Behind closed doors

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Watching Andrew proved to be as complicated as it was boring. The boy followed the same routine — school, then, spending the whole day with Billy and his group, and after dark, returning home. He was always cheerful, friendly and full of life, and nothing in his behavior implied there was something wrong with him.

Many times, Andrew would visit Billy at home. The two spent hours together in Billy's room where Ferry had no access, anyway. At other times, they played billiards in the basement or tennis on the field behind the mansion.

The basement of the mansion had been divided into two compartments: one for Mr. Pride's large wine cellar; the other as a space for relaxation. Over time, besides the pool table, the relaxation room had been equipped with a record player and hundreds of vinyl records, arranged in alphabetical order on a shelf which covered an entire wall. Several times, Ferry's hearing, much more sensitive to the surrounding noise than one of the people, had picked up some music that seemed to come from far away. Following the music, Ferry had reached the basement where he discovered Mrs. Pride, with a glass in one hand and a cigarette in the other, dancing alone, on a slow song, with her eyes closed. She was completely lost in her world, so she hadn't noticed his presence. She danced again and again on the same song, and a tear had run down her cheek, thin and long. Ferry had left the room that was filled with Mrs. Pride's sadness which was becoming too heavy to handle.

Several times, Ferry had met Andrew in the basement room. He was wearing Billy's sports equipment and behaved as if he were the owner of the place. Billy had given directions to the mansion's servants to fulfill any of his best friend's wishes. The two had become inseparable.On that cold November day, Billy and Andrew were out to play tennis. The sun had sent a few spears to the ground, and the boys had considered it warm enough for a tennis match. Mr. Pride was off on one of his business trips again, so Billy could do whatever he pleased, not caring about school or studying. His mother didn't care much about the life of her young son, anyway.Ferry had to trim the hedge near the tennis court, so he could hear the two clearly. Of course, they had noticed his presence, but they pretended he wasn't even there. The boys were laughing, hitting the tennis ball hard as they played. Billy's private tennis lessons had proven useful, but Andrew was just as good. His speed always amazed Ferry.

"I saw Fiona Willis watching you today," Andrew told Billy. "She's in Celia's group."

"I saw her, too," Billy said as if it wasn't a big deal. "It always happens to me. The girls are always hanging around me," he added, hitting the ball as if it was a piece of cake.

"I know one that isn't," Andrew replied.

"Really? Who?" Billy asked, this time hitting the ball harder.

"May Flower."

At the hearing of May's name, Ferry paid even more attention to their conversation.

Billy laughed, but his laughter seemed unnatural, "She's just playing hard to get."

"I don't know about that... I don't think she's very impressed."

"Don't worry. Sooner or later, she'll fall for my charm, just like the others. I'm irresistible, didn't you know that?"

The Lost Son | Ferry's Tale # 2Where stories live. Discover now