"To serve my Country"
"Bryce, what do you mean, gay?" dad asked, totally stunned; he being a staunch republican with staunch republican views. "Exactly want I said Dad, I am gay. I am attracted to men...not women" I replied. "But, Mary, and there was that girl from Ohio" he spluttered out.
"Dad, they were beards; a false image...a lie" I said, with shame. "But you can't be" he added, looking betrayed. "How could you choose this for yourself?" he asked.
"Choose?" I started.
"Dad, I didn't choose to be like this. It's Gods will" I added. "Don't blaspheme, boy. God doesn't create this, the devil does "Dad, didn't you teach me that God doesn't make mistakes?" I replied, keeping my cool.
"Shit, you could have been President" dad added.
"What do you mean could have?. I won the nomination" I replied. He now was staring at Frank and my mother. "Bryce, the party's stance on homosexuality has always been the same; the right wing of the party wants gay marriage made illegal again, they want the don't ask don't tell policy reinstated" my dad went on. "Son, as soon as they find out they will seek a new candidate" he replied. "Bryce I have seen things similar when a candidates past comes back to haunt them, they suddenly withdraw for health reasons, or in other words they get told to withdraw for the good of the party" he added
"Dad, do you want me to stand down?" I asked and got silence.
"Dad?" looking intently at him.
"Bryce, I love you, you know I do...but this could hurt you, and badly and I don't just mean politically you could get killed by some whack job " he added with concern.
"The question stands Dad; do you want me to stand down?" I repeated. He stood and walked over to the fireplace; the heat was pouring from it. "Frank, what do you think?" he asked, looking at his long time council and friend.
"No Dad, I asked you" I spat out.
"Okay son, you want my honest answer...Yes, I would advise someone in your position to do just that. But, since I know you and love you; and, I add this ...respect you...no, son...fight. It will be hard...almost impossible even...you will have to convince America to set aside the fact that you are gay and show your best side...the love you have for America..." My dad spoke with passion. The start of this conversation had gone badly...but the love and respect my dad had for me won through.
"The convention is in just over a week. Avoid the press as much as possible, as if this set of photos is just a story. Trust me, they will be found" he added. "I am sorry this may embarrass you both" I said, looking at both my parents. "Don't start talking like you're ashamed," Dad said, a bit defensively. "Dad you were shocked when I told you, so your reaction was one of shame" I replied.
"Shock son, shock never shame. . I will not hear any self-deification, you hear me? You were not raised that way." he retorted. I told you, I have the utmost respect for you. You have been a great servant for this country, in uniform as well as out of it" he added.
"Don't get me wrong, Bryce; you have an almighty challenge ahead of you. Even without this latest development it was going to be tough. Is America ready for a gay President?" he asked, not really wanting an answer.
"Dad, I am gay, but that is only a small part of me. Was America ready for Obama all those years ago, and he served 2 terms" I replied.
"Look son, I love debating with you, I always have; but I can smell that dinner is ready" he informed us. Frankly, this conversation could have gone many ways; but the love that I have for my parents and the love they have for me has reaffirmed my faith and understanding of both of them. Having me followed on the other hand, I still need to address.
The meal was eaten in silence. The odd little quip here and there between my dad and Frank, but nothing significant. "So Frank...the photos...who did you hire" I asked, and again silence. So I waited a short while..."Come on Frank, I need to know what I am dealing with" I said. "I used the same guy I always did back then; but he's dead now...killed in an automobile accident" Frank informed me. "What of his files?" I asked. "As I said, I have them locked away" he repeated. "Frank, Danny Logan has seen these pictures, so who else had access to them?" I asked.
"Bryce, I honestly can't answer that, but I will make some discreet inquiries" he added. "I would appreciate that. Now, Mom, all you had to do was to ask me if I was having problems. There was no need to go to the extremes of asking your attorney to have me watched" I informed her.
"Bryce, sweetheart, I was worried, and boys tend to keep secrets from their mothers; so yes, I asked Frank to check to see if you were having issues" she defended. "And when you saw those pictures, then what?" I asked, still keeping my cool.
"Then, I asked Frank to keep it quiet; and if you were going to tell us about the boy, then we would wait" she continued. "So, why in the hell didn't you tell me?" asked my dad. "Dad, sorry, but this is about me and my privacy" I butted in.
"Bryce, if I could go back and make better choices, I would; but I can't" Mom said, with sorrow in her words. "Was I ever a problem as a child? Did I give you cause to doubt that I could take care of myself? Mom, I had just won the senate seat, and I needed a bit of me time; and your choices have now caused me a massive headache" I said, harsher than intended. "Bryce, your mother meant well. Okay, her motives were misguided, and Frank should have mentioned it, despite confidentiality" my dad said, looking at his wife and his friend. "But what's done is done. We just have to handle it" he added.
