13 - Rex

13 - Rex

A Chapter by Tertia

Chapter 13

As the sun burnt her face she sat upright, hot and sweaty as she was aware of something. She would’ve ignored it, but it was close at hand and heavy. It was in the room, like a solid presence that was as real as a block of concrete. Looking slowly around, giving it as much consideration as looking for someone who was hiding, she knew she would see nothing. The feeling wasn't bad, it was good in fact and after searching nooks and crannies and listening so intently she could hear distant traffic and individual rain drops dropping, cautiously she waved her hand in front of her face and felt as stupid as the air itself as it was it’s usual cold, stagnant self. She smelt around the room, lifting her nose, opening her mouth to taste, but there was nothing unusual. She looked at Lucas peacefully sleeping and blissfully unaware of the world and what he had done, he was none the wiser.

She slipped downstairs and put the kettle on and scrapped the remains of the Nescafé granules out of the jar. She stopped, holding her breath to check herself, when was the last time she had done this for a guy? She had done plenty of things, but not this, something inside her had turned a notch. Why was she running around after Lucas? It would’ve seemed crazy a few weeks ago.

When she returned to his room Lucas was wide awake and unashamedly watched her come in. She gave him the faintest of smiles, but it was the light in her eyes that really gave her away. He sighed and stroked her silky hair and as it slipped through his fingers making them tingle, it gave him a static charge. ‘How do you get your hair so soft?’

‘Don’t know,’ she said dismissively. Don’t get too friendly she thought. She perched herself on the edge of the bed, facing the door, as if ready to take flight.

‘Huh, OK,’ He felt mixed up. His body was simple, it had no wiring and had its own autonomy based on instinct and desire in contrast to his mind which had preconceptions, morals, ideals and fears based a civilised code of conduct and what he should and shouldn’t do at any one moment should he wish to engage it. In any scenario he could follow either, neither or both. Had all the conclusions he had come to so far in his life meant nothing because all of it was being destroyed by one much stronger feeling?

‘Do you feel something’s different?’ she asked, looking slowly around the room.

‘Well, I feel happy so I wouldn’t know,’ he said following her eyes aware she might be talking of the paranormal.

‘It’s here,’ she whispered.

‘What is?’ he whispered taking a slug of the bitter coffee. Oh great, I finally get to meet a girl and I scratch beneath the surface and find out she’s mad.

‘A presence. I can feel it. Women can,’

He nodded and smiled approvingly ‘Before you go today I need to sign your picture,’

‘OK, sure. I’ll leave it out for you. Are you all packed?’

‘I’m as packed as this,’ he said looking around at the debris on the floor.

‘You’d better get your act together then,’ she said. As she got up she slapped him on the top of his thigh hard enough to make sure it stung.

***** ☀️

Lucas was in the front room tidying the TV cables when there was a loud knock at the door, he ignored it, but there was a rap on the bay window and a large red face peered in at him. Quickly he went to the door and swung it open.

‘So your the guy whose been seducing my daughter?’ a red faced man in his mid-fifties said, he had piercing blue eyes and a stoney, serious look, but after a few seconds he started laughing. He was a short and overweight man and wore a check shirt and had gold medallions around his hairy chest, his old jeans didn’t fit, nor did his worn summer sandals. ‘Where is she then?’ he said, waving his arms and pushing passed. He laughed again, looking at Lucas’s shocked and stunned reaction.

‘In her room,’ Lucas said meekly, standing back. ‘Daggs, your dad is here,’ he shouted to the back of the house. They looked each other over, standing in the cold shadow of the hall, waiting for any kind of response.

‘I’m Rex, Celia’s step-dad,’ he said stroking his thin greying hair. He laughed again, looking up to look at Lucas down his nose.

‘Lucas,’ Lucas said.

‘Oh,’ he paused thinking. ‘she hasn't…mentioned you,’

‘No, I can imagine. Look, I’ll go and find her,’ he indicated with his eyes for Rex to follow and knocked on Celia’s door.

‘Hello,’ a faint voice came back.

As footsteps approached from inside, he said ‘See you later,’

‘Yes, lover boy,’ Rex shouted and started laughing again. Lucas sloped back to the front room and tried to remember what he was doing, but he couldn’t so went out into the garden and collected years worth of litter. There was a lot of plastic, cans and bottles hanging in the bushes and strewn on the unmade ground. Afterwards he went to his room knowing she would be gone as soon as her dad’s car was packed. He sat on his bed listening to Celia and Rex laughing, shouting and arguing. He twirled a paint brush, remembering he had to sign the painting he’d done of her. He sat doing nothing, watching the minutes ticking by, it was getting close to midday, his train was at one.

