I was tearing the newspaper into foot-shaped wads to fit into my shoes when I noticed the advertisement. It was the name that caught my attention: Attersbury, not only because it was unusual, but because it was burnt into my memory like a cancerous sore. I spread the newspaper out on the concrete table, holding it down against the wind which had sprung up from the seaward side of the park.
‘The engagement is
announced between Julian, only son of Lord and Lady Attersbury and the
Honourable Sarah Anne Eddings, daughter of Lord and Lady Contillsdon, of
I’d never heard of Sarah Anne, but I couldn’t help the tears that came to my eyes when I thought of Julian. I’d liked him a lot at one time, even lusted after him if the truth be told, because he was undeniably handsome; tall, blonde and blue-eyed in contrast to my short, dark ‘nuggetiness’ as my poor mother had excused my small, spare frame.
But feelings of love and wanting weren’t the ones he engendered now. I loathed the spineless, lying, scheming rat with every bone in my body. Whoever tied themselves up with him was bound to get a nasty shock at some point in their lives, because Julian was not the sweet, generous, honest and respectable young man he appeared to be.
So who exactly was this unwitting, clearly deluded Sarah Anne, I wondered? Obviously someone well out of my league, as her title indicated. Mind you, as a person who now lived the life of a tramp and resided for the most part in a sandstone and concrete folly in a public park, I guess almost anyone was out of my league.
I tore the announcement out of the paper and stowed it carefully away in my pants pocket before continuing with the refurbishment of my left shoe. The right one was just about okay, but the left already had a small hole worn in it. I made a mental note to pay a visit to the opportunity shop on tomorrow’s dole day to see if I could get another pair.
I wasn’t looking forward to the coming winter. I liked my freedom, which is why I chose to sleep rough in the park in the warmer weather rather than take advantage of the rather regimented local shelter for homeless men, but in colder times it was another matter as I had no wish to freeze to death in the snow. Still, the place did at least offer free food for outcasts like me and with the modest repairs to my footwear completed, I decided to amble into town to fill my belly with today’s offering, whatever it might turn out to be.
It was tomato soup and lamb hock stew, both entirely palatable if not exactly up to restaurant quality. I accepted my metal soup bowl and plate of food from the bored, sullen-faced volunteer, before going into a corner to sit by myself to eat … not that I don’t like company exactly; it’s just that the people who habitually frequent this place tend to smell even worse than I do and their table manners generally leave much to be desired as well.
I suppose there’s another reason too, if I’m man enough to admit it. I’m small as I said, can’t stand pain and have absolutely no clue at all about self-defence so if I’m picked on, I have no recourse but to run away and give up my meal or my belongings to those strong enough to take them from me … like Julian, for instance, but that’s another story.
So I ate quickly before someone else decided he wanted my food and left the stark, featureless, fluorescent-lit room as soon as I could, happy to be back in the fading sunlight. For some reason, I couldn’t get Sarah Anne out of my head … how hard could she be to find, I asked myself? Bah; forget it; what’s the point? She’d never talk to me anyway, even if I managed to get within twenty feet of her and who’d believe the crazy story of a filthy, ragged street-kid with an axe to grind?
I hadn’t always been like this of course … would she understand why I was? Would she be even the remotest bit interested? I somehow doubted it … she was presumably head over heels in love with the gorgeous, rich, all-too-eligible Julian.
But I owed him. In spades I owed him, so I expect that’s why I finally resolved to find this Sarah Anne and at least let her know why I owed him. Not that she’d believe me of course, but if I could throw a little crushed glass of misery into Julian’s strawberry ice-cream existence, then I’d feel … something. Not happier; I doubted I’d ever be that again, so what then. Revenge? Yes, undoubtedly; he was a monster masquerading as a mother’s pet and I wanted him utterly destroyed, like he’d destroyed me.
Eighteen I was and that only just, forced to eke out a miserable existence doing odd-jobs, living on hand-outs and the dole because I was essentially unemployable. Julian had seen to that. I had no references; no-one I could call on to vouch for me; no permanent address or family to rely on. Julian had seen to that too, the miserable bastard.
It wasn’t because I was gay; I’d never told him and I’m sure he never knew, despite the fact that only two years ago I’d pretty much worshipped the ground he walked on. He’d been the one I fantasized about in bed while I was wanking; he was the pillow I cuddled and kissed at night … and within a short six months he’d turned my life to shit. Okay; so I’d been a slightly sexually-repressed sixteen year-old, still in the closet, but I was generally happy and healthy … and now here I was at eighteen and I might as well be dead for all the future I had.
It was already starting to get darker earlier. I’d pulled a few discarded newspapers out of kerbside rubbish-bins to take back to my place in the park. The broadsheets made better blankets, being larger, so they were the ones I usually went for if I could. I got tossed out of the stone folly now and again by the garden guards, but they were generally fairly tolerant, some of them even sympathetic to the point of actually coming up to give me a hot drink or the occasional pie, probably because I was young and reasonably decent looking.
