For Your Eyes Only
by Eliot Moore
Chapter 3 (September and October 2006)
Over the last few days before school started I saw a bit more of Glyn and his brother Pino. The weather was good so the games continued in the park. Glyn made good his threat to pin me in a fair match. Pino hunted me with a small pack of boys from his neighbourhood. His smiled evilly as he sat on my chest when they dragged me down, but I don’t think he enjoyed the game as much as that first night. The time we played before the first day of school he went out alone. Pino could run. He eluded three of my friends before ducking into a thick stand of trees. I crashed in after him while my friends moved around to block his retreat. The trees must have slowed him down because I caught him around the waist, picked him up and carried him to the ground kicking. He wouldn’t give up until I sat on him and pinned his shoulders to the ground.
“So Pino, we meet again.” That prompted Pino to purse his lips and narrow his eyes. After that run I think we were both content to rest; Pino stretched on the ground with his hands pinned on either side of his head, and I with my thighs pressing into his hips. I probed his sides and he giggled. “I think I found your weakness kid.”
“I’ll defeat you yet Si.”
“Someday,” Pino struggled to lift me off of his hips. He managed to shift me enough to twist around. “Not today.”
“Wait a second Si, just get up.” I lifted my hips and Pino swept the debris from under his chest. He pulled a small rock out. “Okay,” he finished, and lay back on the ground. I pushed his hips into the ground with my weight. Pino wasn’t satisfied until his wrists were secure behind his back. I tickled him a bit to see if he would keep his hands behind his back. After a minute I needed to hold his wrists. As I pressed my assault on his sensitive torso I felt his small butt tense and shift between my legs. Finally, his giggling and sobbing stopped and he went limp beneath me.
School started and I got busy. We were all trying to fit in and understand high school. My friends and I went from being the biggest and most responsible to the smallest. Familiar faces were lost in a forest of strangers. Our new teachers were strangers too and they did not always do their best to help us adjust. Glyn did end up in a few of my classes. One of them was drama. We sat together and the teacher quickly identified us. At the end of the first hour our teacher had learned the names of the three boys goofing off at the back, a few others. I’m sure she remembered Glyn’s name as soon as he identified himself. I envied his ease. He sat there smiling at her, one sandaled foot crossed over his knee, blond hair brushed back off his forehead. “I’m Glyn Fleming,” his accent drenching every word, “and this is Simon Wallace.” With that introduction, Glyn established a sort of partnership. I have to admit I was proud to be connected to Glyn that way. The teacher basked in his smile a moment, identifying this semester`s star, and then offered me a more cautious look. She and her classroom looked like they had inhabited Central forever. Four Wallace`s had bulled their way through high school before me, John had just graduated. I imagine my brothers had not shined in her class. Then too, she looked old enough to remember my mother. Perhaps it was this, or the contrast I must have made to Glyn: the dark shadow beside the sun-gilt poplar, so obviously rooted in the prairie. She must have been a bit surprised when it was I who volunteered Glyn to start the first activity. I think we brought the classroom down about her with that first effort.
I saw Pino occasionally. One day I saw him playing in the park with some companions. They must have been classmates. They acted like friends do, cutting up and laughing together. I paused on my bike and watched them from the street. His limbs stretched out around his muscled torso. Standing near boys his own age, I realized Pino was tall. Glyn had a few inches on me and I wondered when his younger brother would pass me too. Pino wasn’t doing very well. He missed every shot he tried. He was coordinated though. He moved quickly around the court staying with the ball, arms flashing, and eyes everywhere. Pino wore the singlet he was wearing when I met him. His board shorts fit more snugly than those of his companions. When he lifted the front of his singlet to wipe his face I noticed a belt dividing the trim plane of his abdomen and the swell of his pants. The white thread of bone necklace still looped around his neck.
I bumped into him in The Bay Store just before Thanksgiving. Justin and I were wandering through the aisles with a few of others. Just hanging out, nothing special, well I guess we were stalking Dilsy. Dilsy was Jessica Dilsner. Justin had a bone for her that month. We were pawing through tourist junk beside the women`s department when I noticed Pino trailing behind us. I looked for Glyn, but it seemed Pino was alone or with someone else. He looked a little blue, but when I pulled away from the guys to say hello his face lit up. I asked what he was up to.
