Ouch, could Maxxie have sounded any bitchier. He might as well have just slapped his mom and said “I never want to see you again, bitch”. I wanted to go back with him but something told me he needed some time to chill and be on his own. And I did kinda want to ask Maxxie’s mom some more about him. Maxxie left once I told him what I was doing and said I’d walk home. Like I’d said to him before, I like walking. I turned to Maxxie’s mom and smiled.
“So what was he like as a kid?”
We’d been talking for so long I barely noticed when Maxxie’s dad walked in the door and was met with the sight of his wife and a young man. Even under the best circumstances it must’ve looked a little suspicious. Maxxie’s mom shoved the photo album and shoe box somewhere out of sight. That’s good, can’t have him noticing them.
"Hi" I eventually said, all of a sudden a lot more nervous than I had been about him coming home.
"I'm Cayden. Cayden Smith. Nice to meet you"
"You too. I'm Peter Fuller."
I looked over at Maxxie’s mom. Yeah, like fuck I knew what I was sposed to do. She seemed to know what she was doing, though, as she flashed a slight smile.
"Cayden's an old friend of Max's... he was under the impression I might know where he is, but," she looked at me and shrugged, "as I said, I can't help you."
Maxxie’s dad looked vaguely angry at the mention of his son’s name. The awkwardness hanging in the air did nothing to calm me down and before I realised it, I’d started rubbing the back of my neck.
"Uh, yeah... thanks anyway..."
"It's okay. I'm sorry I couldn't help." Maxxie’s mom said, paving the way for me to get the fuck out of there.
"Never mind, eh?" Maxxie’s dad said with a smile in this fake cheery voice, "if he doesn't want to be found, he won't be. Best leave him to it."
"Yeah... I better be going then, eh?" I said, laughing nervously.
"Unless you have some other reason to be here," he flashed me another fake smile and Maxxie’s mom shot him a stern look. Which he promptly ignored. Shit, did he know something? I know people joke about gaydars and stuff but did this guy literally have one or something?
"I don't know. You tell me."
"...Like I said, I should probably go"
"I'll see you out," his mom said and led me to the front door, opening it with a sigh, "Sorry about that."
"Medical care's free in this country, right?"
She frowned, obviously confused by my seemingly random question. "Why?"
"I think I'm about to have a heart attack. That guy is scary"
A half smile snuck onto her lips "please don't have a heart attack. How would I explain that one to Max?"
I let out a quiet laugh, not wanting to attract his dad’s attention. "Thanks for showing me that stuff, it really means a lot"
"No, thank you for persuading Max to come over. I know he wasn't in the best of moods, but it's a start."
"I'm sure he'll come around, it'll just take time and a lot of effort" I said with a smile.
"I know. I've probably got a lot of damage to repair, but I'll manage. I should go hide the photos before Pete finds them. Maybe see you tomorrow, yes?"
She nodded. ”Hopefully. Good bye, Cayden."
"See ya, Mrs F"
With a smile, she went back inside and I started on the walk back to Maxxie’s. By the time I got back, Maxxie was fast asleep and showed no signs of waking up anytime soon so I slipped off my shoes and clambered into bed with him with a smile. He seemed to instinctively sense my presence and clung to my shirt. Which is exactly how I stayed for hours, snuggling like there was no tomorrow.