The Lost Boy

The Lost Boy, 9.

Two weeks later. North London, England.

Alan Davidson stepped into his office and immediately paged his secretary telling her to hold all his calls for the rest of the afternoon. He had just been informed that a second round of tryouts for the Metropolitan League had been held that afternoon, and his son, Daniel, had made it through. He would be playing hockey in the United States, in a state called Minnesota. He felt flush at the thought. Minnesota. There were so many memories there.

His first time in another country; alone.

His first time experiencing another culture.

His first big break-working for the Daniels Group, a prestigious law firm.

His first love.

His first born.

He was undeniably stuck on the last two. Samantha Daniels had been beautiful. She was also his former partners’ only daughter. His teenage daughter. It wasn’t a good mix. He had been immediately drawn to her; her long blonde hair almost an aphrodisiac in itself. He had loved her tenderly, if not illicitly, but loved her nonetheless. He still missed her, after all these years.

His thoughts drifted to the aftermath of his rash actions, and their repercussions. Samantha had bore him a son; a little boy that had her golden hair, but his greenish gold eyes. It couldn’t be denied that the boy was his son, the paternity test had yielded the truth. The result was Alan returning to England in shame, hoping to keep the boy a secret.

What am I going to do? He thought.

He knew all about Jamie; knew because Samantha’s mother never let a year go by without shipping a box full of pictures and letters explaining all about the boy. Spiteful woman, he often thought. Alan’s mind often wandered to the deepest part of his brain, where he kept the secret of his son tucked away. He looks like me. He has my smile. He plays hockey.

Hockey. That was going to be a problem one day, Alan was sure of it. He knew his son had talent, he watched from afar as Jamie went through the motions of peewee games, the Junior Divisional Championships, and playing for St. Dominic’s. Jamie’s grandmother had sent him his yearly box a few months in advance this year; he had received it yesterday and it contained documentation that the boy had been placed on the Metropolitan team.

With Daniel.

This was going to be interesting.

and so

and so, 0.5.

Scarecrows lined the pathway of the Beckett house and glowing pumpkins were in the windows. Orange garbage bags with painted on faces sat at the curb, filled with fallen leaves. They had put a plastic punch bowl outside, filled it with candy, and left a note that said Take One.

It was Halloween night. Kelly sat on her dresser with Christopher pressed against her. Black streamers and dark lighting, they were behind a locked door while the party went on below them. They had been alone together for awhile, ignoring their friends; kissing, cupping faces and exploring hands.

And talking. Kelly was surprised how much Chris spoke when they were intimate. How much he opened up when he was at his most vulnerable. She loved this side of him.

Christopher tensed, hard, breathing deeply. He tasted her and wanted her and he couldn’t catch his breath.

“Are you sure?,” he breathed.

Kelly pushed against his chest, her lips brushing his, “Shhh. Yes.” She reached down to undo his jeans, sighing against his mouth. “Let me show you what I want.” Then, searching out his eyes, “You’re trembling.”

Chris looked up, lips quirking into a ghost of a smile. “I’m okay.” He bent closer to her and lifted her off the hard wood and onto the bed. Rolling the condom up his length, he then steadied himself on top of her. “I want this. With you. I’m glad it’s you,” he said nervously, leaning down.

xxx

Christopher walked slowly over the crunching leaves that littered the grass he had raked earlier that day. He would have to do it again tomorrow. Checking his phone and seeing he had ten minutes until curfew, he felt around in his jacket for a cigarette. It was surprising to have that ten minutes, since he had stayed to help Kelly clean up after their friends had left.

“Hey.”

He looked up and saw the oldest Reagan son on the front steps of the house. Sighing inwardly at the loss of a hit of nicotine as well as having to endure Davy, he stepped around him and nodded in his direction as he made to go inside. “Hi,” he said softly.

“Now I know there’s no Reagan alive who wants to head inside before curfew.”

Faltering at the door, Chris turned around. “I’m not a Reagan.”

“You’re as good as. Come sit with me. You’ve got a few.”

Sitting down, Chris looked up expectantly. “Yeah?”

“You gonna tell me about what you got up to tonight? Ma and dad might already be in bed, but ol’ Davy remembers the ways of teenage boys well.”

“What?”

Nodding to the Beckett house, “No cops had to show up, that’s good.”

“Why would the cops come? The music wasn’t that loud. Nothing was out of control.” ‘Party’ was only used in the loosest of terms.

“No nonsense I gotta tell the parents about?” He sniffed obviously, “You did a good job of cleaning any scents off you.”

