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Authors: N.R. Walker


BOOK: Learning-to-Feel
13.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub















N.R. Walker








Cover Artist: N.R. Walker


Learning to Feel © 2013 N.R. Walker



Attention Readers:
This book uses US English. Thank you.



This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.

This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or business establishments, events or locales is coincidental.

The Licensed Art Material is being used for illustrative purposes only.

All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.



This book contains materi
al that maybe offensive to some and is intended for a mature, adult audience. It contains
graphic language, homosexual relations, explicit sexual content and adult situations.




This book is a free read. It has been re-written from its original form. It has not been professionally edited; any and all errors within this text are the fault of the author.
This was, and will always be, a free read.




The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:


: The Coca-Cola Company

Dr. Phil
: Dr. Phil

: Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals

Diazepam (and benzodiazepines):
Roche Pharmaceuticals

Crusty Demons:
Crusty Demons, LLC

: Apple, Inc.





I sat in the car, waiting for the real estate office to open and replayed the conversations I'd had with my family about my coming here.

My parents... well, my parents were both supportive and saddened. They supported my decision to quit the hospital in Boston and take up a doctor's position in a small town three and a half hours away. They knew I wasn't happy...

Which was what saddened them.

I'd never been happy, not really. Something in my life was... missing. I think my mom felt guilty that her son wasn't happy, though it was hardly her fault. I grew up loved and never needed for anything. I'd gone through high-school happy enough, studied hard and was proud to follow in my father's footsteps by being accepted to medical school. I pushed myself to excel, rarely going out and having no social life to speak of. I
excel. I was an excellent doctor. I'd finished my residency two years ago and worked long hours to garner a reputation of my own.

No one thought I got where I was because I was Thomas Tierney's son. I held my own, and they knew it. But still, something was, and had always been... well, missing.

I'd tried dating, for years I'd tried. My brother, Brendan, had tried relentlessly to fix me up, get me laid, or whatever. But I was just not interested. Sure, I found women beautiful enough and could become aroused by them if I needed it bad enough, but it was unfulfilling, lacking...

I remembered my last encounter with Laura... Lauren, whatever her name was, and it made me shudder. Surely that wasn’t a normal response. I just presumed to lead a life that wasn't sexual.

I'd even done some research on it for fuck's sake, some people have low libidos. There were medications or therapies or some shit, but my job kept me busy enough, I just didn’t miss it. I’d never
It was simply a means of release. I usually fell into bed too tired to care, woke up a few hours later and went back to work.

That was my life.

Except for whatever it was that was missing. It had been eating away at me, this cloud of unhappiness that had settled over me, until it was something I couldn't ignore anymore. I'd tried to reassure my father it wasn't depression, being overworked, or the fact that I didn't sleep much.

"I trust your judgement," he'd said, though I knew he kept a close eye on me.

I loved my job, I had a great family, a fantastic apartment, some close friends. I should have been happy. But I wasn’t. Something was incomplete, and I had no idea what it was. I'd long ago gotten used to the idea of having a sexless life. But I knew I had to do
I had to do something before I looked back in twenty years, wondering why the fuck I didn't do something sooner.

I just didn't know what that something was.

That was until there was a memo circulated at work for Belfast’s County General Hospital looking for a locum, or permanent, whatever-the-hell doctor they could find. I'd sat in the staff lunch room, wondering what the fuck I was doing with my life, when I spotted the memo on the noticeboard, and I wondered if the change of scenery would do me good. They were desperate, and I needed something different in my life, so I called them.

The job included a house as part of the contract to sweeten the deal, a furnished, two story, older style home with a veranda on a couple of acres out of town. All I had to do was pack my things, and they'd take care of the rest.

I told them I'd take it.

I remembered when I’d told my family I was moving to Belfast,
their reactions were the same.


I’d laughed. “Uh, no. Belfast, Maine.
It’s a twelve month position.

So my family had a dinner for me on my last night, a quiet send off. My sister Alana, my brother Brendan, his wife Kat and my parents made for good company, and though they were happy for me, they were sad to see me go.

"It’s only three hours away," I told Alana. "Give me a couple of weeks to get settled in, sort my roster out, then come and stay."

She'd hugged me and whispered, "I hope you find what you're looking for."

My brother joined our hug. "And I hope she’s hot."

My mom had cried when I said goodbye. "We just want you to be happy," she'd said, wiping her tears with a tissue.

Dad had pulled me aside and looked uncharacteristically nervous. "Nathan, you're a good doctor. They’re privileged to have you," he said. "But don’t let being a doctor be the only thing you are. Take happiness wherever you find it, Son. Don’t deny yourself anything."

It was an odd thing for him to say, and how he was nervous and unsure, told me that there was a double meaning to his words. I was about to asked him to just spit it out when Mom hugged me and started crying again.

"I’m only three and a bit hours away, Mom
It’s not like I’m actually moving to Ireland or anything." I shook my head at her. But her overly maternal tears guilted me, so I hugged her and kissed her forehead. "I'll miss you, too."

