Love Thy Neighbour
You’re crying. You always do whenever you want attention and you’ve certainly got mine. Laying down my book I sit up in bed and concentrate on your voice, the soft whimpering builds to a loud bawl. I close my eyes and imagine how you must be feeling; cranky, uncomfortable, and maybe a bit winded since no one has attended to you yet. Your door latch makes a clicking sound followed by the release of the door handle. Daddy’s here now, be a good girl, no more tears. You immediately simmer down, he and I know those tears were just for show. You’re probably smiling too. The giggling is convincing, after all who can resist a tickling after a nap. I can hear a bit of movement from one side of the room to the other, followed by some mumbling and more giggling. I bet your diaper must be feeling pretty icky by now, good thing Daddy is already on it. He’s quick because not long after the sound of movement becomes distant. The absence of crinkling as you exit your room suggests you’re back in Pull-Ups. I smirk to myself while prying away from the wall; one ear is red and the back of it is slightly numb. My eyes remain closed while I replay what I’ve imagined. It isn’t long before I’m squeezing the groin area of my jeans. All too quickly though my excitement goes away.
I hear a crashing noise outside my bedroom door. I run to help my Dad to his feet. He’s heavy but I’m taller than him now, so it’s not hard. Dad groans and rubs his elbow. He manages to look at me. “Benjamin,” he says.
“The store…Bud. I need a case of Bud.”
“What happened to the case you bought this morning?”
“Just go dammit. You’ve been in your room all day. You could use some exercise.”
“Chips. Get chips too. And milk. Hurry up, the game starts soon.”
I move towards my room, away from his foul stench. I feel blood rushing to my head. My eyes swell up a bit. I’m holding my breath. I told him to let me go instead, but I never thought it would save him. He told me I wasn’t old enough. I wished I could have done more for him as he had for me. A year later his pictures are kept face down. Right next to the face down pictures of mom. The one on Dad’s bedside table too, surrounded by empty beer cans.
“Ben.” He’s walking away as I gasp and turn around; thankful he isn’t looking at me. “Use your brother’s ID, he won’t be needing it.”
I step outside the townhouse and look towards my neighbours. I wonder what kind of mischief you’re up to or how you’re enjoying the afternoon with your Daddy. Imagining the things you could be doing brings a smile to my face as I walk the two blocks to the store. The liquor store is quiet. The cashier’s name is Jully; she eyes me as I near.
“Another case of Budweiser, Kyle?” I nod.
“I bet you’re partying everyday before summer is over.” I smile. She scans my beer as she talks, no longer asking for ID. But I bring it just in case. I load the Bud into my backpack as I leave the store. “See you tomorrow,” she tells me.
I make a quick stop at the convenience store to pick up the chips and milk before hurrying home.
“It’s about time. A second more and I would’ve come looking for you.” Dad helps me out of the backpack. No you wouldn’t. “Ah, good man,” he says as he unpacks the beer and chips. He lumbers off to the living room, leaving me alone with the milk. The sound of a whistle blowing and fans shouting fills the empty space.
I put the milk in the fridge before sitting at the table with a glass of water. A breeze enters through the screen door coming from the backyard. The clinking and pinging from utensils arouses my interest. As I approach the screen door I notice the noise is coming from next door; made possible because your door is open as well. Is Daddy feeding you a snack or are you helping him prepare dinner? My imagination feeds on the ruckus you two are making. Your highchair scraps along the tile floor. Daddy brings you closer, he and I both know the level of messiness you’re capable of making. He feeds you spoonfuls of rice pudding. Trying his best to imitate trains and airplanes, you giggle at the silly noises he makes. Soon it’s all gone. I smile at how content you must be feeling, there is nothing more precious than moments like these; if only it were me.
“For Christ sake!”
I turn to my Dad. He is still curved into his armchair bathed in the pale light from the television. The square lines of his face are smoothed by a frame of shadow. One hand is in the mouth of the chip bag while the other holds the can of beer to his mouth. He keeps squirming restlessly. He looks at me, than back at the game, crushing the now empty can and reaching for another.
It seemed like it was always this way. Dad was a wreck even before Mom died. When he got laid off we all mourned. It was hard on him no longer being the provider for the family. He found his support in aluminum cans and unemployment compensations. Than Mom caught pneumonia from the hospital she worked at, we grieved when she didn’t get better. My brother and I were most affected while Dad grew more and more distant. Although we were only three years apart, Kyle filled the misplaced gaps – he was more of a father to me than our Dad. He had so much to live for. And then he died in a car collision en route to the liquor store. Dad and I were all that was left. The house I grew up in became colder, quieter, and eventually someone else’s. We downsized and moved out of the suburbs and into a townhouse at the heart of the city. We live off TV dinners and cry over spilt beer.
I retreat to my room. Escape seems like a paradox sometimes when I’m disconnected from the internet, my friends, and having little to no money in an everlasting summer. But escape is also only as far as the distance between my room and the neighbours. I wonder what you’re up to tonight. I rest my head on the wall while sitting in bed. It sounds as though you’re having a one sided conversation. You’re on the telephone perhaps. No, I can do better than that.
I reposition myself this time with my eyes shut. You’re having a tea party. Elmo, Barney, and that red teddy bear you received on Valentines surround the makeshift table. Daddy has allowed you to have a bottle and some cookies before bed, you serve them around generously. You giggle as you talk for your guests, giving each their own accent. As the night carries on you become quieter and quieter. Daddy and I both know you’re getting tired. He checks in on you and makes sure your Pull-Up is holding up okay. It’s dry but you fuss, not because he doesn’t believe you but because you don’t want to go to sleep. There is a bit of commotion, I hear you stomping out your room. The pipes between our walls rattle and then they calm to a constant hum. I know when Daddy gives you a bath since the humming continues until your tub is full. Instead you’re brushing your teeth this time. As you finish I can hear Daddy taking you back into your room. While he changes you into your night diapers you make one final effort to having your bedtime extended. Your whining tells me those puppy dog eyes have lost their charm. He tucks you in and puts a pacifier in your mouth. Reading a bed time story then planting a kiss on your forehead, he turns on your nightlight and flickers off the lights. Leaving you undisturbed, we wish you sweet dreams.
It is my turn to get ready for bed. While doing so I try not to think about how little I know you and how possible I could be wrong about who you are. I tell myself that you aren’t mentally challenged or being abused, nor am I being paranoid. I allow myself to believe that you are living out my fantasies. Even though I’ve only caught glimpses of you, it’s enough to let my imagination become my escape. And then I dream in to the next day.
[spoiler]I haven’t written a story since April 2007 but my ideas keep piling, so I’m gonna try to get back into it. I wanted to start with something fairly easy and not too heavy. It’s a really short ‘day in the life of’ story. I wanted to write a story where the main character isn’t being subjected to ABDL stuff, since most stories are like that. Instead I wanted the main character to be sorta like the observer (in this case his with his ears and his imagination). Some of the ideas I got from my surroundings. I live in a townhouse (downsized to clear the mortgage). I have an older brother (although he’s a jerk). And my dad got laid off a couple months ago. I didn’t have a set age for Ben while writing this, but I picture him to be 17 years old at the very most. The got the little tea party segment idea while reading Craig Thompson’s Blankets (chapter 7). I used second-person narrative because Elizabeth does a good job at it (in her Stories for Daddy) and I wanted to take a crack at it.
I’m gonna try to churn up a few more short stories if I can get in to the groove of things (and time permitting of course). Hope you enjoyed this one for now.