The author reserves all copyright privileges. This work may not be reproduced, except for personal use without the permission of the author, and may not be linked to any pay sites.
Dedication: This story is dedicated to my special friend Ry who inspired it, and to Don Hanratty, who encouraged me to post it here.
Many thanks to Bill who edits this story. His help smoothes the text to be more readable and with few errors that creep in.
I love hearing from my readers and appreciate your comments and encouragement. My E-mail address is JETjt@aol.com. John Tucker
RON AND BRYAN
Chapter Twenty One
As the door closed after Ron had exited the Chairman's office, Bryan was in the bear hug embrace of his father, Richard. Both men's eyes were filled with tears and their throats choked, making the words they so wanted to express more difficult.
"Bryan. I'm so very sorry."
"I love you, Dad."
"I know, son.... It's all my fault. Please forgive me.... I love you and want you back."
Drawing away from his father, Bryan said. "Dad, we need to talk."
"Yes.... Let's sit down. I'm sure we both have a lot to say."
They sat near each other on the beige leather sofa, but not close enough to touch.
Richard said, " May I start? I hope it will help make what you have to say easier."
"Sure, Dad, if you want."
"Bryan, I was wrong. I know that I have caused you a lot of pain. I hurt your mother and brother Dick too. I have spent a number of hours this past week with Dr. Carrington who Ron insisted I see. I can't go into all the details, but she helped me see that that my prejudices were ingrown as a result of what I had been taught in early childhood. They were easy for me to accept. It is always simple to be believe that people who are 'different' from you and those in your close environment have to be wrong or bad. Hitler capitalized on that idea."
"Ron forced me to face those prejudices and question their validity. A large part of me resisted, but Dr. Carrington helped me understand. Those values that I thought were immutable were just a shield raised against insecurity and a hammer to be used to overcome a feeling of inferiority by domination over others."
"I began to see that those 'values' had cost me. They had lost me my youngest son and the respect of my wife and older son. They nearly cost me my career and the security for your mother and me for our later years. I had always considered myself a logical man. But as I talked with Dr. Carrington, I could not support my rejection of you with either logic or reason."
"She taught me the importance of people and that my opinion of them should not be tainted by their race, beliefs, social position or sexual orientation. She helped me see that individuals are good or bad not because of what group they are belong to, but because of their own inner values. She even showed me that those values might be different from our own but are not necessarily faulty. Our own sense of what is moral should be weighed by the evidence and not just accepted carte blanche"
"There are many things that I still think are immutably wrong. One is that preying on the weak and helpless is wrong, whether the victims are women, children, or disadvantaged people. Might is not right. I believed that gay men were notorious in engaging in such acts, especially with young boys."
"Therefore, I always believed that homosexuality was one of those 'wrong' things. The doctor and and your friend Ron opened my eyes to the fact that such actions against the weak are not the result of a 'class stereotype', but an act by an immoral person who could be part of any group."
"They convinced me of a peculiarity of nature; that being gay is as natural as being heterosexual, just as being black or red is as natural as being white. This was a comparison that I never had wanted to consider. When forced to reason, I could see that it was true. I could see the cracks appearing in my shield of defense."
"I wish I could say that all my prejudices have vanished in a week. I can't. I can only promise that I will work hard to be accepting of you and of your partner even though I must admit that I don't understand the attraction of two men for each other. Nevertheless, I am convinced that it is a real thing that I can accept as a part of you even if it is not for me personally."
" I have scheduled meetings with Dr. Carrington once a week to help me deal with other conflicts still within me. But I can already see the difference in my perceptions and the improvement of my relationships with your mother and brother. My heart has opened to love that I have never really had before."
"I plead for your forgiveness and ask for your acceptance of my love for you that I never completely lost, but only had to rediscover buried beneath my prejudices."
The Kleenex box was getting empty as the Bryan answered.
