by K9


I'm standing here watching him and I firmly believe that he's a total fucking wanker. He gave up everything for me, his job, his family and his life and I don't deserve it.

I'll hurt him, I know I will, I can't help it; it's my nature. Leopards don't change their spots no matter what people tell you. I'll fuck up and wound him so deeply that he'll never heal and I won't be able to help myself.

He's the strong one y'see, Vince, he always was. I was always the gobby little shit, but he was the one who weathered the taunts with dignity. He 'turned the other cheek' when people screamed 'queer' and 'poof' at him, but me, I went in fists flying, then what did he do? He came in and dragged me out of the fight.

We were fourteen and we both knew we'd be lifting shirts for the rest of our lives, but Vince took it all seriously, he got books from the library because he needed to understand why he was 'different' where as I couldn't give a flying fuck why, I just was and that was all that mattered.

Now, here we are, standing at the airport waiting to leave the old life behind, leave Nathan to Canal Street and the Friday night tossers who'll gather there in their lycra and denim determined to prove to the world that 'queer is cool 'until Monday morning when they crawl back into their closets for another week.

We've waved goodbye to the endless parade of soulless shags and now we're heading off into God knows what and you want to know something? I'm scared to death.

America; where Stuart Alan Jones is a nobody, a nothing, just one more queer amongst thousands. You have no idea how much that frightens me, but at least I have Vince, even if he is a wanker.

If only I could get rid of this hollow feeling in my belly, the sensation that stirs fear through my body like an invading alien. Did I do the right thing? Have I just fucked up two lives instead of one? Because I know that Stuart Jones isn't always right, that he doesn't have the secrets of life and the universe tucked away in his underpants. I know that he's just as weak and uncertain as everyone else and I'm standing here just hoping that Vince knows that too.

I'm not exactly a stranger to fear, it's ruled my life since I was a teenager. But, I learned to use it to my advantage, to turn it around on all those bastards who threatened me because I wasn't what they were. Used it like a weapon to wound the enemy, but at times it ended up hurting the people who really love me and God knows, there aren't many of them.

My Mom and Dad despite everything that's happened, Alfred and... Vince. Yeah, Vince loves me unconditionally, which is pretty scary to tell the truth.

He trusts me and I've spent my life betraying him, what kind of a friendship is that?

I love him. I always did, that was never in doubt. Even in the early days when we were a couple of snot nosed kids, we always loved each other even then, but I didn't fancy him.

I never wanted to get into his pants because that wasn't what you did with your mate. You sniggered at other men's dicks together and made fun of the Maths teacher because he had no discernible arse, but you just didn't fuck your best mate. He was a no go zone because I respected Vince and I still do. He's everything I'm not; solid, dependable, sensible, trustworthy.

Fuck, I make him sound like a Labrador.

The ironic thing is, everyone says 'take care of Vince, Stuart' when in reality, he takes care of me and always did.

So, if there is a God then please let him step in and smite me down with a thunderbolt just before I unzip should I ever decided to cheat on Vince, because it's not my fault, y'see, I'm just not responsible for being me.

I could cope with being a bastard when I was cosseted in my little world down on Canal Street, when my only concern was how often I could get it up in one night. But now, I'm going to have to be 'a grown up' and I'm not sure I know what that means.

Oh fuck, that's our plane. Oh God, this is it.

"C'mon Stuart, get a move on!" Vince is smiling and fussing. "Have you got your passport ready? Did you remember to pack some sun block, I hear it's scorching over there?"

"Oh fuck off you big girl," I sneer and he just grins.

I swear that sometimes he sees through me like I have a window in my chest. He's just thrown his arm around my shoulder and quietly kissed me on the cheek.

"It's okay, mate. We'll be fine!" he whispers.

See what I mean?

So, this is it. Goodbye Manchester, if I never see fucking rain again it'll be too soon.

"You ready?" Vince asks.

I don't know, am I?


The End