If you ignore the fact that every time Kyle and I had to brush up against each other to get past in the kitchen I felt uncontrollably horny for a few minutes, the new job was going alright. On the other hand, everyone I work with knows I was in jail for the last three and a bit years. Jeanette, the girl who'd cooked me and Kyle dinner the first Christmas I had probation for, asked me what I was in for.
We'd been on break together, when she'd come up and asked me about it. "So what is it that kept me from meeting you all that time? And don't say 'jail', I want details."
"What kind of details?" I asked, arching my eyebrow a little, given that jail pretty much was the only reason I'd been unable to meet her.
"What you were in there for, dumby."
"Oh. Possession of a wrap of cocaine," I shrugged, "I didn't even know I had it, to be honest." Or at the very least I'd forgotten about it. Either way when they searched me and found that wrap all I knew at the time was that I didn't remember ever putting it in my pocket.
She slapped me around the back of the head a little, "dumby, you put my baby Kyle through a lot, y'know?"
"I know," I sighed, "don't ever think I don't regret what happened." She patted me on the back.
"At least he's happy now, though, right?" I nodded, smiling weakly. "You're a cute kid, you'll find someone else soon."
Jeanette became my friend pretty quickly, but aside from Kyle, she was the only one who really talked to me. The kitchen staff don't really seem to appreciate me as much as the rest of the other people that work there, but to be honest, I'm used to people hating on me. So I just get on with it. It pays well enough for me to be saving up enough to get somewhere else to live and I can be out from under Kyle and Rayn's feet soon enough. My free time has been filled up with making extra money on the side working as one of those guys that hang around in car parks washing cars all day, and looking for apartments that I can maybe afford.
I wander home from the car washing, sun burnt and tired, to find the apartment empty. I spend long enough making a coffee in the kitchen to notice a note from Kyle telling me that he and Rayn have gone away for a bit and that he doesn't know when they'll be back, and that I have to feed Scruffles. I make a mental note to re read that later on when I'm less dead and shuffle to the sofa, flicking on the TV. I turn my attention to the newspaper ads lying scattered across the coffee table, a few cheap shitty looking apartments circled in red felt tip. I've made a few appointments with the estate agents to look around them, but I've pretty much already settled on one, just because it's on the other side of town.
I manage to stay awake long enough to feed the squirrel before collapsing on the sofa and pretty much passing out.
There's still no sign of Kyle or Rayn when I get back from work the next day, and I frown a little as I get the squirrel out to play with it. I figure Rayn wouldn't appreciate his baby going neglected for so long. The little fucker bites me and by the time he goes back in his cage, my fingers are more like a bloodied mess than fingers, but I s'pose Rayn'll be happy either way.
I'm on my way back out to view one of the apartments when I get a call from Kyle.
"Damien... Damien, he's gone and I don't know where he is," Kyle's panicky voice greets me as I get in my car and start the engine. I pin the phone between my ear and my shoulder, setting off for this apartment.
"Where are you?"
"We were at his mom's grave and his dad showed up and I'm in the hospital and they keep trying to put stitches in my head." I arch my eyebrow at that. I mean, most people know Rayn's mom's dead, but I thought her grave was in Nevada...
"Why are you in Nevada? And why do you need stitches?"
"Because we went to see his mom and because that prick smashed my head on a gravestone."
"Wha...? Why did he do that?"
"Because he's... He was drunk. I think he took Rayn and now I don't know where he is and I'm worried and scared for him."
"Why would you worry if he's with his dad? I mean he was drunk, right? Most people are pricks when they're drunk. Look, I'm sure he'll turn up, okay? Just let them stitch you up and try not to panic."
"No, you don't get it. His dad's a prick and... Get the fuck away from me with that fucking needle!" he kind of yelled as someone apparently came at him with a needle.
"Kyle, babe, just let them give you the stitches. He might not even be with his dad, ‘kay? He wanders off on his own a lot and turns up again randomly. Maybe he just went to visit a few old haunts on his own or something. Look, I've gotta go, I'm sorry. Text me later or something, yeah?" I say as I pull up outside the apartment, glancing round to see the estate agent already waiting for me and looking bored. When I notice the time, I realise I'm already late as it is.
"No, you don't get it," he says again, sounding frustrated.
"Seriously, can you call me back in half an hour or something? I'm really sorry," I tell him, but he hangs up before I can even say goodbye. Alright then...