The lunchroom was noisy, loud, and bustling. There were kids everywhere picking up trays getting their food, sitting down, having loud conversations, laughing, and jeering. All this social interaction was far too tiring for him. Joshua found a seat in the corner of the lunchroom to sit by himself. This was one of those days that he did not want to be bothered. Of course, not wanting to be bothered was like most days. The events from this morning with his mom picking him up and with Ms. Anders giving him a talk and with Brian being a jerk had already worn him out for the day. The troubles of mere mortals, he sometimes felt were far beneath him and he had no time to deal with these insignificant things. “Mexican pizza, I guess it’s Thursday,” he said to himself.
“Are you talking to yourself,” Rena stood there in front of the table where Joshua was seated. His eyes slowly crept up to meet hers. The freckles on her cheek gave her this unique type of beauty. She had light brunette hair, which today was in a bun. She wore a green t-shirt with what seemed like a few pixels on it. Gamer girl possibly? No, undercover gamer girl. No matter, she looked good in her fitted jeans and high top sneakers. He hadn’t realized how cute she was. She was a sophomore and he a junior so they had not shared many classes, but he had seen her around.
“Sometimes I need someone intelligent to talk to,” he said with a somewhat serious look on his face.
“Well I have come to your rescue,” she said without a hitch.
“Well please, have a seat kind lady. To what do I owe the pleasure of your company,” again sounding as proper as he possibly could, not sure why, he wasn’t talking to Ms. Anders. This was maybe a trend he did with girls he was attracted to or maybe he was just intimidated.
A smile adorned her face, “I was just in the neighborhood and I figured I’d stop by.” That smile made Joshua nervous. It was that smile that broke his defensive wall. There might be room for at least one more social interaction before implosion. “I am having a party on Saturday night and I wanted to extend a personal invitation. Can you make it?” Joshua stared at her for a few seconds without saying a word. “Really, is our basketball star so busy he can’t come out on a Saturday night. It’s my birthday you have to come. I’m having a DJ and lots of food. You know what maybe this was a mistake, forget it Mr Bradley,” her monologue was so quick that Joshua barely had time to come up with proper responses. He wanted to flirt, but the words just wouldn’t come.
“No, wait,” he said with alarm. He could hear her breathe in. “Please don’t go, I mean I want to go, but I don’t know if my mom would allow it.” Rena’s attention turned back to him as she slowly released the breath she had been holding. It was a suitable lie to stop the downward spiral of this conversation.
“Well if you don’t come on Saturday, you will have to make it up to me,” she said quite sternly attempting to regain her composure. You could tell she was a little embarrassed but it was too late for that now. “And don’t forget to bring a gift,” she smiled, pulled a piece of paper from her pocket and quickly placed it on his lunch tray. “Here is your official invitation, it has my address and phone number on it. Let’s just say it is the only one of its kind. So don’t lose it,” and with that she walked away.
“That was a bit awkward,” Josh said to himself but he was still happy for it.
As luck would have it, Brian and Chad came prancing through the doors just in time to see her heading away from Joshua’s table. They looked at each other with stupid grins on their faces and hurried over to Joshua. They threw themselves down in the chairs facing him and began the interrogation process, “Bro, what just happened? I want to know everything,” Brian emphasized.
“Dude everything,” Chad backed him up.
“It was nothing really,” Joshua said rather unimpressed.
“Are you kidding me,” Brian replied.
“He’s lying. Look at that face, he is lying,” Chad said.
“Bro, I can’t believe you would actually hold out on us. I thought we were friends. I thought we were best buds. After this I just don’t know,” Brian said in his regular sarcastic tone.
“We were never friends,” Josh replied.
“Ouch,” Brian said loudly.
“Come on bro, what’s the big secret,” Chad again reinforced.
“Since you have to know, she invited me to the party on Saturday and that’s it,” Joshua said it with a sigh in his voice as though it was no big deal.
Chad’s eyes wandered down to the lunch tray and saw the piece of paper. “Oh hello, what’s this,” with the sound of interest in his voice.