"Dad, I love you. I have always loved you, even after you rejected me for being what I am,.. gay. I survived by being loved by three wonderful guys; Dick, my brother, who has always accepted me in spite of my sexual orientation; Jon, my partner whom you met long ago; and Alan, my partner for life."
"Jon and I parted, but there is still a warm place in my heart for him."
"Alan is the most wonderful, moral, and kind person I have ever known. I will never leave him. Acceptance of me has to mean acceptance of him and of our feelings toward each other. On this I cannot compromise, even for the return of your love for me."
Richard replied softly, " Bryan, my son, I have learned that I can accept you as you are. I will not try to change you. I have known from the time of my confrontation with Ron a week ago that you and Alan are inseparable. I will never try to drive you apart. This I promise.... whether or not you both will forgive me and forgive my failures as a father, I gladly accept you as the wonderful son you are, and I accept the choices you have made."
Richard smiled at Bryan and asked, " Now, can I meet the man of your dreams?"
Bryan hugged his father, wiped his eyes, and headed for the lobby where Alan and Ron waited.
As the door to the office opened, Alan saw his lover with a wide mile on his face. It was the same face that showed evidence of having been recently streaked with tears. He responded to Bryan's beckoning motion to join him by standing, then moving to his side.
Ron remained seated, but smiled at the happy younger man and at his somewhat nervous partner.
The two men reentered the large office, each with an arm around the other, and approached Bryan's father who had readied himself mentally to meet the handsome lover of his son.
"Dad, I want you to meet Alan Kent, my partner and the love of my life. Alan, this is my father, Richard Adams."
Richard spoke as he extended his had to Alan.
"I'm pleased to meet you at last, Alan. I have heard many good things about you; not the least of which is that you have made my son Bryan a happy man."
Thank you, Mr. Adams, I'm delighted to meet you too. I can see that you have fulfilled Bryan's dream of regaining the love of his father today. I'm very grateful."
"Thank you, Alan.....I think that now we can dispense with the 'Mr. Adams' stuff. OK? How does 'Dad' sound to you?"
"Wonderful," said both of the two younger men at the same time.
With that Richard moved close to the two lovers and spreading his arms, offering a three way hug.
Byan was astonished and overcome with emotion, having never before seen his father so demonstrative. His eyes began to again leak tears of utter joy.
Bryan thought, "What can be better than this?"
Richard released his hold on the two men and backed away a step.
"Would you excuse me for one moment? I'll be right back."
He turned and approached a side door into an adjacent office. The door remained propped opened by his hand. He backed against the door to let a woman and younger man pass.
As Bryan immediately recognized the entering figures, he rushed to the new arrivals' arms, crying out in joy, "Oh, Mom, I've missed you so... Dick!.....what a great surprise."
"Dad, you have made me so very happy!"
The four family members hugged and kissed each other in the reuniting of their family.
After a long moment of embracing, Bryan drew his mother toward his lover.
Before Bryan could say a word of introduction, Richard said, "Ann, I would like you to meet our son's partner and love, Alan Kent."
Bryan beamed with pride, both with his father who continued to surprise him and with the acceptance by both of his parents of his partner.
Alan was quickly taken into the outstretched arms of Bryan's' mother.
The family with its newest member, finished the accepting words of introduction and sat down in the lounge area and talked about their delight in the almost unbelievable reunion of their family.
After fifteen minutes of conversation, Richard stood and said to his wife and older son, " Now, I want you to meet the man who made this happiness possible."
He left the room and moments later returned with Ron in tow.
"Ann, Dick. I want you to meet the Chairman of Construction Leasing and the best friend this family has ever had, Ron Turner."
Bryan's mother offered her hand, but was hugged instead. She was a bit flustered and surprised by the display of affection.
"I'm so happy to meet you, Mr. Turner," she said expressing gratitude in her voice. "You have brought us all back together. How can I thank you enough?" Then pausing she said, ...."My, you are so young....and handsome too!"
