Well That Was Unexpected
By David Spowart
Edited by J Matlock
By David Spowart
Edited by J Matlock
He looked up from the photos he was looking at, probably ones of me, and thinking where he went wrong, and what he had done to deserve me.
"Dad," I repeated, and he was now looking at me with tears falling freely from his eyes. "I just have to say this. Then I will go." He started to say something, but I cut him off. "Dad, please," and he fell silent.
"Dad, I am sorry to hurt you like this…just…I had to be honest, and I love you so much…and, well. You taught me to be honest. And now that honesty has hurt you," I spoke, looking intently, with my dad totally focused on the photos that lay before him, seemingly ignoring what I was saying. Nevertheless, I carried on talking, "I am sorry I have disappointed you Dad. I cannot help what I am, but I thought you would love me, no matter what. I guess I was wrong. But, Dad, hear me please. I love you, and despite your rejection of me, I still love and will always respect how you brought me and Luc up," I said with some tears falling down my face again. And I said softly, "Sorry, Dad. I love you," and I turned to walk out, when he spoke.
"I am proud of you," he said. "I have never been more proud of you than I am right now, Son."
"But, Dad…" I said, with him now cutting me off.
"I love you, Joshua, and that will never change. And the reason that I am proud, despite the tear works, is that you stood up and told us you were gay, and I am proud of you for that."
And he came over to me, opened his arms, and I fell into them crying. "I love you Dad. I thought you rejected me," I said holding on tight. "That would never happen," he said. "You should know me by now son; I cannot cry in front of you boys," he said. "And I was not going to start now," he said. "But, Son, I do love you, and rejection would never happen between us. Know that. Okay?" He kissed the side of my face and held me close. I felt loved and with my dad. That just made me glad to be home.
"I have known for a while, but I'm still happy you feel that you can trust us not to go ballistic, like some parents do," he said, while a shocked expression grew on my face. "You knew! How?" I asked. "I play golf, Joshua," he said, with me, now looking puzzled. "I play golf with several dads from the high school, and I heard the gossip and your name came up. I just ignored it, and eventually it went away. But I heard about you and some other boy who never got named. But you did."
"Sorry, Dad," I said looking at the floor.
"What for?" he asked.
"Me being the centre of gossip at the golf club," I said. "You have nothing to be sorry for. How old were you?" he asked. "Eighteen, Dad," I replied. "And the other boy? "Eighteen, but almost 19, Dad," I said looking intently at him. "Consenting adults, none the less," he replied. "Absolutely nothing to apologise for," he finished, and then hugged me. "Absolutely nothing," he finished off. "What's with photos dad?" I asked.
He looked over at me, picking up the album, and said, "This is the little boy that needed me, and wanted to impress me so much. This is the boy I loved with every fibre of my being. This is the boy I would have died for. And now he's all grown up, not needing me as much, but still impressing me more every day, and I would still to this day die for him."
"Dad, I will always need you, and want to impress you, and I hope and pray I continue to do that, Dad," I said with those damn tears again.
"Is Lucas okay with this?" Dad asked, and I nodded and said, "You know Luc, didn't faze him one bit."
"He still loves you," he said, not as a question, but as a statement of fact, and I for one knew that to be true.
"So Joshua, Josh, is there a reason for the announcement now," he asked and I nodded.
"You have met someone, yes?" I started to answer "Ye…" but he cut me off. "You like him a lot, huh?" he asked, and I smiled, thinking of Cal. "Yes, sir," I answered. "Tell me about him then, Son," he asked, and I so wanted to tell him so much about my sex-on-legs, and I was happy to oblige.
"His name is Calumn Kenner, and he is 19 and from Illinois, and he lives with his grandparents, because his parents rejected him when he was 16, when he told them he was gay." He cut me off, "Whoa, whoa, slow down Josh, slow down. Okay, he's from Illinois. I got that. But, what do you mean he was rejected?"
I explained, "He told his parents, and they attacked him verbally and physically, and disowned him and threw him head first out of his home. They rejected him, Dad." "And now he lives with…" "…His grandparents, yes Dad," I finished for him. "Wow, some people don't deserve kids," he interjected, "and is he back at college now?" he asked, and I shook my head, and explained the situation between his mother and his grandparents, and the death of his father, and the fact that, despite their rejection, Cal had still loved his dad.
"She sounds like a cold woman, Josh," he contended, and I had to agree with the sentiment.
"So, when do we get to meet the person who has grabbed your affections?" he asked. I said I was coming back for my birthday in three weeks and asked if it would it be okay if I brought him to stay for a few days. "I would like you all to meet him. He is a very respectful guy, Dad," I informed him. "Of course he can come and stay," he said, with me smiling, and then him making me blush that dark shade of red again.
"I take it you are now sharing a bed?" he asked, with me shrinking into my chair. "Son, you are almost 20 years old; I am assuming you are having sex, or at least you should be by now," he continued with me now feeling two inches tall, shrinking further and further down into my chair.