There was a knock at his door and Celia pushed it open. She had dressed herself in non-student, suburban clothes consisting of a big jumper, nice white jeans and flat, sensible shoes.‘You've become one of them,’ he sneered.

‘I’ve come to say good-bye, Lucas, we’re going in a few minutes,’ she said. She was holding the painting.

She had remembered that he had wanted to sign it he thought. ‘Ahh yes,’ he said taking it from her. He looked at the form of her that he’d drawn and compared it to her standing in front of him. ‘I think I got you,’

‘You did, now sign it, Rex wants to go,’

He signed a big ‘LV’ in the bottom right hand corner in black ink and a line to represent the ‘erity’ with a dot above. He flipped it over and wrote a message on the back in biro.

‘What are you writing?’ she said trying to see.

‘It’s a message to you, your future self,’

‘What? What does it say?’

‘It says, if you’d ever like a Scottish holiday to dial this number,’ he said, looking at her straight.

Her eyes held his for a brief second and were happy and expectant as they had been the night before ‘Lucas,’ she rushed to him and hugged him. ‘Please keep in touch, I want to know what you’re doing,’

‘Yes, of course,’ he put his arms around her, folding himself around her. He knew that keep in touch meant messages on social media and not a lot more.

‘We’ll arrange to meet as soon as we’re all sorted,’

‘Yes, yes,’

‘All of us I mean,’

‘Oh, right, oh yes sure,’ Lucas said.

‘Are you ready,’ Rex shouted up.

‘We’ll sort something out, you’re welcome to visit me anytime,’ she edged towards the door.

‘Thank you,’

‘Look, I’d better go,’ she said, giving him a wet kiss on the lips.

‘Celia,’ Rex shouted sharply. They walked down together and he helped put the last of her things in the large shiny SUV that dominated the road with its oppressive newness. He watched from the pavement as she and Rex climbed in the fully laden vehicle ‘Good bye Tim,’ Rex said.

‘It’s Lucas,’ he said firmly.

Reddening, Rex gave him an empty smile. ‘I thought we’d go to that country pub on the way back,’ he said looking at the dashboard and starting the engine.

Celia nodded, trying not to appear enthusiastic. She waved at Lucas and blew him a kiss from her hand. ‘Bye, Verrs,’ she called as the car pulled away.

‘Bye, Daggs,’ he said waving as the car accelerated and she was gone. She was gone, she had gotten away and had got her way. Now he was already wishing he’d had nothing to do with her. See you sometime never he thought.

He trudged back to the empty house, checked everything over, although his mind wasn’t on it. He had a last look around and then slipped on his long waterproof and rucksack and then putting the keys through the letterbox headed for the train station. There was just enough time to take one last look at the house at the corner of the street. His mind flicked through the years at the happy memories and the boring and lonely times too.

© 2021 Tertia

Author's Note

In the next Chapter Lucas works on the family farm

My Review

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An interesting hitch here in the saga of Verrs and Daggs. After an apparently satisfying night of lovemaking, Daggs' stepfather, Rex, suddenly appears on the scene. Rex, who comes across as something of a jolly old elf, is there to take Daggs home. There is surprisingly little protest on her part (I may have missed a chapter.), and Rex, after showing mild disrespect for Verrs, gather her up and takes her away. Daggs and Verrs vocalize intentions to keep in touch, but Verrs doesn't believe they will manifest. At chapter's end, it is as though he has already started consigning Daggs to the past. I doubt things will stay that way.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Having read only this chapter, I can't get a really good sense yet. But it seems there is a one-sided relationship going on here and poor Lucas is getting the raw end of it. She seems o be directing the "play"... she left with her angered step-father and she knew it was the end of their tryst.....she never wanted to get "friendly".... very well written; glad to have read it
Best, B

Posted 1 Month Ago

I have printed out your request; I would appreciate it if you would begin COOL JOE. Many thanks, B.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Excellent use of tension throughout, and best of all, I didn't even need a description of Rex to know what he looked like. I'm still unsure if I'm qualified to cast more observations, having read this and the previous chapter as stand-alones knowing I'd best begin on chapter 1 to flesh out the whole falafel. My only objection is this chapter's final note, and I speak as someone with extensive training in the art of Musical Fail. It's a wee bit cheesy. Please don't order a hit on me-- I meant it's slightly predictable, and I speak as someone with extensive training in track and field, so I could probably outrun you. But picturing poor Lucas looking back wistfully... I don't know. If he were still undressed and happened to be carrying a carton of ready-to-launch eggs... I hope that makes sense.

Posted 1 Month Ago

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4 Reviews
Added on June 12, 2021
Last Updated on June 25, 2021
Tags: love, linger, desire, story, chapter, book, family, home, ending, journey, departure, good bye, farewell, separation, time, loss, friendships, over, finish, sorrow, regret, longing, new, progress



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