I replied.
‘Awww . . . what’s wrong? No boyfriend today? You can still have some of this if you want it . . . the offer still stands,’ he said, while making an obvious grab at his crotch and making reference to an incident that had occurred in the school locker rooms some time ago.
Outwardly he was one of those good looking, straight, jock types, but he was also one of those guys that had a hidden side, having the attitude that any gay guy was as good a conquest as any girl. As far as I was concerned, however, he was just a sleazy jerk.
At the time of the locker room incident I had rebuffed him, after his having put the hard word on me for a blow job, or something more. We had been alone and his approach had been up close and personal, with his hand grabbing my genitals and I had forcefully had to push him away, telling him to, ‘Just go and fuck yourself.’
No one else, apart from Marty, ever knew what happened, but I do have to admit that I had been tempted to put the word out and do some damage to that precious reputation of his. The only reason I didn’t was because, given his standing, no one would be likely to believe me anyhow. The jock against the fag. Yeah, sure, like they’d believe me!
‘Just like I said last time, why don’t you just go and fuck yourself,’ I said to him again.
‘Nah, that’s not really an option,’ he smirked.
‘Well, it looks like you’re going to be disappointed, yet again,’ I scoffed, before deciding I’d had enough of this conversation and pushing off.
‘Your loss,’ I heard him call out after me, but I simply ignored him and kept pedaling.
After having been interrupted it was after quarter to five when I actually arrived at Martin’s house. Surprisingly there was no one home, so I let myself in as I usually did, seeing I was now almost a part of the family. It looked like Martin was running late for some reason, and while I knew that Tom would be at work, with Beth probably off doing something with her friends, as she often did, I would just have to sit tight for a little while.
When five-thirty came and Martin still hadn’t arrived I was starting to get worried, as it was unlike him to be this late, at least not without calling or leaving a message of some sort. I tried calling his phone, but each time it kept going through to his message bank. Beth arrived home shortly after that and when I told her that Martin wasn’t home yet she too became concerned.
‘I’m sure it’s nothing, but how about we drive over to the school and see if he hasn’t been held up there?’ she said to me. I know that despite her own unease she was wanting to help calm me down a little, as by now I was starting to get quite agitated, so after leaving a note on the kitchen table for Tom we headed out to her car.
‘He didn’t say he had to go anywhere else, did he?’ I asked Beth as we sped along the road toward the school.
‘Not that I know of. And he obviously hasn’t called you or left a note or anything to say he would be late?’
‘Okay, let’s not worry too much just yet,’ she advised. ‘I’m sure there’s a good reason.’ But looking across at her I could see that she was worried also; the frown etched into her forehead was a dead giveaway.
About five minutes later we drove through the main gates of the school and down the long driveway until we reached the T-intersection in front of the administration building. At this point there was a small round garden in the middle of the road with a large stone Celtic style cross set into it, while roads went right (to the car park) and left (to the exit gates). That was the cross that would haunt my dreams for years to come.
Beth turned right and pulled into the first parking space she found. Looking around we could see there were still a few cars left here, which as far as I could tell all appeared to belong to teachers and staff. As we got out of the car and started towards Admin I veered off to one side and checked the bike racks. There were a few bikes chained up there still, but Martin’s familiar red racing style bike wasn’t one of them.
‘He must have left,’ I said to Beth. ‘His bike’s not there.’
‘Let’s check with them first and make sure he arrived.’
‘Oh, he was here all right . . . I was talking to Andrew and Mel on the way down to your house this afternoon. Mel sat the same exam as Marty today.’
‘Well, that’s something at least. We better check with Admin anyhow, just to be sure.’
Rosie Howard, the school receptionist, was still at her desk when we went into the admin building and seemed surprised when she looked up as we entered. If there was anyone in the school who knew what might be going on, it was her.
‘Hi, Rosie,’ Beth said. ‘You haven’t seen Martin about this afternoon, have you? We’re not sure where he’s got to.’
‘I saw him earlier, Beth,’ she replied. ‘That would have been after his exam when I was coming back from the library. He was heading toward the road going to the exit gates, pushing his bike.’
‘What? Did he have a flat tyre or something?’ I asked.
‘I don’t know, Rick. All I can tell you was that he was walking and pushing the bike. Sorry.’
‘That’s okay. Thanks anyway,’ Beth said. ‘If you do happen to see him again, just ask him to give us a call please.’
‘For sure,’ Rosie replied.
Beth and I headed back out into the late afternoon sun and stood at the front of the building looking about us, feeling uneasy and not quite sure where to go next.