Someone walking past the car window and jolted me from my memories, and I realized sleepy little Belfast had woken. It was ten past nine, and when I looked back at the real estate office, I saw the open sign.

I was met by a small, round woman with a red bouffant hair-do that should have rightfully died in the sixties. "My name is Nathan Tierney," was all I got out before her eyes widened, she smiled hugely and started spieling about how lucky Belfast was, and how the good people of this little town was abuzz that a new doctor was arriving. She was talking so incessantly, I started to wonder if this woman actually required oxygen.

She handed me a set of keys to my new house, I’d signed the paperwork and still hadn't said more than my name. She was still babbling on about how the house was old but there was a guy living in it while he fixed it up. He still had a few weeks work to do, but I'd hardly even know he was there, she told me, and it wouldn’t be long until it was all mine for the rest of my time here.

"Pardon?" I interrupted her. "There’s someone else living in the house?"

"Oh, yes," she sighed, like I hadn't been listening, which I kind of hadn't been. "He’s a nice young man, a southerner I believe."
hen she looked around conspiratorially, "A little strange. He’s a painter, but a very good handyman. Can fix anything."

I was about to object, saying there was no mention of me having to house-share, but this woman just kept on talking. "You must have left Boston early to be here before nine, you must be keen to start here. Belfast’s such a nice place," she told me again.

I didn’t even bother explaining that I’d left Boston a little after five in the morning because I couldn’t sleep. Her never ending voice, because she hadn't shut up yet, was fraying my nerves, and I needed to leave. Quickly getting some directions, I left the office with a "thanks" and she was still talking at me when I got in my car.

I had no doubt all of Belfast knew I’d arrived by the time I found my house.

I almost missed the driveway turn off, but I eventually found my destination. The house was surprisingly beautiful, a grand old thing sitting in the middle of a clearing, not another house for miles, surrounded by trees, right on the Bay. If I wanted a change from Boston, this was it. It couldn't be more different.

I got out of my car and noticed the silence first, the lack of noise, except for the sounds of the forest and water. As I walked up the stairs, I could hear the faint sounds of a radio, or music, and I remembered I had a housemate, a
strange, handyman painter


I opened the door and called out, "Hello?" not knowing who or what would come out to meet me.

There were heavy footfalls upstairs and the odd sound of scratching on wooden floorboards. The odd scratching sound, I soon discovered to be the sound of a dog's feet on a polished floor, because it was a golden retriever-looking dog which bounded down the stairs to meet me first.

It was friendly enough, with a happy face, wagging its tail. Apparently he was called Bentley.

"Bentley, stop!" a voice called, and I looked up to found my housemate.

A guy about my age, with blond hair, bright blue eyes and an even brighter smile. He casually walked down the stairs, wiped his hands on his shirt and said with a Southern accent, "Sorry 'bout my dog, he gets a bit excited."

I ruffled my hand on the dog's head. "He’s fine."

"Are you the new doctor?" he asked.

I nodded. "I’m Nathan Tierney."

He extended his hand. "Trent Jamieson."

I shook his hand, and he grinned at me, his eyes intensely curious and for a moment I was caught in his stare. His eyebrow flinched, and his smile became a smirk. I felt a warmth spread over my skin and I pulled my hand away, embarrassed at my reaction. "I’ve gotta grab my bags," I blurted out, and quickly walked back outside to my car.

I popped the trunk and took some deep breaths, wondering why I noticed that he had dimples and nice lips, why I noticed that his hand was warm, why I noticed that he smelled of paint and coffee.

What. The fuck. Was that?







I grabbed my suitcase and when I turned around, Trent was walking toward my car with Bentley at his heels. "I'll help you grab your stuff," he said.

I wanted to tell him it was okay, that I'd take care of it, but he was already beside me lifting boxes out, and again, I was stuck staring at him.

He looked at me, smiling but wary. "Wasn't expecting you so early," he said.

"I wasn't expecting a housemate," I replied and realized my tone was less than pleasant.

"Oh," he blinked back his surprise.

"Sorry," I said quickly. "I’m tired, please excuse my manners."

He gave me another grin as he walked back toward the house carrying boxes of my books. "So, they failed to mention me, huh?"

I carried two of my bags, and he waited for me at the porch steps. "Yeah," I said with a smile this time. "No one mentioned a housemate until the woman at the real estate office told me just now."

Trent walked inside and put the heavy boxes on the dining table. "So, you met Jenny Knight... the mobile telecommunications officer of Belfast," and he motioned his hands like squawking bird beaks, the universal hand symbol for talking.

I chuckled. "Uh, if you mean the woman who wouldn't shut up, then yes, I have."

He grinned. "Did she give you the run down on Belfast? All the gossip, who to talk to, where to shop... "

"She might have," I admitted, "but I stopped listening before my ears bled."

He laughed, and it was an honest sound. "Don’t believe everything you hear in this town. The people of Belfast think I’m strange... " he said cheerfully.

BOOK: Learning-to-Feel
13.59Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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