23 to 63 - part nine by Titan
The following week Keith found himself back at the coffee shop across from Clyde's barbershop. He wasn't sure why he was there but something still wasn't right. Why would Sean leave so quickly? And what about all the changes? This had to be the barbershop he'd said he'd been to recently. It was close to home for a start and a lot of customers came out with short, military cuts or no hair at all.
This time it was later in the day. At around 4pm the shop door opened and an overweight older man left the shop. It was Uncle Seamus.
At last Keith sighted the mysterious man. So he was staying at the barbers apartment over the top of the shop by the looks of it.
Keith followed the man again wondering why he was doing this. Something about Seamus. His spritely walk, his height, those blue eyes. He didn't seem like a man over 60.
After a couple of blocks he stopped to go into a bar.
Keith recognized the rainbow flag outside. It was a gay bar, 'The Rose and Thistle'.
He decided, against his better judgement, to follow Seamus inside.
The bar was fairly quiet. A few patrons were around a pool table in the corner while a couple of customers sat at the bar. Uncle Seamus was one of them.
Keith decided to just confront the man. He took a seat at the opposite side of the bar. The half dressed bar-man was serving Seamus a big mug of frosty beer. As he stared at Seamus he couldn't help thinking he looked different, a little older maybe, his beard thicker and more stylised, pointed at the chin. His flourishing moustache seemed thicker and wider, waxed into a slight curl on each side.
He watched him light his ever present pipe and start puffing on it.
"What can I get you?" A voice interrupted his thoughts.
"Oh, I....I..... guess a beer." He said nervously looking up at the barman.
As the barman went to pour a beer from the tap Keith knew he had to act.
"Seamus! Is that you? Well what a coincidence." Keith said loudly from across the bar.
Looking up Sean almost dropped his pipe. Keith, his neighbour, the very man he was trying to avoid was heading over to him.
"Keith! Well.....ah...." Sean tried to think of something to say but words failed him.
He just had to remember he was no longer Sean. "Fancy bumping into you here."
"Oh I often come here on the way home." Keith lied as he took a seat beside Seamus. The barman delivered a beer and raised his eyebrows at Keith statement as he'd never seen this guy before.
"Yes, yes it's one of my favorite bars too." Seamus tried to regain his composure.
"So you live nearby then?" Keith pressed.
"Ah! Not far.... close by..... excuse me Avery," Sean called to the barman. "Put the young mans beer on my tab please."
"That's very nice of you." Keith replied as he took a huge swig of the amber fluid more for courage than thirst.
"Least I can do for you looking after my mail." Sean said starting to relax and forgetting himself.
Keith's ears picked up at the statement. "You mean Sean's mail don't you." He could see a nervous reaction from the old mans youthful eyes.
"Yes, of course. That's what I meant." He nervously signaled Avery for two more beers even though Keith had only just got his.
"Speaking of your nephew, he moved away very suddenly." Keith went to take a big sip from his glass as he tried his form of interrogation.
"Yes, a job offer too good to miss apparently."
"That was lucky." Keith stated.
"Yes, quite so."
Keith was beginning to like the look of the man before him. A real gentleman, dignified as if from a bygone era. Dressed in a dark gray three piece suit, he wore a starched collar and tie and looked every bit the wealthy gentleman. He still had similar looks to his nephew but his hair was a mere horseshoe of white hair with a silver grey beard and thick mustache.
Everything was expertly trimmed and well manicured. As he watched him smoke his pipe he wondered what he himself would look like at that age.
As he finished his beer Keith thought of something to ask. "So he has moved all the way to Pittsburgh eh?"
"Yes, ah....I believe so." Sean replied.
"I thought it was Phillidelphea." Keith looked at him suddenly.
"Really?" Sean almost coughed. "I get confused these days. The brain isn't what it used to be." He tried to laugh.
Maybe the caretaker had been wrong about Philadelphia, Keith thought for a moment feeling a little guilty.
"So how old are you if you don't mind me asking?" Keith pushed further.
With a chuckle Sean told him he was 63.
"Well you look good Seamus, you don't mind if I call you that?" The beers were having a real effect on him, more than he realized as he wasn't a big drinker at the best of times.
After some more banter between the two men, Keith knew he wasn't any wiser about Sean's disappearance and he'd have to leave. He had some work to finish before tomorrow morning.
He thanked Seamus for the beers adding they must do it again only he would return the favor next time.
As he walked back to his apartment he wondered who he could confide in.
He had hardly anything to go to the police with. Just suscpicions and gut feeling. Maybe he'd have to ease back from his 'undercover surveillance.'
As he passed a tattoo shop he nearly ran into a big, bald-headed man. The man gruffly told him to watch it and moved on quickly.
Keith apologized taking in the glint of silver from the mans piercings. He was glad to avoid any altercations with the man who looked like a biker. What Keith didn't see was the 'biker' go into the pub he'd just left.
"Ah, here's my dad now." Avery said loudly as his new partner, Brian entered the bar. "Come, lets have a look. Did they do everything I asked them?"
Brian came up close to the bar, grunting towards the familiar Sean who had started him on this road to becoming a biker dad to Avery. Sean returned the nod continuing with his pipe smoking. He shuddered at the amount of metal the previously unpierced man now wore. Two big hoops graced each ear lobe while a equally large ring through his septum draped over his silver moustache. A small spike was under his bottom lip with another smaller ring through his left eyebrow. Brian then showed his pierced nipples and without hesitation he went to show the additions to his cock when Avery held up his hand and told him he'd check that out later.
"Very nice Brian. I hope it didn't hurt too much?" Avery smiled at his new love interest, the tobacconist shop owner who Clyde had taken a dislike to. Through mind control and drugs, Clyde would be satisfied the nuisance was becoming what he'd accused Sean of looking like; a fat, old biker.
