I’d lent two screwdrivers to Yvann. Leslie had helped him put up his curtains. Yvann gave me one screwdriver back. Leslie had taken the other one despite being told it was mine. I asked Leslie for it. He described my screwdriver as if proof of his ownership. I’d never known him steal before.

Yvann called in after a futile journey to Kent for his stepsister’s birthday. Neither she nor his father were at home. he thought of breaking in but hadn’t. I was glad he hadn’t. His father would call the police and Yvann was already involved in a court case. “Why did he steal an old screwdriver!” I couldn’t get over it.

We went shopping where I introduced him to Adrian.

I cooked mince, the onion for it supplied by Yvann along with a tin of beans I added to it, and saffroned rice.

He asked to see Michel’s photo again and was interested in my old sepia-tinted photos as well as all the others, the first time anybody’s ever evinced interest. He thought I’d had an interesting life (which isn’t over yet.) He asked if I’d one of John. Yes but it was yet in the camera John had given me (along with one of Yvann himself. They both composed themselves much the same way for their pictures to be taken I noticed, such is the power of the photographer.)

I was changing into my silk boxers, he keeping the back of his head to me. I told him how at a similar point my assailant had leant his head back to see and I’d kissed him on the lips which were asking for it, the reason he’d subsequently aimed a champagne cork at mine, denying he had.

I was lying on the bed when Yvann remarked on my cock’s having slipped out the leg of the boxers. I covered it, saying “Now we’re quits, a quid pro quo,” because, you may or may not recall, he’s shown me his. We were not quits long because he showed me his again, this time in a semi-erect state of tumescence. “Do you want me to spell the word?” He was apologising it was a joke. “No, I was trying to think how to square the circle,” of faithfulness to John, I’m unwilling to give up, and Yvann’s heterosexuality I don’t think he should give up (though he had declared in front of Quentin he was bisexual now). I suggested a threesome in the first instance but that’d be even more homosexual. “I could watch you wank,” I offered but he turned that down. “Are we being puerile?” We settled for my using him for wank fodder with John. He said he knew I was numpty from the first time I looked at him. I didn’t know what ‘numpty’ meant. “Nonce,” I suggested. “I’d be appraising your looks. How did I look at you? How did I look at you after the first time?” He didn’t know. “How did you look at me the first time?”

We watched television, had a small supper and cocoa, and it was after eleven before we knew it.

I thought out various scenarios and in the morning left a majuscule note saying he should try to get the screwdriver back, that Leslie was trying to make trouble between us.

I went round to Adrian’s to look over books he wanted rid of and when he came back for something to eat, there the screwdriver was, on the floor below the letter box.

Yvann had had it all the time.


About johnbrucecairns

I'm a retired history teacher who's written for most of his life with a book readied for publication.
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