“Mom, I’m home …” Frank started, shutting the door to their 2-bedroom flat behind him. A lanky young man of 21 years, his boyish curls came down over his brow like a curtain of chocolate, bordering his angular face and sharp features. At 6’2" Frank was just above average for a boy, but he had the careless gleam of a younger child in his eyes. He was dressed in a pair of chinos that fit his was it but didn’t quite reach his ankles, and poorly ironed shirt, giving him the impression of a child trying to play dress up. He stood by the entrance, looking into the flat.
The door led straight into the living room area and on the couch sat his mother. Jennifer bore little resemblance to her sone in stature, but made up for it with almost matching green eyes and what some swore was an identical nose. Aside form these features, the 5’8”, 250-pound school-teacher was a polar opposite to the frail looking thing that she had birthed. Cherry red hair framed her freckled face, the curls tumbling down beside her chubby cheeks to rest on bare shoulders. A weathered tank-top with inappropriately small spaghetti straps and low, wide cut contained her body, voluptuous breasts jutting out in front of her and resting on her belly as she leaned back on the sofa. The material of her top disappeared in the roll between her boobs and gut, shamelessly tight on her fleshy body. The fat on her stomach hung over the waistband of her sweatpants, the baggy item filled out by her thighs and hips, expanding out beside her like a cushion.
Frank stopped in his tracks as his eyes came to rest on the man sitting beside her.
“Did you get the job?” Jennifer asked, to which Paul snorted. Seated beside Jeniffer, the overweight Florida native was sprawled on the sofa in nothing but his boxers, his eyes glued to the TV. The uncaring stubbly beard of a recently unemployed middle-aged man clung to his face but seemed out of place above his largely hairless chest. He made up for it however with an ample forrest peaking out from beneath his waistband, and equally sizeable tufts beneath his arms.
“I bet he didn’t even make it through the doors, the runt,” Paul said, not looking at Frank.
“Now honey …” Jennifer started.
“At least I’m trying to find a job you lazy shit,” Frank shot back.
“Sweetie! That’s not …” Jennifer tried again.
“Say that again boy,” Paul threatened, standing from the couch with visible effort. He didn’t quite reach Frank’s height, but he made up for it in heft and the two stood off like a comedic duo, “I want you to apologise and show me some respect.”
“I'll show you respect when you can put some damn pants on!” Frank shouted.
And then he was on his back, a sharp sting on his left cheek where Paul had slapped him. Jennifer pulled her boyfriend back as Frank shrunk back towards his room. He shut his door, eyes wide and breathing ragged as he took in what had just happened. Paul had always been the worst, but he had never hit him before. The boy went over to his mirror and winced as the deepening red hand print was growing on his face. He didn’t know what stung more, his face or his pride.
“… a bit much!”
“ … no respect …. out of here!”
Frank could make out snippets of the conversation outside but he wasn’t paying much attention. He knew that a line had been crossed that would make Paul uncomfortable, so they had a problem. Frank would always be a reminder now that he had lost his cool, so the boy knew that he didn’t have long in the house. He had taken it for granted when his mom had let him stay after his college plans failed to pan out. He had even taken it for granted that she still did his laundry and cooking. But with the latest failed job interview, for a coffee shop no less, he had really understood where he was in life.
Sullenly, Frank sat down at his desk and booted up his laptop, the Google results for “jobs" automatically appearing on his screen. He was going to need a job if he was going to move out, and that wasn’t going to be easy. He had been to five interviews today, and the exhaustion caught up with him; he fell asleep at his desk, the laptop still open.
Frank awoke the next morning with a sore face, but worse than that was that the house was empty. He tentatively made sure by stepping out of his room, but sure enough, his mom and Paul had gone out somewhere and he was alone. He sulked over to the kitchen to get something to eat, when he noticed the note on the fridge with his name on it. At first he didn’t want to read it, but when he finally found the courage to do it, he felt a chill shoot down his back. It was a note from his mother. It spelled out in no uncertain terms, the results of her and Paul’s argument the night before, and Frank swore at his mom’s cowardice; she didn’t even have the guts to kick him out herself. Of course he could plead to her maternal instincts, but he had long since learned that cock came before caring for Jennifer, so he didn’t bother calling her.
His eyes burning with tears, he stuffed as many of his possessions as he could into a duffle bag and back pack, then left, leaving his key in the door and hoping someone would rob the house. With that, Frank Gilles walked out into the mid-morning Friday gloom, to begin his first day of homelessness.
Frank brushed the dirt from his elbows and tried to hide the creases in his shirt. None of his clothes were clean, but they didn’t smell too awful so it would have to do. He had all his belonging with him in his bag as he climbed the old steps of the Staten Island building.
He had heard about the job from another man on the streets, and boy did the guy sell it. Free sex, and what’s more, they paid you for it! Frank was more than happy to give it a short, and if the vile man who had told of the job was hired, then why not a fine young man like himself?
The lobby of the building was unassuming enough, with a few plastic chairs in a line opposite a desk. A young woman sat behind it, tapping away on a computer. She was dressed in a professional looking blouse, her blonde hair tied back in a pony tail.
“Good morning, can I help you?” she asked.
“Uh, I’m here for the uh, job,” Frank said, his hollow features making him look like something of a skeleton.
“I’m sorry but you are going to have to be more specific hon,” she said, “Are you here for the service job?”
He nodded, and this brought an unexpected smile to the receptionist’s face.
“Lovely,” she said, grabbing a stack of papers, “I'll give you these to read and sign, then we’ll get you through to the interview room, ‘kay?”
Not giving Frank a chance to answer, he shoved the papers onto him with a pen then went back to her screen. Frank walked over to a chair and started reading. He realised that he really didn’t know what kind of job he was here to get, but the pages and pages of technical words and legal terms did little to elucidate the matter.
“Everything alright?” the secretary asked. She had materialised beside him and was waiting impatiently for him to finish. Frank scanned the page and none of the words were sinking in, and he saw how many more he had to read. He looked pleadingly at the secretary and she nodded.
“Sometimes they put way too much information in those forms don’t they?” she said and Frank nodded.
“Tell you what, you just put your signature on the last page and I’ll have someone brief you about everything. We won’t send off the papers until this evening so if you change your mind you can tear them up and be done with it. Does that sound easier?” she asked.
Frank nodded, a little mesmerised by the pretty young woman in the blouse and pencil skirt. He flipped to the last page and scribbled a signature onto the dotted line. The young woman smiled and snatched the papers up, gesturing for him to follow her. Frank stood up quickly and walked across the room and through a set of double doors in close pursuit of the secretary’s swaying ass.
He should have known something was wrong as soon as the thick, sound proof doors shut behind him. Two burly men grabbed his arms and a third pushed a needle into his neck before he could protest. His bag fell to the floor and everything went black.