One night Mike and Jeremy see Mike’s new neighbor — and what they see amazes both of them.
This is a sequel to the story One Complicated New Year.
“Jeremy! Wake up!” Mike whispered directly into his boyfriend’s ear as he shook his shoulder.
It took Jeremy a few seconds to wake up and figure out where he was and what was happening. “What?” he said loudly — not in a whisper, either.
“Shhh!” Mike whispered, again in Jeremy’s ear. “Quick, get up and come to the window!”
“Why are you whispering?” Jeremy asked, not loudly but not in a whisper, either.
“Come look out the window at the house next door.” Mike grabbed Jeremy’s arm, pulled him out of bed, and led him to the window.
Jeremy looked. What he saw caused him to wake up, all the way. He blinked the sleep out of his eyes, then stared across the thirty feet or so separating the two houses. Mike’s bedroom window was directly opposite a window in the next house. He looked across at a window in a brightly lit room; like Mike’s room, it was a bedroom. There was a guy, a teen who looked about the same age as Mike and Jeremy. He was pulling clothes out of two boxes, the kind movers used. What made it interesting is that he wore only two items — a black T-shirt and maroon boxer briefs.
“I got up and went to the bathroom to pee, and when I came back it was real dark in the room except for the light from the window over there. I saw this guy get partially undressed, then he started unpacking those moving boxes.”
“What was he wearing when you first saw him?” Jeremy asked.
“Jeans and a light blue long-sleeve shirt. He took off his shoes and socks, then took off the jeans, then the shirt. He tossed them on the bed, except for the shoes which I guess he dropped on the floor. You can see the clothes next to the boxes on the bed.”
“Who’s that guy?”
“Don’t know,” Mike replied. “They’re the new family that moved in yesterday.”
“What’s he pulling out of those boxes?”
“Underwear, like what he’s wearing now but different colors, sweatshirts and sweatpants, sweaters, a hoodie, socks, that sort of stuff. He’s putting them away in that dresser.”
“So, I’m supposed to get all hot and bothered by watching your new neighbor walk around in his skivvies while he unpacks his stuff?”
“Well, look at him!” Mike said. “He’s got an athletic build, a swimmer’s build, and he’s cute.”
“So you think he’s cuter than me?” Jeremy growled; his growl ended in a grin.
“No! You’re my boyfriend and you’re cute and hot and sexy and I love you. But you gotta admit that guy over there is cute.”
“How can you tell he’s a swimmer?”
Mike chuckled as he handed his binoculars to Jeremy. “Look at him. He’s really toned, and slender, and not an ounce of body fat on him.”
“You’ve been perving him!” Jeremy exclaimed in a loud whisper.
“Yup. It looked like he’s pretty well endowed in the crotch area, based on the sizable lump in the front, so I decided to take a closer look. Check him out.”
Jeremy checked the out the guy. “Yeah. So he’s a swimmer. Why are you ogling him?”
“There aren’t any other guys our age in my neighborhood, or in your neighborhood. I wanted to get a full dossier before we go over there tomorrow and say hi to him.”
Jeremy was watching through the binoculars while they discussed Mike’s perving of the guy when he let out a gasp.
“He’s getting undressed!” he whispered to Mike, handing him the binoculars.
Mike watched as he removed the T and boxer briefs and grinned as he got a good view. “Fuuuck! He’s one-hundred-percent undressed. Nude. Naked, even. Right there in that bedroom, right across from mine,” Mike said, handing back the binoculars.
“He’s facing the window, like he knows we’re here perving on him!” Jeremy said. “Can he see us looking out your bedroom window? Can he hear us talking about him?”
“No to both. There’s no light in my bedroom so it would look dark like those other windows in his house. He can’t hear us because my window is closed.”
“I think he’s our age. You agree?” Jeremy asked.
“Yeah, I guess. I think so. He looks older than fifteen, so maybe sixteen or seventeen. That’s about how old he looks to me, anyway.”
“Damn, Mike, he has a nice endowment. Not as nice as yours, of course.”
“Or as yours, Jeremy.”