“Shopping with my mum,” Pino’s reply lacked enthusiasm. He pointed vaguely to a woman sorting through dress slacks. “My grandmother is going to be here for Thanksgiving and mum thinks I need to dress up.”
“James, come here and try these on.” Pino blinked when she called his name. He turned reluctantly with a small parting wave.
“Hey,” that caught his attention. He turned back to listen to what I would say next. “You’re still going to have to tell me your name sometime.”
“Someday,” He smiled, pleased with something private, “Not today.”
“Don’t forget,” I tapped my chest where the necklace once had been. Pino shyly stretched his t-shirt down so I could see the string still looped around his neck. Then he was off.
“See you Si.”
“See you Pino.”
Everyone came home for Thanksgiving except Jasmine. Mom and dad tried to be pleased about that. My oldest brother Peter brought his girlfriend Emma. Paul and John made it back from Fort McMurray in the Territories. John and I were the closest. He had just graduated the June before. Paul and John slid around mom’s probes into their love lives. She had to content herself with Emma. I think mom used her as something of a substitute until Jasmine’s call came through from Kandahar. While Jasmine talked with my parents, we crowded around the computer to see the latest pictures she had posted. Peter was twenty-three and I guess he and Jasmine had been close. He joked about her pictures and added silly comments. She was a stranger to me. I scanned each picture hoping for some sense of who she was. The only pictures I connected with were a set of three showing her standing with a group of children. She had a huge smile on her face and the children all held up small Red Ensigns like the one on her shoulder patch as if they were participating in some Canadian propaganda film. I asked Peter to go back to one where she had added the children’s names: Zemar, Anoosheh, Marwa, and Wasim. I peered at Wasim a moment until I realized the boy reminded me of a red haired Pino. Jasmine’s Diemaco assault rifle was slung barrel down over one shoulder and she was wearing body armour in the picture. I thought the four children looked vulnerable beside her. Wasim was wearing a powder blue long sleeve shirt that went down to his knees. He had matching pants and a red hat. I thought Jasmine huge behind him. Peter passed on to other pictures, but the boy’s face, like Pino’s, stuck in my mind.
Glyn and I collaborated on a drama project after Thanksgiving. I finally had a chance to see Glyn’s house. It was about the same distance as ours from the park that divided us. I couldn’t help plotting a stealthy passage that would traverse the block to Glyn’s house. Halloween was imminent. I cased the alley and back yard before I circled back to the front. The Fleming house was probably a decade younger than our house. From my fourteen-year-old perspective they seemed of an age. Later I learned our neighbourhood dated from the 1900s, at the time the three Prairie Provinces were carved out of the North West Territories. The rail line through the park marked the edge of town in those days. Glyn’s house was built in the Roaring Twenties during Assiniboia’s good times. We worked in the kitchen where we had space to build our model set. It was an easygoing home. My mother would not have thought it tidy. Stacks of books were piled in odd places as if someone had dropped them in a hurry and forgot about them. A half empty coffee mug sat beside a chair. The literary debris extended throughout the downstairs and I was curious about Glyn’s room. His school locker was messy enough, but he was meticulous with our model.
We shared a mania for proportion and detail. I was cautiously cutting a cereal box with a utility knife and a metal ruler when Glyn snickered. “Have you seen Pino’s glasses yet?” I looked up from my work and admitted I had not. “I keep telling him he looks like a skinny owl.” I tried to picture the transformation. Glyn paused to concentrate on attaching the first row of seats to our theatre in the round. I remember wondering how long it took Glyn to fabricate them all. I was suitably impressed with the red felt cushions. Glyn and I both had our hearts set on the Plexiglas display cube in front of the office. The dimensions of our model would fit snugly into it. Satisfied, he picked up the grid we planned to hang for the lights. “This is so going to be the best set in the class. Too bad we can’t spray it silver so it looks like metal.”
“It has to be black. We could probably rig some small lights and wire them.”
“Oh my God, do you think we have time?”
“We still have the actual stage set to finish. Maybe though, I’ll look for some lights at dad’s store.”
