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Chapter 12 - Gregory

It was kinda funny to see Nancy run around looking absolutely flustered. Today she was going to school with her boyfriend Rafael for the first time. Mom isn’t very impressed, he was standing there in the kitchen with his arms crossed in front of him grumbling under his breath about idiotic Italians. Luckily for us dad is there to keep mom occupied, if there is another thing I bless my papa for is his limitless patience with mom whenever his in one of those moods. I see a set of headlights swipe up our drive and Nance let’s out an inhuman screech.

“OH. MY. GOD! Oh my god! He’s here! He’s here!” She rushed up to me and grabbed my arms, shaking me “I look okay right? There is no odd make up or anything stain on my clothes right?” She took my baffled silence as a bad sign and looked about to cry ready before dashing up the stairs to changes her clothes again.

“Querido; you look absolutely stunning.” Dad managed to grab a hold of her arm before she could reach the landing. Dad’s gaze softened, “If he doesn’t notice, than he is an idiot. Now, let’s go and face him.” Just then Lo opened the door squealing as he rushed at Syl, who usually came with Taylor and not Rafael. “Where is your car Rafael?” The only car that stood on our drive besides mine and my parents’ cars was Taylor’s. Rafael blushed a little before opening his mouth to reply but Taylor beat him to it. “His parents forced him to lend his baby to his older brother who actually managed to stall it so many times it needed to go to the garage to have the engine replaced.”

Taylor sighed “And I am the friend stuck with lending the car so he could go and pick up his girlfriend.” I blinked surprised that Taylor was okay with someone driving his car; he always struck me as someone who is overly cautious with his car. “Oh, well then we can just carpool today in my car. Lo would love that wouldn’t you Lo?” Both younger boys cheered and Taylor walked back to his car to get Syl’s car seat and put it in mine besides Lo’s car seat. Looking back I could see mom stand there all intimidating in front of a nervous looking Rafael. “You better bring my baby girl back in one piece you hear me DiNozzo? And on time you hear me? No lingering at school or the diner or the youth centre.” He would have said more but dad pulled him back. “If you don’t let them go now Queirdo they will be late.” Rafael and Nancy made their hastily escape now dad had mom successfully distracted.

After strapping both boys in their car seats, we made our way at a leisurely pace towards the elementary school building. We were waving towards the boys at the entrance doors when it hit me that we looked like a pair of parents, just like nearly every other adult that filled the playground in front the school. Taylor looked at me with this piercing gaze, making me blush harder. “What is it that has you blushing this cutely Greg?” I focus on the road instead of giving him an answer. When I park the car in front of our school building, Taylor is at my side in a blink of an eye. “Come on Greg! Tell me!” His face is so close to mine that I can see golden specks in his dark eyes. I swallow, biting my lip. Taylor’s eyes follow the movement with heated eyes; his body is pressing mine in to the car. “Tell me Greg. I want to know.” He husked, his eyes flitting over my face as it goes even redder. I am saved by the tardy bell from answering. Ducking and racing towards the building hear him shout at me “You will tell me Greg! Even if it’s the last thing I do!”

To most that heard and watched our interaction the last words sounded like a threat. I knew it wasn’t a threat of bodily harm like most thought; it was a threat of him digging and popping up at the most random times until I give in and tell him. Yet this time, I am more than determined not to give in, no matter how annoying he gets or how much he nags. Now filled with determination, I make my way over to the cafeteria. As per usual everybody but me is already seated at the table. Carrying up my tray to the table I frown a little as I don’t see Taylor. Usually he is already seated and halfway done with his lunch by the time I arrive. I don’t worry though; he has periods where he just vanishes only to pop up at the end of the day.

I did start to worry however when it was the end of the day and practice was over and I still hadn’t heard anything. I kept glancing at my phone in the silent hope that he had send me a text saying what he was doing. I nearly dropped the phone when it buzzed and I received a text. Eagerly for news of Taylor I opened the text. I deflated a little at the short three line text. Could you pick up Syl? I am too busy to pick him up. Thanks! I pouted at the words; I was hoping he would tell me what had kept him away from school and me. I wasn’t too surprised anymore when I realised that I wanted Taylor to be around ever since I confessed to Joel that I might be in love with Taylor.