“Ya know, it’s going to be real embarrassing when we talk to him tomorrow. I mean, we’ve seen him naked as a jaybird. We know how he’s hung. We’ll have to make sure we don’t steal glances of his crotch….”
Jeremy broke off what he was about to say and gasped. The guy had put on wireless headphones and started to dance, facing the window. Jeremy kept looking at him through the binoculars until Mike grabbed them to get a close-up look himself. The guy’s dangly bits whipped around as he made his moves.
“Fuck, he has to know we’re watching him,” Mike said.
After a few minutes of watching the show the breathing of both boys had become a little heavy. Mike had the binoculars, apparently focused close-up on the guy’s nether regions. So it was Jeremy who saw what happened next. A girl, about the same age as the guy, walked into the room. She stopped, put her hand across her eyes, and it looked like she shouted at the guy. He stood still facing away from her, covered his crotch with his hands, and it looked like he yelled at her as she walked out of the room and closed the door.
“Oh, shit! That must have been his sister. Damn, he sure must have been embarrassed,” Jeremy said.
The guy pulled out a pair of sweatpants and put them on, took the boxes off the bed and stacked them on the floor, then grabbed the clothes off the bed and tossed them on top of the boxes. He walked to the bedroom door, closed it, and turned off the ceiling light in the room. A lamp on a table next to the bed was still on, letting Mike and Jeremy see the guy get into bed, set an alarm clock, and turn off the lamp.
Mike still had the binoculars. “Ya know, he was smiling instead of looking like how I’d have looked if someone had caught me doing a little naked happy-dance. In fact, it looked like maybe he was laughing as he got into bed. I think he knew we were watching. I think he put on that little dance for our benefit. Now I really want to meet my new next door neighbor tomorrow morning!”
“Me, too!” Jeremy added.
Saturday morning after breakfast Mike and Jeremy went outside and met Mike’s new neighbor. He was pulling computers and displays and printers out of the back of an SUV.
“Hey, new neighbor!” Mike said as they walked up the neighbor’s driveway.
“Need a hand?” Jeremy asked.
He turned and smiled. “I’m Greg Emerson. You’re our next door neighbors, right?”
“That’s right. I’m Mike Butler,” and then pointing to Jeremy, “and this is my boyfriend, Jeremy Sievers.”
Jeremy blushed. “Why did you out us?” he whispered to Mike, who ignored him.
Greg wiggled his eyebrows. “I saw you watching me last night from your bedroom window.”
“How did you see that we were watching you?” Mike asked, suddenly embarrassed. “There weren’t any lights on in my bedroom.”
“The light from my bedroom window was enough to light your bedroom window and the two of you. I guess you didn’t notice it.” Greg grinned.
“Oops!” Mike said, then he laughed. “So that little naked dance you did was for us?”
“I saw you watching me, so I decided to give you a show.”
“That you did, and thank you for it,” Jeremy said. “Who was the girl who came into your bedroom? It looked like she was yelling at you.”
“That was Nikki, my twin sister. She came in to complain about the noise I was making dancing. She said I was making the floor shake.”
“When she saw you were doing it in the nude she seemed to freak,” Jeremy said.
“Nah. She’s seen me naked before. Sometimes I swim without anything on.”
“Your floor shouldn’t shake,” Mike said. “Your house isn’t that old; it was built along with the others on this street. Including mine, and our floors don’t shake.”
“Maybe she heard me singing while I was dancing,” Greg suggested.
“You were singing?” Jeremy asked.
Greg grinned. “Maybe you were looking at something a little south of my face and didn’t notice my mouth. If you had, you would have seen that I was singing.”
“True that,” Mike responded. “I confess that we were watching something other than your mouth. Impressive, that was! And we saw that there was a lot of shaking going on down there, too.”
Jeremy burst out laughing, then so did Mike and Greg.
“Well, I’m glad I’m not going to be the only gay kid in my new high school,” Greg said. “You two will be there to provide comfort and support whenever I need it.”
“That’s one of us will be there,” Jeremy said.
“Why?” Greg asked.