We went back to work. Glyn and I passed information back and forth about our classmates. Glyn was a good looking guy so it was not surprising that we mostly talked the girls chasing him. I found it reassuring that Glyn was as uncertain about the girls as I was. We paused when the back door slammed and Pino pounded up the stairs in the company of another boy. He stopped in the doorway when he caught sight of me and his friend bumped into him. The blood drained from his face and I thought he might topple over; then Pino blushed behind his new glasses. He was rooted to the ground so his friend had to push around him. The other boy was a familiar face from our chase in the park. Pino muttered something to his friend and led the way to his room without another word. His silence surprised me.
About ten minutes later, Pino’s friend came back down stairs. He came for a drink and casually raided the fridge with the ease of a familiar guest. He leaned on the kitchen counter and watched us work. After a few minutes he asked a question. Glyn answered and he began explaining what we were doing. It looked like a break, so I slipped away and went upstairs.
I poked around until I found Pino’s room. He was sitting cross-legged on his bed simply staring at the opposing wall. His eyes shifted to me and then he looked back to the wall. I bent and picked up the glasses on the floor near his desk. He looked at them as I sat down on the bed.
“I look like Harry Potter,” he commented mournfully. “I sound like Harry Potter.”
“No you don’t.” I examined the glasses. They were pretty nice. I reached over to put them on his face.
He put a hand out to stop me, “Don’t.”
I looked him in the eyes. He was the picture of misery and I missed his smiling face. “What do I have to do kid, blow your head off?” Pino touched his neck and I realized he was wearing the necklace again. His lips curled up a moment and then he looked apprehensively at the glasses in my hand. He let me slip them on. His eyes searched for my reaction to his transformation as my fingers brushed lightly against the side of his face and checked the fit behind his ears. Pino had Glyn’s looks and I was sure the glasses would just make him look sweeter. I rested my hands on his shoulders and let a thumb stroke along his jaw. “You look great. They make you look smart.”
“Great, I look like a nerd.”
“No, I mean intense and insightful. You look like a dangerous revolutionary, full of ideas and plans to bring down the world. Besides, I could stick a clown nose on you and you would still kill with that face.” I tweaked his nose. That drew a smile from him that made me happy.
“I guess I need to wear them. I can’t see.” He sighed out his frustration. “I’ve been having trouble seeing the board; and gym, twenty shots on the hoop and I didn’t make even one!” Pino rolled his eyes at the ceiling.
“I know. I watched you miss every shot.” I gave his leg a little punch and stood up. I stopped at the door to look at him. “Don’t worry so much, you look fine. See you around Pino.”
We went back to work on the model. Our plans were running away with the time we had to work. Pino and his friend came down and his friend left. Pino stood beside me watching our progress for a while. He seemed content to simply listen to us. He helped us carry the pieces of our project up to Glyn’s room and hung out in the doorway as we talked. Finally he slipped away without a word. We had until the end of the month to finish the project so we discussed our next meeting. Weekends were not good for me. I was expected to help out in dad’s store Fridays and Saturdays. I suggested Sunday and Glyn told me he was busy because it was Pino’s thirteenth birthday.
I thought about Pino’s birthday as I walked home. It seemed right that I should give him something. Poised along the tracks that divided us I wondered what kind of a gift it could be. Dry leaves rustled in the stand of trees where I dragged him down. It was dark and a little silly, but I detoured into the trees and picked my way to the center. I imagined I heard Pino giggling as I tickled him. The rustle of the aspen leaves evoked the sound of our bodies shifting on the ground. Pino loved that. I decided I could give him another game.
I gave myself till Thursday to pull my gift together and Friday I asked Glyn to give it to Pino. He suggested I stop by myself and I brushed off the suggestion. Pino would have his family or friends. I would have liked to see his face when he found the map tucked in with the Bond videos. Glyn simply shoved the wrapped box set into his bag and promised to give it to Pino. That left me the weekend to wonder what Pino thought of my gift.
Glyn made no mention of the gift when we met for class on Monday. At the end of class he suggested we work on the project after supper. Dad had let me cannibalize a few electronic kits that had been sitting around for years. I spent Sunday experimenting with the tiny lights and shreds of copper wire. By the time I went to bed dad’s workbench was scattered with a web of lights and dull spatters of solder. Glyn was delighted to hear about the lights so we decided to shift the set to my house for the remainder of the project.
