Joe's Story

The growing pains of a teenage boy

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1. Family and Friends {Joe’s story} S1

Chapter 1 Family and Friends {Joe’s story} S1

   There’s a knocking on my bedroom door followed by, “Good morning Joe dear, it’s seven o'clock.”

   That’s Gill my mum calling. You see I live with her, my older brother and younger sister in this great big old house in the leafy suburbs of London.

     I’m sixteen, or will be in a few months’ time. My mum and I have this love hate relationship. You see like most teenagers I don’t like getting up in the morning. 

   Every morning Mum and me would go through this same routine, she would wake me up and I would make her wait until I was good and ready then I would let her in. You see even though I don’t have a lock on my bedroom door, no one can get in until I remove the chair I've wedged under the doorknob. 

   This morning I'm feeling extra horny and make her wait until I’m done, normally I’d to do it in the bathroom making everyone wait which usually pisses them off.  

   Today when I’m finished, quick as a flash I remove the chair and hop back into bed, making sure my duvet is fully covering every inch of my lower body.

   In the past when I was younger and there was free access to my room. My Mum would knock and barge straight in which on a couple of occasions had ended up with both of us being highly embarrassed as most of the time I sleep naked or just in my underpants. You see my bedroom has the hot water pipes running under the floor, making it too hot to wear pyjamas all year round.

   Now decent, as Mum would say, I shouted out, “You can come in.”  It so happened that this morning I was feeling tired. While thinking maybe I would give school a miss, I must have dozed off, only to be awoken again by the sound of my TV blasting out. Mum after having switched it on was now opening the curtains, allowing a stream of light to flood into the room.

   “Wake up Joe dear, time’s moving on,” Mum said this, while watching the news.

   I wish she would go away and leave me alone, so I could sleep.

   “Joe dear, you know you've left your laptop on?”

   I swore silently, fully awake now. Then closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep.

   “Why’s there a green light showing on the cam?”

   I had been up half the night chilling out with my friends on this great chat site, and must have fallen asleep leaving it still connected.

   “Don’t tell me you've had that cam, on all night?”

   What’s with the questions I thought?

   “Joe, I’m talking to you.”

   Good God, she was doing my head in now.  “Big deal,” I muttered, softly under my breath. As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I knew I had blown it. My Mum’s hearing is so good she can hear a pin drop or even the noise of a silent fart. 

   “Joseph White, what did you just say? You do realise that all and sundry could have been watching you while you were sleeping?” Again without waiting for an answer mum continued, “I've had enough of this. I warned you the other day what I would do if you didn't mend your ways.”

   “No, no. Please Mum, I didn't mean it. I'm so sorry, please, please, give me another chance.” I could feel tears welling up; she was being so unfair. If only Dad was still living with us. He would understand.

   “Well, young man, you’re on notice, and I really mean it this time.”

   As she was about to leave I saw the towel I had used that morning lying on the floor. In case she decided to pick it up and saw the wet patch I reached for it and in doing so I lost my balance and fell out of bed. Thankfully I grabbed my duvet as I fell. But for a brief moment I exposed my naked bottom. I felt the blood rush to my face in embarrassment. My Mum at the door stopped wagged her finger at me, and said, trying not laugh “Find an outside activity or else!” Then she left the room and I could hear her laughing fit to bust. I was just picking myself up, when my sister Susan came running in wanting to know what all the noise was about.

Thankfully, my brother Ted, who was a prefect in my school slept down at the far end of the corridor and so had not heard the noise otherwise he would have given me grief. 

   I’ve come to the conclusion that my family is sex mad starting with my mum. Since my dad left us she’s had a string of men friends. Her current one Rob is half her age and she refers to him as her toy-boy when speaking on the phone to her girlfriends.

   Of all her men, I like him the best because whenever he sees me he doesn’t treat me like a little boy as some of them have, instead he calls me young man and is always friendly. 

    I hate my brother Ted because he’s sadistic. He will sneak up behind me and get hold of the top of my underpants and yank them up out of the back of my trousers, resulting in a form of strangulation of my private parts. The only way to overcome this form of torture is to protect my back whenever he’s around. 

   My younger sister Susan is no better, only the other night, she and her friend, who was sleeping over at our house, had waited for me to come out of the bathroom after having a shower and only wearing a towel around my waist. She grabbed hold of the towel and pulled it off me declaring, “See I told you he had a big willy.” 

   Annoyed, and still embarrassed by my mum laughing at me, I left the house in a temper. 

   The echo of the front door slamming shut followed me down the garden path. I had used so much force that the letterbox tongue rocked backwards and forwards. The flapping noise sounded like a machine gun spraying bullets. This matched my mood. I was rightly pissed off, heaven help anyone who got in my way today.

    I almost left the gate open just to spite mum. This would have exposed her precious front garden to any stray dog that might come along.