“I don’t live with Mike. I live about a ten-minute bike ride from here. I don’t go to Northgate High; that’s Mike’s high school. I go to Las Lomas High.”
“Oh. That’s too bad. So you don’t live in this neighborhood, Jeremy?”
“I live about a mile north of here. I could walk it in about twenty minutes, or ten minutes by bike, it’s not bad. It’d be closer if there was a bridge over the creek. Whatever, we both live in Walnut Creek, just in different school districts.”
“So, Mike, since you go to Northgate High, and because I live next door to you, that means Nikki and I will be going to Northgate High, too?”
“Yup. I was wondering, when we were enjoying the little show last night I noticed that you have a swimmer’s build. Are you going out for swimming?”
“No. Water polo is my sport.”
“I thought all of the guys who go out for water polo in the fall also go out for swimming in the spring,” Jeremy said.
“That’s true,” Greg responded. “But my mom and dad said I could go out for one sport. I totally love water polo but not so much swimming. So this spring I’ll just have regular PE and use the weight training room. I already talked to the Coach Mann about being on the team.”
“Greg, Coach Mann is the coach at Las Lomas. I don’t know the water polo coach at Northgate, but it’s definitely someone else.”
“Lemme think,” Mike said. “The Northgate water polo coach is the same as the swimming coach, and it’s Coach Herman.”
“Shit! My mom must have thought I’d be going to Las Lomas,” Greg said. “I gotta talk to her. She’s the one who told me which high school I’d be attending.”
“Hey, Greg! I thought you were bringing in my computer!” All three boys looked up.
“Nikki, I was talking to our neighbors. I guess that should be our neighbor, singular. This is Mike… uh, what was your last name?”
“I’m Mike Butler. Nice to meet you, Nikki.”
“Hi, Mike. And this is?” She pointed to Jeremy.
“I’m Jeremy Sievers. I live about a mile north of here,” he said, pointing more or less to the north.
Nikki didn’t look much like her twin brother. Greg was about the same height as Mike at almost 5’11”; Nikki was about six inches shorter at 5’5”; Greg had dark auburn hair; Nikki’s was blonde. Greg had a sprinkling of light freckles across his cheeks and nose; Nikki didn’t have any freckles. Both had sapphire-blue eyes which intrigued both Mike and Jeremy.
Nikki put her fists on her hips and glared at Greg. “Well?”
“Well what?” he smirked.
“You need to stop flirting with Mike and Jeremy and get my computer inside and set up. Now!”
“Okay, okay,” Greg said, laughing. “Hey, guys, can you help me get the computers set up?”
“Sure,” Jeremy said. “Nikki, which is yours? I’ll bring that in and set it up for you.”
Nikki pointed to an iMac and an HP inkjet printer. “Those are mine.”
Jeremy laid the iMac on its side and put the keyboard on top. “Can you bring in the printer?” he asked.
“Sure,” Nikki replied. “I’ll also bring the bag with the mouse and cables.”
Nikki led Jeremy upstairs. “My bedroom is here, across the hall from Greg’s.”
“Do you have the internet set up yet?” Jeremy asked.
“Yeah. We have a router downstairs with WiFi. The setup is the same as what we had in Arlington, except my dad hooked it up to the cable company here. You can put the computer kind of centered on my desk for now.”
“Arlington? Where’s that?”
“Virginia. The northern part, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.”
Jeremy put the iMac and the keyboard where Nikki had pointed. She put the printer on one end of the desk. “I can hook it up from here.”
“Okay, but I can crawl around under your desk and plug in the power cords if you want.”
“Hey, go for it. Here’s the power cord for the iMac, this one is for the printer, and here’s a surge suppressor. Once everything’s connected to the AC outlet I can connect the printer to the iMac.”
Mike plugged in the surge suppressor and both power cords which he then pushed up behind the desk to the top where Nikki grabbed them. She plugged one into the iMac and the other into the printer, then connected the USB cable from the printer to the iMac.
“Let’s power them on,” Jeremy suggested. “If they don’t catch on fire, everything should be good to go.”
