The Male Entertainer

It had been a joke made by his best friend and that plunged him into a world that he couldn’t escape. Matthew Henderson is dealing with his parents going through a hellish divorce, and with self-worth issues added to the mix he wanted to do something to help his dad who was doing everything he could for both of them. A tasteless joke by his friend, telling him to show off on camera set things in motion. Matthew discovers a side of the internet that keeps pulling him in. Will he stay afloat or will he be pulled under.

steph_pesi · Realistic
Not enough ratings
148 Chs

Chapter 4

It was refreshing knowing that you had made money. A strong independent feeling and the smile that he had since he saw that amount hadn't left. He was sure even as he went to sleep it didn't leave. He woke up on Monday morning with a spring in his step. He even sang in the shower. When he went down and surprisingly his dad was still there. Just finishing setting up breakfast.

"Hey dad. Good morning" he smiled.

"Hey Matt. How are you?" his dad was looking at him funny. "What has you all happy?"

"Oh! You know. Just normal stuff" he hid the wince. Why did he say that? He looked away guiltily. Why couldn't he lie to his parents? Anyone could lie and he was a teenager who just sucked at it. When he looked up his dad was looking at him. He just smiled again before he could mess it up.

"You're excited about school? That's new" he put the plate of eggs on the table.

"Yeah" he agreed immediately and pulled the chair back so he could sit down.

He sat down too. "Could this be about Beck?" he asked unsure.

His eggs dropped from his mouth. "What?" he blinked perplexed. "What about Beck?"

"Well…well I just thought that…"

He pushed his plate away. He wasn't so hungry anymore. Just Beck and romance. That weird geek. How would he act?

"No dad" he looked petrified. "Just no".

He laughed. That made him very happy. When was the last time that the two of them had actually sat down to have a conversation. To just be together and laugh, just like old times. For a second they could pretend that everything was fine.

"So I have good news" he sat straighter.

"You got a promotion at one of your jobs?" he asked dryly. He put a forkful of eggs in his mouth.

"No. I got the weekend off and if you don't have anything planned we could…"

"Yes!" he cut him off. He was back to grinning. He didn't want to know anything else. He didn't care who was going to cover, the good thing was that he would get to see his dad again. Not the sad and tired man that he was always seeing. "I would like that" he reigned his emotions in.

"Then it's settled. It's a date" he grinned.

"Don't say that dad" he cringed.

The two of them laughed long and hard before going back to breakfast.


His mood didn't diminish not even when he saw Beck and remembered his dad asking if he was the cause of his happiness. What did that mean? He didn't want to make sense of it.

"What's with the extra spring in your step?" seemed like his good mood was contagious because Beck smiled along.

"Oh you know. Stuff" he waved dismissively. He had a feeling he would mess it up just like breakfast. Beck could see right through his shit. He couldn't destroy their friendship. He couldn't lose their friendship.

"What stuff?" he asked innocently.

"I-I got a job" he shrugged and the sky above them looked suddenly interested.

"When?" he hated how inquisitive Beck became.

"A few days back. Editing manuscripts. I charge a cent per word".

"Can you handle that?" he gave him a sympathetic look. "With school work and the one at the restaurant. It just seems too much for your schedule".

"No it isn't" he shook his head slightly irritated. Beck should stop talking like he was so smart. He was such a smartass.

"You go to school from Monday to Friday, you have your school work that they just seem to be dishing out, then work on Saturday and Sunday evening. Where does time for editing come from?" Beck was giving him an assessing look like he was a detective looking for holes in a story.

"Well there is time when I get home. After my school work and after dinner" he scoffed.

"So you get no rest?" he quirked his brow.

"Dude! I don't need your criticism!" he spat.

"I'm just looking out for you" he said softly. "You're still too young to be worrying and stressing yourself out like this. You can talk to your dad if it's the financial aspect…"

"Well sorry we weren't all born with golden spoons!" he spat.

"You know that's not what I mean" he sighed. "It's just…"

"Thank you for your support but I have to get to class" he slung his backpack over his shoulder and was already walking away.

"Wait! Matt! We're going the same way" he called.

He didn't listen. Though he did feel a little bit bad. Beck had helped him with quite the sum of money and he was walking out on him. He was just so angry. Friends were meant to support each other, not to be pessimistic and list everything wrong with what the other wanted to do. He knew why he was really angry. Not like the told him what he really did, but if felt that way. He huffed and pushed through.


"Smells good" Elliot said as he took the plate from the waiter before he could drop it on the table. He placed it in-between them.

"Really does" he agreed fanning the steaming pizza and inhaled.

It was just like old times. Only that his mum wasn't here. They used to come here a lot. Out of all the places that they took him to this was the best. He didn't know how many nine year olds liked garlic bread but he did. He still did.

They waited for the medium sized peperoni and sausage pizza to cool down.

This felt like the right time. No work talk, no talking about their current situation. He needed good news and what would be better than hearing that his son had gotten paid.

"Here" he took out a folded envelope from his pocket.

Elliot took it without thinking. "What is this? A card?" he wasn't opening it.

"Go on" he was tapping his feet in excitement. "Open it!"

He did so and as he pulled it open he immediately looked up to him.

"Matt?" he was confused. "What is this?" he sounded scared. He didn't know why.

"I got a job" he smiled placing his fingers on the table and he began to drum. He hoped his dad took it as excitement.

"Your fast-food job?" he asked dumbfounded.

His dad wasn't meant to react like that. "No I got a new job. As an editor" he kept the smile on his face.

"There's almost a thousand dollars in here!" he looked into the envelope making sure that it was real.

"Well yeah" he looked away. "I charge a cent per word. Aren't you proud of me?" he put on the sad eyes for him.

"I am but…how?" he was trying to piece his words together. "Where did you get the time to do all this?"

"You're never around so you don't see me" he said looking down as he said that. Low blow but he had to cement that. His dad didn't believe him. Maybe he should have taken some.

"But this is yours. Why are you giving this to me?" he couldn't wrap his head around it.

"Well you've been working a lot and I know it's been really hard because you're always tired. You're doing all this because of mum" his voice was so soft that he didn't know if he could be heard. "…a-all because of me" he scratched his nose. "I just want to chip in".

"Matthew!" Elliot called him sternly but he couldn't lift his face up. "We've talked about this. You are not the cause of what's happening".

"Just because you keep telling me that doesn't make it any less of the truth!" he snapped looking up then with a scowl on his face.

Elliot who hadn't been expecting that comeback was tongue-tied.

"You want to tell me that you weren't the perfect couple before I came along? I saw how everything was when-!"

"Enough!" his father raised his voice and that made him shut up. He looked away worrying his lower lip.

"I won't have you talking about yourself so self-deprecatingly. I told you and I will tell you again, you are not the problem. What we are going through has always been there. It's not your fault" he folded the envelope. "You don't have to do this Matt. I can still…anything you want you can come to me" he placed his hand on the table.

Matthew removed his hand then. "Just swallow your pride and accept help".

Elliot's lips thinned and he narrowed his eyes. He took the envelope. "Thank you Matt. I appreciate it" he said forcefully. He didn't know when they would get this opportunity again and he wouldn't let that be ruined.

"Can we eat now?" he was ready to forget what happened.

"I'm not hungry anymore" he leaned back crossing his arms still looking away.

Looked like he spoke too soon.

He flagged the waiter down. He had just wanted a day with his son and now he was asking for their order to be bagged. This wasn't meant to happen.