Jum

[IN PROGRESS!!] Josh is an American teenager living in London after moving all over the States when he was younger, and determined to make it his home. Meet Michael, the British boy who will help him do so. (BL, some chapters feature explicit content.)

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37. Chapter 24 [2/2]

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I got another surprise the following day. It was at lunchtime and we were eating in a corner of the cafeteria — lunchtime together was still allowed, that was nice. I was actually showing him how to use a small digital dictaphone I'd remembered I owned and never used, when his phone rang. That in itself was a surprise, since he hardly got any calls, but the real surprise was the nature of the call.

"It's my mum," he said, staring at the display incredulously.

"Go on, then. What are you waiting for?"

He nodded and brought the phone to his ear. "Mum? Is everything all right?"

I busied myself with my second slice of pizza so I didn't stare at him, but I couldn't stop a small smile from stretching my lips. Something had definitely changed; he wouldn't have spoken to his mother like that before. I know it was just a simple phone call, but it meant a lot because I just knew that a few weeks before he would have answered with a lot more hesitation — or maybe even not answered at all.

"Oh," I heard him say, and my eyes snapped back up to his face. He didn't seem worried, so I allowed myself to relax a little bit, but I kept my eyes on him.

"Do you want me to ask now or—" A pause. "Right. OK, I'll… I'll do that right now and we'll talk about it tonight?" Another pause. "OK, see you later. Bye."

I remained silent, watching him as he looked at his phone, a smile slowly illuminating his face.

"Everything OK?"

"Yes," he said, putting his phone back in his pocket. "I… Mum was asking if you'd like to come for dinner next Friday."

"Dinner?" Oh shit. What? "I— Your dad. I don't know that I should push my luck with him…"

"No, he won't be there. He goes to these… team-building weekend things with people he works with once in a while, and the next one is next week. Thursday to Sunday, so Mum thought you could come on Friday night. It will just be the three of us."

"Are you sure? I don't want to impose."

"You know, you're starting to sound like me. I understand now why you always seemed so frustrated when your mum asked me to stay and I made a fuss about it. I think my mum likes you."

"Oh come on, she only met me a few days ago."

"But she's been asking a few things."

"About me?"

"Yes. I think the McCalman charm is working on her. On us. You're… fixing us."

I snorted. "What are you talking about?"

"I'm serious. We've been… talking more than before. It started on Monday morning, when she helped me tie my shoelaces. When she asked why I was leaving early, I mentioned that we always meet up for breakfast on Monday and… we talked. A little."

"That's awesome!"

"And it's all thanks to you."

"It's not. This all comes from the fact that you worked up the guts to talk to them. Nothing to do with me."

"It has everything to do with you. Before… before you, I never could have done that. So… will you come? You don't have to decide right now, but maybe before the end of the day?"

"I'd love to."

He stared at me for a few seconds, and I could tell he was having trouble stopping himself from grinning from ear to ear.

"She'll be very happy. And so will I, of course."

"I'll put it in my diary then. What time shall I get to your house?"

"I was thinking you could… come with me straight after the last class…? We could spend the afternoon there together the way we do at your place."

Oh I liked that. I liked that very much.

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