Current Track: Blabb

To Tame The Soul 4.

By Wolfie Steel.


I arrive home at just a little past 3:30am, I yawn as I replace the automatic pistol back into the gun cupboard, I make sure that the cupboard is locked before I head up to bed and again the face of the Husky fills my mind, it is almost like he is trying to telepathically communicate with me.

As I lie on my double bed the thoughts of how I can find out who the Husky is race around my head, I can try to tune into his face and hope that somewhere in the back of my memory I will find his name, I could try searching through the whole town for him, and then I get an idea that I mentally kick myself for not thinking of sooner... the school year book.

As soon as my eyes will let me I will access the schools year book which I am sure will now be on the computer system, I mean let's face it, as soon as I find his picture, I will know that it is him as I know every contour and blemish that appears on his face as it is etched so deeply into my brain, with my plan in place I finally allow my eyes to close.

I sleep until 10:00am and then I head to my kitchen to make some toast and grab a drink, with my paltry breakfast in my paws I head to my living room where I find my laptop sitting on the coffee table, I begin to nibble at my toast while I stare blankly at the closed laptop, just two feet of space stand between me and the possible revelation of the name of the Husky that keeps me awake at night.

With my toast finally eaten I take a sip from my drink and then, with shaking paws, I lift the laptop onto my lap and open it up. I switch the machine on and wait for it to boot up, each moment that passes my resolve to find out the Husky's name grows stronger. Finally my laptop is ready for action; I open my web browser and put the name of the school into my search engine.

Result, I find that the school has come into the 21st century and put itself online, with haste I click on the link to open the webpage, the page opens to the schools homepage, it looks to be a very professional webpage indeed and obviously a lot of money has changed paws to get it.

There are a series of icons at the top of the page, School Events, Meet the Teachers, School History, School Yearbook. The final icon catches my eye, School Yearbook; I click on the icon which opens another page. At the top of the page there is a search box where I can type a name or a date, since I don't know the name I decide to type in the date, September 1990. I click the search button and wait for the results.

The pictures of kids that I used to know spring up onto the screen, including the face of Simon James, suddenly my eyes go wide as my vision locks on to a picture that has the answer to my question.

I am now looking at the picture of the Husky that has been haunting my mind since the fateful day when I bullied him; I find his name at the bottom of the picture, Stephen Allen Jackson. I whisper his name over and over again.

Finding his name has two effects on me, first I feel a great weight being lifted from my shoulders, I mean after all if I can find this guy and make my peace with him then maybe I can live at peace with myself, the second effect is a great weight upon my heart coupled with doubt and anguish, if I find where the guy lives who says that he will even acknowledge me much less want to meet me.

Finally my head kicks in and wins over my heart, I have come this far in my search for inner peace I can't let fear and anguish stop me now. I open an address directory on the laptop and type in the Husky's name, three results are returned but only one of them still resides in London.

A lump begins to form in my throat as I stare at the address, again my paws begin to shake and my ears lay flat against my skull. I know that the address is in one of the rougher areas of London and so I know that Stephen has fallen on hard times, hell he may even be on drugs and some sort of criminal, drug use and criminality are rife in that area of town.

How much of Stephen's hard life can be attributed to what I did to him all those years ago? With that thought in my mind I know that I have to go and find him, I shut down my laptop and place it back on the coffee table, I then take my empty breakfast things into the kitchen and just leave them in the sink.

I quickly turn on my heel and rush up to my bedroom to get dressed, in the next half an hour I could possibly find the peace that I have been looking for all of these years. Once I am dressed I rush out of the house and to my car. Did I check that the front door was locked? No, but at this moment I don't care, the only thing I care about now is finding the Husky.

I sit in my car and with shaking paws I insert the ignition key, I turn the key but the car fails to start, by now I have tears streaming from my eyes and in my temper I thump the steering wheel hard, I swear through gritted teeth as I keep turning the key, finally the engine coughs into life and I reverse blindly from my driveway.

