As the evening progressed so did Kak's realization that all of Joey's family was as indifferent to him as mom and dad. They sat in the living room for hours talking to one another while Kak sat in the corner by the door where he had come in. He hadn't moved from that position since he entered. They asked Joey how school was going, they talked about Uncle Steve and his new job, Aunt Jess and her new husband and house, the weather and how it was uncommonly warm that year, how Joey's cousin Laura had been sick all year and how worried they all were about her; Kak learned quite a bit about Joey's family. But not one of them, not one time, said a word to him. Not only that, but neither he or his friends back home were mentioned even once during conversation. The only moments of comfort came from Joey's eyes when he occasionally glanced over. Surely he and the others must have a disease, a virus, an abnormality, something to prompt the incredibly rude behavior that was common amongst all present.
"Dinner time everyone!" grandma proclaimed as she peeked out of the kitchen. Everyone stirred in their seats giving agreeing remarks.
Everyone stood and began to file out of the room. Kak slowly brought himself to his feet, nervously. He watched each face pass him by as they made their way to the kitchen for a plate of grandma's locally famous meal. He looked around frantically for Joey, standing on tip-toes, bending down to see between the legs of the marching line. He was nowhere to be found. Kak rested his back against the wall once again and let himself sink down to the floor. The spot he had been sitting had become cold in his behind's short absence. Cold and alone. He buried his head in his arms, sighed, shook his head from side to side slowly, passionately. Cold and alone.
After what seemed like an hour later, Joey came to him, though really it had only been minutes. The smiling face of the young man appeared in the deep cavern of Kak's body where he had been hiding. It was like the light of a full moon in the middle of the night, shining brilliantly and enough to see that life still exists and in fact flourished even long after the last sparks of sunlight left.
"What are you doing?" Joey giggled.
"Wha—I..." Kak tried. He backed out of the deep flesh dwelling to face his best friend in the open. "I was waiting for you."
"Well, everyone is getting their food, c'mon." Joey grabbed his arm and tried to pull him to his feet. Kak had to lift his skyscraper of a body up on his own, the boy was still young. "I don't think there are any extra chairs but you can stand behind me in the dining room."
"I—" Kak resisted the tug on his arm.
"Just c'mon Kak. It's okay."
Joey released his arm once they both started on their way to the dining room. He walked ahead of Kak anxious to rejoin his family. Distance slid between them. Kak walked slower, not sure of himself, of what to expect in the next room, of what to expect from the rest of the night. His only relief from the pressure of uncertainty was the young boy in front of him.