Nikki laughed and powered on the iMac. While it booted she looked at Jeremy.
“So, you and Mike are friends? Or more than friends?”
“More than. We’re boyfriends.”
“Shit. The good looking guys are always gay.” She took a deep breath and let it out, then grinned.
“I’m not so sure about that,” Jeremy said. “In my opinion it’s the cute guys who are always straight. Think about it. Even if ten percent of guys are gay, and I’m not so sure that it’s that many, it’s tough as hell finding a gay guy ’cause most are in the closet. Then when you find a gay guy, you need to find out if you’re interested and if he’s interested. Then you go out and find out if he is someone you want to go out with a second time. It’s not like we want to get naked with the first gay guy we meet.”
“Don’t forget that there are a lot of girls looking for the good looking straight guys. We have lots of competition. And most girls don’t want to get naked with the first guy they date, either. Though sometimes I think that’s the only thing on guys’ minds.”
Jeremy shrugged his shoulders and smiled. “I don’t think you’ll have a problem finding a straight guy who you’ll like and who won’t try to get naked with you on the first date. Or the second. You’re a beautiful girl, and your blue eyes are amazing. Guys’ll be lined up wanting to chat you up.”
Nikki grinned. “Thanks. You know that Greg has the same blue eyes. It’s the one thing that shows that we’re twins. Otherwise we’re totally different. Our birthdays aren’t even the same.”
Jeremy thought for a couple seconds, then grinned. “Okay, which one of you was born just before midnight?”
“My doofus brother, of course. He claims he’s a day older than me, but actually it’s only a three-minute difference.”
Jeremy laughed. “That’s rough. At least you don’t have to have your birthday parties together.”
“You’re right. How’d you know?”
“Just a lucky guess. And the way you talked about when you were born.”
“Greg has his friends for his party. I have my friends for my party. Then my folks have a family party for both of us. So in total there are three birthday parties, all within a few days of each other.”
“How do you keep your girlish figure with all of that cake and ice cream?”
“I diet for a month before and month after.” Nikki giggled. “As if!”
“When is your birthday?”
“Mine is the twentieth of August. I’ll assume you can do the complex math to calculate Greg’s birthday.” Nikki smiled.
Jeremy looked up at the ceiling and rubbed his chin. “I think after a little in-depth consideration and an application of differential calculus, I’ll be able to figure that one out. You’re actually lucky, Nikki. Think what it would be like if Greg had been born on the thirty-first of August and you’d been born on September first.”
“Oh, god, that’d be so totally messed up!” Nikki laughed.
“Okay, your iMac’s booted up. Do you have a router for the internet, or do you use the built-in WiFi in the iMac?”
“The built-in WiFi. I’ll sit down and see if I can connect. Okay, it’s connecting and I’m starting to get the messages and email I missed since we moved out of our condo in Arlington on Monday.”
“I’ll head downstairs and see what Mike and Greg are up to. If you have any computer problems, let me know.”
“Let’s swap cell and email addresses,” Nikki suggested.
They exchanged their information.
“It’s going to be weird going to a new high school Monday morning. I’m glad that we’ve met you and Mike. You can show us how the get to school on Monday, and give us a campus tour.”
“Nikki, I don’t go to the same high school as Mike and where you and Greg will go. Because of where you live you’ll go to Northgate High. Even though I live only a short distance from here, because of where I live I go to Las Lomas High.”
“That’s too bad. I was looking forward to seeing you at school every day.”
“I spend a lot of time at Mike’s house. We usually work on our homework together unless he has a cross country meet. You and Greg can join us. I assume you two are juniors, same as me and Mike, so you’ll have a lot of the same classes that we’re taking. What classes you take are mostly standardized in California, except for electives.”
“Do you and Mike get together a lot?”
“Uh huh. It’s about ten minutes from my house to here by bike. Sometimes I stay overnight at his house, like last night, and sometimes he stays at my house.”
“Your folks are okay with you two being boyfriends?”
“Yeah. Mike’s folks and his brothers are cool with us being together. My mom, I’m not so sure about that. She hasn’t said anything negative about it, though.” Jeremy realized that was stretching the truth about his mom almost to the breaking point.
