Boston, Massachusetts, 2006…
Davey stood on the second step down on the porch; his hands were balled into angry fists, but the anger was reserved for himself. He sat down and shook his head roughly; the confusion and pain threatened to pull him apart. Looking down the road toward his best friend’s house, he cursed under his breath. A cool breeze did almost nothing to relieve the heat in his face and he ran into the house. Running into the kitchen to the sink, he stuck his head under the tap and turned on the cold water. He hardly spluttered as the water streamed into his nose and mouth as he cried. He could barely hold his head up, and he pulled away sank to the floor, weeping.
Meanwhile…down the street…
Charlie sat at the kitchen table. A half-assembled car model lay on the table next to his head; his face was resting on his arms on the table. He turned to the model and stared for a minute. It was almost colorless except for what almost looked like miniature graffiti; the word nearly jumped off the off-white body in very bright dark blue….’traitor!’ Confusion swept over him like a gale; knocking him down hard in his heart.
Looking off to the other side, he imagined gazing out the front window toward his best friend’s home and he cursed himself under his breath once again. Turning back, he rested his face on his arms and his shoulders began to shake and he wept.
* * *
The voice came from the kitchen along with the sound of the fridge opening. Davey sat on the couch in the family room. He had been banging against the back of the couch and stopped only at his brother Peter’s voice. He looked up to see a very welcoming smile, which seemed almost out of place considering that Davey’s eyes were puffy and red from crying. The young man sat down next to the boy and put his arm around him and squeezed.
“Tell me, okay?”
“I sorta know, Davey…and that makes you feel...” He smiled again with a toothy grin, leaving the boy feeling like he could tell his brother anything. And he did.
* * *
“Charlie?” The boy lifted his head up only a little and blinked out some tears. His sister Kate was sitting at the table; he realized she must have been sitting there for at least a few minutes. She grabbed his wrist and squeezed.
“What’s up?” Normally a tease; the girl seemed to have made it her mission in life to make him miserable. Today was entirely different and yet seemed completely normal as the girl half-smiled and looked her brother directly in the eyes; her own face a mask of sad tears. Charlie looked in the direction of his best friend’s house once again and bit his lip.
“I know, baby brother. I know. Tell me, Char….you look so hurt.” She leaned closer and kissed his forehead before placing her arms on the table to cushion her own head; looking at him face to face.
“Go ahead, it’s okay…you can tell me.” And he did.
* * *
The waitress came over to the table; her smile preceding her in welcome. She placed four bottles of Corona on the table.
“You know? You guys literally make my night,” she laughed as she looked around the pizzaria. Three booths down some boys were making lewd comments at the girls in the booth next to them. She looked to the front, where three girls sat at a table by the window; their half-finished Diet Cokes a testimony to an hour of talking and no food. The waitress shook her head.
“Tell you what…drinks are on me.” She looked around at the other customers and sighed before leaving them to their own company.
“How about Sicilian with chicken and broccoli?” Davey asked. Kate grabbed his arm and used her gaze to turn his attention the couple sitting across from them. His brother was kissing her sister Charlie, and neither seemed to care about pizza at that moment. Charlie’s left hand was adorned with a small but very attractive diamond ring, and Petey’s face was adorned with a smile. Kate blinked back a few tears before turning to her husband, noticing the tears in his eyes as he viewed the happy couple. She smiled to herself and mouthed the words silently,
“Boys do cry…”
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