Earth, As it is in Heaven
By: Roman Genesis
The Once Forgotten Life
I guess it's time that I came to terms with my past. It's funny how things sort of catch up with you out of nowhere and you're forced to deal with issues that you never imagined were issues at all. Everyone has their breaking points and yesterday I saw you reach yours. I'm not upset with you. I guess you thought I was, and I just want you to know you don't have to protect me all the time.
You're not the only person who has reached their breaking point and not known where to go afterwards. Two summers ago I reached mine and I don't think I've ever figured out just where to go from there. I know at times I seem detached and that can make me seem uncaring, but that is absolutely not true. You mean more to me that any other person ever has and I have no idea what I would do without you. I love you so much and I can only hope that I communicate a fraction of this feeling I have for you.
I've never told anyone what I'm about to tell you and the only reason I am telling this to you now is because I think we've reached a point where we can never go back and a point where we should not keep going back. It started two summers ago when my family was on vacation to Lake Champlain. We had gone there every year since I could remember. We were only there week, but I relive that week every single day and try and figure out what I did wrong and what I could have done differently. This is what I need to let go of. This is why I need you.
Life was perfect back then. It was a time when my brother and I actually acted like brothers and a time when we were still our dad's perfect little princes. My parents almost never fought and we lived the life that every American wished they could live. Something happened though that changed this family forever and changed me as well.
Every summer we would pack up our stuff and head out to a small cottage that rested right along the shore of the magnificent Lake Champlain and just relax from the hectic pace of our lives. Well, what we thought was hectic. It was nothing like how it is now. We never really knew how easy we had it. Perhaps it was just too late when everything finally hit the fan.
There was a small restaurant and recreational facility just down the road from us that also rested right along the waterfront. It had it's own dock and everything so people could come to rent fishing boats and jet skis. I would go out there almost every evening to just sit by the water and watch the sun set. I can still see it when I close my eyes. They were the most tranquil days of my life. My brother would come out there with me sometimes and we would play cards until it was too dark to see.
Everything was perfect until that fateful day halfway through the week. I was sitting on the picnic table that I always sat at and it was late afternoon. I was reading a book I had brought with me when a boat pulled up to the dock about twenty yards away. I looked up and squinted into the sun to see who was coming back from their day out on the lake.
I let my thumb slip from it's place on the page as the boy came into view. He was carrying two water skis and he was dripping wet. He must have been my age. The wind began flipping the pages of my book and I lost all hope of ever finding my place in it again. I didn't care. The most beautiful sight in the whole world lay before me. More beautiful than any sunset. His eyes connected with mine as he passed and a slight smile played across his face. I smiled back weakly and he kept walking.
Another boy, much younger than the first, came running down the dock to catch up with his friend, yelling for the boy to wait up. I'll never forget that moment because it was the beginning of my very unhealthy infatuation. "Wait up Randy," the boy yelled. And then, just as soon as the boy had come into my life, he was gone.
I couldn't sleep that night. All I could think about was the boy, Randy, I had seen. He had been perfect in every way. He was tan and built and his face was one of an angel. He must have been an angel I convinced myself. When you become infatuated with someone, you convince yourself that this is the person that you've been looking for your whole life. You tell yourself that this is the person that can fill your every waking need. That's what Randy was to me. And I hadn't even spoken to him!
The next day I sat on the same picnic table all day long in a vain attempt to see Randy again. I had no idea if he would be coming back here or if I would ever see him again, but I just had to try. The sun was moving far down in the sky and I was sure I had developed a horrible sunburn from sitting there all day so I was getting ready to leave when the same boat pulled up to the dock.
I froze and watched in awe as Randy stepped off the boat and began walking down the dock toward me. My stomach was twisting in knots and I felt like I was going to be sick, but it was the most wonderful feeling in the whole world. It was the anticipation of things I could only dream about.
Randy caught my eye again as he passed and this time he veered off the path and began walking straight toward me. I couldn't believe this was happening. I had sat there all day long with a single hope, and it was coming true. The boy stopped right in front of me and smiled. "Hi," he said. "I'm Randy." I told him my name and I was sure my voice was shaking, but I didn't care. Nothing could get better than this. He sat down and started talking to me and I couldn't keep my eyes off him. He was so beautiful. His lips were perfectly shaped and he had huge, blue eyes that looked straight into mine as he talked to me. To this day I can't remember what we talked about, but I can remember every single detail about Randy, right down to the drop of water that slowly made it's way down his bare, tan chest as we talked.
Soon, the other, younger boy came up beside Randy and he introduced himself as Randy's friend Jeff. It turned out that he was two years younger and from the very beginning I could tell he didn't care for me much. Randy invited me to come water skiing with them the next day and I jumped onto the opportunity like a fish to water. I wanted to spend the rest of the week with Randy and the rest of my life for that matter. And I had just met him!