"Dad, please!" I begged. "Josh, I never raised you to be ashamed of anything, so stop that right now, okay," he instructed me. "I take it you two are having sex, and safe sex at that?" he asked. With me now calming down, knowing he wasn't trying to embarrass me, I replied, "Yes, Dad. And, yes. We are being careful, okay?" I informed him.
"Okay, that settles it then. In a couple of weeks I will get Lucas to help me move the double bed from the guest room, and swap it with your single. Okay?" He smiled, and I asked "Why?" "Well, I cannot have my son's boyfriend thinking we don't care, when we do! Can we?" he replied, with a smile, that brought a smile back to my face, and I said "Thanks, Dad," and he just ruffled my hair, and said "My pleasure, Son."
And he left to go inform my mom of the new information he had just received, and I just lay on my parents bed, realising that my family still loved and cared for me as much as they ever did. That meant so much to me, as I know some kids that come out don't have it so lucky…like Cal.
I rested there for 20 minutes, and then saw the time and realised Todd would be here to pick me up soon. So I went down stairs just as the doorbell went and opened the door to greet Todd with a shoulder bump. At the same time Mom came over to me and held me, saying, "He sounds nice sweetheart, and I can't wait to meet him." She kissed my cheek. "Thanks, Mom, that means a lot to me. I love you," I replied, and kissed her cheek, and smiled as I left with Todd. "Bye, Mrs M," Todd shouted, and she waved us off.
"I take it that went well?" Todd asked, and I just nodded, with a lump in my throat. I loved my whole family so much, and cannot wait for Cal to meet them.
"Well, was it bad?" he asked. And I responded, still feeling so emotional, "No, it couldn't of gone better to be honest." "So where are we going then?" I asked. "Park. To meet the guys. We have the cages for two hours, and we could use the practice," he continued. "I didn't bring my baseball glove, dude," I replied. "Back seat," he responded, and I looked on the back seat and there were two gloves, and three baseball bats. "Still a boy scout," I laughed, "Always prepared." He smiled that smug smile of his.
"So who is coming?" I asked, expecting some shit coming my way. "Chris, Tom, Mark, and Aaron, I think!" he replied. Chris is usually okay with Jack, so I am hoping for the same respect. Mark is Dale's older brother by one year, but we have been friends since they moved onto our street when Dale was just nine, so I'm hoping he will be okay, as Jack and he are close cousins. Tom is one of my closest friends. He might be a bit pissed I never told him, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Now, Aaron Decker is Todd's best friend, and has been since kindergarten, and they are real close, probably the same as Dale and myself.
We got to the park about ten minutes before the rest of the guys were due, but Tom was already there, sitting on the hood of his car, looking at me through the window intently. "Let me talk to him first, okay?" I said to Todd, and he nodded.
I got out of the car and walked toward Tom, and he stood up and walked toward the tables about 20 yards away, sat down and stared straight at me and spoke, "So, is it true?" he asked, with genuine sorrow in his voice.
"Is what true?" I asked, even though I already knew the question.
"You know what I mean. Are you a fag?!" he asked, with me now looking at what will probably be my former friend, because of the fag comment. However, Dale used that term when he confronted me, and we are still best friends.
"Sorry!!?" I looked at him, hoping he would change the tone of his question.
"I thought it was a clear question. Are you a faggot?!!" and those words just cut through me, like a knife through butter. It stung. Yes it fucking hurt!
I stood up and just walked away from him, heading back towards the car and the safety it offered.
"Josh, are you not man enough to answer me?" Tom demanded, and I turned with a tear in my eye, knowing what I was going to say could never be recanted.
"Tom…" I started, and took a deep breath, as my heart was pounding out of my chest, "Tom, the answer is NO, I am not a faggot, but yes, I am gay if that's what you are fucking getting at. And with the way you approached me, I take it you are no longer my friend?!" I looked at him intently and waited for a response. It never came, so I again headed back towards the car.
"You could have told me!" he shouted, and I turned and walked back towards him. "I couldn't. I just couldn't. I wasn't ready to face that shit!" I yelled back. "I'm your friend, for fuck's sake!" he again yelled at me with some tears in his words. "Are you though, are you?" I asked, wanting to hear his answer, as I liked Tom, I always have. We have known each other since first grade, and apart from Dale and, of course, now Todd, I always counted on Tom like a brother. "And what do you mean by that?" he asked, loudly and with daggers staring at me.
"You said it!" I said back to him. "What do you mean, I said it?" he replied looking confused, and with that two more cars pulled up.
And we walked further away to continue our heated conversation; I looked over to see Mark and Chris walk over, embracing Todd, and shoulder punching.
"You called me a faggot," I returned. "No I didn't. I asked if you were," he replied. "Same difference," I retorted. "Do you still count me in the same way you did, before you found out I was gay?" I asked.
"I am angry with you, Josh." Then, he lightened the tone, "But I still count you as one of my best friends, if not my best friend." He came over and hugged me tight, "Just wished you could have told me is all," he continued, "I mean you told Dale and Todd." I looked at him and he felt let down as he thought I talked to Todd and Dale and ignored him.
