When I was 14, you know, the angst-ridden teenage years? Well, there was a boy who lived with his mother a couple of blocks away from me in a co-op housing townhouse complex. His Dad was pretty much non-existent and his Mom was on welfare. He was such a bad-ass kid, on the road to trouble with everyday that passed. He had older friends who could buy beer and cigarettes.
We’d play kick the can until past dark, getting yelled at to keep the noise level down. We’d sit on his doorstep and smoke cigarettes and cuss and swear. He was a pretty popular kid within our circle of shitheads; all the girls swooned for him because he was such a bad-ass and he “went out” with most of them.
Whenever any kid in the neighbourhood was having any issues at home, they could run there and hide out in the basement for the night. One day, I had a huge fight with my Mum and snuck out after everyone had gone to bed. I went to his house. He said I could stay over so, me and this other girl who had ran away that night slept in his bed while he slept on the couch. And that was it, his house was a safe haven.
Shortly after that night, I moved to another part of the city. It took three buses to get back to “the hood” so I only went on weekends. It became harder and harder to hang with my loser friends, and I met new ones at my new school, so I eventually stopped going back there.
When I started high school, I met up with some of my old friends. I asked about him but no one knew where he went to. He was just gone.
Fast-forward a few years later. My days of troubled teenager were behind me. I was 20, working full-time. I had a car and my own apartment. And somehow we re-connected at a mutual friend’s house party. I felt a kinship with him based on the time we spent as kids, although at that point we were so different. Rather; I was different, having cleaned up my act. He’d spent sometime in Juvie, was doing pretty hard drugs and had no sense of responsibility. But I remembered two things about him from the days of yore. He never once kissed me and he slept on the couch that night.
So, I wanted to kiss him, just to say that I had. And I did. I caught him off guard and planted a big one on him in the hallway of my friend’s house.
That’s all I wanted. Just to kiss him. When the kiss was over, I just walked away and re-joined the party. He stayed on one side of the room and I stayed on the other, we rarely made eye-contact and when we did, we’d look away. After an hour or so, when I tried to leave the party, he caught me at the door and mentioned that he needed a ride. He was totally high by then and I was sober so I said yes. When we got into my car and started driving I asked him where I was taking him and he said he didn’t really have any place to go. Dammit. Now What? So I said he could crash on my couch. I didn’t really want anything more than the kiss and was determined to keep it that way. But he was so loaded anyways, I doubted he would try very hard. So back to my place we went. He went to the washroom and I got out a blanket and a pillow for the couch. About 20 minutes later, I got sick of waiting for him to come out of the washroom so I could make sure he got to sleep on the couch. That was my way of making sure he didn’t lift any of my shit and take off into the night. So, I knocked on the bathroom door. No answer. I tried to open the door. It was locked. Knocking; still no answer. Then I got worried, so I had to break into my own bathroom because he wasn’t answering me. He had passed out, with his head between his knees, sitting on the toilet with his pants around his ankles. I closed the door and left him there. In the morning, I threw him out. I’ve never heard of or ran into him again.