The next day I told my parents where I was going and Eric was instantly jealous that I had already made a friend here and he hadn't. I'm sure he doesn't hold it against me, but it was the first step in a very ugly path towards where our relationship is now. I headed out to the recreation center dock and found that Randy and Jeff were already there waiting for me. We headed out onto the lake and spent the whole day out there, water skiing occasionally, but mainly just laying out in the sun and enjoying each others company. We found out so much about each other out there on the lake that day that we were like brothers by the time we got back to the mainland.
Randy invited me over to his parents cottage for dinner and after checking with my parents I headed over there and found that Jeff was there as well. It was kind of disappointed about that, but I let it go after a while. I had so much fun with Randy that I didn't care who else was around. We hung out after dinner and soon, Jeff told us he had to go home because it was getting late. He hung around for a while after that and I noticed he was acting rather odd about it. I could tell he really had to go, but he just couldn't pull himself away from us. Now that it's all over though, I think he had wanted me to go home the same time he did. That didn't happen though.
Jeff eventually left and soon me and Randy found that it was just us two and we had the whole place to ourselves because his parents had gone into town to meet some of their friends. The tension between us was thick enough to cut with a knife and I don't remember if he made the first more or I did, but we ended up having sex that night. He was the first guy I had ever been with and I built up the experience in my mind to some cosmic scale. I thought we were in love and would find a way to be together forever. He was everything to me and I thought he felt the same way about me.
Turns out that I was wrong though. I waited for him by the lake the next day just like he had told me, but I ended up waiting for more than an hour before I convinced myself he wasn't coming. I started to head toward our cottage in defeat when I saw Jeff coming down the dirt road alone. I stopped and waited for him to get to me and I could tell he wasn't in a good mood. He stopped right in front of me and glared up into my eyes. And then, he said something that I will never forget. He said, "Stay away from Randy." It was as simple as that. He turned around and headed back up the road and I just stood there in shock. Finally, I headed back toward my family's cottage, but the incident was still playing over and over in my mind. Did Jeff know what happened? Was he the one that had prevented Randy from coming to the lake to see me? Did Randy really care for me as much as I had thought?
I had never been in love before and this experience was ripping me apart from the inside out. I didn't know what I was supposed to do or think and it scared me. I needed Randy so much and I felt he was the only one that could understand. I couldn't talk to Eric about this. He just wouldn't understand and I had no idea how he would react when he found out I was gay.
The end of our stay here was drawing near and I knew if I could just see Randy one more time I could figure this out and make it work. The next day I waited by the lake again, but there was no sign of Randy or Jeff. I was crushed. I thought about going up to his cottage and seeing if he was there, but I found that I didn't have the strength to face him if he really wanted nothing to do with me. I hated myself and I hated Jeff. I went back to the cottage and cried all night long. I wanted to leave this place and never come back.
The next day we packed our stuff up and my family knew there was something upsetting me, but I wouldn't tell them what. We got in the car and drove down the road to the recreation facility to return the fishing poles we had rented and I sat in the car as my father went inside. I sat there staring out at the lake as birds flew overhead and plunged down into the water. I found myself once again fighting back tears. I relived that night in Randy's cottage over and over. I was so happy at the time and now it seemed all for nothing. Randy had used me and thrown me away. I deserved everything that happened. I was weak and pathetic. I didn't deserve to be loved.
As my father was coming back to the car something caught the corner of my eye and I turned around in my seat and froze. Randy and Jeff were coming down the road toward the lake. Without a moment's hesitation I swung my door open and darted off toward them. I heard my mother calling for me, but I ignored her. Randy froze when he saw me coming. He quickly looked away as I got to them. "Randy, I have to talk to you," I said. He was still looking away and Jeff got right in my face and said, "He doesn't want to talk to you."
I heard car doors slamming and I turned around to see that both of my parents were standing outside the car and so was Eric. My father was calling for me to come back. I turned back to Randy. "Randy," I pleaded as tears formed in my eyes. "Please don't do this to me."
He continued to look away and then Jeff pushed me back. I almost lost my balance as I retracted from the force. I couldn't believe this was happening. "Come on Sebastian," my father yelled. He was coming toward us. I was flat out crying by this point. I had no idea what was going on. I needed Randy and I couldn't figure out why he wasn't helping me. I would have done anything for just one apology or "I love you." My father was right next to me and said, "Come on, we're going to be late." He gently put his arm around me and started to lead me away. He didn't seem to care that I was crying.
I pulled myself away from him and tried to run back toward Randy who still stood motionless. "Please Randy," I yelled. "I love you." With those words, everything that had been building up inside me flowed over. I thought I was in love with Randy and they were taking him away from me. My father grabbed me again, harder this time and started dragging me off toward the car. I pleaded and pleaded, but my cries fell on deaf ears. Eric and my mom were just staring in shock as this played out in front of them.
"I love you," I kept screaming. I had lost all control of reality and was screaming in some vain attempt to make Randy respond. He was silent and withdrawn though and that is how I will remember him the rest of my life. Looking away, faceless and empty. We drove on into the morning sun and I was slowly regaining myself, still sobbing quietly to myself. No one spoke a word and in a lot of ways, the family was forever silent after that. My father became a stranger in our house and my mother tried frantically to come to terms with my violent coming out.
