Scott informed me by phone that they were releasing him from the hospital early. A few months early. I was concerned, “Are you healed enough to be out of the hospital?”
“These fucking nurses seem to think so.” Scott grumbled.
“It’s so early. Two weeks ago you said that you were going to be in for a few more months.”
“They changed their minds. They don’t want me here anymore.”
To me it seemed like they were kicking him out, but I didn’t say anything.
Scott’s voice went soft, “I’ll need your help when I come back. I hate to ask, but I’ll really need your help.”
“Yeah, that’s fine. So when are you arriving?”
“In two days.”
I almost said fuck into the phone, “Cool. Well I shall be here for your triumphant return.”
“Darling, you can lay down the red carpet.”
When I hung up the phone I screamed. I didn’t care if the neighbors heard me. Deniro heard the screaming and came running right as I collapsed onto the floor. Don’t cry, I told myself repeatedly.
When I felt more composed I called Knight Call and told them I wanted to cancel my day-shift on the day Scott arrived and change it to a night shift. It was no fuss. Next I bathed Deniro, wanting to make sure he smelled fresh for Scott’s return. “You’re going to see Scott soon!” I tried to tell Deniro enthusiastically. Deniro cocked his head and I felt as if he understood.
I panicked when I saw the living room. It was a mess of garbage and rearranged furniture from all the ‘poker nights’ I had been throwing. I spent an hour getting the room organised, another hour vacuuming the carpets and sweeping the linoleum floors, wiped down the bathroom, and washed the mountain of dishes that had accumulated on the kitchen counter.
The bordello was dead the next day. I was working the day shift with three other boys, one was Blake. I told Blake that Scott was coming back early and Blake seemed excited. “I’ve always liked Scott,” Blake beamed.
“Yeah, he’s a cool guy.” I replied.
“He was one of the only guys that worked here that would want to talk to me.”
I understood what Blake meant. Boys at KC had the tendency to overlook Blake. He was stereotyped at the dumb straight-man, even though it was false. Blake had a lot of smart things to say, he just didn’t know how to say them. Scott recognised this, and when given some patience Blake would flow with deep intelligence.
Nick showed up a few hours late for the day shift, as usual. I was eager to tell him about Scott’s sudden return.
“No fucking way!” Nick gasped.
“Yeah, and I think they are kicking him out.”
“Fuck, that doesn’t surprise me. He can be so difficult.”
“He wants me to help him out.”
“What? Like be his nurse? Fuck that!”
“I know. I didn’t come here to be anyone’s goddamned caregiver. It’s been stressful enough looking after that dog.”
“I don’t know why you don’t just move out.”
“I can’t do that. I would feel so bad.”
“Who cares? It’s not your fucking problem. He should’ve thought of that before getting himself hit by a truck.”
I pondered for a second, “I want to leave. I just can’t. Scott has done so much for me.”
“You hardly even know him! All he has done is give you a place to live. You could come stay with me if you wanted, you practically live there anyway.”
Nick’s distorts his voice to a flamboyant tone, “It’s because you a pussy. You a little bitch pussy who needs to grow a backbone.” He poked me in the side and I laughed.
Dave was worried about Scott’s return. He warned me that Scott had good intentions, but got into trouble easy. I took it into consideration. Dave also told me that I had a client coming in an hour. The client was one I hadn’t seen before, but whom had been coming to KC for years. I was specifically recommended by Dave to the client. “He’s easy,” Dave said, “So don’t worry. He’s a really nice guy. Old. Very smart. Doesn’t expect much.”
“Cool,” I said, “Sounds easy to me.”
The client eyes glowed when he took his first look at me. I brought him up to the room and shut the door and locked it. He was short, wore glasses, had a hunched back, and spoke with a british accent.
“You are a very handsome young man,” said the client, whose name was Hector.
“Thanks, did you want to start with a massage?”
“No no, that won’t be necessary.” Hector laid down on the bed, “Just come here and cuddle with me, I want to know more about the mysterious Carl.”
“Do you want me to take my clothes off?”
“If you want to.”
I decided to take off my clothes except my underwear. I laid down in his arms and he made a whimpering noise.
“Are you ok?” I leaned up to look at him.
“Yeah I’m fine, it’s just nice.”
“So what do you want to know?”
Hector asked me questions about my life, my parents, my siblings. I told him about my travels through Southeast Asia and how I came into the escorting business.
“You have a very good head on your shoulders.” Hector mentioned, “You are a boy who has been through a lot.”
“Oh, and that’s not even half of it.”
“Ohhhhh… there is more?”
I told him the story about Scott and the dog. I didn’t mention the meth part, or the part where I hated the responsibilities that were thrust upon me.
“Oh you poor thing,” Hector sympathised.
“What you’re doing is very admirable. You are a really great person. To be so patient and caring towards someone you hardly even know? A saint.” Hector’s enthusiasm was charming, “Scott must be very lucky to have found a man like you.”
“It’s stressful.” I admitted.
“Oh, understandably! But to persevere through it all is astounding. You are a lot wiser than your years, Carl. He’ll be forever in your debt when he returns.”
“I don’t think I’m ready to be someone’s caregiver.”
“No, you’re probably not. But I believe you will do just fine. Scott will be counting on you now.”
“I’m not even sure what condition he’ll be in when he gets back.”
“Let’s hope for the best.”
The hour was over and I got dressed as Hector informed me that he would be coming in to see me again in a couple days. I told him I had really enjoyed his company and was looking forward to seeing him soon.
I had renewed hope that I was going to make it out ok.
The next day Scott texted me once he got off the plane to let me know that he would arrive soon. He warned me that he was going to be arriving in style, whatever that meant. I made sure the house was in perfect condition for Scott, surely he was going to come home exhausted and I didn’t want his return to be muddled with a dirty house. I waited by the window looking out onto the street. Deniro rested by my feet.
An ambulance pulled up. Oh fuck, I thought. Two men got out and walked around the back of the vehicle to open up the swing doors. They wheeled Scott out on a stretcher. They had problems rolling the stretcher up the sidewalk, so they removed Scott from the stretcher and one man carried him in his arms like a swaddled baby. Scott was thin and frail. His features were sunken. His eyes had huge bags underneath. Scott screamed in pain as he was carried through the threshold.
“Put me on the fucking couch,” Scott wailed. The man walked to the couch and started lowering Scott, “Slower, Slower, AHHHHHHHHH!”
I looked down as Scott wailed while being placed on the couch. Deniro was in a frenzy over Scott, wagging his tail furiously. A smile towards Deniro managed to escape Scott’s mouth, as well as a weak greeting.
“You weren’t expecting the ambulance, were you?” Scott asked.
I shook my head.
“Yeah, neither did I.”