In Chapter Two, David says his goodbyes and prepares to leave London in a way in which David discovers something new about himself.
Unlike most days, the last few were much more stressful for David, Kathleen and Peter. Other than the consistent moaning about the school in general, the journey that the three had to make didn’t make things better. Peter was having a rant over money – as in the cost of the fuel for the petrol needed to drive them up to the school shop in Newbury and back. The cost of the uniform was expensive enough, not to mention the riding gear for equestrian classes as well as a brand new suit for his ballroom dancing classes – which meant off to Debenhams to find the cheapest one.
The main uniform consisted of a black blazer with the school emblem on – their school written in Latin. Besides this came two crisp-white shirts and two pairs of black trousers. The ties came in various colours, depending on which house group you belonged to. David would be under the Clement house, and therefore would wear a bottle green tie with black stripes. Black socks and a pair of smart black shoes were also required.
The uniform was enough for one thing; packing everything else was on another scale. Whilst David’s new uniform hung up on the wardrobe door, his parents were prepared to sell David’s Norcross uniform, David hiding the precious garments at the bottom of his suitcase. The other problem was having to say goodbye to his only friend.
Jason Isaac was a funny sort of character. Tall in height – around six feet to be exact, Jason had shoulder length jet-black hair and usually wore black. Although he had his other friends to talk to, none came close as to a friend than David. He loved his football – supporting Chelsea, as well as his cricket, supporting the England team as well as Middlesex, but he could easily put that aside for books. When he wasn’t reading books, he was the school’s number one Goth. They met when David first came to London. Jason was asked to introduce him to the school and make sure he was settled in. they both moved on up into high school and completed their studies at Norcross. With Jason, because David didn’t know many people, he had no one to share his worries with, and Jason was a good listener. The pair had agreed first thing that morning to meet up at the park once David was back from uniform shopping.
Chilling out on the swings, the majority of the conversation was one-sided, Jason muttering on about his summer holidays whereas David was in a world of his own. Realising that he was just talking to oneself, Jason nudged David with his knee, the two colliding.
A hand came to David’s shoulder. “Oi! Are you even listening?”
David blatantly lied, not wanting Jason to worry over him. “Yeah.”
“Liar. You’re not listening; you’re obviously thinking too loud. Tell me.” David waved a hand and backed him off. Although he knew that Jason could easily sense the problem, he didn’t liked to be fussed over. “It’s fine.”
“No it’s not. I can tell by the look in your eye. If you don’t tell me then you’ll have to tell your mother.”
“Will you shut up then if I tell you?”
“Fine. It’s the new school isn’t it? You’re not comfortable with moving again and ending up in a place where you know you won’t be welcomed.”
“Your parents, especially your mother, is whining on about your eating habits.”
“Hmm, you don’t say.” Jason studied David’s features, eyes raking down from his forehead down to his stomach, pass his thighs to his feet and back up in satisfaction. “I can’t see nought wrong with you.”
“Wouldn’t it just be easier moving in with you?”
“No, not when my mother is worse on your eating habits than your own.”
“I’d just throw the food to the dog anyway, or if she had to spoon feed me, I’d soon throw it back up and exercise it off.” Jason grabbed the collar of David’s T-shirt and pulled him close, staring at him in the eye, voice breaking.
“Don’t you ever do that David! You know it worries me when you put your life at risk. Bulimia is not the answer and neither is anorexia. And anyway, who says you need to lose weight because you look fab.” Jason then pulled David into a hug, both of them losing control of the swings and fell off. Neither bothered to get back up on the swings, and because two younger children wanted a turn, they moved to the shady area underneath the trees. Jason leant against the trunk of the tree and straightened his legs out. David lay down, his head in Jason’s lap, eyes focusing on the other.
“Can we talk about something else before I run off into the sunset to my death?”
“Of course.” They spent the remainder of their time together underneath the tree, Jason running his spidery fingers through David’s hair and caressing his neck as they went from topic to topic. When it came to departing, David checked his watch where it was getting on for half-nine and darkness was within them. He pulled himself up, giving Jason a hand as they leant against the trunk and shared a long departing hug. Some of the other teens who were still out gave them odd looks, but they couldn’t care less. Pulling back, they shared their last few words with each other.
“You better write to me. I’m going to need some sanity in that hell hole.” Jason chuckled and soon replied back. “And you better write back and tell me about those posh folk. I’ll keep a look out for you just in case you do anything. And you also better tell me about any new birds.”
“You know I won’t date one, never mind one notice me.”
Jason’s eyes darkened. “A beautiful, sexy man then, if that suits you better?” David rolled his eyes. “You know you can’t have me.”
“Who says you was pretty?” Jason pretended to be shocked, David grinning. “I’m only kidding, you’re a very handsome man and may Katherine or what’s her name be happy that she has you.”
“You’ll come down for Christmas?”