With Daylight Savings time there was a couple of hours before sundown, but even so the many rows of large pine trees around the school were already beginning to cast their shadows, embracing the buildings with their own dusk. Before long we both knew that the evening would settle, all without any sign of, or word from Martin.
‘We should check the senior classrooms,’ I suggested. ‘You know, just in case he is still here for some reason.’
‘All right then, Rick, lead the way, please,’ Beth requested.
With me leading the way we headed off in the direction of the nearest building we had classes in, which housed the science labs. When we got there we found that everything was locked up and everyone had already left for the day, so we continued on to the next building, which housed our home room and art rooms.
Here we found the home room all locked up, but when I noticed the art room door was open my heart skipped a beat. I knew that art was one of the subjects that Marty had taken.
I knocked on the door and called out, ‘Hello, is anyone there?’
‘Won’t be long,’ I heard someone say, from what sounded like it came from inside the prep and storage room at the back of the classroom. Moments later the art teacher, Mr Corcoran came out into the classroom, shutting the storage room door behind him.
‘Hello there, Rick, what can I do for you?’ he asked.
‘Hi, Mr Corcoran. This is Marty’s mum, we were just wondering if you had seen him this afternoon?’
‘What’s happened? Hasn’t he got home yet? I saw him go past ages ago . . . it was after the final exam came out, so maybe around four o’clock . . . and he was pushing his bike. I think it might have had a flat tyre.’
‘No, he hasn’t shown up yet,’ Beth answered.
Mr C. wasn’t one of my teachers, but Marty seemed to like him. He was a tall guy, maybe pushing thirty, with dark hair and a beard. He also seemed to carry a little extra weight, but apart from that he wasn’t that bad looking. He was also one of those ‘touchy- feely’ kind of people, which did kind of creep me out a little, having been touched-up often enough and finding myself having to step away from him, but as far as I know he never took it any further with anyone.
‘Well, if I see him again I’ll be sure to let him know to phone home.’
‘Thank you,’ Beth said. ‘We would appreciate that.’
Leaving Mr. C behind we headed back toward the car. At least we knew that Marty had headed in the direction of home, so Beth suggested we check along the routes we would usually take.
* * *
I don’t know how long I had been reminiscing about that afternoon for, but the buzz of my phone, indicating that a text message had come through, soon snapped me out of my reverie.
Checking the screen I noticed that it was from Helen and when I checked the message itself I couldn’t help but smile at the familiar words. It was the passwords to both of our Live Journal accounts, which Helen’s friend, Denny seemed to have cracked.
First, thanks for posting more frequently. The story is so intense, evolving so quickly, that story time creeps and a reader can lose track of it. Seems like ages since Rick and Adam got together, but really it’s been only a week or so, right? I’m not sure. I was really hoping to see Adam this chapter, but the trip down memory lane was worth the added wait. Wow. I hadn’t associated Martin’s death with school before. I smell a breakthrough in the works :-).
Thanks very much Ted! I’m trying to get a chapter posted each week . . . so far so good, I just hope I can keep it up! lol
And as for the breakthrough . . . well, let’s just say that there’s still a ways to go yet before we know who dunnit! 😉
Hi Mark, Great chapter and superbly written. This story is always enjoyable. I appreciate the background you have provided here even though we are left somewhat hanging. <> Check a few paragraphs down and you attribute a speech to ‘Helen’ when it should have been Beth. No big deal, but just for your checking into.
Looking forward to the next chapter, soon???
Thank you Wayne, for your comments and your tip about the paragraph (which is now fixed! lol).
The next chapter is almost finished, but then it gets sent off to Albuquerque, New Mexico for editing. I’m working on posting a new chapter every Wednesday (our time), so hopefully I’ll be able to stick to my schedule! 🙂
Hi mark, Gday from queensland :). jUST WANTED TO SAY really enjoying this story. Its so much better that a lot of the trash you see on nifty, and well written. Ive found myself hooked lol.
Thanks very much! And I’m glad to know you’re enjoying the story!
What part of Qld are you from? 🙂
From Port Douglas. Beautful area up here 🙂
Great chapter, very entertaining story. I’m glad it is not loaded with all the mundane sex that we have all experienced!!!!
Thanks very much Sammy. I think that there are quite a few stories that would be better without all the sex! 🙂
Awesome new chapter. Although, the reminiscing scene was sad because we as the readers know Martin’s dead, it shed some more light on that past tragedy. More justice for those kids ^_^ and I can’t wait to find out more on Martin’s murder. It’s hard to stop reading this story.
Keep up the great work!!!!
Thank you Mitch. The latest chapter has now been posted! 🙂