Nox hung up on me for the third time and I almost had enough, except for the look on Drew’s face. “What?” I asked.
“Come with me.”
“I’m putting a lot of faith in you for a guy who pushed passed my limits.”
“What?” Drew said, “When did I do that?”
“In Pretty Boy’s bedroom. You know I don’t go there with just anyone.”
Drew looked at me and thought about it and when it finally clicked in he blushed. “Fuck, I’m sorry.” He sighed, “I got caught up in Mandy and you moved so easily. I know it’s because you were lost in Nox. I’m sorry. So seriously sorry. Mandy said she didn’t want to play with you anymore.”
“No, no, no, wait. I told her I was done with you two.”
Drew sighed, “I see. I’m sorry. But hey it got you an in with Nox. He told me you left your phone.” He grinned, “I’d almost say it was on purpose but I know it wasn’t.”
“We aren’t friends Drew, why are you helping me?”
“I’m not helping you. I’m helping him.” He nodded in the direction of Nox’s house as we walked down stairs. “Do you know how long we’ve been friends? Me and Nox?”
I shook my head, “No, since we were four. His story is his to tell, but I can show you some things that can help.”
Drew lead me down into their basement where I actually had been before, the movie room as they called it was cozy, had lots of soft places and as I looked around we’d probably fucked on everything in there. But that wasn’t something that was going to happen today. Drew sat down and started rummaging through a bunch of old DVDs with hand written labels on them. He pulled out one and started it then sat down on the recliner and he nodded for me to sit someplace. “When Nox moved in next door, the Durante’s had no kids. So when they were just there all of a sudden I ran over there to play. My parents couldn’t find me. When I saw Luc it was like love at first sight. She saw me and she hugged me and gave me a kiss and then toddled off to find her toys. Which she’d never had before, so it was a big thing. Nox on the other hand, he was sitting in a corner, so terrified of everything. I crawled over to him on my hands and knees pretending I was a dog and that made him smile. This is what my parents filmed after they got over being upset I’d taken off.”
I watched as he started the homemade film, the quality was low grade but it was clearly as old as we were. A little blond boy was curled up in a boy who looks do thin and frail that he could break. His eyes were too big for his narrow face and he had big ears sticking out from a brown mop on his head. But he was curled up with little Drew and they were just holding on to each other.
Drew’s dad came to take him away and little Nox started crying. He cried until the short film ended. “Mr. Durante said he cried for three straight hours. And when my parents called to check on him and they found out, the had the Durante’s bring Nox up to the room across from my bed room and show them that I lived right there, he could see me through the window anytime he wanted. He calmed down, and ever since then I’ve looked out for him. You asked if we ever slept together, and Mandy would love to but Nox and I, it was never an option, it’s not about sex. He needed unconditional love and he couldn’t get it from a grown up at the time.”
The next video had started playing and it looked like it was a birthday party, they couldn’t be more than ten years old. Drew’s dad was filming the clown entertaining the kids while they waited for the birthday twins, a surprise party. When they walked in, there was a giant yell of surprise which made them jump, but then the clown piled out of the crowd of kids like some maniac covered in balloons and his hands open wide. Nox screamed and ran into the house, Drew ran after him and then the video ended.
Drew laughed, “Sorry he hates me showing that, which is why I made this DVD.”
“Was he okay?”
Drew nodded, “After I found him curled up under his bed yeah, but the clown had to leave or he wouldn’t come out to his own party. He still won’t go near clowns.”
Drew turned off the DVD player and looked at me, “He likes you. He’s just a lot. So if you don’t want to do it, I get it. But don’t play with him. That night he didn’t even doubt what he was doing with you. He doubts everything. Give him a chance. And I’ll make sure he gives you as many chances as you need to convince him you’re worth it.”
“Is it worth it, for either of us?”
Drew laughed, “Yeah, I know from experience. Nox is a great person. And you, are too even if you don’t think anyone notices. And from personal experience, I think you’d be good for Nox on a physical level. Just go slow, because he’ll jump in too fast.”
“I feel like I’m cheating talking to you about him. Like you are telling me half the story I should be learning.”
Drew laughed, “Maybe you are, but there is nothing wrong with that. I know homecoming isn’t your thing, but maybe you should ask him to go.”
I sighed. “I’ll think about it. Thanks.” I think. I thought to myself. Drew walked me out the door and he went around the side of the house. I glanced down the side of Nox’s and saw a glimpse of long legs behind a lawnmower before they disappeared behind the house. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to play this, if I wanted to at all, but right now all I wanted to do was go check on Max. Everything Nox had said made me worry.