“This is probably too personal, but can I assume you two are messing around?”
“That is awfully personal. But the answer is yes. That’s probably the one big advantage that guys being gay have, neither of us is going to get pregnant.”
“And that works for two gay girls as well as for two gay guys,” Nikki added. “Though I’m definitely of the straight persuasion.
“Well, now that my computer is all set up I’d better get to all of the emails and IMs and Tumblers and Instagrams and Facebook updates and etceteras that have piled up since we left Arlington.”
“Okay, cool. I’ll see you later, Nikki.”
When he got downstairs Jeremy found Greg and Mike sitting on the front porch.
“Hey, guys. Nikki’s iMac is up and running and connected to the internet.”
“So’s mine,” Greg said. “You want a Coke?”
Greg went inside and returned with a Coke. “This is the only thing we have to eat or drink in the house,” he complained. “We don’t even have a bag of potato chips.”
“Are your folks home now?”
“They went grocery shopping. We don’t have much food because of the move. Just the sodas which we put in the refrigerator as soon as we got here. By the way, my mom said she’ll invite you two and your folks to dinner. She likes to do these meet-and-greet things to get to know people in the neighborhood.”
Jeremy wasn’t sure what to tell Greg, so he told him the truth — or at least part of it. “My mom’s away on a trip. My dad isn’t around. If she’s back and able to come when Mike and I and his brothers and his folks are invited, that’d be great.”
“Sounds good. I’ll let my mom know.”
“Sounds good to me, too,” Mike said. “Thing is I have three brothers. Or three bothers as I sometimes call them. If you haven’t guessed yet, they’re triplets. And they’re thirteen.”
“Thirteen and a half,” Jeremy interjected.
“That shouldn’t be a problem,” Greg said. “The more the merrier, which is what my mom likes to say. I wonder how often there are families with twins and triplets living next door to each other.”
“Probably not very often,” Mike replied.
“So Greg, what’s this about you thinking you’d be going to Las Lomas High?” Jeremy asked.
“The realtor must have screwed up. When my folks bought the house my mom was told the high school would be Las Lomas. Mike tells me we live in the Mount Diablo School District. I’m bummed because I’ve been talking to the Las Lomas water polo coach, not the one at Northgate where I guess I’ll be going to school.”
“That’s too bad,” Jeremy said. “Las Lomas has a better water polo team than Northgate. At least this past season they were better.”
“Maybe there’s a way that I can squeeze into Las Lomas instead of Northgate,” Greg mused.
“I think that’d be tough,” Mike said. “The school taxes on your house pay for you going to Northgate. If you went to Las Lomas that school district wouldn’t get any money to pay for you going there.”
“Yeah, that’s the way it works,” Jeremy said. “I know when you register at Las Lomas High your folks have to bring something proving that you live in the Acalanes Union High School District, like a water bill or electric bill or a copy of your mortgage or the deed on your house. I assisted during registration this year and we had to make sure everyone had the proof of residence they needed so their kids could be registered.”
“Hey, Jeremy, how about I move in with you?” Greg asked, then grinned to show he was kidding.
“Glad to do it, but you’d have to change your last name to Sievers because that’s what’s on the proof of residence for our address.”
“Nah, no problem. I could become your foster brother.”
Jeremy laughed. “That might work. So your folks turn you over to CPS because they say you’re incorrigible, and you’re fostered by my mom. That might work.” When he saw Greg’s expression he quickly added, “But CPS might move you somewhere else, so don’t count on it.”
“So, Mike, how will Nikki and I get to school from here?” Greg asked.
“There’s a school bus that stops on Treat, three blocks from here. Once the bus comes it takes about forty-five minutes. Then there’s a school bus that you take to get home after school. Problem is, I’m on the cross country team and if we’re having practice I’m not finished before the last bus leaves. That means I have to get a ride from someone or have my mom or granddad pick me up. You’ll have the same problem when you’re on the water polo team next fall. And if you’re wondering, there’s no public transit to or from Northgate High. If the weather’s not too cold or too hot, it’s only about twenty or twenty-five minutes by bike.”