That night Glyn walked up to my house gingerly carrying the plywood base of our design and the almost completed theatre. Pino exited the car behind him with a box of half finished elements and our supplies. Glyn’s dad waved at me and drove off. He did not wait for Pino. “Pino said he wanted to hang out.” I did not need more of an explanation than that.
The brothers loved the lights. Glyn and I lost track of time as we worked to string the finicky lights and tiny wires around the frame suspended over our stage. I lost track of Pino. When Glyn took a break to check out the bathroom, I went outside. I spotted Pino in the center of the back yard, my map in one hand. I think he was studying the rotting fire escape climbing up the side of the house. It should have been replaced that past summer, but my father didn’t trust me to do it and Peter kept avoiding it.
“You didn’t say what time.”
“Yes I did.”
“Where?” he spoke to me from the shadows and flashed a beam of light on the map in his hand. I swear I could see the glitter in his eyes.
“You still have time to figure it out, keep looking.” Pino folded the map and slipped it into his pocket. He took a few steps back to examine the old shed. He raised his arms and clasped his hands behind his neck in frustration. I felt an urge to cross the lawn and touch him. “I didn’t want to make it too easy.” He turned to look at me. I was struck by his serious expression.
“Trust me, you haven’t.” Then he smiled and my stomach did a little twist. “Your basement doesn’t look right.”
“I should beat you for asking so many questions.” His eyes widened at that. I had assumed Pino would figure that part out quickly from the name I had given the secret computer installation, but then I did not really know how much chance he’d had to get down town. I decided a little help would not spoil things too much. “I have to work Saturday.”
“Glyn said you work for your dad at his store on the weekends.”
“Yes, we all had to.” I had said enough. I thought he could handle it now.
“So the computer installation …” I turned away. Glyn and I need to try and finish the lighting before the brothers had to walk home. Glyn had convinced me to add lights to the entrances.
“Wait Si! I haven’t seen your Penthouse Suite.”
I turned back. “It’s upstairs near the bathroom.” I wondered what Pino would think of it.
Glyn was working on the project when I returned to the basement. I stood beside him as he turned the lights on and off. He punched me in the shoulder in his excitement. We drew one of the theatre-in-the-round cards. Glyn found a stage design on the internet. We finished the lights and discussed the final details of the set design. We had both read the play and I looked forward to our dramatic presentation. Building the set had been easy; it was the artsy sort of thing that appealed to me. It had been just as much fun designing a spy map for Pino to follow.
We had the project well in hand and two weeks to finish so while there was still time I invited Glyn up to my room. Pino was lying on my bed staring at the shallow bookshelf hiding the extra door. I tried not to smile. I could feel his pent up curiosity. If Glyn had not been with me, I think he would have pressed me for details. The three of us made a triangle back then. The relationships rarely overlapped. Glyn took my small room at face value. Pino mined it for clues in the game we were playing. Glyn and I played a video game while we talked. After a while I gave my controller to Pino and we traded places. They played to keep their hands busy and I lay on my bed enjoying their company.
Glyn leaned against the bed, legs apart with the controller propped loosely at his crotch. My hand was near his shoulder so every time he teased me I could punch him. After an obligatory analysis of the trials of the Medicine Hat Roughnecks and the Saskatchewan Miners we shifted back to Glyn’s favourite topic: girls. He was curious about my love life. “So is Brittany your first girl friend Si?”
“Sure, I guess.” I knew she was. I was just fourteen after all, how many was I expected to collect?
“So do you really like her? I mean she’s beautiful and pretty funny.” Glyn watched the screen and I watched the side of Glyn’s face wishing I had a straight nose like he did. Mine had been broken in a fight a year ago. “I’m surprised you haven’t had any other girls. Brittany says there are lots of girls interested in you.”
“Yeah, right,” Brittany treated our relationship casually. She hardly seemed the type to worry about competition. I always assumed I was a boyfriend of convenience till she moved on to someone else. This did not bother me particularly. She was a girlfriend of convenience. Brittany never really set my heart going. I returned to his question. “She’s cool. We have had some fun together.”
“She said you two have done stuff.” Glyn’s neck turned pink. “Nate said you and Brittany have done it together.”
