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Written by Caleb Wilson

Part 1

In this modern day and age, at the start of the 21stcentury, he was one of the declining number of people who could say T.G.I.F. (Thank God It's Friday) and look forward to the weekend with no work till Monday morning. Many people were expected to come into work on Saturday mornings or, if not, had jobs at weekends to make enough money to keep up the payments on their credit cards or the personal excesses of their offspring, or to catch up with the endless tasks that needed doing around the house.

And now that thought, T.G.I.F., went through his mind, bringing waves of relief to him as he exited his work, got into his car, and made his way home.

He was turning into the street that would lead into the road that he lived on when he slammed his foot down on the brake to avoid hitting a boy crossing the road. The boy stopped and looked at him. He lowered his window and leant out, saying, "You some kind of a moron? Don't you look before crossing the road?"

The boy gave him the finger and casually continued to cross to the other side. He opened the car door and made as if to chase the boy, who promptly took off yelling, "Arsehole!"

He smiled to himself, got back into the car, and continued on his way back home, laughing inside as he thought back to when he was a boy and had done similar things.

Arriving at his one-bedroom apartment, his first task was to go to the kitchen and put the kettle on. While the water heated he made his way to the bathroom, stripped, and jumped into the shower. Five minutes later he was out, dried, and putting on his clean underwear, then dressing, ready to go out for the evening.

Making his way to the kitchen he re-boiled the kettle, then proceeded to make his tea and carry it to the sitting room to watch the telly and drink it.

The tea finished, he turned off the box, dumped the mug in the sink, took a last look around the apartment, then, shutting the front door, walked towards the nearby shops to do his Euro Lottery numbers before making his way to his local.

Inside the mini-market he selected the numbers on his lottery card then made his way to the counter to pay for them. Half-way towards the counter, and directly in front of him in the aisle, the boy stood. It was the same boy that had given him the finger earlier. The boy's eyes were darting around looking for an alternative route out of the shop at the same time casting nervous looks in the man's direction. The man slowed his pace and put on his hard-man expression for the boy that stood his ground a few feet ahead of him. As he drew closer to the boy, and seeing the look of concern on the youth's face, he couldn't help himself and his face split into a broad grin. As he brushed passed the boy, who'd stood to one side, he ran his hand over the top of his head, saying, "No sweat, kid," and continued on to pay for his lottery ticket.

He made his way out of the shop and the kid was there again, asking, "Could you buy us some ciggies mister? That shit head inside wanted some identity before selling them to me."

"Are you over sixteen?"


"And pigs can fly," the man sneered.

"No, honest mister, I am, but I've no way of proving it."

"Then get your parents to provide some."

"Fuck you too, you're no better than that prick in the shop," the boy spat.

"One more remark like that and you'll end up with my boot in your crutch."

"Oooh, you're really scaring me," the boy said as he turned and started to walk away.

For some unknown reason, Dylan Roberts called after the boy, "Okay kid, I'll get them for you if you want."

The boy turned and walked back. "Thanks mister," he said and handed Dylan some coins, "Can you get 10 Embassy please?"

Dylan took the coins and returned to the shop, watched by the boy. He eyed the man and thought, 'At least he doesn't bloody lecture like most of the others I've asked to get my ciggies.'

He stood waiting till the man reappeared from the shop and walked towards him, handing him the cigarettes.

"Thanks mister," and, opening the packet, held it out saying, "Do you want one?"

"No thanks. I'll see you 'round kid," and Dylan made his way towards the pub that he frequented.

Four hours later and feeling just a little bit more than light headed, Dylan Roberts made his way back home, albeit not in a straight line. He'd just turned into the road that led to his street when he stumbled on a raised kerb-stone and would have fallen to his knees had not a pair of hands steadied him. Turning to look at the owner of the hands, he smiled in recognition. "Thanks kid, and what are you doing out so late?"

"Sort of waiting for you," the boy said.


"Umm, need a place to stay for tonight."


"You heard, and it's only for one night, I'll find another squat tomorrow."

"What d'you mean 'another squat?' You should be with your parents, kid."

"Oh fuck, just say yes or no, will you, instead of bloody preaching."

Dylan Roberts shook his head to try and clear the haze that seemed to be drifting in front of his eyes, "Okay kid, if you can make sure I get to Elm Park Road you've got a place for the night."

"Thanks mister," the boy said, grabbed the man's arm, and proceeded to lead him towards the address he'd just been given.

A few minute later they were standing outside the door of the apartment with the man fumbling in his trouser pocket for the key, which he eventually produced, and they were able to gain entry to the premises.

