My writing and art! Main @cjadewyton and polished work on @jade-wyton
‘Hey, no, Richard can be strict,’ Dale replied. ‘Example: I kept telling Gav not to put his stuff in the walkway. So many times! And still, there it was, in the middle of the hall. Then Dick comes over, and POOF! Gone as if by magic! I don’t know what he said to the kid, but it worked.’
‘Probably “please”,’ Anna piped up. ‘Always works for me.’
Talia shook her head as a loud slurp followed, and Dale peaked in the rear view mirror to catch a glimpse of Anna meeting his eye as she drank her frozen cola.
‘You’re special though,’ he retorted. ‘Gav knows you’ll tell on him if he misbehaves.’
‘What, and you wouldn’t tell me?’ Talia scoffed.
‘I mean, depends on what he did and if he blackmailed me into not telling!’ Dale joked. ‘That kid knows how to dig up dirt.’
‘Ooh, boy, does he ever!’ Trish responded. ‘Big feel though. I don’t report anything back unless I have to.’
‘I can’t believe I let you two watch him,’ Talia rolled her eyes. ‘Well, congratulations. I certainly feel better about him being with Richard now. Not so much about ever leaving him with either of you two again!’
Anna’s next slurp was comically loud, and her shit-eating grin told Dale it was deliberately so. Then her eyes widened. ‘Oh, wow. That’s your house, Dale?’
Dale: WOW! I wish I had a friendship with someone as close as Anna and Trish have! Looks nice.
Talia: *absolutely floored that Dale STILL hasn't figured out they're gay*
Dale's too stupid to realise he's surrounded by the entire LGBT community.
‘He made a friend,’ Trish gave an impish snort and pointed to the other side of the restaurant. ‘Probably not going to see him for the rest of the party.’
Dale glanced over and saw Richard in the restaurant’s cafe, sitting weirdly close to another man as they chatted. ‘Guess I’m not good enough for him.’
There was a giggle from Dale’s other side, and he shifted over so Jacob’s mother could sit next to Talia— And then again, so her husband could sit next to her.
Dale almost sighed as Talia disappeared behind them. He wished he’d sat on her other side— But that was now taken by Anna and Trish, who sat huddled together in the tight space between Talia and the wall. They didn’t seem to mind having to practically sit on each other, at least. He half-wished he was able to do that with his friends.
He watched as Trish leant over Anna to put Talia in a headlock, practically squishing the poor girls as she knocked over her own drink.
Shaking his head, Dale decided to head out to the playground to keep an eye on the boys. He grabbed his food and headed out, taking a seat with Jacob’s aunt and. …
‘Aiden, right?’ Dale asked.
‘MUM!’ Gavin called from his room. ‘MUM, CAN YOU HELP ME?’
‘I’ll help,’ said Anna. She made her way to Gavin’s room, then hurried back in. ‘Apparently not. He needs you specifically, Tally.’
Sighing, Talia pushed herself off the couch and made her way to her son’s bedroom. She found him showing Jacob the new soccer ball he’d gotten on a shopping trip with Dale.
‘Hi mum!’ Gavin grinned.
‘Hey honey, what did you need help with?’
‘Nothing,’ responded Gavin, his grin growing wider. ‘I just wanted to see if I could make you come in.’
‘Gavin!’ Talia snapped.
She took in another deep breath and rolled out of bed and onto the floor. She reached under the bed and pulled out the old, tattered shoe-box of trinkets she kept hidden away and took off the lid.
There was the photo. On top? She thought she’d put it on the bottom. But she must have been wrong. … It was fitting that Evan’s face was the first thing she saw.
She carefully pulled out the tape-covered photo and stared at it.
She felt … nothing. So she put the photo back in the box and stood up, carrying it into the lounge. And then into the hall. All the way to the garbage chute beside the stairwell— And watched as the box slid all the way down it into darkness.
The thing that shocked her most was the relief. It was gone.
That was it.
And it was that easy.
Why hadn’t she done that sooner?
Talia gave a start and turned to the stairs to see Anna and Trish, home from their studies and looking as tired as she felt.
‘You alright?’ Trish asked, pointing to her own face. ‘You look like you’ve been. …’
‘Crying,’ Talia confirmed.
[A Man Worth a Million -Chapter 10]