Sean smiled as he looked at Brian, dressed in faded denim and a black vest.
The now totally hairless scalp, shinning brightly under Averys constant polishing. His silver moustache was thicker and longer now, each side waxed at the tip. He no longer wanted to run a small pipe shop. He was now Averys to do with as he wanted.
Sean realized the irony in what Brian had become. He then wondered what was to become of the small pipe shop, since Brian had moved in with Avery. He'd ask Clyde about it as soon as he could. He was bored and needed to do something with his time, what better than to work with pipes. Yes, he was sure he'd like that. He stroked his moustache feeling the softness of the bristles as he contemplated how much his own life had changed. Had he really wanted to become the old man he now was? Clyde said it was what was best but was it really. Only weeks ago he looked like he was in his twenties. Suddenly a thought crossed his mind. He wasn't happy as the young, skinny man he'd been. Now he was everything he wanted to be, masculine, gentlemanly and mature. Clyde had taken him in as his partner as well which was the icing on the cake.
The following week, Keith found himself at the 'Rose and Thistle' once more.
He didn't do the bar scene normally but something in his mind still troubled him. The more he thought about the handsome Sean the more his thoughts turned to Uncle Seamus. They looked too similar not to be related but Sean had been very clear about being an orphan. Then it just came to him; Sean was Uncle Seamus. As crazy as it seemed, it made sense. They had the same walk, intense blue eyes and while Seamus was obese, Sean had been packing on the weight the last Keith had seen him. The male pattern baldness, even the stylish moustache and now Seamus just happened to live over a barbershop where obviously the transformation had come from. It had to be what happened. No wonder Seamus slipped up.
So now he was in the bar hoping for Sean or Seamus to enter to put his suspicions to the test. Apparently he normally came in about this time the barman Avery told him.
Meanwhile Avery phoned Clyde and told him Keith the neighbour was waiting for Seamus.
"We have to do something about your neighbour, Keith." Clyde said to Sean as he put down the phone.
"Go and meet him in the pub." He said to Sean as he went to sweep the hair remains from his last customer. He then told him what his plan was. Keith would probably go to the authorities if he hadn't already. He had to be stopped just like Brian.
After Sean went out the door, Clyde closed the shop early.
"Ah! So there you are.....uncle Seamus!" Keith yelled across the quiet pub.
He'd obviously had a few drinks too many while waiting for Sean to turn up.
"You know you su...sure......look hot for an old guy....hee, hee, hee", the slurring Keith said as he slumped at the bar.
"Thanks... but I'm old enough to be your grandfather." Sean quipped puffing on a new pipe.
"Grandpa....what? I know you are not so old. Anyway, h...how old do you.....th...think I am." Keith was trying to find some beer left in his glass. "Avery. My...my good man....my glass seems to have a hole.....hee, hee, hee." Avery tried to ignore the comment.
"Well I thought you were about 23 or so." Sean said never really sure how old his neighbour was. He always thought he was close to his own age.
"23! 23!.....ha... I'm no where near that.....turn around the numbers and I'm 32. You could be my father but not grandfather.....Seamus.....hee, hee."
"Well you certainly look good for your age." Sean replied eyeing the man before him.
He wasn't anyone he'd normally find attractive but a few more years and some pounds on him would certainly help.
"Hey Avery! Where's that beer? W..were dying of thirst...!"
"No more for you little man." Avery said dryly.
"Wh...wh..you.....mean....?" Keith tried to say raising his frame a little from its slumped state.
"It's alright Avery, I'll help the young gentleman home." Sean held up the drunken Keith who was now well and truly under the infleuence of the drugs and alcohol.
"I...I'm al.....don't worry.....th...that'll .."Keith tried to shrug off Sean's help.
"It's no trouble, you'd do the same for me." Sean tried to sound sincere.
"Now come home with me now Keith." And with those words he let the older gent guide him out of the bar. The drugs making him far more compliant. Sean turned to catch Averys eye, the bar man nodded. He walked towards the phone to let Clyde know what was happening.
Putting down the phone, Clyde was worried. Things were getting out of hand with this neighbor. He'd thought his only problem was that irritating tobacconist, Brian. At least he was being taken care of as Avery the barman at the Rose and Thistles new boyfriend. That reminded him, he better check into any close family or friends that might ask about all the radical changes to Brian.
When Sean finally got Keith to his apartment he was amazed how different he'd become. He was apologizing all the time for being a bother and acting so weird.
Sean just laughed it off trying to put the drugged guy to bed.
"Now don't worry yourself Keith, everything is fine. You just had a little too much. Happens to us all."
Suddenly Keith grabbed Sean around the neck and drew his lips to the older mans. Sean didn't resist and took the kiss deeply. Keith felt the whiskers on his lips, he'd never kissed a man with a moustache before. He could taste the pipe the man seemed to always have. It was sweeter than he thought it would be. As Sean finally pushed away, Keith had a smile on his face.
"Are you sure your 63?" He asked.
"Well sometimes I feel closer to your age." Sean almost laughed after saying it. "Get some rest."
With that he left the guy to sleep it off. He used his cellphone to call Clyde. He was told to get a copy of the keys to Keith's apartment. He went down the block to an engravers he knew and got the new keys cut.
When he returned he found Clyde waiting outside with a big work bag.
"I'll be fine now Sean, you go back home. I'll see you there."
Sean handed him the keys wondering if he should leave. "What are you going to do?" Sean had started to take a liking to his neigbour and was a little worried now.
"I've been thinking about a way to get him into my chair for some attitude adjustment, and with your help I thought of just the thing." Clyde said. "Now leave me."