Many cars sound their horns as they swerve to avoid me but I ignore them all, I select drive and begin my journey towards the Husky's home. I arrive at the address twelve minutes later, my eyes still leaking tears; I get out of the car and take in my surroundings. Many of the buildings are beyond repair, windows smashed or boarded up, front doors missing or hanging awkwardly on broken hinges, it's the kind of place that you would need a tetanus shot once you leave.

The Husky's place looks in a fair condition, though the paint is obviously in need of work and there are cracks in at least two windows, my breathing becomes heavy and ragged, I still have the large lump in my throat but I know that I have to face him, otherwise I will take his pained expression with me to the grave.

My footpaws slowly begin to cooperate and I start the walk towards the Husky's front door and before I know it I am face to face with the blistered wooden door, I raise my right handpaw and knock gently on the door, I see the curtains in the window twitch so I know that somebody is home, thirty seconds later the door begins to edge open, the head of a male Husky peeks from behind the door.

“If your here for the rent money, I don't have it, and you can tell Felix that I'm refusing to pay anymore"

My heart breaks as I see the face of the broken Husky, the knowledge that I am in some way responsible for Stephen's current predicament weighs heavily on my heart.

“Stephen, I'm not here to collect the rent"

The Husky's ears flatten against his skull.

“What? Who are you and how do you know my name?"

I let out a gentle sigh as I wonder just how to break the news to him of whom I am; in the end I decide that the full truth would be the best.

“My name is Lance Caldwell, now that name alone will probably mean nothing to you; however, I was a student at Edgeware High School in September 1990"

He still wears the vacant expression and so I look for any visible signs on his face that will remind him, but there are none, and then I remember the broken nose.

“One particular day you crossed a jock spinning a basket ball on his finger, you accidentally knocked it off his finger and he gave you a broken nose by hitting you which caused you to hit the wall, well Stephen, I am that jock"

The look of realisation dawns on the Husky's face and he begins to back away while slowly closing the door. I wedge my footpaw in so that he cannot close the door.

“Please Stephen, I haven't come here to fight, I actually want to try and make things right"

The Husky lets out a gentle whimper but then opens the door fully and allows me inside. Once inside I can see that Stephen has at least tried to keep a decent home, there is no mess on the floors, and everything looks to have a regimented place.

Stephen sits down on the couch and buries his head in his handpaws.

“So now that I have let you in, wanna finish me off and end my suffering?"

I take a chance and I sit next to him on the couch, I then lay my left handpaw on his leg and gently squeeze it.

“No Stephen, I'm not like that anymore, in truth you are the reason why I'm here, you see back in High School, I got a taste of my own medicine, I was run over by someone that I had bullied, he ended up in prison for attempted vehicular manslaughter, but ever since the day when I broke your nose, your face has haunted me, I have rarely been able to get any sleep. Well a couple of weeks ago things got so bad that I grew the determination to find you and maybe set things right between us... Stephen, I know that I hurt you badly and there are no words that can adequately convey how sorry I am for that, but if you will allow me to I want to offer to help you in any way that I can"

Stephen looks down at my handpaw, he then falls against me and begins to sob his heart out, my paw moves from his leg to his back as I gently begin to rub his back to try and calm him down. After ten minutes of just sitting there I find my voice again.

“When was the last time that you had anything decent to eat?"

Stephen sniffles a little and then replies.

“My social money ran out two weeks ago and so I've been eating mouldy bread since then"

I nod my head with conviction.

“Well, get your jacket on because you are coming with me, and Stephen, don't even think about arguing with me"

Again there is an audible sigh from the Husky but he stands from the couch and collects his jacket, he puts the jacket on as he follows me out of the door. We get to my car and I open the passenger door for the Husky, he stares at me and I can tell that he still doesn't trust me.

“Look Stephen I know that what I did to you was wrong and I know that you are finding it hard to trust me, but please believe me when I say this, I have turned my life around, I'm no longer the jock Doberman that I was all those years ago, and I know that people are always saying that a Leopard never changes its spots, but I am the exception to that rule, please just give me a chance to prove to you that I do have a heart"

With a great degree of trepidation the Husky finally climbs into the car and buckles up while I close his door, I climb into the driver's seat and we make our way towards the local fast food restaurant, I pull into the parking area and switch off the engine, Stephen looks at me with those sad eyes.