“What if I went to Las Lomas High, Jeremy?”
“There’s no school bus from here to Las Lomas High. It’d be about forty minutes by BART and bus, or about 20 minutes if you ride your bike on the Iron Horse Trail. Unless it’s raining I ride my bike, or sometimes I’ll use my skateboard.”
“What’s the Iron Horse Trail?”
“It’s an old railroad right-of-way from way back when trains were called iron horses. It runs from Concord, which is north of here, south to Pleasanton. It’s been turned into a paved thirty-two-mile-long walking, jogging, running, biking, and skateboarding trail. I rode my bike the whole sixty-four-mile round trip once. Anyway, it connects with a lot of other trails, so you can walk or bike from here all over the area and to Mount Diablo State Park and the local regional parks. It’s very cool that we have these trails. Great exercise, too.”
“So, Mike, how do Nikki and I register for school at Northgate High?”
“For both of you, a parent has to accompany you and bring proof of residency, your birth certificate, your medical records including your most recent physicals, your vaccination certificates, and your transcript from where you last went to high school; if you have all that, you’ll be good to go. Greg, for you, you’ll also need to fill out the CIF forms so you can go out for sports. You’ll get those forms when you get to school. You’ll also have to have a sports physical, but since you’re not going out for any sports until next fall there’s no point in getting one now, unless you love having sports physicals. I can’t think of anything else.”
“What about going online and downloading the Northgate High course catalog?” Jeremy asked. “You’d want to do the equivalent if you were registering at Las Lomas High.”
“Yeah, that’s important. You’ll find out what classes you have to take or make up before you can graduate, what AP classes are available here that you were taking in… where was it you lived?” Mike asked.
“Arlington, Virginia. Nikki and I went to Yorktown High.”
“I can show you how to download the Northgate High course catalog,” Mike said.
“How about online registration?” Jeremy asked. “You’d want to do that and fill out all the forms if you were going to register to go to Las Lomas High. It’s much, much faster to register that way.”
“Yeah, Northgate has that too. I didn’t think about it because I transferred from Foothill Middle School so it was all automatic.”
“And your parent has to bring a credit card or checkbook to pay fees,” Jeremy added.
“Ditto that for Northgate, too.”
“Hey, there’s my folks!” Greg said. Another SUV pulled into the driveway, and Greg and Nikki’s parents got out.
“Greg, can you and your friends give us a hand getting the groceries into the kitchen? Your mom and I will put them away as you bring them in. But first, how about introducing them?” Greg’s dad said.
Greg did the introductions. “Mom, Dad, this is Mike Butler; he lives next door to us.” He pointed to Mike’s house. “And this is Jeremy Sievers. He’s Mike’s boyfriend and he lives about a mile from here. Guys, this is my mom, Lynn Emerson, and my dad, Don Emerson.”
They shook hands all around.
“Okay, let’s get all this food moved inside. The boxes close to the tailgate are for the freezer and should be brought in and put in the freezer first. Next are the boxes with food that has to be refrigerated, and then the non-perishable food and supplies.”
After they were finished bringing in all of groceries and they’d been put away, Nikki joined them and they sat around the kitchen table.
“Greg, can I assume that you have a couple of gay friends, then?” Greg’s Mom asked.
“Yup, I do. Mike goes to the same high school where Nikki and I will be going.”
“That’s nice. You’ll all be at Las Lomas High, then?”
“No, Jeremy goes to Las Lomas High. Mike goes to Northgate High, and that’s where Nikki and I will go. The high school information the realtor gave you was wrong. It makes all my conversations with the Las Lomas water polo coach a waste of time.”
“You can’t pick a different high school?” Greg’s dad asked.
“Nope. Can you explain it again, Jeremy?”
