Well That Was Unexpected
By David Spowart
Edited by J Matlock
By David Spowart
Edited by J Matlock
I lay there for what seemed like hours, playing over in my mind the day's events. Light snoring was coming from Todd's direction, which was neither loud nor annoying, but sounded soothing. It was rather adorable, and usually helped me fall asleep, just not tonight with too much on my mind. My head is filled with thoughts about how tomorrow–or should I say now, later on today–how things would transpire. Lucas was in my corner, and I know he loves and supports me; I just hope mom and dad feel the same, as I do not handle rejection well.
I had eventually fallen asleep around 3am, and was awoken by the alarm, set for us to have a run before setting off on our road trip back to Boston.
Whilst getting ready for our run, Todd's phone rang and he flipped it up and read the name displayed. "She has to be fucking joking," he said, with a dismissive tone to his words.
"What!?" he asked. "I am going out," he answered. Of course, I was only hearing his side of the conversation, when a knock at the door came and I answered, with Dale standing there asking if we were ready or not.
"Are you fucking pissing me here?" Todd yelled at the person on the other side of his call.
Dale looked at me, waiting for me to fill him in on what was going on, and I just shrugged my shoulders, as I was in the dark as much as he was.
"You are going to explain are you? This better be good," Todd said in an angry response.
"I will give you five minutes before I tell you to fuck off!" he screamed at the person on the phone, who I am now assuming is Candice.
He flipped his phone shut and just yelled, "That fucking bitch!" confirming my initial thought that it was indeed Candice.
"Look guys, go have your run. I have some loose ends to tie up and get this fucking thing done and dusted. Okay? Just be back for 10, okay? Josh, I want to get away from this place for one day at least," he proclaimed. "You okay?" Dale asked, and Todd, looking over just replied, "She's on her way over, wanting to 'explain things'." He continued, "How can she explain away sucking off FOUR frat guys when out with ME, for fuck sake?" and we just let him finish, "How fucking much of a mug does she take me for?" I just put my hand on his shoulder and said, "Dude don't beat your self up over this. She isn't worth shit." He just nodded and said, "She will know exactly what I think when she leaves here, I promise you that much."
And with that, we left to get our run, leaving Todd to deal with his on-coming storm, and to end what was a sexual rollercoaster with Candice anyway.
We did our stretches, getting ready for our run, and Dale let me know that he intended to reduce his previous time, as it was his mission this semester to break the one mile record.
We ran around the same course we had set for ourselves, when Dale pulled out his stopwatch to ready himself for his mad dash for the final mile. He pressed the stopwatch into motion and he was off like a jackrabbit and there was no way in hell I could keep up with him when I heard, "Fucking next time…Faggot!!" I looked around but could see nobody. I knew it was probably the same person who had attacked me, and I was physically shaking when I caught up with Dale.
"4.16 sec!" he shouted, "I am get…Josh, what's wrong dude?" he asked, with concern in his voice and me physically shaking and my legs turning to jelly.
"When you set off on your sprint," I started, "When you ran, someone shouted…" "Who?" he asked. "I didn't see him, but he shouted, 'Fucking next time, faggot!!'" I informed my friend. "What am I supposed to do with that, Dale?" I asked.
He just placed a reassuring hand on my shoulder, and we went back towards the dorm, when we saw Candice leave. We got to our door, but before we opened the door, all we heard through it was Todd ranting. "THAT FUCKING BITCH!!!" he yelled at the top of his voice as we walked in.
"I take it that didn't go well then, dude?" asked Dale, looking at our friend, already knowing the answer.
"You are not going to believe this shit!" he again proclaimed. "Not only did she blow those guys the other night, but when we first went out, just over a month ago, we went to a movie and at the end of it she said she had to go see her friend," he continued.
"They had already arranged to meet." I already did not like where this was heading. "It wasn't her friend she was meeting, it was her friend's brother's birthday party. He just turned 17, and guess what?" he asked. "She was the fucking entertainment! She performed a strip and gave blowjobs to him and his best mate!" he informed us with myself just shaking my head.
"But listen to this for her fucking logic; she can't understand my reaction, as it was just blowjobs, and that I was the only one that was fucking her. And get this shit, she used these exact words: I should be privileged…get that shit…I should feel fucking privileged to be doing so!"