Inside, Dylan went straight to the kitchen put the kettle on, then told the boy he was going to take a leak. But before doing so, took out all the necessary items and told the boy to make the coffee if he wasn't back when the kettle boiled. After draining his bladder and washing his face to try and get his eyes to focus more clearly, he sat on the toilet seat for a couple of minutes to clear his head, then made his way back to the kitchen to see the boy pouring water into two mugs.

"How many sugars d'you take?" the boy asked.

"Two. What's your name? I can't keep on calling you kid."

"Lucas Briggs."

"Alright Luke, thanks for making the coffee."

"I said Lucas," the boy said, emphasizing the name, "not fucking 'Luke.'"

"Okay sorry, Christ you're touchy."

"Yeah, well it's my name so say it correctly. What's your name? I can't keep calling you 'mister' all the time."

The man smiled hearing his own remark thrown back at him. "Dylan Roberts," he said and he went over to where the boy was, picking up the mug of coffee that Lucas had added two spoons of sugar to. He took a sip of the coffee which surprisingly tasted quite good, but at the moment, the way his mouth felt, anything would have tasted good.

"Umm, Lucas," Dylan said as he sipped his coffee, "I have sheets and pillow cases but no extra bed covers, so you can crash out on the sofa in the sitting room if you like with a couple of coats to cover with. Or I've got a double bed which you can share, the choice is yours."

"I'll have the sofa, don't want to hear you snoring all night."

"I don't snore, and after you've had your coffee and before you make yourself comfortable on the sofa, could you go take a shower and sling your clothes in the washing machine? I'm not into all that 'cleanliness is next to Godliness' bullshit, but, Christ, you stink."

The boy didn't take offense at Dylan's remark, instead he grinned, saying, "I know, I can smell it myself and it's a bit ripe isn't it?" He paused to drain his coffee then asked, "Where's the shower?"

Dylan informed him where the bathroom was situated and his eyes nearly popped out as the boy, after emptying his pockets onto the table, proceeded to strip down to his briefs right there in the kitchen.

Lucas gathered his clothes and walked over to the washing machine and dumped them inside. Turning to Dylan he said, "I hope you don't mind, I'll drop my briefs outside the bathroom door and you can stick them with the others in the washer."

Speechless, Dylan just nodded in acknowledgement as he watched the boy walk out of the kitchen, noticing how his shoulder blades and spinal column protruded, and also the thinness of the boy's limbs.

'Shit!'he thought, 'I didn't offer him anything to eat.'He went over to the sink and dumped his empty mug in it, then made his way to the deep freeze section of the fridge, opened a section, and took out a pizza. Unwrapping it, he stuck it in the microwave, set the timer, then hit the start button. While the pizza cooked he went to the bathroom door and gingerly picked up the boy's briefs with finger and thumb. Keeping them well away from his body, he put them with the rest of the clothes in the washer. He added some non-biological detergent and started the wash, then made his way to the sitting room to await the reappearance of the boy after his shower.

Lucas duly emerged with a towel wrapped around his waist, saying, "Sorry, I had to use this towel. Is it yours?"

"Yeah but I can get another. I've got a pair of boxers and a T-shirt you can use to sleep in," getting up from his chair Dylan said, "Come with me then you can change into them."

He led the way into his bedroom, found the necessary items of clothing that had shrunk the most from many washes, and which he no longer wore, and handed them to Lucas, saying, "When you've changed into these, there's a pizza in the kitchen for you."

The boy's eyes lit up at the mention of the food, and as soon as the man had left the room the towel was dropped to the floor and the boxers and T-shirt were donned. Returning the towel to the bathroom, he then went to the kitchen to tackle the pizza that was on offer.

The boy, munching a slice of pizza, walked into the sitting room to join Dylan, the man noticing that the boy had managed to secure the boxers so that they didn't fall to the ground.

Lucas walked over and dumped his body beside that of Dylan's on the sofa, "Aren't you going to have some pizza?" he asked.

"No, with the amount of booze I've had if I try to eat I'm most likely to throw up," he replied. Dylan stood and as he made his way out of the room said, "I'm knackered, I'm going to bed, you eat and drink whatever you want and I'll see you in the morning."

The boy responded with "See yer," and continued to munch on his food.

Dylan made his way to the bedroom, stripped off, and let his clothes fall where they were. He put on his night shorts and crawled under the bed covers. Within the space of a minute he was asleep.

Half an hour later the boy, not feeling too comfortable on the sofa, entered the bedroom to see the man sleeping with no snoring emanating from the region of the bed, in fact, he could just about hear the man breathing. 'Thank Christ for that,'Lucas thought as he made towards the bed and gently crawled into the vacant side, pulling the covers over himself. Within a short space of time, like the man beside him, he too slept.