I have to admit that my fairly good looks also brought me another source of income, not as socially acceptable perhaps but welcome for all that. A couple of the guards were … well, if not actually gay or bi, certainly not averse to having sex with a youngster like myself and I could earn a couple of quid sucking them off or perhaps a fiver if they felt like fucking me. I always made sure they used condoms though; I might not have had much of a life, but I had no intention of ending it in an aids ward. With that in mind, I decided to make tomorrow quite a busy day by including a visit to the clinic; not that I felt I needed it from the aids viewpoint but clap and syph were always possibilities, so better safe than sorry.
I spread out my papers on the bench and positioned more of them to cover me when I lay down. The slight breeze seemed to have died away and there was just a crescent moon, which would make for a reasonably dark night. I could hear the frogs going for it in the ponds down by the glass ark and the distant but piercing sound of a nightjar as the cold drew my first shivers. Clear nights like this were the worst and to be frank, I preferred it cloudy and raining; I pulled my covers up over my head and closed my eyes …
Morning dawned early, as they usually did for me, woken either by the snarls of the traffic from the nearby tollway or the equally noisy chorusing of the park’s resident birds. I sat up slowly, easing feeling back into the creases caused by the wooden slats of the seats. I’d had some cardboard underlay two days ago but somebody’d taken it and I hadn’t had a chance to replace it as yet. It was still chilly, but the sun’s rays were starting to peek over the nearby trees and it had the promise of quite a nice, warm day. I folded my newspapers into a flat pile and stuck them up into a space beneath the central table-top, hoping they’d still be there when I got back tonight.
The main toilet-block wasn’t yet open when I arrived, so I waited the ten minutes or so for Morris to come and unlock it. He and I exchanged the usual greeting grunts; I don’t think he approved of me being so young and already such a drop-out, but he didn’t actively discourage me from using the place to wash in. If I was lucky, he’d be in a good mood and turn the hot water on so I could have a warm shower instead of a cold one, but today didn’t look like one of his good days, so I was forced to settle for a partial strip-wash of my smellier parts. I could get a full shower at the shelter later on if I wanted one, so I wasn’t too disappointed.
The walk into the city was no different from the ones I’d done hundreds of times before. I always took the same route, because the roadside fruit-sellers would be setting up their barrows and I occasional scored a free apple or even an orange if I was lucky. Today though I got nothing, my stomach already rumbling with emptiness by the time I reached the dole office. The queue was longish, twenty minutes crawling by before I got to the window and received my pittance, handed to me by the overfed, gum-chewing girl with the usual reluctant lack of grace, as if it came from her own purse.
I divided the money between a number of pockets to guard against theft – nobody cares if a street-kid gets robbed – before heading off to the clinic and another enforced wait.
‘Have you had oral sex recently?’ Yes.
‘Active or passive?’ Active.
‘Did he come in your mouth?’ Yes.
‘Did you swallow?’ No.
‘Have you engaged in anal sex in the last week?’ Yes.
‘Active or passive?’ Passive.
‘Did he use a condom?’ Yes.
‘Do you have any symptoms?’ No.
‘Roll up your sleeve.’
‘Take this ticket and come back in two days time for your results.’
I left, one swab and a vial of blood lighter and walked the short distance to the shelter, where I managed to get a salami sandwich and a cheesy bacon bun, plus a large metal mug full of lovely hot tea.
Two-thirds of my day’s errands completed, I handed in the empty mug and crossed the busy street towards the church and the nearby opportunity shop. The lady who runs it knows me and gave me a nice smile as I entered.
‘Hello David; we haven’t seen you for a while, dear.’
‘I’ve been around, Lily, as always. Got any half-decent shoes?’
‘You know where they are, dear, down the back.’
I walked along the cluttered corridor to the rear room, full to bursting with toys, umbrellas, faux-fur coats and ancient, mothballed clothing. There were a few pairs of men’s shoes, but nothing in my rather small size. I was about to leave unshod when I noticed a pair of ladies’ patent-leather court pumps on a rack. They had bows on the front which I could easily dispense with and they fitted me well, so I tried walking in them, finding the narrow heels unfortunately too difficult to deal with.
I was on my way out when Lily mentioned some joggers over with the sports equipment in the corner and I found quite a nice pair of ankle-high trainers only a size or so too large. They were a bit expensive but I needed them, so I took them to the desk to purchase. Despite a reproving stare or two over the top of Lily’s bifocals, my pleading managed to get me a few valuable shillings off the price and I bore my new footwear away in triumph. I sat on the kerb outside the store to put them on, using some of the wadding from my old shoes to improve the fit. They felt fine and I rounded off the day’s events by dropping the discards into the first garbage-bin I came to.