   I hated all dogs especially their owners, for allowing their mutts to foul the pavements. I had been forever cleaning my skateboard when I was younger.

Thinking of mum again, I swore aloud. Just then a dog appeared from the alleyway between the houses.

   I was about to give the dog a good kick, when this woman appeared with a lead in her hand. Maybe she could read my mind for she gave me a very funny look as I walked passed.

   This really bugged me. Who the hell was she to look at me in that way? Did I have ‘dog kicker’ tattooed on my forehead? It felt like everyone was on my case today. “I‘ll give them kicker,” I thought. My shoe hit the fence with a bang. I did it again and again, each time shouting a string of swearwords. I sort of lost it, only stopping when I had made a large hole in the fence, exposing the garden behind.

   I could feel my heart racing as I ran out of the alleyway; I no longer felt angry, just surprised and a little scared I could be so violent.

   My phone vibrated, I dug it out of my trouser pocket and saw Alan had sent a text. He was running late, so could I call for him on my way to school.

   I thumbed back a reply that I was on my way.

Maybe I could scrounge some breakfast. I was still hungry. My mum’s fry up this morning was worse than usual; it was so burnt. It was really only fit for the dustbin.

I swore as I arrived at Alan’s. He was already waiting outside the front gate, meaning no food, well not quite for he had toast, so in the end it wasn’t a total loss. Anger forgotten, I walked down the street towards school, munching away. Every now and then I would bump shoulders with Alan trying to force him onto the grass verge.

   “You got any cigarettes, Joe?” Alan asked.

   “Yeah, I nicked some from Rob, my mum’s latest boyfriend when he stayed over the other night.”

   “Won’t he miss them?”

   “Not a chance. They weren't in a packet; he uses a tin. Funny thing though, some were hand rolled. I took only one of those just in case.”

   The nearer Alan and I got to school the more agitated Alan became. By the time we had reached the main road and could see the school entrance on the other side, I was sure he was on the verge of having another panic attack and was fighting back the urge to run away.

   I was getting really worried about Alan. He was my best friend and I wanted to help him. Only the other day he had confided in me that the dream had returned.

   Not caring who could see us, I gave Alan a reassuring hug. People at school already called us names and suggested we were queer. He was my best friend and, yes, we had as kids done things like touching each other and having pissing contests, even so we were not gay. I also remember one time   Alan’s sister, Samantha lifted her skirt and shown us everything. 

   I asked him, “Would it help if I led you across the road like last time?” 

   Without saying a word, Alan trustingly put his hand on my shoulder and closed his eyes. Like a guide dog leading a blind man, I took Alan across the main road. Once there I left him to make it into school unaided.   

                                                          ****

 Alan

   OMG the nearer I got to the road before school the sicker I felt it was only being with Joe and him looking out for me and his hug that gave me the courage even with my eyes closed shut to face crossing that fucking road. 

   The other problem I had was I didn’t know what to do about Joe. I really, really like him in that special way. Of course I didn’t dare say or do anything because, what if Ben stop being my best friend. It all started when we were younger and on stop overs we would share a bed and being boys we would fooled around a bit which had been bliss. Only once while Joe was deeply asleep after having found the key to the liquor cabinet, did I snuggle up close to Joe and give him a kiss on the lips. Then later after the accident and the nightmares. It was always Joe holding me that would calm me down.

                           ****

Joe  

   I swore as the alarm started wailing, Alan, who was following me through the school gates, had set the bloody scanner thing off.

   I swore again. The security at this entrance was becoming as tight as a gnat’s arse, all because some boy had brought a round of live ammo into class.

   The stupid thing was once inside there was no security at all.

   “Well Alan what was it this time?”

   “Sorry, I forgot I had some coins in my pocket.”

   “Damn. It’s always something with you isn’t it. Come on then,” I turned and headed in the direction of the toilet block behind where we smokers hung out.

   Ginger greeted me with a punch to my arm when I got there. Although it hurt I didn't show it.

   “Well Joe, have you got it?”

   “Of course I have” I then took the box out of my school bag and showed him the collection of cigarettes I had brought with me.

   He looked them over and selected the hand rolled one, sniffed it. Then with a big smile on his face, stated, “I’ll have this one.”

   “We’re quits now, right Ginger.”

   “You’re full of surprises, Joe.” Ginger handed me a couple of cigarettes “Now we’re quits.” Still smiling, he moved off.

   “Wow,” Alan exclaimed, “That was odd.”

   Yeah, most odd, I thought. Just then Billy and Charley arrived, so I doled out cigarettes thinking no more about Ginger. Just thankful I had enough fags to go around.

   Charley produced his lighter and while firing up our smokes asked me, “Does your mum always wake you up in the morning?”