Dylan awoke, his mouth dry and with a slight headache. He made to get up, then noticed the form occupying the bed with him. He gazed at the boy, noticing the mop of light brown hair that had spread over the boy's face, hiding his features from the observer. Dylan moved to the edge of the bed as tentatively as he could so his movements wouldn't disturb the boy. When clear of the bed, he made his way to the bathroom to relieve his bladder and swallow a couple of Panadols, then headed for the kitchen to make some coffee.

As he entered the kitchen, Dylan saw the boy's clothing draped over a clothes rack up against the radiator. He went over to them, felt them, and found they were bone dry. 'Lucas must have attended to them after the wash had finished,'he thought.

With the consumption of the coffee and the tablets he'd swallowed starting to take effect, the day seemed to hold more interest for him, other than his normal Saturday morning routine of guzzling a cup of coffee then heading back to bed.

Firstly, he had to think about the kid. He knew it wasn't his problem, but he had to try and get him to go back to his parents' house rather than living in squats. If that wasn't successful, then to try and get him into some sort of refuge that catered for kids that had left home.

He picked up the boy's clothing from the clothes rack and headed back to the bedroom. He silently opened the door not wanting to wake his guest, only to find Lucas with his hair brushed from his face lying on his back with his hands clasped around the back of his head as he stared up at the ceiling.

"Good morning," Dylan said, walking into the room, "I see you're up."

"Yeah just lying here enjoying the bed, it's been ages since I've slept on one."

"I thought you were going to sleep on the sofa."

"Changed my mind when I came in here and you weren't snoring."

Dylan tossed the clothes on the bed, "I told you I don't snore. Your clothes are dry now."


"Do you want a cup of coffee?"

"I'd prefer a cup of tea."

"Okay I'll make it," the man offered, "but don't blame me if it's not to your taste."

Lucas jumped out of the bed, saying, "Don't bother I'll make it myself," and made his way to the kitchen.

With the boy gone, his resolve to talk to Lucas about his future dwindled as he looked at his bed. The desire to lie down again for a moment was too strong to resist and, with a sigh, he gave in to his weakness and flopped onto the bed. He was lying on his back with eyes closed, drifting into a state of unconsciousness, but before he could fully sink into sleep his mind was brought back to the brink of consciousness with his body being moved and a voice saying, "Get off my bloody clothes."

"Umm huh, what's up with you making all that racket?" Dylan mumbled as he lay without moving.

"I want to get dressed and can't with you lying on my clothes, so I was trying to move you, you drunken slob."

"Who the fuck are you calling a drunken slob? I'm perfectly sober."

"Yeah, well you weren't last night, now move your arse so I can get my clothes."

Dylan rolled to one side, freeing the clothes that he'd been lying on, so that the boy could retrieve them, which he did, and make his way out of the room to get washed and dressed.

Alone again, Dylan sat up and realized that what he'd done wasn't a very good role model for the boy if he wanted to try and talk to him about going back to his parents.

'Shit, the kid's right, I am a drunken slob - every Friday night without fail it happens,' he thought. Normally he would come home with a woman as drunk as himself which would give him a chance of getting a shag if not that night then in the morning when they awoke before politely giving her the boot.

This Friday he hadn't pulled a bird. Actually he could have, but the ones that were available looked like something the cat had dragged in, so he passed and ended up with the kid helping him home.

Suddenly he realized, 'I wasn't that pissed last night. If I was I wouldn't have come home without a bird no matter how bad they looked. Then why did I ask the kid to help me home? I suppose trying to be charitable and help him out, he needed a place to sleep. Seems that the kid is a bit more alert and worldly wise than I realized, and I think I need to get my act together more than he does.' His thoughts were disturbed by the boy coming back into the room, now fully dressed.

"I'd better go now Dylan, and try and find another squat. I'll see you around," Lucas said and turned on his heel to leave the room.

But before he could reach the door, Dylan called out, "You don't have to leave so soon."

Lucas turned, facing the man, and said "The earlier I leave the better it is, it gives me more time to find a place to stay."

"What's wrong with this place, is my company that bad?"

The boy stood by the door, "I told you I only wanted to stay for the night."

"Yeah, well, what about two nights, or even three?"

Lucas now moved forward, confronting the man, "You want me to stay?"

"God you're clever! How did you figure that out?"

Lucas smiled, "Okay, I'll stay until you get fed up with my company and kick me out."

"All right, now that's settled, I'm going to get washed and dressed, then after breakfast we'd better do some shopping for groceries from that little mini-market where we met."

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