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love or something like it



I didn’t go that evening to Chris as I was doing two weeks before. I don’t want anything to do with Chris. I was telling and teaching my mind. So I busied my self with the homework of two weeks I collected from john. But I wasn’t lucky.

“Josh, take this to Jess.” Mom had a carry bag in her hand.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“It’s some fish I made.” She said.

“Send Em.” I said and turned to my homework.

“She isn’t come from college.” She said.

So, I had to go and I take my umbrella and went. Chris opened the door but I avoided him. I give the carry bag to aunt and sat beside Grandma and start to talk her. I was completely avoiding Chris. He was sitting opposite us and was looking us.

“Why are you not wearing pajama in home?” grandma pointed to my half trouser.

“Because I feel comfortable in this,” I told her. “Also it is raining. Pajama got wet.”

“Where is John?” Chris asked me.

“In his home.” I said.

“He promised me he will come here after school. I want to take him somewhere.” There was a naughty look in his eyes.

“Then why didn’t you call him and ask?” I asked him somewhat curtly.

“That’s a good idea. Thanks.” He said as he reached for the phone and dialed.

He knows John’s number. I thought sadly. He looked me as he waited.

“Hello John” he said to the mouth piece. “Yeah. Okay.”

He put the receiver down and said to us, “it’s his mom. She said he is on the way here.”

Within five minutes some one knocked the door and it was John. He never uses the bell and always is knocking. Chris is happy to see him and said, “You are late buddy, I was waiting.”

John said sorry. They start to upstairs. On middle of their steps John stopped and asked, “Josh, are you not coming?”

“No.” Chris said suddenly, “he is busy with grandma. They are old pals.”

And they disappeared in his room and the door was closed.

Tears filled my eyes but I hide it from grandma. No sounds to be heard from up because of the rain. I want to go and look them but can’t. Chris doesn’t want me to with them. I didn’t open my umbrella as I walked home and I was crying.

I was sodden when reached home. Mom was angry of my stupidity and I had to clean the dishes as my punishment.

Next morning as we were walking to school John was silent. He answered all my questions with an hmmm. So, I shut my mouth close and had a doubt if it was something to do with Chris.

“Is your body is aching?” I asked him.

“No. Why did you ask?” he was suspicious of my stupid question.

I shrugged.

“It is my mind.” He smiled sadly. “It’s Daniel. He didn’t speak me since the evening at your home.”

Daniel! I saw how his face darkened as John was sticking to Chris and how he looked them.

“How came?” I had to ask.

“He is suspicious about me and Chris.” John said, “I told him there is nothing going between us. But he didn’t believe. He is angry because I’m spending a lot of time with Chris. He told me he is done and I can forget him. He is spending a lot of time in woods alone and didn’t allow me to go with him.”

He was crying.

“Where is he now?” I asked.

He shrugged he doesn’t know.

After two periods he was forcing his stomach and crying. Teacher called mom. Mom asked John what’s happened and he said his stomach is paining him.

Mom took him with her and after fifteen minutes called me. She said I had to take John to his home and she talked with our teacher. I carried his and my bags with one hand and other hand hold him. He is crying and pressed his stomach with his hand.

His mom and dad were not there. They are in government service and today are working day. I took the key from its hiding place and opened the house. I take him to his room. He takes some medicine and takes rest. Within minutes he was sleeping. So I leave him and closed the door. I went to dad and spent rest of the day there.

Next day John was happy. I looked him with surprise and asked him about his stomach ache.

“It’s gone..!” he laughed and said no more.

I see Daniel at lunch time. We were in the corridor to our class room after having lunch. He was happy too and his face was cleared from the darkness. I looked sideways to John and he was looking Daniel. Two or three minutes passed. John said he was going to the toilet because of something he had eaten upsetting his stomach.

I followed him without his knowing. Daniel was standing near the door of boys’ rest room. He saw John and opened the door and both of them vanished together. I smiled and returned to the class room. They are making out!

I didn’t ask John. He came about twenty minutes and had his lip is swelled. He said he slipped and fell in the toilet and his lip hit the floor and got injured.

I didn’t go to Chris’ house next two days and avoided him completely. He is avoiding me too. We acted each other didn’t exist when we are alone. If we are with other our conversation shrivel to maximum two or three short sentences. He had a naughty look and I had sad look. I know he is enjoying this.

Our school had closed for one week because of rain. It got heavy and running without a stop. I had to go to Chris’ because mom had made some special dishes. I take it to Jess aunt and she was alone sitting in drawing room. Grandma is sleeping.

“Where is Chris?” I had to ask.

“Up, John came and they are doing that project.”

“Oh…!” I said. He is cheating Daniel.

“Go there and see. Chris was saying he didn’t see you for two days.” she said.

I had to go now. Otherwise aunt will doubt me. She didn’t know what going between us. Only Emily had some doubts but she didn’t say. Others thinking I was shy.

I climbed the stairs slowly and stopped in front of the door. It is closed but not locked. I know he never locked the door because aunt and grandma never go to his room except for cleaning.

I pushed the door and take a step in and looked. I didn’t saw any one sitting and doing the project. My eyes wandered the room and stopped on the bed. And it rested there. I was shocked. A lightning struck me and passed through the floor. I looked with wide eyes and my feet stick to the floor.

John was lying on the bed on his side covered with a blanket. He is sleeping. Beside him lay Chris on his back. His hands are under his head. He is not sleeping but looking something on the ceiling. He is wearing only his half trousers and his upper body is naked. John’s hand is across his hairy chest. A whimper escaped my mouth unknown to me as I was looking them. Suddenly Chris looked me and I saw he was shocked. A pain appeared on his face and his eyes filled. He looked me and the John. He removed the hand from his chest and starts to rise.

“Jo….” His voice was pleading.

It gives me sense and I said, “Sorry, I disturb you.” Tears rolled down to my cheeks.

“No…. it’s not……” I didn’t hear what he was saying. I ran down as I was crying and stopped. Jess Aunt. She looked me. She took me to her and holds me close.

“Chris...” she yelled. “Come down now!”

Chris came. Now he is wearing a T shirt. He looked us and bends his face down as a naughty child got between his acts.

“Why Josh is crying.” She asked him curtly.

“I….” he stammered and looked us foolishly.

“He shouted at me”. I helped. “I was looking what they are doing. He said I’m disturbing them and not come to his room when he and John are working.”

He looked me. There was pain and sadness in the yes. They are pleading me.

“Don’t shout to this kid.” Aunt ordered him. He stand’s there looking down. I was enjoying this now. I forget about what I saw.

“How could you do this Chris?” Aunt enquired him. “He is a kid. He wants to friend with you and you….” She shook her head disgustedly at him and sit on the chair. “Say sorry.”

“Sorry... kid. I will never do anything like that.” He said to me. His that had a weight. “It was a foolish thing to do.” His eyes were wet.

Aunt was smiling a little now. She shook her head, “Kids.”

John didn’t wake as whole this episode is happening. He is tired. I think.

After this I ignored him. If we are with others or alone I ignored. Whenever I see him I saw the bedroom scene. It is not vanishing from my eyes. Chris had a hurt look whenever he saw me. His eyes are pleading. He wants to say something but I am not listening.

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