“I don't know why you have brought me here; I can't afford anything on the menu, in fact I am so broke that I can't even pay attention"

I give a soft and gentle chuckle as he says this and again I place my handpaw on his leg.

“Stephen, you are starving and I intend to cure that by getting you something to eat; now there are no strings attached to this gesture, to be honest I'm pretty hungry too, and I hate to eat alone"

We both climb out of the car and head towards the restaurant; with every step that we take I can tell that his trust in me is growing stronger. As we walk up to the serving counter Stephen is practically acting as my shadow. We place our order and then head to an empty table to wait for the food to arrive; we sit on opposite sides of the table facing each other.

“You see Stephen, if I had wanted to do anything to hurt you now, I would have had plenty of opportunity to do so"

The Husky just nods in agreement, he then finds his voice again.

“I must admit Mr. Caldwell, you have changed a great deal from the last time that we met, and as you say you have done nothing to give me reason to be afraid of you, the thing is though I have many people after me for money which I don't have so when you turned up on my doorstep, an ex-bully Doberman no less, well I kind of put my defences up"

Our food arrived and we ate and talked for well over an hour, by the end of the meal I was starting to fall for this Husky, oh sure at the moment his fur is all messed up and his eyes are sunken from very little sleep, but looking past those things I can see the real Husky. I decide to take a leap of faith and I gently take his handpaw in mine, my thoughts behind this action are if he tries to pull away then I will leave it at that and we will go our separate ways, if however he does not try to pull away then I will begin to take things further.

I can feel that the Husky's paw is trembling and I fear that he might pull away, but then I feel him relax as he allows my handpaw to consume his, and now I feel that it is time to go to the next level.

“Look Stephen, I'm not going to lie to you, I'm just going to lay my cards on the table for you, the reason that I was a bully all those years ago was because I was hiding the real me, you see I am gay and in the closet, no one else knows about me other than you, and there is a reason why I have just told you my most intimate secret, you see I have started to fall for you big time, now if that idea repulses you then I will take you home and then leave your life forever, but I don't think you are repulsed by the idea as you have not tried to pull your handpaw away from mine"

Stephen lowers his head a little as he replies.

“Lance what you did to me back in school was nothing short of you being an asshole, part of me wants to take flight and hide away from you, but you have started to prove your worth to me and if I'm being truthful I'm starting to fall for you too, I mean come on who wouldn't, you aren't exactly hard on the eyes, but I have so many problems that becoming close with you is the least that I have to worry about"

I gently squeeze his handpaw.

“I can change your life's outlook in the blink of an eye; all you have to do is answer yes to the following question. Will you allow me to be your boyfriend?"

The Husky's eyes go wide as he takes in what I have just asked and again his ears lie flat against his skull, but his handpaw remains in mine.

“Well that one came from the bottom of the pack, yes Lance I would like for you to be my boyfriend, but I don't see how that will change anything for me"

A slight smile greets my muzzle.

“It's quite simple really Stephen, I have a home and a relatively well paid job, I also have a double bed that is always half empty, in short I'm giving you the opportunity to let go of your old life and home and start afresh with me"

Stephen just sits there staring at me, seemingly frozen to the spot, probably trying to process everything that I have just said, after a moment he makes his reply.

“So let me get this straight, you want me to move out of my house and move in with you, as your mate?"

My smile grows a little.

“You got it babe that is exactly what I'm asking"

Stephen pulls his handpaw clear of mine and I fear that I have pushed him away, but he stands from the seat and heads towards the door of the restaurant. He is about half way between me and the doorway when he looks over his shoulder at me, a beaming smile gracing his muzzle.

“Well Lance, what are you waiting for? You have the car keys after all"

I quickly scramble to my footpaws and bolt towards the doorway which leads to my car, which in turn leads me and my Husky towards our new life.