And he just looked totally pissed when Dale asked "And what did you say to that dude?" He looked at us and gave this response, "Okay, answer me this. What if I told you that I was getting blown by three of your sorority sisters? And she looked dumfounded, and then I said what if I told you that I was getting my dick sucked every morning by your best friend?" I asked and she answered "You wouldn't do that to me." And I replied, "You're right, I wouldn't do that to you, but you have been doing that to me. But, no fucking more, you diseased skank! Now, you fucking cheap slut, you stank up my room long enough; now fucking get out!" he said, "I told her while I held the door open." I just looked at him, and he just looked sad. I had never seen him looking like this, and then he said, "She made me feel fucking stupid," he moaned, not looking anywhere in particular.
Dale just put his arm around him and said, "It's her fucking loss, dude, her fucking loss." I couldn't have put it any better myself.
Ten minutes later, Dale said, "We need to go by campus security before you go." I looked at him as he continued, "Josh got a threat today, dude, and it has got to be reported," and I just looked up, as I did not even want to think about this. I had enough going through my head already.
"What threat?" Todd asked.
"When I ran my sprint at the end, someone shouted a threat at Josh," Dale informed him.
"Who? And what was said?" Todd demanded.
"I didn't see anyone. Just heard him shout," I informed him, still looking at nothing.
"He shouted, 'next time, faggot!'" Dale said, with me nodding in agreement.
"Fuck that shit," he yelled. "So this cock is now stalking you?" he asked, and I just shrugged my shoulders.
"Okay, we will see security on the way out," Todd informed us.
We went straight to the security building and saw that Ben was on duty, sitting at the main reception desk. I greeted him and he recognised me. "Hello, Josh Miller," he said. "What brings you in? No further trouble I hope?" he asked, and I told him what happened earlier. He reassured me that they were still looking into it, and he would pass on this bit of information to his supervisor, and to the local police.
Soon after, we were on the road heading back to home and "the" conversation. I made a call to Cal, and we talked for about 30 minutes. I was pleased to hear his voice. Todd looked over at me and smiled. "What?" I asked, with that goofy smile returning to my face. "You like him," he said, and I said, "Yeah, just a bit," giggling like a Bieber fan. (Oh, God! Did I just refer myself as acting like a Justin Bieber fan? Christ, the only thing I have seen him in–that I have liked–is him being gunned down in CSI. I have that looped on my Facebook page as stress relief, not kidding, looped!)
"You miss him, don't you?" Todd asked. I looked at him and just said, "I didn't think I would, but, yeah, I do." He looked at me and said, "Good for you," and I just smiled at him. He took his hand off the steering wheel and ruffled my hair. "Good for you," he repeated.
We stopped 30 miles outside of Boston to grab something to eat and drink. I rang Lucas, saying we should be home before 3pm, and that we would meet at Jitney's coffee shop about then, so I could gauge if Kyle's gossip had spread in the direction of home.
Todd and I arrived at Jitney's about 3 and Lucas had yet to arrive. We ordered our preferred beverage and sat in the corner waiting for my brother. "Fucking unbelievable," Todd said, and I said "What?" turning to see Kyle at the counter ordering a drink. As he spotted me his smile disappeared and he walked attentively in our direction.
"Hi, Josh, I didn't know you were home," he announced, with me staring daggers at him, wishing I had laser's that shot bolts (Yeah, I know they still don't exist, just that…well…you know).
"You really want to talk to me? Are you fucking kidding me, Kyle?" I said talking with authority, and he looked at me as though I was off my head. "What's that about?" he asked. "Your fucking mouth," answered Todd, before I had the chance. "What do you mean?" he asked, looking totally confused.
"We hooked up once, and the whole school finds out, that's what!" I spat out. He looked at me, then Todd, and said "They didn't get it from me, I can assure you that."
"No, they didn't get it directly from you, but it did come from your mouth, Kyle, I can assure you that," Todd informed him with annoyance in his voice. "How?" Kyle asked. "Anderson," Todd replied. "He was in the cafeteria at the end of year, and was telling all that would listen to him how you nailed Josh," Todd, glaring at Kyle, continued, "I told him, under the promise of pain, to stop and retract what he was saying, so yes, Kyle, it came from you."
"Shit, Josh," Kyle started talking, "Dude, I am sorry. Yeah, I told Gary; he's my best friend. And he knew I had a massive crush on you, so yeah, when we hooked up, I told him, I tell him everything. But I am sorry dude, I truly am," he said, with genuine remorse in his words. But I was still pissed at him. "Who else did you tell?" I asked, wanting to know. "Who else did you tell, Kyle!?" and I stared at him, awaiting his answer. "Just Jen," he replied. "She's my sister, dude. We don't have secrets," he informed me. "Yeah but she told her friends, and it got back to my brother, you dipshit!" I informed him with venom and authority I rarely showed. "Lucas knows?" he asked, with me nodding.