“If I can get out. You’ll come to any events won’t you?”
“I’ll do my best. Now, I can sense your mother after you so you better go.”
“I know I have to but I don’t want to go. I like this and I wished I could take it with me.”
“Who knows, if I persuade my parents, I could come and join you in January, or maybe enrol in the sixth-form with you and get one of them scholarship things. Tell you what, would a departing kiss make it any better?”
David was flabbergasted, seriously wondering what Jason had had to drink that day. He’d never be the type of person to come out with such a thing. “You have got to be joking?”
“Why not? I’m serious, and I think you could do with one to raise your spirits for when you get there. I’ll come to the house bright and early in the morning and wave you off.”
“Are you sure about this?”
“Positively.” Jason draped his hand around to the small of David’s back and brought him closer so that they were millimetres apart, one feeling the other’s breath on them – noticing the steady rise and fall of their chests. Jason inched forward a little more and pressed his lips against David’s. New sensations went ablaze such as the flutter of the stomach, the increased pulse and the rough texture against him. He knew that they weren’t together and they probably wouldn’t ever be, but David thought about what would it be like to be with another of his own gender and be kissed all of the time. Responding to the kiss, David allowed his one hand to travel around Jason’s waist and a hand to go into Jason’s hair, messing up the thick, jet-black hair even further. David was unaware of what he was doing as his hand slipped from Jason’s back further south towards his arse, where his hand went exploring, rubbing against the black denim material. A flick of the tongue across the lips and a few more of tongues meeting each other for the first time and they broke away, panting.
“God that was magnificent. and you say it’s just girls for you?”
“I weren’t expecting a smooch quite like that, and you touched my arse!”
David sheepishly grinned, admitting his actions. “I couldn’t help it.”
“Is it good, soft and firm like Katherine says it is?”
“Eugh, I don’t want to hear about that woman. She’s no good for you but it’s your choice. Your arse is…” David went through his mind of words before using a simple word to describe it. “It’s nice.”
“Nice. Are you sure? You seemed to splay your hands on it for a while.”
“Yeah alright, it’s lovely, but what about mine?”
Jason cheekily smirked. “I’ll guess I’ll have to find out.” Jason completely forgot the fact that he was dating Katherine and leant back in to kiss David, According to his word, Jason wasn’t attracted to boys, but it was something about David that Jason loved, but he wasn’t quite sure of what it was. He didn’t believe in a sexual relationship between two men, only platonic, but he respected people’s choices. Following the one hand that was resting on his shoulder, it dipped and stroked its way down David’s back, clenching his t-shirt and the hand went straight to his arse, the second hand immediately joining the first as they groped it, reeling forward as they were fully pressed together, David reciprocating Jason’s actions as the kisses got dirtier. From there, their lips, tongues and hands went everywhere, teasing and touching. David knew it was wrong, as did Jason, but they couldn’t bring it upon themselves to stop.
Eventually David got home. Walking through the door and sitting on the bottom step taking his trainers off, Kathleen came out of the kitchen to give David a lecture about timing and that he was off to Berkshire early the morning after. She was stopped in her tracks as she saw the state of David’s hair.
“What did you do to your hair? You didn’t jump through the hedge to get home quicker did you?”
“No, I was out actually.”
Peter overheard the conversation from the kitchen and guessed David’s evening out. “He’s been with a girl!”
“Good for you. Now tell me, what’s her name?” David was unsure of whether to tell his parents the actual truth, and so told the truth, just changing the name of the other. “Jasmine.”
Writing up his first entry in his journal, now having a use to write things down, Kathleen noticed how late it was and banged on David’s door.
“Get to bed young man! You’ve got school tomorrow!”
“Two more sentences to write out and then I’ll be done.”
“That journal is meant to be for Hounslow.”
“Yeah I know, but you said when a memory comes about to write it down so I don’t forget the happy parts of my life.”
“Oh, fair enough then. You better be up at 6am tomorrow though! We don’t need Marjorie Evesham at out front door having a rant at us tomorrow morning!” Kathleen gave up and closed her own door, the main light soon flicking off.
Marjorie Evesham, better known to David as ‘Old Evesham’, was their next door neighbour. Kathleen and Marjorie, since knowing each other, have never got on. Most of their mornings would either be Kathleen or Marjorie knocking on the other neighbour’s door and having a rant about the amount of noise created by the other household the night before. However, Peter and Richard, Marjorie’s husband, did get on. Most Sunday’s they would take to fishing at a local pond, or sometimes drove further afield. David, as much as he got on with Richard and the Evesham’s son, Russell, he always thought that Marjorie looked much older than she is. At 45 and his mother at 40, he often visualised the pair of them soon to be on mobility scooters from the cat fighting.