"The pleasure is all mine, dear lady," Ron said laughing. Then speaking in a very sincere voice he continued, "The happiness I see in all your faces is more than thanks enough. As for the 'Mr. Turner' handle, my friends call me Ron.... I'm sure that we are friends now."
"Uh,... Ron." She continued as she turned to her older son, "This is our other son, Dick."
The young men shook hands and smiled. They exchanged with heartfelt words their sincere pleasure in meeting each other. Ron couldn't help but notice that Dick shared Bryan's hereditary good looks.
Ron turned and spoke to the assembled family.
"I am so very pleased with this whole occasion. But, I hope you will forgive me. I must leave for a lunch appointment. I have also taken the liberty to reserve you a table at Spago's for lunch as my guest. A limo is waiting for you in the parking garage. I wish I could join you, but I think that you will be more than happy in each others' company."
Bryan walked over to his friend and gave him a warm and endearing hug.
"Thank you , my dearest and best friend. I can never repay your kindness."
"You have already repaid me ten times over, Bryan. I'll call you later this afternoon and we'll discuss dinner plans with Matt and Jack who you've yet to meet."
Saying good-bye to the family one last time, Ron made his exit.
* * * *
Ron met Jack as he arrived in the lobby of the restaurant that the executive had chosen for their luncheon.
As they followed the head waiter to their table, Ron asked, "Did you have a nice rest?"
"Yes, but I must admit that I got a bit bored as the time approached to come here. I guess I'm just not used to being alone with time to kill. "
As they sat down at their table Ron replied, "It's funny that you should mention that. I had planned a tour of the City for you this afternoon if you didn't want to go back to the Hotel and rest while I conducted a Board meeting at Construction Leasing. I just got a better idea if you are up to a little work."
"Any activity will help and work will be great. What did you have in mind?"
"I thought that you might attend the Board Meeting as an observer. As you must know, I was elected chairman of Construction Leasing, and we are conferring to talk about taking the firm private. Since you understand the company so well, I would like your ideas on whether we might merge certain activities of the company with Turner Construction Products or if they should be left totally independent. I believe there is a possible synergism there that might result in some kind of interaction between the two companies, but I'm not certain. We can keep your involvement very informal for the moment, but I really would appreciate your input."
"Sure, Ron, I'd be happy to help. How long will the meeting last?"
"Probably an hour and a half at most. It starts right after lunch."
"Good, then we can be finished by the time Matt returns to the hotel."
"Yeah, I'd like to be. I thought the three of us could do something fun later this afternoon."
"Hey, I don't want to be in the way."
"Was I ever in the way around you and Ted? If I was, you guys are better actors than any here on Broadway! I loved just being around you guys and being a part of the 'three musketeers.' "
"I want the love I have with Matt to be like yours with Ted, bigger that we are! I want it to spill over to include our friends like yours always did. Love hidden under a bushel basket is selfish love and can't grow."
"You guys were great examples of what real love can be. Bryan and Alan, who you will meet tonight, are similar examples. I do not want to hear anymore about you being in the way with Matt and me. You ain't never gonna be; end of story!"
"All right already! I give up!" Jack laughed.
"Good, now let's get serious. 'What did the elephant say to the naked man?'"
Jack looked to the heavens, and said in mock supplication, but with a grin, "Ted where are you when I need you?"
Ron faked a look like he was crushed.
"OK then, I won't tell you the punch line if you don't want to hear."
"You got me! You know I can't help it.... OK. What did the elephant say to the naked man?"
"It's cute, but can you really breathe through that thing?"
The men both cackled at the silly joke. They then continued their lunch with heightened spirits..
* * * *
The limo was nearing Bryan and Alan's home on Long Island.
The afternoon Board Meeting had been a great success with the members agreeing to the Corporation being replaced with a Limited Partnership. Ron would be the General Partner, while limited partnerships in the new company would be offered to the largest stockholders, should they choose to retain their ownership positions. Most of these large stockholders were members of the Board. The buyback offer to the stockholders would be attractive, in spite of there being no legal reason for being so generous. Either way, the existing stockholders both large and small would benefit.