"Fuck, Josh, I am sorry dude. For fuck's sake I would never do that to you. And with Gary, I will be having it out with him, I can promise you that," he told me. I responded with "Are you out yet?" and he replied with, "What?" "Are you out of the closet?" I repeated. "Only to a few," he replied.
I said "Well, with Gary and Jen, they are trying to do it for you." He looked at me and nodded, "I know." Then he asked me, "And what about you Josh, are you out?" and I said, "I will be out before the day is over," and he just looked at me and said "Wow, dude, you going to tell your folks?" and I just nodded, and replied, "I need to." With that, Todd rubbed my shoulder and said, "He's got balls, Kyle, real balls." I smiled, and we said our goodbyes as Lucas walked in the door, and I pointed for him to head back outside.
He was standing by his truck that dad had bought him. I left mine here, as I didn't think I needed it at school. He walked over, slowly at first, then a bit faster and wrapped his arms around me tightly and said with affection, "Fuck bro, I have missed you more than I thought I would." "Are you okay?" he asked me, looking into my eyes like he was trying to read my soul. "I am now, seeing you, you little shit," I said, hugging him back tightly, and me now truly knowing that my little brother still loved and respected me.
"Okay, Lucas, the truth. Have the rumours gotten out of school?" I asked, not really knowing what answer I wanted to hear. If they knew, I don't have to tell them, just confirm what they had heard. Or, if they have not heard, I would have to have that conversation.
"Josh, I honestly believe they don't know, so if you want to leave it a while until you are really ready to do this, then leave it bro, just wait until you are ready. I will never let on that I know, and you know that bro, don't you?"
I walked back over and hugged my brother, and whispered softly into his ear, with love and affection for his true concern, "Luc, you know I love you, right? I need to do this. But thank you." I kissed him on his forehead and he smiled and said, "Okay, but I want to be there when you do." And I again kissed his forehead and said, "Yeah, I need you to be there, bro."
"So…Cal. Tell me about what he means to you, bro?" he gently asked me, with his arm around my shoulder. "I will, I promise, but I need to get round this first, okay?" and he squeezed my shoulder to say yeah, when you're ready bro, when you're ready.
I talked to Todd for a couple of more minutes. We arranged to meet later on tonight to go see some of our old high school friends that I know must have heard the gossip by now, thanks to Facebook and the like. But right now I didn't care; they either liked me for who I was, and not what I was, or they were never my friends to begin with. With that, I gave Todd a hug and got into Lucas's truck and we headed home.
We passed by the park, no conversation being made, just looks in either direction. We turned along the grocery store, down our long tree-lined street, pulling up outside our family home, the home I loved. It wasn't anything spectacular; but I felt loved here, and never frightened or worried.
At least, not until this very moment. Would they accept me? Would they still love me? And, please God! Don't let them reject me like Cal's parents did to him. I couldn't survive that. I truly couldn't survive that.
I walked through the door with smells of a good roast being cooked, and it made my mouth water. "Hello!" I shouted. "Mom, Dad!" I shouted, and I heard footsteps coming from the direction of the kitchen, and my Mom walking quickly toward me, wrapping her arms around me, holding me tight. "My boy, you look thin, have you been eating right? Come, let me take a look at you." She fussed over me as only my mom would. "Mom, I am fine. Trust me." "You look peaky," she responded. "Leave the boy alone, sweetheart," I heard my dad say as he descended the stairs, "He looks okay to me," he said. "Thanks, Dad," and I walked over and he embraced me and said he missed me.
"Something smells good, Mom," I lightened the mood.
I went to my room to get changed for dinner, wondering if after I had my conversation with my parents if I would ever see this room again, because, if I was honest, the worst-case scenarios were playing in my mind and they won't leave. So, yeah, the term "shitting a brick" applies to me at this precise moment.
"Come in!" I shouted. "You okay, bro?" Lucas inquired, and I just shook my head with a tear in my eye. "I don't want them to hate me, Luc," I said, with more tears building. "Josh, they won't hate you. Trust me." I couldn't help myself. I started weeping, "Disappointed then," I responded, and he just held me, repeating what he said to me earlier, "You don't have to do this now, you know," holding me tight to his shoulder. I barely managed to say, "Luc, I am supposed to be the big brother here you know," and he held me tighter, saying "Sometimes we could all need a hug, and a big brother, so let me just this once, okay?" I nodded and said, "Thank you Luc. I grow to appreciate you, and love you more every minute I spend with you. Whatever girl you end up with, she will be privileged to have you."