“There are two school districts in Walnut Creek for high school students. You live in the Mount Diablo School District, and Northgate is the high school for where you live. I live in the Acalanes Union High School District, and Las Lomas is the high school for where I live. The dividing line is Walnut Creek, the creek, not the city. The creek runs mostly north and south, and is behind the house at the end of your cul de sac. You’re about three-hundred feet from Greg and Nikki going to Las Lomas High. Where I live is about three-hundred feet from me going to Northgate High.”
“Where we lived in Arlington the high schools had attendance areas, but some of them overlapped. Could that be the case here?”
“Not for Northgate High,” Mike said. “If you go on the school finder for the Mount Diablo district and put in Jeremy’s address, for example, it will say the address can’t be found. I don’t know what would happen if you put your address in the school finder for the Acalanes district.”
“It works the same way in our district. If you go to the school finder it shows a map of the attendance areas for each high school. When you enter your address it shows where your house is located in relation to the high school attendance areas. The school districts are really insistent about only allowing kids in a school’s attendance area to go to that school. Of course, everyone in Walnut Creek would prefer to go to Las Lomas High, but sadly it’s just not possible.” Jeremy elbowed Mike and laughed.
“As if!” Mike said.
“Given that you’re stuck where you live, you’re lucky because Northgate is the best high school in the Mount Diablo district,” Jeremy added.
“Thank you,” Mike said. “Actually, Northgate is a very good school. And our football team is better than the Las Lomas football team.”
“But the Las Lomas water polo team is better than Northgate’s.”
“Mom, Dad, can I move in with Jeremy?” Greg asked. “That way I can go to Las Lomas.”
“Yes!” both said simultaneously, then they laughed.
“Just kidding,” his mom said.
Greg added, “I think Mike would seriously object to me living with Jeremy.”
“True that!” Mike said.
“Well, now that we have food in the house, would any of you boys like a snack?” Greg’s mom asked.
The response from all three boys was positive.
“I’ll text Nikki and let her know,” Greg said, and he pulled out his cell.
Since the Emersons hadn’t eaten breakfast yet, other than a couple power bars each, Mrs. Emerson fixed a complete breakfast with a large omelet, bacon, toast, and bagels with cream cheese to share. Nikki came downstairs and the four teens and two adults got to work on their breakfasts.
“What’s funny?” Nikki asked.
“It’s because I’m happy. It’s really nice for me to eat breakfast with a large family. Since September I mostly eat breakfast alone, and usually just have cereal and toast. Then I met Mike and often have breakfast at his house with his family on the weekends. And now I’m having breakfast with your family.
“And Mrs. Emerson, it’s great having an omelet for breakfast. I love that it has melted cheese inside. It’s wonderful. Thank you for inviting me.”
“Same for me,” Mike said. “Thanks for inviting me, too.”
“You’re both very welcome,” she responded. “Why don’t you tell us a little about your families?”
Jeremy took a deep breath. He hated this kind of question because he didn’t want to lie, but knew he had to varnish the truth.
“It’s just me and my mom. She’s a waitress. She has a boyfriend, that I don’t like, and they went on a vacation. They’re in Hermosillo, Mexico. That’s on the east side of Gulf of California. So right now I’m on my own. It’ll be nice when she gets back.” ‘If she ever gets back,’ Jeremy thought. ‘Why is my life so fucked up?’
Mike had held back, letting Jeremy answer the third degree about his family situation. Then it was his turn.
“My mom is an English teacher at Clayton Valley High in Clayton. My dad works for Adobe in San Jose. He’s a programmer. I have a sister who’s a sophomore at UCLA, and she lives in an apartment near the campus. She’s a microbiology major with a minor in biochemistry. She’s nineteen. I also have three brothers, triplets, who are thirteen years old. They go to Foothill Middle School.”
“Triplets? Oh my!” Mrs. Emerson exclaimed. Mike grinned before continuing.
“My mom wants to invite your family to dinner. That way you’ll be exposed to the triplets at our house instead of having them invade your house without being adequately forewarned.”
“Come on, Mike, they aren’t that bad. They’re great kids,” Jeremy declared.
“Well, as long as no one else wants to talk,” Mike said. “Thing is, they’re motormouths and collectively they totally take over during meals.”
“True that!” Jeremy agreed.