   “Yeah, she’s better than any alarm clock.” I replied taking a long drag on my cigarette and started coughing. I really should give up smoking, I thought.

  Billy, the joker of our group, who was always mimicking our teachers then said, “Wake up Joe.” It was so uncanny, he sounded just like my mum. Then he switched to my voice. "Please, please Mum give me another chance. I’ll be a good boy.”

   Puzzled now, I looked at their smiling faces. “How come…Oh My God…No way…You were watching me on cam ...what if I was... holy shit, you fucking perverts.” I could feel my face heating up, at the thought of being captured on live cam as I tossed off into the towel this morning and maybe put on YouTube for everyone to laugh at.

                     ****

Alan

“What’s up?”  I asked in all innocence. This set everyone off again including Joe this time.  “Well?” I demanded angrily.

   Joe eventually stopped laughing and explained it was no laughing matter. This morning his mum, when she had found he was still connected to a live web site with cam on while sleeping, had done her nut.

   Apparently she had been bitching all week about how much time he was spending on line, and was threatening to take his computer away.

   What Billy and Charley had observed after seeing him doing you know what, was her giving him a hard time and a warning to get an outside activity or else.

I swore and said, “If she does you can always come over to my house and use my computer.”                                      ****                      

 Joe

 I thanked Alan. And hoped that wouldn’t happen Then while we smoked, my friends came up with a few suggestions, for outside activities one of which was joining the sailing club but as I couldn't swim it was a none starter.

   The sound of the school bell cut short any further talk. It was left that we’d meet up at lunchtime, in the local fish and chip shop with hopefully some better ideas.

                    *****

The whispering started in the corridor in-between classes. Some boys had been discovered in the toilets and the rumour was they had been suspended. It soon spread throughout the school.

   At lunchtime, everyone in the queue around me outside the chip shop was talking about the toilet incident. It was common knowledge that such things went on, and everyone just ignored it. Even the teachers did.

   I could think of a few times in the past, when I had waited until I got home rather than visit the school toilets, but that was mainly to avoid a bully named Edwards.

   We were all laughing at a dirty joke someone had told when Alan arrived.

   “Joe, you won’t believe it. Ginger is one of the toilet boys.”

   “You mean, smoker boy, Ginger? No way! You’re kidding me.   I saw him only the other day snogging the girl who works in the bookshop.”

   “Well maybe he swings both ways?” Alan suggested.

   I started to laugh, “Maybe we should call him fag boy in future.” As I spoke Billy and Charley joined us.

   “Wow you’re brave, Joe,” Billy said. “I wouldn't call Ginger a queer if I were you. He’s likely to do something nasty to you. Isn't that right Charley?”

   “Yeah, then we’ll visit you in hospital, Joe.”

   “Don’t be daft, I was only joking.” Damn I thought looking around, wondering who might have overheard me.

   I wouldn't admit it to the others, but I was a bit scared of Gingers reaction, if what I had just said got back to him.

   “What can I get you Joe love?” Wendy from behind the counter asked.

   “Hi Wendy, I’ll have a double portion of chips and one of those cod roe things. Oh yeah, and two packets of tomato sauce please.”

   “You want them open or wrapped.”

   “Better wrap them. It looks like rain.”

   “Okay love.” Wendy acknowledged as she added salt and vinegar to the chips before wrapping them. Then handing me the bag with all my things she announced, “That will be a fiver love.” I paid her and left as she shouted out “Next please.”

   Wendy was a quick worker so it didn't take long before the others joined me outside with their food. Then we all made a dash for the supermarket’s car park where the smoker’s area with its covered roof would protect us.

   We had just made it and were sitting down at the tables when the sky opened and down came the rain. It was so heavy that the noise of the water hitting the plastic roof drowned out any talking.

   All we could do was eat up, and then of course light up, for it wouldn't feel right to just sit there without smoking.

   Slowly the rain started to ease. That’s when Charley’s phone decided to play this god-awful music; he was into heavy metal bands. Thank goodness it stopped when he answered it.

   “Wow.” Charley exclaimed. We all stopped talking. “It’s a text from my friend Ted, you know, the prefect. He says the toilet thing was not sex”. Charley pauses to read “Oh, its drugs.”   We’re all ears now. “Shit! A master found Ginger and three boys half stoned out of their minds.”

   “Fuck,” I thought, so Charley knew my brother Ted. No wonder my brother knows everything I do.

   “Holy cow!” Alan exclaimed. “Joe, you don’t think, it’s that smoke you gave him?”

   “Well,” Charley said looking straight at me. “Ginger will be suspended unless he gives them the name of who supplied the joint.”

   “Damn Alan and his big mouth,” I thought, but before I could say anything, my phone vibrated. It was a text from my mum. I felt sick. We had an appointment to see Mr Stevens the Headmaster straight after lunch.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

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