Chapter 34 Part four/London
Poor Ben couldn’t seem to settle, wherever he looked there was always something to remind him of Matt. He absentmindedly picked up the tongs that Matt used to hold the teabag for his morning cuppa. Then, feeling overwhelmed by grief, he dropped them and collapsed onto a kitchen chair.
Life was so unfair he thought, whilst tears streamed down his face, collecting on his chin and dripping unnoticed onto his white shirt. His Matt was dead.
There had been angry words the last time they had spoken, and he now regretted having broken the connection mid-sentence without saying good-bye.
Then the car accident had happened and, although he had taken the first available flight out, he had arrived too late. Matt was already in a coma and had died without regaining consciousness. Ben was devastated, for he had been unable to say he was sorry and make it better between them.
As Ben sat there the doorbell started ringing announced that more people were here to give their condolences. Thankfully, Pat was on hand to open the front door.
At the beginning Pat couldn’t understand why Ben would tear up when people called round, but after a few days, it began to bug her.
Eventually, Ben had explained. It was the chimes that set him off, for he and Matt had chosen them when Ben had first moved in with Matt.
Pat, always the practical one, solved that problem by switching over the doorbell chimes to a ringing tone.
This time, when she opened the front door, to her surprise Jason was standing there with suitcase in hand. Wow, how embarrassing, she thought. They hadn’t seen each other since that fateful day when she had caught him and Ben in bed together and she had run away to Washington.
“Hello Jason, Ben will be pleased to see you,” Pat declared with a forced smile. She knew she had to accept their close friendship if she wanted to stay with Ben, even though she didn’t like it.
After a while Pat had to grudgingly admit that Jason being there certainly cheered Ben up. No longer did he have time to just mope about the pace. Instead he was too busy showing Jason together with her London.
To Pat’s surprise, she was introduced to a different London than the one Ben had shown her all those months ago. Instead of visiting the museums and galleries, Jason insisted on going to the Hard Rock Cafe’. He said it was the original, the first one ever.
Pat thought the place was very interesting especially as it had retained its original 70’s style décor.
After a lunch of so-called authentic American burgers, they visited the rock 'n' roll museum. Which sent Jason into raptures as he was into guitar playing.
Of course, like little kids, they all had to buy the tee shirt with the name plastered across the front. Then they had cold drinks in one of the three bars and listened to rock music.
On another day they went back to Camden Town, where Pat had been before. Jason thought the shop signs were really funky.
Ben showed Jason were he used to work and introduced him to Sammy who now worked on the food stall full time.
Sammy even allowed Ben to cook his own special super-duper crepes for everyone.
That evening they topped it off by staying in Camden and having supper in a local jazz club.
The sleeping arrangements at the flat were a bit crazy. It was like playing musical chairs but with beds.
Pat took the spare room while Jason had to make do with the couch in the lounge. Sometimes one of them would share Ben’s king sized bed. On one occasion when there was a raging storm going on outside they all ended up together in Ben’s bed, cringing when the thunder crashed overhead and sheet lighting lit up the place while bouncing around the room moving from one mirrored door to the next.
The following morning when Patricia got up, she grabbed her pad and from the doorway she started to sketch the boys still lying in bed asleep.
Thank goodness, Pat thought. The aeroplane had been almost full when Ben booked the tickets so they had been unable to sit together, giving her time to think about the last couple of days.
It had all started to go a bit strange the day after the storm. Maybe it was her fault; she shouldn’t have given in to her artistic side and sketched the sleepers as she preferred to call them.
At lunchtime, the boys had taken her to a gay bar. Thankfully, she hadn’t been the only straight person in the place. Still to her, it was a real eye opener to see so many cute looking young men together. Except for the hugging and kissing, the men seemed quite normal to Pat.
It was what really happened last night that worried Pat. She had been both horrified and then a bit excited at the time, She and Ben were in the throes of lovemaking, when she had become aware of movement in the bed, it was Jason wanting to join in.
By the time the plane had landed, Pat had decided that to keep Ben she was willing to accept Jason as part of her family. To her surprise Ben had been thinking the same thing. He announced he would like them all to live together and they should look for a place to rent, now he had decided to make New York his new home.