“I think they sound like fun,” Greg said.
“I’ve never seen triplets,” Nikki said. “Are they identical?”
“No, but they do look a lot alike. Same hair and eye color, same height and weight, they sound alike, and they’re super smart. They switch classes and their teachers never catch on.”
“The thing I find amazing is that each one of them seems to know what the others are going to say, like they can read each other’s minds,” Jeremy added. “I’m surprised every time you say they aren’t identical. They sure look identical to me, and I absolutely cannot tell them apart.”
“I guess they ran the tests and it showed that there’s enough difference in their DNA that they aren’t classified as identical. But I agree with Jeremy, they do look and act like they are identical. I’m able to tell them apart because I know their differences, but I have to stare at them.”
“You’ll love them as soon as you meet them,” Jeremy told the Emersons. “Despite Mike’s warning, like I said they are great kids.”
“Yeah, I guess they are,” Mike said. “Any time you’d like to borrow them for a few weeks, I’m sure my mom would be very grateful.”
That made Jeremy laugh. “As if,” he said when he calmed down.
“What have you kids planned for the rest of the weekend?” Mr. Emerson asked.
“I still have stuff to put away, Greg said. That’ll take me maybe fifteen, twenty minutes.”
“I’m good. Nothing planned for today,” Nikki said.
“I have homework to finish. But I think I can finish it tomorrow evening,” Mike said.
“Well, then I have an idea,” Jeremy said. “Mike, let’s replicate the downtown Walnut Creek tour we did with your brothers a couple weeks ago. We’ll introduce these two newbies to their new hometown.”
“Great idea, Jeremy. Does a tour downtown today sound okay?” Mike asked Greg and Nikki.
They looked at each other. “Sure, why not.” Nikki said. She looked at her mom. “Is that okay?” she asked.
“I don’t see why not. Of course, Greg still has boxes to unpack, don’t you?” she asked, pointedly.
“I’ll do that tonight,” he replied. “It’s just clothes.”
“Okay. I’ll let my mom know that’s what we’re doing,” Mike said, then he excused himself to place the call.
“How do we get downtown?” Greg asked. “It’s a long walk from here. I don’t think Nikki is ready for that much exercise,” he said with a smirk.
“Let’s walk. Both ways,” Nikki said. “I’ll go put my good walking shoes on and be back in about five.”
“Hey, hey!” Greg shouted. “I’m just kidding! I can’t walk that far, it’ll screw up my leg muscles and mess up going out for water polo!”
“Wuss!” Nikki replied. “Water polo doesn’t even start until fall semester.”
“Yeah, but I’ll have practice this semester and during the summer,” Greg argued.
Mike turned to their parents. “Are they always like that?”
“Uh huh,” their dad said.
“Reminds me of my brothers,” Mike mumbled.
“When do you want to leave?” Jeremy asked.
“Now?” Greg responded.
Everyone agreed. Then Mrs. Emerson threw a wrench into their plans. “How are you planning to get downtown, since walking has been vetoed?”
“I have a suggestion,” Jeremy said. “We’ll walk to the Pleasant Hill BART station — that’ll take us maybe ten, fifteen minutes — then ride BART one stop to the Walnut Creek station, and take the free bus into downtown Walnut Creek. When we come back we’ll reverse the trip.”
“How about you four do this BART thing to get to town,” Mr. Emerson said. “Your mother and I will drive downtown and look at things we want to see, then we’ll call you later and meet you in Walnut Creek and have dinner. That way, since you might be tired of walking, we can drive everyone home.”
Everyone agreed that was definitely the best plan.
Thanks to Cole Parker for editing One Sexy New Neighbor
If you enjoyed this story,
you can read the other stories in the series on Codey’s World:
|One Warm Coat|
|One Best Friend|
|One Perfect Boyfriend|
|One Complicated New Year|
|One Sexy New Neighbor|
|One Cute New Neighbor|
|One Questionable Outcome|
|One Satisfactory Outcome|
|One Confusing Phone Call|
|One Acceptable Outcome|
|One Life Changed|
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