I quicken my steps as I see Rafael stand in the parking lot talking rapidly on the phone. By the tone of the conversation, Rafael is frustrated and angry. He shouts something that sounds like a curse before hanging up the phone. “Rafael? Are you okay? Was that Taylor?” I don’t care how eager I sound to hear anything about Taylor. I need to know he’s okay. He looks startled and a little sad before schooling his features to a blank look. My shoulders sag at the meaning. It means Taylor told him something he doesn’t want to tell me. My heart squeezes painfully, as I blinked my eyes rapidly to hold back the tears that threaten to fall. “Well, do I still need to pick up Syl, or will you do that?” Rafael blinks in confusion “Why would you need to pick up Syl?”

I bit my lip hard enough to taste blood as I fight not to explode. “He asked you to pick him up?” He sounds cautious as he slowly makes his way over. Not wanting to look at him I busy myself with taking out Syl’s car seat and hand it to him. Taylor would want it back. He gave it back to me “You need it to pick up Syl” Blinking confused I stand there with the car seat in my hands. “But...” Rafael held up his hand “But nothing, go pick up the boys.” I knew for sure he knew something I didn’t. Yet I couldn’t ask him about it because Nance just arrived, ready to go. With no other option but put the car seat back in my car, seeing as Rafael had taken off already with Nance.

Arriving at the school building I frown as I see Syl and Lo talking with a guy I don’t recognise. “Hermano!” Lo’s shout made the unknown guy glance my way as I made my way over. Lo pouts up at me as he crosses his arms, jutting out his bottom lip. “You’re late hermano!” He whines as he goes back to Syl and proceeds to drag him to the car. “Come on Syl, hermano is here. We can go home now.” The guy looks at me with narrowed eyes before turning on his heel and leave. Helping both boys buckle in, I notice the tired and scared look Syl has. I gently pat his face, checking for any signs of fever. “Are you okay Syl? You look a little tired.” Lo looks worried as he peers in Syl’s face before replying. “He has been like this ever since that other man showed up. I don’t like him at all. He’s creepy.”

I look worriedly as Syl slowly trudges inside the house to an equally worried Gordo. “What happened?” He questioned when Syl was out of ear shot. “I don’t know, according to Lo he was like this ever since that creepy man showed up at the playground.” Gordo’s eyes narrowed, “What creepy man at the playground?” I flinched a little at the harsh stare, but Lo was the one replied. “The tall blond haired man with a big ring on his right hand. Syl took one look at him and he became like that.” Lo made a motion to where Syl had disappeared into the depths of the house. Gordo looked thoughtful for a moment “Did the man have a visible scar anywhere here in his neck?” Gordo was pointing to the side of his neck near his ear. I watched as Lo tilted his head to the side as he seemed to think really hard on it. I hadn’t noticed any scars, but then again I only saw his right side.

Gordo slumped a little as Lo shrugged, not really knowing if he saw the scar or not. “But” Lo quipped up “I do remember his ring looked very much like yours.” He pointed to the solid silver looking ring on his right hand. Gordo looked alarmed as Lo bounded back over to me. “Can we go home now hermano? I am hungry.” As if on cue the bottomless pit that he calls a stomach rumbled. I looked startled as I checked the time on my phone: 18.00 pm! We were very late for dinner. I even had several missed texts from mom and dad. “Yeah little man, let’s go home.” I ruffled his hair a little before strapping him in his seat and return Syl’s car seat to Gordo.

When we returned, we were met with a fuming mom, demanding what took us so long to return. He softened as we proceeded to tell him that the mystery man freaked Syl out and that Gordo had a clue to whom it might be. Deep down in my gut I had a feeling that we will see more of him and that he has something to do with Taylor’s all of a sudden evasive and strange behaviour.

Taylor would show his face until halfway through next week and I was more than ready to give him a piece of my mind. Yet, when I saw him all the angry and hateful words died on my lips as I took in his haggard appearance. “Taylor, are you okay?” His eyes flickered my way before he started to pull his lips into what should have been a reassuring smile but ended in a painful grimace. “Taylor, are you okay?” His eyes flickered my way before he started to pull his lips into what should have been a reassuring smile but ended in a painful grimace. Without further delay, I grabbed his arm and tugged him along with me to the nurse’s office where I proceeded to pull off his shirt, revealing a patch of dark skin on his right side. The shape of the bruise suggests a steel pipe since it’s long and slightly square. Just then Taylor thought it was a good time as ever to be funny. “Here I thought the first time you’d be taking off my clothes would be in my bedroom, not the nurse’s office. Unless... You’re that kinky.”

The nurse nearly dropped the gauze and disinfectant at the statement and my face went thermonuclear. I open my mouth to protest, but the only thing that comes out is a spluttering garble of words.

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