“Do you want to breathalyze me?” Chris snapped. He reddened, realizing he had maybe gone too far. Breathing deeply, he looked up again. “What do you really want? Don’t you have kids of your own to harass?”

“In bed already. Sugar comas. Lindsay and I took them around for candy earlier.”

“Tell me about the blonde,” Davy smirked. “You did have that well satisfied look on your face walking over here.”

“I don’t – ”

“It’s good, you know. Spend time with a girl, especially one like the Beckett girl. Her head’s on straight, which is far from what I can say about you most of the time – ”

“Are you congratulating me or talking shit?”

Davy stopped, staring at the kid. “She’s good for you. I know you. Don’t screw it up.”

“Davy. You don’t know anything about me.” Christopher deadpanned. He stood up, brushed off his jeans, and went inside.

Shutting the front door, he leaned his head back against it. The hallway clock chimed midnight. Time to turn back into a pumpkin.

xxx

Christopher was pulling on a clean pair of pajama bottoms to sleep in when his bedroom door slammed open.

“You know, Chris – ”

He couldn’t help flinching as his brother bulldozed his way into the room. Startled, his vision started tunneling before he remembered to breathe. “Don’t you knock?!”

“You’re going to wake up ma and dad, quit yelling.”

Blinking hard, “I’m not?”

“Christopher. You’re shaking. And white like paper. What’s going on?”

“Nothing, you just scared me, barreling in here like that. What’s wrong with you?”

Davy turned and walked out without answering. Chris sank onto the bed, his heart still pounding. He listened to the sound of his own breathing for a few minutes. “Get a grip,” he said to himself. “It’s just Davy being an asshole.”

“I am frequently an asshole but in this moment, I’d like you to reserve judgement. Here.” Davy shoved a cup of hot chocolate in his hands. “Drink it.”

Breathing in the scent, Chris wrapped his hands around the mug, savoring its warmth. He stared down at it, trying to figure out why it smelled vaguely like cinnamon. “You didn’t spike this, did you?”

Lips in a thin line, Davy rolled his eyes hard at his brother. “No. Drink.”

“Why am I drinking hot chocolate?” He took a small sip.

“You don’t like tea and you don’t need caffeine this late. And chocolate’s good for shock. Your color’s better already.”

“I.. ”

“I know. Stop. Keep breathing and drink.” He placed a hand on Chris’ back. “It’s okay. I wasn’t thinking.”

“About what?”

“That barging into your room like that would do this to you. You don’t have to say anything. I know it put you back there. I am an asshole, I’m sorry.”

Christopher slowly looked back at his mug, and drank some more so he wouldn’t have to say anything. He kept it up until the chocolate was finished. “I don’t mean to be such a mess,” he whispered.

“There are things in your past that most of us don’t have. I didn’t realize how easily you could get sent back there.” Davy looked at the teenager.

“How’d you know?”

“Believe it or not I am an adult and a father. And a big brother. And I didn’t need the physical reactions, I could see it in your eyes.”

Chris cleared his throat. Placing the mug on the nightstand, he stared out the window. “What were you coming in here to say? Before, uh, this.”

“I was going to say things that were out of line and unnecessary. Don’t worry about it.”

Christopher turned to look at him. “I like her. She doesn’t deserve to be talked about the way you started to. And I haven’t touched a drink in four months.” He could see Davy doing the math, calculating how long he had been here as Drunk Chris versus Sober Chris.

Davy looked at him. “Good. Try to sleep, kid.”

The Lost Boy

The Lost Boy, 8.

It was snowing. The world seemed at peace. Today had, in actuality, not been so bad. He had skated for the fun of it on the pond earlier in the day and he had enjoyed it. Later afternoon he had received a phone call from the Metropolitan League. He had made it past the first set of tryouts. The next round would be held the following weekend.

I’ve still got it, he thought to himself.

Jamie stood in the kitchen, making himself a sandwich. Skating had left him hungry for food for the first time in months. As he sat down, his stepfather walked into the kitchen. He pulled the chair opposite Jamie’s away from the table and sat down. He sat quietly, finishing his sandwich, then picked up his plate and rinsed it in the sink. As he walked into the hallway a hand gripped his arm.

“Wait.”

Jamie turned slowly, unfamiliar with the tone of his stepfather’s voice. “What?”

“I want to talk to you?” It was a question, rather than a statement.

