This story includes explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adult males. If you are underage or it is illegal to view this for any reason, consider yourself warned. If you find this material offensive, I have to wonder why you came here in the first place.
This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entirely a coincidence.
As author, I retain all rights to this story, and it cannot be reproduced or published without explicit consent from me. This work is copyright © Fitz, 2011.
This is my first attempt at writing a story, so I would love to hear any feedback, be it positive or negative. Send me an email with any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll try to respond promptly to all emails, but any flames will be ignored.
I would like to thank Jay Gordon at www.jaygordanstories.com, for much of the inspiration to write this, in addition to the many amazing stories that I've read by a wide number of authors. Jay's stories may have given me the inspiration, but all the excellent writers have created a desire in me to write. Thank you all.
My story is also hosted at fitz.thestorycloset.org, which will likely be updated more frequently than here. Later chapters may require you to register with the site, which is free.
Ultimately, this is a love story. It will take a while to develop, but the journey is essential. I hope you enjoy.
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I realized that I was frozen in place. I looked at the coffin in front of me and then down at the single white rose that I held in my hand. Forcing myself to move, I took a few steps and looked down upon Steve. My husband took my breath away every time I looked at him. Why should today be any different? I placed the rose on his chest, and leaned forward to give him one final kiss.
Fighting tears, I quickly returned to my seat. As I sat, they closed his coffin. My name is Scott Hudgins. Today I am burying my husband. On my left side, my father held my hand gently, while my brother did the same on my right.
Others would have called it a beautiful day. It was mid-July, yet the temperature was surprisingly mild, and there were few clouds in the sky. If it had been any other day, it would have been perfect. Instead, the weather just made me feel even worse. It just wasn't fair. It's supposed to rain at a funeral. At least the cool sting of rain on my face would force me to feel something. Anything.
A pastor I had never met before stood and began to speak. I'm sure every word he said was touching. I didn't hear any of it. I was too lost in my head, still trying to process everything that had happened in the past three days.
My parents, Michael and Felicia Hudgins, along with my brother, Ethan, and his new wife, Emma, had gotten on the first plane out of Washington DC when they found out. I had been Ethan's best man just 6 weeks ago. Mine and Steve's best friends from college, Dustin and Michelle Smithson, also dropped everything to fly down from Baltimore and be there for me.
Had it not been for them, along with our neighbors, Chris and Sarah, I don't think I'd have been able to survive until the funeral. Even still, I wasn't sure how much longer I could take all the pain burning deep inside. My entire body felt like it was literally being ripped apart. My heart was somehow being crushed while simultaneously exploding. I'm pretty sure somewhere in there I may have had an actual heart attack. I really wouldn't have even noticed.
I noticed Dick get up and speak. Richard O'Neil, that is. Steve's father. I was the only person I've ever known to call him that. On the best days we tolerated each other. After the events of the past few days, I could honestly say that I hated that man and his bitch of a wife, Lydia. They had done this to him. He never wanted any of this.
Steve's twin brother, Tom, was standing awkwardly to the side. I know he needed me to be there for him, but I couldn't even look at him. Until a few days ago, we'd been close. I couldn't even bear the thought of knowing that a carbon copy of him was still walking around, perfectly alive, while he was dead.
I noticed movement, which snapped my eyes back into focus for a moment. Dick was returning to his seat as Michelle walked up to speak. I really tried to listen to her speak. She's always been one of the two people in the entire world who can make always make me feel better no matter how badly I'm hurting. Steve was the other one. Truthfully, I didn't want to feel better. I wanted the pain. I deserved the pain. Besides, I knew what she was going to say.
"He was wonderful."
"He was amazing."
"He was perfect."
He was gone. I decided to tune her out.
Michelle would be mad at me later if she found out, but I honestly didn't care at the moment. I wasn't caring too much about anything. I looked around, noticing that there was a very large crowd. I hadn't even noticed.
Much later, Tom would tell me that virtually every person that Steve and I had met in our nearly nine years together had shown up to show their respects. He had that type of effect on people. I really only remember seeing bodies. My brain had decided that it had processed all that it could and had simply given up.
I was pulled out of my thoughts when Ethan nudged me gently.
"Dude, it's your turn, c'mon." He helped me up to my feet and half carried me the few feet to the stand that had been positioned for the ceremony. Ethan stood beside me, giving me support.
"I know what you want to say. Just remember where we are, please, bro," he whispered. His hand gently gripped my shoulder.
I cleared my throat and started to speak.
"He was possibly the greatest person that I have ever known. No one ever met him and didn't immediately become his new best friend. He was gentle, caring, and loving..."
At this point my voice broke. My entire body was shaking. I could feel my last bit of will power fading. The one part that kept me from saying or doing something that I might regret. From saying what I really felt. From saying the truth.
"Bro, please don't do this now," Ethan almost growled in my ear. He could read me like a book. I also think he knew that I needed to do this.
"Fuck this!" I said loudly. "This is a sham and most of you know it. We have been married for a year. We have the certificate from D.C. Superior Court framed in our living room. Many of you were at that wedding! And yet, since we have the audacity to move to a state that doesn't recognize it, nothing I say matters."
I looked around for a moment and saw looks of shock and horror from the entire crowd. Then I looked directly at the object of my unbridled hatred.
"Dick," I said, with as much venom as I could muster. "When's the last time you talked to your son about his last requests? Did you know that we had talked many times. In fact, he wanted stipulations in our wills regarding last rights. I shot him down. I figured that no one would be a big enough asshole to question me as to what he wanted. And yet here we are."
I threw my arms up angrily, indicating the cemetery that Steve had always found strangely charming.
"Here we fucking are!! He wanted to be cremated and placed in a beautiful urn. He wanted a small ceremony with just our families, gathered on a beautiful and remote tropical island. He wanted his ashes spread in the sand and tide while we drank fucking mai tais and toasted his life. He wanted his sendoff to be a vacation for us and a celebration of his life. And yet, HERE WE FUCKING ARE!!!"
My entire body was still shaking like a leaf. Ethan still had his hand on my shoulder, knowing that this wasn't the proper place for my rant, but also knowing that I needed to get it off my chest. My mom was holding my dad back from launching himself at Richard. Dad hadn't known any of this. He loved Scott like a third son and would have moved entire mountain ranges for him, had Steve even mentioned in passing that he liked the idea. Richard looked like he wanted to rip me apart. Only the fact that Lydia was crying hysterically and clutching his chest prevented him from doing so.
I knew I had said too much. Still, I couldn't stop myself.
"Every single God damn one of you are complicit in this charade that Dick has decided is in the best interest of everyone except his own son. Today we are here to bury him. Shouldn't what he wants matter to anyone other than me? Am I the only person in attendance who is not some brainless moron with nothing better to do than undermine the wishes of the dead?
"Fuck this! I need to get out of here."
I shrugged my shoulder out from Ethan's hand and I started to leave. I vaguely recall Ethan trying to catch up and Emma's voice telling him to let me go, that I needed some space.
So I ran.
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I really hope that you are enjoying the story so far. This chapter is very short, but I couldn't bring myself to combine it with chapter 2. What do you think of Scott's eulogy? Did he overreact? What would you have done if you were in that position?
Don't worry, there's a lot more to come!
Don't forget to send me any questions or comments to email@example.com.