I kissed his cheek and said, "Okay, dinner will be ready now. Coming?" He nodded, wiping a tear from his eye, and slapping me on my back, "I love you too, bro," he said while exiting my room.
"Here, Joshua, sit here. Lucas, sit here, so I can see my two handsome young boys," mum gushed, while staring at us. "Sweetheart, you are embarrassing them," dad interjected.
And then, all of a sudden, all the events from the previous three weeks, from when I was confronted by Dale, again started playing through my head: the taunts at college; the assault I had suffered; and, the bruises I had suffered that day. My heart started beating faster. Then, that first kiss from Cal, which had me smiling that goofy smile. Then, the sex between my two best friends and myself. Everything, cascading through my brain, the small talk at the table being overlooked by me, and Lucas staring at me, as he could see my eyes, and he could see genuine fear in them.
"So Joshua, how's college life treating you?"
Dad asked the question, staring at me, waiting for me to fill him in on how my experiences have been so far. But everything kept blurring into one important and inevitable fact, about my experiences, the one true fact I need to tell them, and hope they don't reject me, hope they don't hate me, hope they are not disappointed in me. When I say those words, the words that could destroy everything I hold close to my heart, my home, my family, my life. Those words that I came home to say, not fear, not hate, those words that would free me to be me. I needed to be me, I had to get this out, I had to be out, I needed them to understand what it's like to be me. I wanted my family to see me, and not hate, never hate. I had to say it. I had to say it. I had to say it now.
I said it softly, frightened of that word, "gay," and not being able to say it out loud. I could feel the emotion building, and I could feel the tears starting to fall from my eyes, and I heard, "What was that dear?" Mom asked, and I would have to repeat it.
"I'm sorry, Mom, don't hate me please. I said I was gay. Please don't hate me." And that was it. I just collapsed completely, tears streaming from my eyes, and I was a wreck, and then I noticed my dad stand up and walk out of the room, my ultimate fear realised. Rejection!!
"Dad, please don't, Daddy, please don't hate me, please! DADDY!!!" Lucas held me up as I just lost all control of my body. I was grief stricken. My dad, the man I adored and looked up to, was rejecting me. It was breaking my heart.
"Sweetheart!" I heard my mom, as I was lying on the floor being held by Lucas, with he now also crying, as he could see my pain, softly stroking my head. "Sweetheart, look at me." I couldn't look at her. I didn't want to see disappointment in those caring eyes. I couldn't stand seeing that. "Please, darling, look at me," she said, with what sounded like concern, and she came down, and sat on the floor, taking hold of my face. With Lucas standing up, and Mom taking his place holding me, which felt loving, and I needed loving at that moment, she said, "Darling look at me, I need you to hear this from me," with some emotion coming out of her sweet loving mouth, that mouth that always took away any emotional pain I was feeling. But could she do it for me now, I hoped so, so I slowly sat up and looked into my Mom's eyes, and all I could see was love.
"I Love you, Joshua," she said "I Love you with every inch of my being," she continued, while stroking the tears out of my eyes. "I couldn't love you any more if I tried," she went on. "A mother is supposed to love their child unconditionally, for whatever faults they had, or end up having. And, Joshua, if you being gay made you the person you have become, then I am happy. And as hard as this may seem, I love you even more, son," she said with tears falling free and fast, which had me balling even harder.
"Mom, I love you so much," I said, with those damn tears cascading down my face, soaking into mom's shoulders.
Then I remembered that Dad had walked out, ignoring my cries. He, for one, had rejected me, and that stung. Believe me, that stung. I loved my dad, and I thought he would love me no matter what. But I must have been wrong. As I sat downstairs waiting for his return, he didn't come back. Twenty minutes had passed and I decided to just give up. I was heading back to college tomorrow afternoon, and I would hope my dad would come around, and tell me he still loved me.
I was meeting Todd in a couple of hours to see how my old friends would treat me, but that situation was minor compared to my dad and his lack of love for me at this moment.
I went upstairs to have a short nap, as the past hour had drained me, and if I was going to go through rejection again with my old friends, sleep was needed. I headed to my room when I heard sobbing coming from my parents' room, and I could see Dad through the slightly open door. I could see him being very emotional, and I didn't like seeing that; I had hurt my dad, and that was never my intention. I knew it could happen, but I never wanted that to be the case. I could only hope he would get over it. I had to tell him I understand his rejection, as Cal, had also felt this, although my dad never hit me.
I still loved him, and I could see him, hear him, watch him hurt, and he had to know I loved him despite his apparent rejection of me, so I pushed open the door.
"Dad," I said, looking over to his desk chair, where my dad was sitting, gazing at what looked like a photo album.