Eric wasn't really upset with me at first. For a long time he was always trying to get me to tell him what happened, as if he couldn't believe the truth until he had heard the whole story. I eventually did tell him and that was the moment when the links of our brotherhood shattered before my eyes. He finally accepted the truth I guess and it disgusted him to no end. My father couldn't even face me anymore. He closed himself off to the rest of the world and in a way, he had died back there on the dirt road as he dragged me away from Randy, endlessly pulling himself away from a harsh and forbidding reality that he could not accept. His son was gay, and his life was over.
I used to think about Randy a lot as I tried desperately to rein in the pieces of my shattered heart and put them back together. Shannon was always there for me and accepted me when I told her what had happened. I think that made our friendship stronger. If anything good came out of the experience, I think that was it.
Besides those people, I have never told another soul. I told you because I want you to know that you were the one who finally healed my heart and showed me what true love is. Randy was never love. He was the sick infatuation of a child, not the caring love of an adult. That's what you are Trevor. I love you so much and I know you would never hurt me. If you hadn't come along, I fear I would not be able to live in this world anymore. Mrs. Jones showed us those horrible news clippings of what hate does to this world and the beautiful things people try and create. I was never afraid of those things when I was with you. I could endure any abuse, any torture, any humiliation as long as you were right there by my side.
Thank you so much for showing me true love and for just being you. Some people go their whole lives without finding their special someone, but I'm happy to say that I will never be one of them. I've found my love, my life, my heart. Thank you.
All my heart,
The coach held me after practice to discuss the finer points of my sloppy plays, but finally let me go get changed after he realized what time it was. He had held me for half an hour after practice and the whole time I was desperately trying to say something that would let me get away. It wasn't going to happen though and I was happy to get out of the cold and into the warmth of the locker room. The coach had picked the worst day to "instruct" me. I was still feeling like shit for the way I had let Sebastian down the day before.
Nathan and I had not spoken a word about the incident and had practiced like nothing had happened. I could tell he still carried a deep seated hate for me, but now it was mutual and wasn't as bad. I walked through the empty locker room and over to my locker. I started to put my combination in when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and turned around to see Chad coming out of the showers with only a towel wrapped around his waist.
"What are you still doing here?" I asked, looking away quickly. I didn't want to get caught staring and scare him. I had made a big point out of not checking out any of the guys in the locker room. I was sure it was already awkward for them and I didn't want to do anything that would cause a problem.
"I was about to ask you the same thing," he said coming over.
"Oh, the coach was giving me a lecture on some of our poorer plays," I said, digging into my locker and taking my school clothes out. I looked up when I realized Chad was still standing there, water dripping from his long hair. He was staring down at me and I wondered if he was waiting for me to continue. "He's not mad or anything," I said.
I was getting kind of nervous all of a sudden so I looked down at my clothes that were laying beside me. "That's good," Chad said. I don't know if it was my imagination, but I thought his voice was shaking. I took my jersey off and pulled off my shoulder pads and stood up. Chad was still standing there, looking down at his hands. It looked like he wanted to tell me something.
Sweat was dripping down my bare chest as I stood in front of Chad. I really had to go take a shower so I could go over to Sebastian's. He was probably wondering where I was. "Did you need me for anything?" I asked, trying not to sound rude.
"No," he said. "Well, yeah..." He was still staring down at my feet like he was ashamed or something. What the hell was going on? I took a moment to look down at his chest since he wasn't looking. His chest was really thick for someone his age and his arms looked really powerful. My star receiver must work out more than I do, I thought. "I'm not really sure how to say this..." he started to say. He seemed to be really struggling with whatever it was. I was starting to get a little annoyed with this and I was about to say something when he finally looked up into my eyes.
I was waiting for him to continue when he suddenly leaned over and planted his lips on mine. I was so taken off guard that I didn't even bother pulling away. I let his lips take hold of mine and everything hit me at once. Chad hadn't just been coming to the gay and lesbian meetings to support me. Chad had a crush on me! I just stood there and let him kiss me. The poor guy had been fighting and hiding this secret the whole time.
There was a loud bang of one of the locker room doors closing and we both spun around, my heart skipping a beat. We stood there motionless and waited for someone to come around the corner, but no one came. I looked at Chad and he had gone completely white. I walked over to the door and opened it up, sending a gust of cold air blowing against my bare chest. I heard footsteps dying off in the distance and I knew it was someone running away. "Oh shit," I said.
"What is it?" Chad said, coming up behind me.
"I think someone saw us," I replied. I looked down and noticed that there was an envelope laying on the ground right by the door. I leaned over and snatched it and saw my name scribbled across it. I knew instantly that it was from Sebastian. "Oh no," I muttered. If Sebastian had seen Chad kissing me...
I ripped the envelope open and began scanning the letter. It was Sebastian no doubt. I began crying before I was even done reading the letter. "Oh god. What have I done..."