The morning after, the Chamberlain’s managed a lucky escape as they left for Paddington Station. With Jason living only a few houses away, he heard the noise coming from his bedroom window of the likes of Kathleen and Peter rambling, soon hearing David. He remembered what had gone on the night before and knew he had to wave David off before the lad was out of his life for a few months, which he couldn’t let that go quite so soon. Grabbing the first pair of trainers he found, he undone the locks and tuned off the burglar alarm, taking the keys with him so he could let himself back inside. Checking the road was clear, he made a run for it before he was too late.
David was loading some boxes into the car, his arse perfectly on show. Checking that the coast was clear, Jason placed a hand against the dark trouser material and firmly rubbed. David blushed from the contact, having to grip onto the boxes for support, suddenly feeling a lot warmer than beforehand, and ducked his head to get out, being met with lips the second he turned around as Jason’s hands went flying. Breaking away, they both remained close to one another.
“Oi! Don’ get my uniform dirty!”
“Ooh, posh boy talk.” Jason eyed the uniform, inching closer the second he had finished studying David. “Not bad but I prefer our own. Where is it? They didn’t get rid of it did they?”
“Ssh, keep your voice down. It’s packed just in case I come back.”
Jason kissed his way up David’s jaw, nosing his cheek. “I hope you do because I thought lots about you last night and all the things we could get up to, if you know what I mean.”
“Oh don’t worry, I intend to come back.”
“Good.” Jason dived in and snogged David, thrusting his hips forward to meet David’s, David’s voice hitching as he leant against the car, Jason marking his territory.
Peter and Kathleen could hear kissing and a bit of high-pitched moaning – probably Jasmine saying goodbye – so they remained inside clearing the last few things up, giving David some space.
Panting from the ongoing smooching, David reached up and whispered in Jason’s ear, nosing the shell followed by a nip of the lobe. “I thought you said this was just a departing kiss?”
Jason met David’s whisper, breathing heavily. “It is, and a bit more.” He then went for his neck and jaw, pressing David against the now closed car door as they continued to kiss and touch. Once hearing the parents come out, they immediately broke away and David got into the car, David rolling down the window as Jason winked an eye at him.
“I’ll see you soon.”
“You better be good, and don’t you dare get into any trouble or I’ll punish you.”
“Don’t worry, I’m always good.”
Leaving slightly earlier than planned, David was relieved that the miserable downpours from the night before had passed over to give a bright, sunny start to the day. Squashed between the heaps of luggage, they just made it to the station through the rush-hour traffic. They arrived a minute after nine, where the train was to depart at a quarter-past the hour. Approaching an attendant who was giving out information, Kathleen left Peter and David struggling to lift the luggage out of the car and towards the station entrance. Eventually the males caught up.
“Boarding for Hounslow, sir?”
David had no idea how to respond, so kept things short and simple. “Yes.”
“Very well then. Platform 1, sir.”
One thing that boggled David’s mind ever since he left the house was as soon as soon as people noticed his uniform, they would address him with the title of sir. He understood that he was about to attend a very prestigious school, and that some students could possibly have titles, but from David’s view, they didn’t have to treat him as if he were a royal. Using the lift to get to the platform, as soon as they were there, the platform was packed. The platform was covered with staff, students and parents who were saying their goodbyes as students boarded the steam train. To David, it was a bit odd considering that they were still using steam trains in the mid-nineties. A member of staff approached the Chamberlain’s with a clipboard and pen.
Flicking through the pages to cross off his name, her dull powdered face broke into a grin as her ash blonde hair continued to glue itself to her forehead from the weather. “Ah, you’re one of the new students. Going into Year 11 aren’t you?”
David never said much, and just stood with his luggage quietly on the platform, meaning his mother had to do the talking for him.
“Ah, never mind him. He’s in one of those stubborn moods because he’s uncomfortable about transferring, and he’s departing from a recent fling.”
“Mum! You’re saying uncomfortable? You haven’t shut up over it since I got the acceptance letter.”
“Don’t worry Madam. We’ll get someone from his form and boarding house to make sure he settles in well, and don’t worry Dave, they’ll be plenty of lads to take your mind of girls.” Yep, like the advice was going to work.
Peter cut in to remind the staff about David’s eating disorders. “And make sure he eats something.”
“We will. Well, we haven’t got long before we set off, so if you would say goodbye to your parents and find a seat then we’ll be on our way.” She left the three alone as she continued with her duties. Two attendants came and took David’s luggage to one of the front carriages. Kathleen was in tears as she hugged her son, where all three knew they wouldn’t see each other for at least a year.
“My son is growing up,” Kathleen choked out as she tightly embraced her son.
“Mum! Can you not?”
“Now, be good and don’t be mean to others, make some friends, and make sure you eat. Call us when you can.”
David muffled for help as the life was sucked out of him. “Dad? Can’t breathe!. Can’t you do something?”
“Come here Kath, let him go.” Peter managed to tug Kathleen away from David and shouted ‘And you need to eat’ as David gave a snarl and closed the carriage door behind him.