Joshua remembered the piece of paper quickly grabbed it and pulled it from their sight, then slowly pushed it into his pocket. “It’s nothing and if you would please excuse me I would like to finish my Mexican pizza,” he said with an attitude.
Brian looked him in the face, “you’re such a jerk.”
“Look who’s talking,” Joshua said. “I’m sure you received the same invitation.”
“Anyways, are you still coming over after practice?” Chad questioned. All three of them played for their school’s basketball team, of which Brian was their star player and captain. Joshua and Chad knew never to utter his average points per game, lest a single number tip the scale and cause his already bulbous head to explode. “I just picked up Call of Duty Black Ops yesterday, and that freaking game is amazing. You have to check it out. It even came with a special edition controller. Of course I had to spend a little extra on that but it is totally worth it. So what will it be man are you coming over or what.”
“I’ll sure be there,” Brian throwing in his two cents.
“At this point, anything I can do to keep me out that house,” Joshua replied. “Will your folks be home?”
“My dad is out of town and my mom will be working late, so no worries. We have the house all to ourselves,” Chad said with a devious smile.
“Well then it is settled, gentlemen we will reconvene after school at Chad’s place,” Brian announced. “And may the games be ever in your favor.” He always had some Hunger Games quote to finish off his conversations. The two looked at him with disbelief.
“You’re such a nerd,” Chad said and Joshua nodded.
They pulled up to Chad’s house in the drop-top Ford Mustang. Chad’s brother, who was a freshman at the University of Miami, had just received this hot new ride as a graduation present. Chad was only a sophomore though so he still had a few more years before his parents would agree for him to have a car. Their home was beautiful. It had a large circular driveway with a small fountain in the middle. The driveway was nicely paved in terra-cotta stone. Once they got out the car there was a single walkway leading up to the door. The doors were by far one of the most beautiful things Joshua had ever seen. Who would’ve thought anyone would actually spend money, real money on a set of double doors. They were tall probably 9 feet, with semi-opaque glass. This was not the first time Joshua and Brian had been to Chad’s house, but it amazed them every single time. The house was right on the inter-coastal and had a curb appeal among the best in that section of Coral Gables. Though the home was amazing it seemed like Chad’s parents were never home to enjoy it. It was always Chad and his brother Mike. Once you walk through the grand doors you could see all the way through to the inter-coastal. Or at least to the less-than-modest boat that was docked out back. Chad’s dad was a boating fanatic. One of the reasons he bought this house to begin with. From the foyer were stairways on either side leading to the second floor. Chad’s brother went off to the left, while Chad led the boys to the right stairwell. There was a game room on the second floor, which had a loft style feel to it. There was a large brown leather sofa facing what must have been a 70’ inch flat screen television.
“Holy…you’ve got to be kidding me,” Brian said, eyes bright and mouth open.
“Guys you have to check this out,” Chad said while picking up the remote and flipping on the TV. “My dad just got Playboy channel.”
“Are you kidding, my mom would never allow my dad to get something like that,” Brian said with excitement in his voice.
“Guys, really I’m not up for watching smut on TV,” Joshua said with a tired sigh.
“Are you kidding, I want to see,” Brian said while turning his attention to the television.
Josh shook his head as naked figures started to emerge onto the television. “I can’t believe this.”
“You’re acting like such a fag right now,” Brian said in a mocking voice.
“Hey, you’ve got to check this out,” Chad motioned towards a computer sitting to the left of the leathers chairs.
“Where’s your kitchen, I want something to eat?” Joshua questioned, wanting to escape what he knew was about to come.
“Dude, you’re acting so gay right now. The kitchen is downstairs, come join the real men when you’re done,” Chad said. Joshua paused and turned his attention to the TV, wanting to prove that he was no fag nor was he some squeamish kid who didn’t know what sex looked like. Check this out, Chad led the boys to his bedroom and awoke his computer for its slumber. “There are some crazy stuff online, check this out. I usually just do a Google search,” Chad continued with his demonstration. “Sexy, girls, whip,” he said, speaking and pausing as he typed the words into the search engine. “Then I go as far down into the search as I can. And sometimes I’ll come up with some crazy stuff. I’m sure half these things are illegal.” Chad continued, skipping all the way to page 46 in the Google search engine. He pulled up a site with naked women in all sorts of insufferable positions. They were being tortured and whipped.