Before Ron left the Building that housed Construction Leasing, Ron had stepped into his office there and placed a phone call to a youth named Tim.
Joined by the company of Matt, the later afternoon for the friends was filled with a quick visit to the World Trade Center site and a look at the United Nations Building before a much longer stop the the Museum of Modern Art. There would be time on Saturday and Sunday for more sight seeing if anyone was so inclined.
As Ron, Matt and Jack reached their destination for the evening, the limo driver was requested to pick up the men for their return trip at 10 P.M. Descending from their transportation, they saw the home's front door open and Bryan appeared along with the two younger boys. As they stepped out on the porch a fourth figure appeared in the doorway.
Ron recognized the young man immediately. It was Lonnie.
The three visitors stepped up onto the porch, where the almost confusing introductions were made.
As they went inside, Ron spoke privately to Lonnie and asked, "Is Kerry going to be able to join us this evening?"
"No, we have decided to just be friends and roommates. The boyfriend thing is over. I'll tell you about it some time. By the way, Matt is a knockout! Wow! You sure know how to pick 'em."
"Thanks, Lonnie. I have to agree with what you say. He is making me very happy."
"Jack is really cute too." Lonnie paused. "But don't worry about me coming on to him. Bryan filled me in on the story. Good thing too, cause I'm not shy about jumpin' bones, as you well know!"
Ron grinned, remembering their last meeting. "Thanks Lonnie. Jack is a very important friend to me."
The dinner was going well with all the friends gathered in the dining room. Bryan, Jack and Lonnie were at one end of the table obviously enjoying each others' company. Ron and Matt were engaged in playful conversation with the two twinks at the table's other end.
Turning to the whole group and raising his voice Ron said, "I have a joke."
A chorus of loud "oh, no," echoed off the walls,...then the laughter at their unanimous reaction followed.
Ron acted nonplused and began,
"An elephant and a giraffe come down to the watering hole for a drink. They see a turtle fast asleep, basking in the sun. The elephant goes over and kicks the turtle----Whack!----to the other shore. "Boy, that was cruel," said the giraffe, "Why did you do that?" The elephant said, "That turtle took a big chunk out of my trunk fifty years ago." "Fifty years ago? Wow, what a great memory," said the giraffe. "Yes," said the elephant, " I have turtle recall!"
Shouts of "dumb joke, dumb joke," rose above the laughter.
Ron grinned, pretending not to hear.
"I've got more." Ron offered.
"Well, you might as well tell it," Bryan relented quickly. "The milk has already curdled in the glasses."
"Mahatma Gandhi walked barefoot everywhere, to the point that the soles of his feet became quite hard and thick. Being a very spiritual person, he ate very little and often fasted. As a result, he was quite thin and frail. Also due to his diet, he ended up with very bad breath. Therefore, he came to be known as the super callused, fragile mystic plagued with halitosis."
"How do you remember that stuff?" laughed Matt, as he joined the others at the table with a mixture of laughter and moans."
"Oh, it's not hard if you have a mind full of wit."
"Or half full," Matt quipped with an innuendo that was not lost on Ron.
The evening passed pleasantly, and before they were cognizant of the time, the limo had returned for their trip back to the Plaza.
Brian promised to telephone Ron in the morning to confirm plans for the balance of the weekend. Their original plans might need to change because of Bryan's expressed desire to be with his parents again as soon as possible. Ron wanted to include Lonnie in their weekend plans also if they could work out the timing. It seemed as though the young waiter and Jack had developed the beginnings of a good friendship during the evening.
Ron already had a commitment that he had to work their plans around. He was meeting Tim, the young boy from Central Park, without whose help Brandt could never have been rescued so quickly.
Tomorrow was going to be an interesting day!
* * * * * * *
Look for future adventures of Ron and the Raisinettes in the future
chapters of R & B. .... LOL