"I never told them, I never told them. Dale spotted me in town at a gay pick-up place, and he called me out on it," I said quietly. "No shit?" he responded with a small laugh in his words, "I bet you shit your pants when he called you on it?" I nodded, and explained a bit more, leaving out the fact he caught me blowing Jeff; I thought that was a bit too much information at this juncture.
"So, we okay, dude?" I asked, with his arm still around my shoulder. "Yeah, Josh, we are dude." And he hugged me again, and we headed back towards the others.
Mark started to walk towards me, and Tom tailed off towards Todd, and Mark just stood in front of me. In his coarse way of breaking the ice he said, "Fucking Faggot," and before I could respond to the insult, he grabbed me and pulled me into a bear hug and said, "You should have fucking said, you idiot!" I just marvelled at his embrace. "I couldn't Mark, I just couldn't," I repeated, with tears welling up inside me, "I wasn't ready. You do understand, don't you?!" "Yeah, I spoke to Dale last week, and he told me most of how he outted you, so yeah, I understand," he said, as I pulled away gently from the hug, and thanked him for being him.
"So who is Calumn, may I ask?" Mark asked. "Yeah, Dale told me," he continued. Fucking Dale; where is that fucking death ray when I need one? Jeeze.
"Hopefully you will find out in a few weeks. I am coming back for my birthday, and Mom and Dad want to meet him," I informed my friends, with Todd winking at me showing he was pleased how things were going for me.
We hit the batting cages, as we waited for Aaron to show, but we had already booked and paid for the cages, and we were not going to waste time waiting on Aaron.
We had been at bat for almost an hour when we took a break, and I filled them in on some stories from college, and Todd elaborated on his experiences with his short-time girlfriend, and left nothing out. "Four guys!" Mark said, whilst pissing himself in fits of laughter, "and she wanted a ride home after." Chris was almost throwing up at this point and Tom couldn't speak. "Wasn't funny," Todd berated.
"What wasn't funny?" came a voice walking down towards us. "Aaron, buddy," with Todd up and embracing his long-time friend. "You're fucking late!" Todd informed him. "Work, dude," Aaron responded, and they talked for a while before we went back to the cages. I did, however, notice he never spoke to me; he spoke to the others, just nodded in my direction a couple of times when Todd mentioned me in conversation. But he never actually talked to me.
It was about 20 minutes later, when it was my turn to bat again; I stood there waiting for a pitch, when Aaron spoke. "Are you sure you should be batting dude? Are your wrists strong enough?" he asked with a snigger.
"You know, with them being a bit limp," he laughed, with the others staying deathly silent and Todd now staring daggers at his best friend.
"Come on, that was funny shit there; you know, ‘limp-wristed'?" he continued, with me now fuming and waiting for the next crude remark.
"What the fuck Aaron!" Todd yelled. "Hey, you are the one that is friends with a faggot!" he said with anger, "And if he can't take a fucking joke, that's his fucking lookout."
(TUMBLE WEEDS MOMENT, DEATHLY SILENCE)
"What?" Aaron asked. We were all looking in disgust at him, and Todd was shaking his head at his friend.
"I never took you for a homophobe, Aaron," Todd said, standing right in front of him. "In all the years I have known you, I never took you as a hater."
"What the fuck are you driving at dude? I don't hate." he responded. "You have just insulted Josh, for fuck sake," Todd continued.
"Oh, the little faggot can't take a fucking joke," and with that Todd grabbed Aaron by the collar and yelled, "Is this how you want to end our fucking friendship? Look around Aaron! Nobody, and I mean fucking nobody, is finding your shit funny!!!" he screamed, and Aaron pulled away, rubbing his neck.
"Aaron. Mark's cousin, who you spent the summer with, is gay. And then Jack, my cousin, who I love like my own brother, is gay. And my friend Tom's best friend is gay. So you, you asshole, are in the minority, and if you are going to continue hating, well we need to define our friendship, as I don't need it in my life. So make your fucking mind up dude, because before you knew this, you and Josh were friends. Remember that!" Todd continued to berate his friend, and Aaron stood up and walked away, speaking to himself, "Fucking only trying to have a joke," he said to nobody but himself.
With the mood somewhat killed, we decided to go for something to eat, and then headed off back home. I said my goodnights to my friends, and said I would arrange a party of sorts when I came back in a few weeks to celebrate my birthday. And with that, I hugged Todd good night and headed across the street to my home.
I started to head up the path when someone flashed their headlights at me, and I turned around and someone shouted at me from the car.
"Josh," I heard, recognising his voice. "Aaron?" I asked. "Yeah, can we talk? Please, Josh," he asked, pleading for me to talk to him. "Why, so you can insult me more?" I asked. "Please, Josh."
I walked over to the passenger side and got in. Aaron started the engine and we drove off.
"Where are we going?" I asked.