It was almost lunch-time so I made my way to the big square with the fountain in it, knowing I’d probably be able to get at least one or two pieces of bruised or damaged fruit from the vendors and excelled myself by landing not only an over-ripe paw-paw, but a big bag of rather squishy Victoria plums as well. I ended up full to bursting, washing the delicious stickiness off my hands and face in the fountain run-off.
I sat back in my seat
to digest and bask for a while in the sunshine, remembering the newspaper
announcement I’d stashed away and taking it out for another look. Dorking … I’d
never heard of it, but obviously it was somewhere in
The main Post Office was just across the square and I knew they had maps there. Hmmmm … why not?
I’d had a shower at the men’s shelter and used my fold-up disposable razor to good effect on my bum-fluff of a beard. My clothes were still a bit tatty, but whoever picked me up wouldn’t know that until I was actually in the car and I hoped that by that time, my pleasant manner and winning smile would have convinced my benefactor not to throw me out again.
Dorking turned out to
be south of London on the A24, just past Leatherhead, which was why I was
strolling along the road’s left hand side with my thumb pointing that way
whenever a car came towards me. Most of them zotted past of course; it’s
getting harder and harder to hitch a lift these days, what with drivers
sometimes being attacked and robbed by the people they pick up. The weather had
turned again and I’d been walking through intermittent light showers for nigh
on two hours when an old
‘Hi … where’re ya headin’?’
‘Hop in then; I pass right through it.’
He was about forty or so, quite neat in a traveling-salesman sort of way. I wouldn’t say he was a looker and he used too much hair-grease for my liking, but he had a nice smile and a kind face.
I knew what he wanted even before his left hand landed gently on my thigh, because he’d given me enough sideways looks to put a blind tortoise on full alert. I guess he felt emboldened when I didn’t flap his hand away with an anguished shriek, allowing it to crawl slowly up the inside of my leg until he was actually touching my balls.
‘What d’you like?’ His voice was husky with desire and his hand trembled a little as I relaxed back into the seat and spread my legs a little wider.
‘Depends on you,’ I said, ‘I’ll suck you off if you want, or you can fuck me if you use a condom.’
‘How much for a fuck?’
Oh no; I wasn’t going to be caught like that … why say ‘ten’ when the guy might’ve been willing to pay fifty?
‘What’s your offer?’
‘How about twenty?’ His hand was now cupping my cock and balls, squeezing gently. I could sense his breathing speeding up as he massaged me.
‘How about thirty?’ He agreed so fast I was immediately sorry I hadn’t asked for forty. ‘Better take your hand away then, or I’ll come before we get wherever it is we’re going.’
‘What’s your name?’ he said, both hands now back on the wheel, his eyes peering through the wipers, searching the side of the road for a convenient place to pull over.
‘I’m Gareth … I … I don’t do this all the time … I’m married, actually.’
‘The ring did sort of give it away.’
‘Oh …’ he looked at the solid gold band on his left hand and gave a lame grin, ‘… I should have taken it off, I guess.’
‘It wouldn’t have mattered if you had,’ I said, ‘they always leave a whitish indentation. It’s easy to spot.’
‘Ah … I’ll keep that in mind,’ he said, a thoughtful expression settling on his rather round features as we drove on. ‘Hey-ho … how about here?’
We were approaching a
layby with a sign indicating toilets and picnic tables, the
‘Fine,’ I said, ‘d’you want to do it inside or outside?’ It was still quite warm and the rain was just misting, so I was easy either way.
‘Outside,’ he said quickly, ‘with you leaning over the table.’
‘Sure … you got any lube?’
‘Just some antiseptic cream. Will that do?’
‘No problem …’ I got out of the car and closed the door. He’d positioned it so we wouldn’t immediately be seen if another vehicle happened to pull in. He came around the front and stood close, his hand reaching between my legs from behind. ‘You’ve got a lovely tight bum,’ he said, the words almost hissing between his teeth.
I reached behind me to take hold of his wrist. ‘I’d like to be paid first, please.’
‘Oh … sure.’ He had his wallet out like the proverbial jackrabbit, opened it up, looked inside and said ‘shit’.
‘I’ve only got twenties … do you have change?’
‘Sorry,’ I lied, ‘No, I don’t.’
He thought for not more than half a second. ‘Well … tell you what … you make it really good for me and I’ll give you forty, how’s that?’
‘I can’t let you fuck me without a condom.’
‘No … that’s fine, really.’ He had two twenties out, offering them to me with his head cocked and eyebrows raised. I took them and folded them into my front pocket with as genuine a grin as I could raise.
‘Okay buster … fuck me stupid.’
What was it Julian did and why was it so terrible? Would Sarah even meet with David, never mind listen to the ravings of a homosexual prostitute tramp. Find out how David meets the love of his life and how the awful Julian finally gets his comeuppance.