"Yes dad, I will. But I will after the convention" I began to say when my cell went off.
"Hello, Bryce Noda" I said.
"Hello Bryce, can you speak?" asked Danny Logan. "Ermm, yeah Senator, give me a second" I said, sounding more professional for my parent's sake. "Senator Logan. I need to take this" I said to my Mom and Dad, and walked into the hallway.
"Okay, we can talk" I said.
"So, have you told them?" he asked.
"Yeah. Those photos? Mom had me followed" I replied.
"You have to be kidding me" responded Danny.
"I only wished I was. She thought I was in trouble of some kind, and had my dad's lawyer hire a P.I. to watch me. He took the photos. He was killed in a car crash a couple of years ago, so who knows who has copies now" I responded.
"Shit Bryce, talk about you not controlling your family" he replied.
"Bryce, I hate to be the bearer of bad news; but I think the party chair and senior members of the party know, well, at least that you have a past. Don't know what they know, but they know something is brewing" he added.
"Yeah, when you let me know before the crucial vote, I guessed then that if you managed to find them, and I won the ticket, that the party could follow the same route. And I am sure the Democrats have the same information" I replied.
"So, what do you have in mind" he asked.
"Face it. Face it and deal with it" I replied.
"I intend to inform the convention during my speech" I added.
"You have balls, I'll give you that, Bryce" Danny laughed out.
"I won't back down Danny. They will have to remove me" I added. "And what would that say about the Republicans: Bigots, Racists, backward thinkers. They won't want that. I believe they will let me run, and if I fail, they can say that they were forward thinking and tried" I replied. "Yeah, it sounds like us" he laughed again.
"You back in Washington tomorrow, then?" Danny asked.
"No, New York. Back in Washington in a few days" I replied.
"Ohh, well, I am in New York now, and I will be until Wednesday. You want to meet up?" he asked.
"Danny, I don't know if that's a good idea right now" I replied. I did want to see him, and well, he is a good looking man, and he does stir feelings in my soul.
"Bryce, I am a member of your party and willing to advise; so what do you have to hide if we meet up?" he added. "Okay, but advise only, Danny. You are a complication I do not need" I laughed out.
"Tomorrow, so where about do you want to meet?" he asked. "My home; you know where I live, don't you?" I asked. "Good researchers Bryce, so yeah, I know where you live" he sniggered. "It figures" I responded.
I ended the call and went back into the dining room. "Problems Son?" dad asked. "No. Senator Logan putting his name in the hat for vice, that's all" I lied. "Are you considering him?" dad asked, and the thoughts of me using Danny Logan were very appealing. "One of many Dad. I will have consultations with the party before deciding on who my running mate will be" I replied.
The night moved on. Frank said his goodbyes and my Mother and father retired to bed. I sat and wondered what the next few months would bring. Would America accept a gay leader? Would the party allow a gay candidate to represent them? I knew I would be a long shot without this added complication. But if I am to be a good leader, I need to be an honest one. I know that sounds strange: an honest politician. Almost sounds funny when I say it.
Add Danny to the mix, and it's going to be a very bumpy ride. Very bumpy indeed.
I arrived in New York shortly after 5pm and left the secret service outside after they checked my home. The officer stationed inside my home was relieved by an agent, who sat out in the hallway as I worked in my office.
"Senator Noda, Senator Logan wishes to enter your home" agent Scott informed me. "Scott, let him in; and Scott, you are my protector, not my butler" I laughed out.
"Oh, and Scott, go take a break . I am sure Danny Logan isn't here to kill me. I will ring you when he wishes to leave, okay?" I added, and he acknowledged me and left.
"Come in Danny" I yelled, and he entered, looking handsome and appealing to any hot blooded male. Okay, any hot blooded and gay male.
"So, what are you doing?" he asked. "My speech" I replied.
"Any ideas who you are going to ask to be your Vice, yet?" he asked.
"Interested?" I asked.
"No. No way. I wanted to be in the big seat, not the puppies station" he laughed out. "I will work with you, if you want me to" he added.
"Danny, I don't know if I could work with you without being distracted" I replied. "Bryce, I am sure you can control yourself" he replied. "What, like you did in my hotel room, you mean?" I replied. "Okay, but I had lost the nomination; and well, I needed a reward for all the hard work" he replied.
"Exactly! I need to be focused on this, Danny. Don't get me wrong, I am attracted to you. But I need to be focused" I replied. Even I didn't believe what I was saying.
"Have faith in yourself. If you need any help, and I mean any help, just call me" he said. "Coffee?" I asked. "Yeah, sure" he replied. I stood up and walked towards the coffee maker. He stopped me just before I grabbed the jug. He pulled me close and I didn't resist. He planted his lips on mine and that was enough; I was lost. Danny had me; and I needed him. More than I knew.
To be continued...
Hope you still like this, David