He waited all through Saturday for a call from Jake but it never came. By 5.00pm he accepted the fact that Jake had found other interests and that it was futile for him to think that Jake might suddenly need his company out of school hours, reluctantly he settled down to watch the box for the rest of the day.
On Sunday he decided to go out to the shopping mall just to try and get Jake off his mind. He walked around aimlessly, not really achieving what he had set out to do and was on the verge of returning home when, not really looking where he was going, he bumped into another boy. They stood there momentarily looking at each other, then he made signs to convey his apologies to the boy. The boy smiled, seeing who it was.
The boy signed "Its okay Billy."
"I'm sorry. I don't know your name but how do you know me? And you don't have to sign. I can hear and understand speech."
The boy grinned "I'm David Spencer, I go to the same school as you but I'm a year behind you. I found out who you were when you first came to the school two years ago."
"Okay David, nice to meet you. Sorry about the bump. I was miles away."
David was just about to sign his reply then remembered and said "No problem, so where were you going?"
Billy shrugged his shoulders, then signed, "Just wandering around, how come you know sign language?"
"My whole family knows it. My two cousins have a hearing defect and because we see them all the time we all learnt it. That's why I started signing when I saw you sign, just through force of habit. So if you're not doing anything in particular can I hang out with you?"
Billy's face broke out into a smile, "Sure! What do you want to do? I was just walking around and if I hadn't bumped into you was going to go home."
David's face lit up, "You want to come to my place? We can grab something to eat. Then if you want we can do a movie this afternoon."
"I'll have to text my mum first, and ask her permission."
"Well do it from my place, Billy, and if she wants she can speak to my dad or me to make sure all is okay, then after we grab something to eat we can do the movie."
Billy signed, "Okay let's go," and the two boys made their way out of the shopping mall.
They were both the same height and with the same light brown hair, but David, although a year younger was a bit broader in the shoulder and chest.
With David showing the way, they hopped on a bus and ten minutes later were at David's home, one of a set of terraced properties. Opening the front door he ushered Billy in and then led him to the sitting room. Inside the room his parents were watching the Sunday afternoon omnibus edition of East Enders.
"Mum, Dad, this is Billy, a friend of mine from school."
"Hello Billy," they responded, and when they saw Billy sign his greeting, they were about to sign their apology, when David stopped them, saying: "Its okay, Billy can hear you but he can't talk. Mum, can Billy and I grab something to eat then go to the movies?"
"Alright come into the kitchen. The Sunday lunch is ready. You can eat now and we'll eat later when your brother gets home."
"Where is Damien?"
"He's gone to the park with some of his friends to play football."
The two boys followed Mrs. Spencer into the kitchen. David offered Billy a seat at the breakfast table. Shortly Mrs. Spencer set two plates of roast beef, roast potatoes, mixed vegetables and Yorkshire pudding in front of the boys. They both thanked her, one out loud, the other by sign language.
They finished the meal and David went to the fridge and took out a carton of chocolate fudge ice cream. He didn't have to ask Billy if he wanted any; just the smile that creased his face said it all. With two liberal helpings in each bowl they attacked the ice cream and in seconds were sitting back content.
"You want something to drink Billy," Billy shook his head, then signed, "Do you really want to go to the movies we can always do it another day when the weather isn't so good."
"So what do we do? Do you want to go to the park and join my brother and his mates in a kick around?"
"Okay, but I've got to warn you, I'm pretty crap at football."
"Well so are my brother and his mates! The only thing is they don't know it. Anyway you don't have to be good to beat them, they're only eleven, you can just nudge them with your hips and they'll fall over, then you get the ball, run at goal and score. It'll be us against them and the kid who normally plays in goal is only about four and a half feet tall, if that, so all you have to do is lob it over his head and it's in."
The boys said their goodbye's to the adults, David telling them they'd changed their mind about the movies, and instead were going to the park to meet up with Damien and his friends.
Five minutes later they entered the park. There were quite a few people there but only one game of soccer being played across the other side that Billy could make out, and he assumed that it was David's brother and friends.
As they walked over to the group of boys David yelled out, "Damien."