“Nate should mind his own fucking business.” That upset me a bit. Losing your virginity was not that big a deal in our neighbourhood, but I felt some loyalty to Brittany. When Justin was crowing about his first time with Dilsy I wanted to shove it back in his face and tell him about Brittany. I didn’t though. It seemed like it should be something secret between Brittany and me if we were friends. “Sorry Glyn, we have, but I thought it was sort of private.”
Glyn turned to me and nodded. “I respect that Si. I mean, Brittany is a really great person. I think she is special. She deserves to be treated right. I think what happened is she told her best friend and she told Justine who told Nate.”
… And together they told everyone… It did not surprise me really. I could see Brittany telling Dilsy too. Brittany gave me a blow job on our second date in an alley on the way home. We were fucking soon after that; both of us barely fourteen. She was my first, but I’m not sure I was hers. “She should have kept it to herself.”
“Yes” Pino’s interjection surprised me. He was still stretched out on the floor and his face was turned to the screen. His shirt was hiked up to the small of his back and his shorts had slid down on his hips. He had white briefs that clung to his narrow butt. It would have been so easy to yank the shorts down.
“Girls like to share secrets Pino.”
“You think?” Glyn was really red now. His game with Pino had been completely forgotten.
“Then I’m glad I’m a boy. I would have kept it to myself. Sex is private.” Pino added. “Have you done it Glyn?”
If I had been Glyn I imagine my dick would have fallen off by now from all the times girls impaled themselves on me. He was probably pale because all the fluids had been drained out of him. I had a sudden image of Glyn’s erection poking free from a tight pair of white briefs.
“Gosh Pino,” Glyn paused to organize his thoughts before he continued. He grinned at me and I guess we shared the pride of membership in a fairly inclusive club. “I have, just once though.” The grin faded, “I think Si is right though. It is something sort of private.” That left a silence between us. After a bit Pino started the game in single player mode. Pino was not that much younger than us. He was even better looking than Glyn. I wondered when some cute eighth grade girl was going to drag him into her basement bathroom, roll a condom over his hard cock and ride him on the cold tiles. I would have liked to see Pino’s face when that happened. My fantasy of Pino losing his virginity dissolved when Glyn returned to my list of girl friends. “So seriously Si, you must have thought about some of the other girls. Anyone interest you?”
Sure some other people interested me. I was not going to marry Brittany that was for sure. Sex with her was only just a little more exciting that jerking myself off and I don’t think we connected all that well. I had looked around a bit but it was just easier to stick with Brittany. “I guess, let’s put it this way Glyn, when it stops working I’ll be okay. I’ll move on.”
Glyn smiled encouragingly. “If I were you I wouldn’t worry either. You should see him in drama class Pino; the girl’s eyes are glued to his face and when Berger asks for volunteers to work with him the hands just shoot up.”
That made me laugh, “I think it’s the other way around Glyn. They are all looking at your hot ass.” Then we both shut up. We were getting a little gay with the complements.
Pino was back into his game. I jumped off the bed and landed across his hips. I slid my hands under his shirt and up his smooth sides feeling each rib until my fingers stopped on his nipples. I leaned over his back and crooned into his ear. “How about you Pino, you’re so hot. I bet the girls are chasing you all over the school now that you have those sexy new glasses.” I could hear Glyn laughing in the background. He knew I liked teasing his brother, but there was a hint of agreement in his voice. “Come on Pino,” my voice wined a little, “tell me the truth.” He stared at the screen and tried to continue his game. “Let’s see your manly muscles.” I ran one hand over the tense bands of muscles covering his abdomen and tried to get a rise from him. When he lifted away from my fingers, I tickled the flesh above the tight line of his briefs. My other hand pressed into the hard flesh around his nipple. “Awe Pino, am I distracting you from your game?”
His only response was to bite his lip. I licked the edge of his ear and he pressed his butt into my groin a little. I sat up and let my fingers curl under the tight band of his briefs just above his bum. I’d felt it again. The same tightening in my groin I’d first felt when I sat on Jesse two years before. I liked that feeling. It came without the guilt I felt that night Kevin danced, but there was caution. Glyn was behind us so I let my fingers slip further down Pino’s briefs and then pulled them down until I could see his cleft. Pino’s character died as a wash of crimson blood filled the screen of my old TV.
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