Well, I know, Easter is a week ago (I wrote this on Easter sunday ;) ) - but nevertheless I hope you will like this part.
Please read Part one and Part two before this - maybe this one could be a "stand alone story" but I think, it's better to understand if you know about the backstory.
Title: About loneliness and friendship (Easter Dinner 1)
Fandom: Casey / Mrs. Connor / mention of Zeke
Disclaimer: of course, not mine
Mrs. Connor was in the kitchen, doing the last preparations for Easter dinner. She looked up when Casey came in.
"What's up, honey?"
"Do you mind, I invite a friend of me for dinner?"
Surprised she glanced at him. It was the first time that Casey asked for something like this. It was the first time, that Casey mentioned a friend whom he would like invite. Casey was a loner. He had no friends.
"Why not! Do we know him?"
Casey bit his lower lip nervously.
"I don't think so. I just know him from school. Zeke... Zeke Tyler!"
Mrs. Connor frowned.
"Zeke Tyler," she repeated slowly.
"Ähm... Casey ... this Zeke Tyler?"
Casey shrugged and tried to look uninterested.
"Yeah, but ...There's a lot of loose gossip about him - most of it isn't true! He's not like this!"
"What do you have to do with this boy, Casey? I mean ... well ... he is not exactly someone I wish as a friend for you!"
"Please, mom, don't condemn him! You don't even know him!"
"I don't want to know him, Case! And I don't want you to meet him! He is older than you! He goes to clubs and drinks alcohol! And didn't he have recently problems with the police because he sold drugs?"
"Oh mom, don't believe all this sh... this!"
Mrs. Connor sighed.
"No chance, Casey! I don't want to talk about him any longer! Just promise me: you will never meet him again!"
Casey swallowed.This got out of control.
His mother looked at him sharply.
"What do you mean? You can't?!"
"I ... I'm not gonna leave him alone! I'm his friend!"
"Casey Connor ..."
Casey winced. This didn't sound well. Not at all well! If his mother spoke in this tone, she was going to be really angry. He nearly wished, he wouldn't have asked. But he wanted Zeke to come over for dinner so much ...
"He protects me ..."
His mother frowned.
"He does what?!"
Casey didn't like to speak about it, but probably it was the last chance to change his mothers mind.
"Well ... you already know. All these problems with Gabe and his friends ... "
Of course she knew. They tormented Casey at school nearly every day. He had endured all without complaining at home. Once, when Casey had to be sewed in the hospital, she was ready to do something, to complain to the teachers at school and to the parents of these boys or maybe to press charges. But Casey had shaken his head and had meant, things only would go worse if she did so.
Some weeks ago the cruelties seemed to stop. They had never spoken about it, because Casey didn't want it. But there were no more visible wounds. His parents had felt so relieved that things seemed to normalize slowly.
"What has Zeke to do with Gabe?"
"Nothing! But Gabe respects him!"
"I don't know what he has done! But he has done something, I'm sure. Since then Gabe leaves me alone ... Sometimes a bit teasing - just when they can be sure, Zeke is not at school. But they don't touch me any more!"
"Why should he do this?"
"We are friends, you know!"
His mother sighed quietly.
"I don't like this, Casey! What did he expect from you?"
"Nothing, Mom! He just needs someone who is there for him from time to time!"
"But this is not your task, Casey! He must have parents to care for him!"
Casey shook the head.
"He has nobody! His Dad is dead for a long time. And his Mom ... his Mom also died only a few weeks ago."
Mrs. Connor turns round and stared at Casey.
"But ... this is awful! What has happened?"
Casey hesitated Then he shook his head.
"I can't tell you. Well, I mean ... he has told me, but ... he trusts me. Sorry, mom! I think, he doesn't want that other people find out ... "
His mother nodded slowly.
"You're a good boy, Casey, you know this? I want to be honest: I'm at a loss what to think about Zeke! But I know, I should trust your feelings! So ... dinner ... and we'll see what happens then!"
Casey threw his arms around Mrs. Connor.
"Thank you, Mom!"
Then he ran to the phone to call Zeke.
TBC - read Easterdinner Part 2