A small boy with hair the same colour as his brother stopped running and looked around then waved on seeing his elder brother. The game stopped as the younger boys waited the approach of David, and Billy.
"Can we have a game?" David enquired when they reached the boys, "Us two against you five but one of you has to stay in goal all the time."
"Okay what's your mate's name?"
"Alright we'll be Man. United."
"Okay. We're Chelsea."
"Why don't you let your mate decide what team he wants to be."
David turned to Billy: "Chelsea okay with you?" Billy gave him the thumbs up.
"Doesn't he bloody talk?"
"No, but he can hear, so watch your shitty little mouth."
"Sorry, Billy didn't know."
Billy smiled and signed, "Its okay."
After making sure that their goal was not too wide, David grabbed the ball, "Okay, seeing that there's only two of us we'll kick off."
He centred the ball and invited his team mate to kick-off. Billy passed the ball to David who immediately took off with the ball at his feet. There was no subtlety or finesse to his game he just crashed through the younger boys and then blasted the ball past the keeper, then jumped and punched the air screaming "Yeeeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhh Goooaaal."
The younger boys collected the ball, centred it and kicked-off. Damien had the ball and was running down the centre of the pitch heading for goal till David nudged him with his hip, knocking him arse-over-tit. He collected the ball and started making his way goal-wards with Damien screaming foul, which David ignored till he had scored a second goal with the same celebration.
Damien came running over screaming, "You're a dirty bloody cheat," at his elder brother with supportive, "Yeahs," from the rest of Damien's team.
"Bollocks that was a perfectly fair tackle, shoulder to shoulder."
"It bloody wasn't, you bloody liar! You used your big fat arse, and I'm taking the ball and going home so up yours! Come on guys," and the Manchester United team departed.
When they considered what they thought was a safe distance away they turned yelling, "WANKERS," at the same time making the universal gestures with their hands.
David pretended to chase them and the boys took off, all of them splitting up in different directions. He stopped chasing after a few yards then came back to Billy who had been silently laughing his head off, ever since the second goal had been scored.
As soon as David stood in front of him he signed, "That was hilarious."
"Yeah that always happens my brother gets pissed off, and grabs his ball and goes home. Now the game is over what next."
Billy indicated my place, and David said, "Okay do we need to bus it or walk"
"If we walk, it will take between ten and fifteen minutes."
"Let's walk, and on the way we can talk. Umm you know what I mean Billy."
Billy smiled, and started walking towards the park exit with David alongside him, "So what d'you want to talk about?"
"Umm where's your mate the one who's always with you at school and I've also seen you out together in the shopping mall as well."
"You mean Jake; he's in love with Mary Rawlings."
"Mary Rawlings? Who's she?"
"Girl with big tits in our class. She has reddish brown hair."
"What about you Billy? No girlfriends?"
"No, and in any case I don't think there are too many who can understand sign. What about you?"
"Nah, not now. I had one a few months back but we broke up. I don't know. I just didn't fancy her after a bit, and when it came to giving wanks she was bloody hopeless! She didn't even know how to hold my dick."
Billy laughed silently, and David joined him in laughter. They continued their talking getting the odd look from passing people seeing Billy signing as they walked towards his house.
As they neared the more affluent area of town David stopped. "Shit, don't tell me you live in this area Billy."
Billy nodded, then signed, "You're not going to get weird about it are you."
"Weird what the fuck for, it's nice to have a friend whose parents have a bit of dosh. Come on let's see this big old house you live in."
"It's not old and not all that big only three bedrooms but it does stand in its own grounds, and I only have a mum."
"Oh sorry about that Billy. What d'you mean 'own grounds'?"
"You know, like no other houses adjoining it."
A bit more walking and shortly Billy let David into his house. He led him into the drawing room where he greeted his mother then introduced David as a friend from school.
Mrs Scott welcomed David and asked him if he wanted anything to eat or drink.
"No thanks Mrs Scott, we ate at our house."
Mrs Scott looked at her son "did you eat as well William?"
"Yes mum," he signed, "but we'll eat again later in the evening if that alright with you."
"We're going to my room mum," and the two boys took leave of Billy's mother.