“Wow,” Brian said, ecstatic at their find. “How did you know where to look for all this stuff?” Brian spoke like a child amazed at a brand new discovery.
“Ahh,” Chad struggled to explain the origin of his knowledge. “Well,” he paused again. “I caught my dad looking up this stuff. And it’s pretty easy to track if you’re not careful. I mean, all I had to do was check the history and cookies and that was it.” It was obvious that he was embarrassed at the prospect that his father enjoyed porn. After all, Chad’s parents had been married for some time now. It ludicrous to Joshua that someone with a beautiful woman at his side would subject himself to the frustration of another woman on a screen. Why, when you have the real thing next to you and sleeping in your bed, Joshua thought.
“Yeah, my dad’s got a whole box full of crap under his bed. He’s very proud of his collection. He has them all neatly stacked away. There’s stuff in their from the 80’s. Girl’s back then clearly didn’t believe in shaving. I saw some bush as big as the amazon.” The boys laughed as Brian attempted to act out what the Amazonian rain forest would look like growing from his crotch.
Chad went from site to site, not bothering to pause, but he skimmed and stopped only at images which he said looked interesting and what Joshua thought to be gruesome.
Joshua leaned away from the screen feeling disgusted, but just then caught something. “Guys,” Joshua said in a disbelieving tone. Chad was slowly scrolling through another site and Joshua thought he saw a familiar face.
“What, you’re going to run away now fag,” Brian said but both boys laughed.
“Wait, scroll back up,” Joshua said in alarm.
“What?” Brian said.
“What is it?” Chad questioned. Both boys looked at Joshua before looking back at the screen.
“Holy…,” Brian was speechless.
“Is that your mom?” Chad questioned. “Well let’s find out.” Chad was about to click on the thumbnail leading to the video, but Joshua reached over his shoulder and pressed Alt+F4 on the keyboard closing the entire window. “Hey, what are you doing. Don’t you want to find out.”
“No I don’t,” Joshua said firmly.
“Well, hell I do,” Brian said. “Pull it up again.”
Joshua pushed Brian to one side by the shoulder. Brian looked surprised. Joshua had always been the calm level headed one of the group. “What the hell do you think you’re doing,” Joshua’s anger rose hot. His eyes were wild and mad, something no one had ever witnessed in him before. He turned shook his head, attempting to subdue the true nature of his feelings and he made his way down the stairs. “That’s pure bull shit. Why the hell would you want to see that again,” he said. His anger was like a caged animal, clawing at the bars, wanting to get out. The shock of what he had just seen and the possibility of it swelled within him. He knew what his mother did for a living. He knew how she had come by that shiny new Mercedes and the vast amounts of cash she carried around in her purse, but did she go this far? Had she gone this deep; kinky sex on a low grade porn website? He did not want to believe, but Sylvia’s track record did not leave much hope.
“Alright, alright fine we won’t look,” Brian said, his voice shaky from being pushed so suddenly.
“Alright, come back, I swear we won’t look” Chad continued. Joshua made his way into the kitchen opened the fridge and found a soda. Joshua slammed the door to the refrigerator. His mind began to race, random thoughts rushing in and out of his head. It all seemed like a terrible coincidence. His mother kneeling naked on a bare concrete floor. Her hands and feet bound with a black rubber ball in her mouth. “I can’t believe this,” Joshua said and slammed the soda down on the counter, denting the can. Brian and Chad walked into the kitchen.
“Hey, look bro, it’s screwed up, don’t even sweat it,” Brian said. “No one has to know, alright.”
“Yeah, this stays between us,” Chad confirmed.
This has been the third chapter of “Do You Think Your Mother Would Like Me?” Read Chapter 4 – The Plan
or go back and read Chapter 2: Teacher’s Note
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