Jamie looked into John’s face, searching for traces of anger. He found none. But he did find emotion; it reflected the same expressions in his own eyes. “Okay.”

xxx

The two men sat together on the dock, their breath rising in plumes around their mouths. Neither had said anything for several minutes. Jamie reached into his sweatshirt pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He didn’t often smoke, and usually kept his habit hidden, but didn’t care at the moment. This was one of the times specially reserved for nicotine.

John stared at his stepson while he lit a cigarette, but didn’t say anything. He hadn’t known that Jamie was a smoker, but kept his surprise to himself. He didn’t want to rock the boat any more than he had to.

“How did your tryouts go?,” he asked gently.

Jamie looked up in surprise, not knowing that John knew he was playing again. Possibly playing again. “How did you know about that?”

John smiled shyly, “Coach O’dell told me.”

Jamie looked out over the water, taking the new information in. “When did you talk to O’dell?”

“We’ve always talked on and off. He called when you quit the ducks. Actually, I received several phone calls about that one. From O’dell, Principal Charleston, your grandparents.” He paused. “Danny.”

Jamie was silent for a moment. “Why do they all care so much?,” he asked himself quietly.

“Why wouldn’t they?”

Jamie looked up quickly, not realizing he said anything out loud.

He looks so sad, John thought. He didn’t do anything to deserve this. “More people than you realize care about you, Jamie.”

Jamie stood up, taking one last draw of his smoke and threw the butt into the water. Turning, he faced John and looked into his eyes. “What do you want from me?,” he sighed.

“I want to re-get to know you; we haven’t talked in so long.”

“You stopped talking to me.”

John stood there in disbelief. All he had wanted to do for months is have a conversation with his stepson, but Jamie had been so cold. How did this get so confused?

“Jay,” said John, “I didn’t stop talking to you. I wanted to give you some space. What I said.. I, you must have been so angry.”

“I was… now I just don’t know what to think.”

The Lost Boy

The Lost Boy, 2.

Jamie walked slowly down the stairs of the multi-level deck in his backyard. His parents were wealthy. No. His grandparents were wealthy. He would not deny them that. After all, they were the ones who now paid for him to attend St. Dominic’s. Since he now sans scholarship. But he never flaunted their wealth, and most people would never guess.

The house he grew up in was huge. It belonged to his mother’s parents; it had been their vacation home before he was born. A log cabin nestled against a backdrop of mountains and a frozen lake. It really was a beautiful site. From the outside.

Inside, it was slightly more chaotic. The once perfectly polished hardwood floors were now caked with dirt and dust. His mother had simply not taken care of the place. It was hard, he knew, to keep up. There was too much going on in their home. Family pictures made an attempt at covering the holes punched in the walls. Nothing was in the same place twice. None of the appliances were updated. His home looked as though a hurricane had gone through, but that was its general state. He was used to it.

Jamie continued down the stairs until he came to his favorite spot on the grounds. The dock stretched out a few yards over the water. He sat down and let his legs dangle over the edge. From above, nothing could be seen but darkness. He was hidden. Invisible. But from Jamie’s corner of the world, he could see clear across the water.

It was cold down by the water. He continually rubbed his hands together to keep warm. But he didn’t mind. He was away from everything – and everyone.

It was now close to midnight, and Jamie still refused to go inside. Inside was where his mother was. And his father. Not his father. John may have been daddy to the many young children that dismantled the house on a daily basis, but he was not Jamie Daniels’ father. He had been born a bastard and he was alright with admitting that. He wasn’t alright, however, with talking – or even thinking about his real father. Still, try as he might to suppress them, his thoughts often drifted across the Atlantic to the small island where the man resided.

Alan Jacob Davidson. He had been partners with Jamie’s maternal grandfather in the insurance business a number of years ago, before his mother became pregnant. It wasn’t an affair, and it wasn’t a one night stand. It was an accident, plain and simple. Both his parents had been too drunk to remember any of the details clearly, but Samantha was adamant that Alan was the father. Nothing could change her mind.

And nothing would have to. A paternity test was done immediately following Jamie’s birth. Fearing his partner’s wrath more than anything else, Alan fled the country to return to his native land. Picking up bits of information over the years, Jamie had learned that his father had married, and his trophy wife had bore him a second son. Christened with his father’s middle name, Jacob Davidson was something of junior hockey legend in England. Apparently, he to had inherited his father’s talent.

Jamie stood up and stretched, glancing lazily at his watch. It was two o’clock in the morning. He had been sitting on the dock for several hours now, lost in thought. With a habit born of much practice, he pushed all thoughts of his father from his mind as he made his way up the stone steps and into the house.