Billy led the way upstairs and into his bedroom and offered David a seat on the window box seat, where they both sat down next to each other.
David hadn't said a word he was just staring all around the room then slowly got up and went over to Billy's bed.
"Man this bed is big, why d'you have such a big bed.?"
Billy shrugged his shoulders then signed, "Since we moved here I've always had a double bed."
"I don't think this bed would fit in our bedroom, we have to have a bunk bed, Damien on top and me underneath."
"That must be fun at least you have company at night."
"Yeah, but there's not much privacy."
"Yeah well too much privacy can be a pain, so what d'you want to do."
"Anything I'm not particular."
"You want to play some PC games."
"I don't mind, but I haven't had a lot of practice on them. We don't have a computer; I've only been on my cousin's one."
Billy got up from the bed and indicated that David should follow as he made his way over to the computer. Sitting down he booted up then turning to David signing asked, "What games have you played?"
"I'm not sure of the name but I think it was called Generals or something like that."
"You want to play it? I've got it if you want."
"Nah it takes forever and any case I really didn't understand it much."
"D'you like card games?"
"Yeah, come on then show me how and I'll have a go."
Billy started the game and showed David how it was played and the rules of Draw Poker. It was a simulation of a casino table with six players.
As soon as David got to know the rudiments of the game he took over from Billy and was soon engrossed in the game, only to be cleaned out shortly, having gambled on every hand he was dealt. With a bit of advice from Billy about when to bet and when to fold David was soon enjoying himself at the game and spent the next hour and a half amassing a fortune and then getting too greedy and losing it all.
Broke! He grinned and turned to Billy. "You want to have a go now?"
"No not really. I have enough time to play it when I want, but you play again if you want."
"Nah, I suppose I'd better start heading home."
"Don't you want to stay and have something to eat a bit later?"
"Yeah, alright if it's okay with your mum."
"It's okay," Billy signed, you can sleepover as well if you want."
"Okay, oh shit! I didn't bring any nightwear."
"You're about the same height as me only a bit broader; you can use a set of mine."
"Alright, can I use the phone to call home?"
Billy took his mobile out, handing it to David.
"Umm, I've not had a mobile before, Billy, you'd better get the number for me."
Billy did the necessary and handed the phone to David. Within the space of a minute he'd got permission from his father and with a big grin on his face handed the phone back to Billy.
Billy signed, "I'll just go and tell my mum you're staying over, then we can sort the bed out for you in the next room."
"Umm I thought I was going to sleep in here with you."
"D'you want to."
"Yeah the bed is big enough for four of us, and in any case I'd feel a bit weird sleeping in a room by myself in someone else's house."
"Alright come on I'll tell my mum then we can plan what we can do the rest of the day."
After his mother had agreed to David staying over Bill signed, "Do you still want to go to the movies David?"
"Okay, after we've had our evening meal we can go. What did you want to see?"
"Hostage. If it's okay by you, but even if we didn't go out, I'm okay! We can just hang out in your house."
They went outside and fooled around in the garden, messing around in general till Billy's mother called them in for their evening meal.
Their hunger satisfied, Billy signed, "Still want to go to the movies David?"
"It's up to you. I don't mind what we do - even if we just went to your room and talked."
"Can we? I'm not much of a movie fan."
"That's fine by me! I could spend hours in that room of yours."
"You want to go up there now?"
"Okay," and David, not waiting for Billy, took off up the stairs. He ran into the room kicked off his trainers and jumped onto the bed.
When Billy finally emerged into the room David smiling said, "This is one wicked bed you've got Billy. Come on over."
Billy kicked his trainers off. Then, with David shuffling over, Billy lay down beside him.
When both boys were lying on the bed David moved onto his side resting his elbow on the pillow and putting his head in his hand he looked down at Billy.
"D'you miss your friend?"
Billy looked up at the face peering down at him. "No, not now I don't," he signed.
"Would you go all weird if I said I kinda of uh, you know"
"What are you trying to say David?"
David didn't answer he just lowered his head and brought their lips together in a quick peck, "That's what I was trying to say," then looked down at the boy he'd just kissed to gauge his reaction.
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