Johnny and Doris – Part III

Stevie wasn’t always so unwelcome. In fact, John kind of got used to him being around. John often had problems making friends. He had problems in school; he was different. Often found staring out the window or into a distant void–it seemed he was not often stimulated by his immediate environment. On the way home from school he would often become distracted. He loved climbing trees and would often be found in a nearby park well after dinner or bedtime in need of rescue. No, John wasn’t particularly good with keeping track of time. He was often late for everything.

Stevie kept him company when no one else was around, which was most of the time. John’s mother was a bit of an absent figure for him, working three jobs to keep her two sons clothed and fed. A myriad of babysitters were often present in the home. A frequent rotation of several different girls was often employed due to John’s demanding care requirements. Maybe that’s one reason why John rarely made it home on time. He never really cared for them. He only liked Keith, his older brother.

Keith was great and John idolized him. He wasn’t always around though, being seven years older and he always seemed busy. He was involved in so many clubs at school and when he wasn’t spending time with his friends there, he was playing lots of sports. Yes, Keith had lots of friends. John wasn’t jealous though. He had Stevie.

Stevie often came up with lots of games to play. Some of which resulted in John getting into trouble. Like the time when they painted pictures on his bedroom wall of all the things they liked to do together and all the places they wanted to visit. Or when they decided to play “buried treasure” with nearly all of John’s toys, digging up holes in the backyard, dropping the toys in and then creating a type of pirate’s map to recover them all. Yes, Stevie was a lot of fun.

Sometimes he had to disappear though. John would be fine for a while but would inevitably miss him. When it got really bad, Stevie would always return. Usually with another fun game in which they could indulge.

Now things were different. All throughout high school (or rather until John’s final year) they stayed almost completely intact. Right up until one game became a little too serious. Stevie had convinced John to steal a car. It was one of the new driver education cars parked at the school. John had seen all his peers learn how to drive and it was all they ever seemed to talk about. However, John’s challenges with school and learning automatically disqualified from the experience regardless of his ability.

These things disregarded, Stevie swore to John he could do it. And John wanted to do it. Badly.

The attempt did not go well. John managed to get the car started but in his excitement and confusion, he mistook the “R” for a “D” and sped directly into a rather large oak tree just in front of the parking lot. In a panic, he managed to shift the car into reverse but then, spun around and in further panic, shift back into forward gear and become airborne over a small embankment. When he came to, the police were there. No charges were laid but John was told, rather forcefully, that he would never be able to drive a car–ever.

Stevie got a little angry. In fact, it was the first time John and Stevie had ever had a fight. John tried to reason with him, tell him that it wasn’t such a big deal after all. Eventually Stevie acquiesced. After that, things didn’t seem quite the same between the two of them. The older John got, the more childish Stevie behaved. And for longer periods would he disappear. But when he returned, things weren’t always so pleasant for John.

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