All other content or otherwise are works of my own imagination. All events are fictitious in nature.
Any similarities to persons living, dead, or otherwise are purely coincidental.
This story contains strong themes of homosexual content, if this offends you in any way, please refrain from reading further. If you are not of legal age to read this, please leave now.
A/N: I'd like to thank TalonRider for editing this chapter. His unparalleled brilliance and tiresome effort applied to my work is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Chapter 11: Support
Connor led them to the door, “I’ll see you guys tomorrow then?”
Matt nodded as he stepped out of the door,” Yep, we’ll be here at our usual time.”
“Yeah.” Added Jamie, as he followed Matt, “We’ll see you later.”
“Ok, see you tomorrow, bye.” Responded Connor.
“Bye.” They replied in unison before he closed the door.
Connor stood there and smiled to himself. There was just something that warmed him whenever he saw Matt and Jamie together. And while he never knew that they were a couple until Matt told him the day before, there was always something there that he couldn’t put his finger on.
Just the way they interacted or shared a look with each other, it was clear that something else was going on. That they were more than just friends. Connor never thought that they were a couple, not because he was trying to ignore it, but simply because he wasn’t looking or expecting it.
Had Connor ever suspected Matt as being gay? Sure he did, there were the few times where he’d begin to wonder about his best friend’s sexuality, but for the most part, he didn’t really give it that much thought. Matt was…well…he was Matt. That was all that mattered to him. He couldn’t care less if his best friend was gay, straight, bi, or whatever. He was still Matt.
Connor had his parents to thank for that attitude. Ever since he was little, he could remember that his parents taught him to respect and care for all people. As long as they were a nice person, that was it. From a young age he was taught that some men like women, some men like other men and some women like other women. To Connor it was all the same, there was no difference.
When he started high school, where he began to see the world through the eyes of a young adult, he realised that the world didn’t see things as he did. Not only in school, but also in society in general, on the TV, on the Internet, on the radio, it seemed that everyone had their own opinion about gay people. And he could never understand some of the opinions and feelings that these people harboured towards them.
Connor shook himself from the daze and looked up the stairs, knowing that Max was up there. He knew what he wanted to say, but he wasn’t sure how to say it, quite an unusual thing to happen to someone who often spoke their mind. After pausing for a moment, he walked forwards and headed up the stairs. After the short ascent, he entered his room and saw Max sitting there, still playing on the Playstation.
“Alright, let’s talk.” Began Connor, as he sat on the bed next to him.
Max looked at him, “About what?”
“About you.” He replied, “And Matt.”
Max’s eyes flicked to the floor.
“You must have something to say, I mean, you’re here and everything.” He said, looking at his reaction, “I don’t get what you’re afraid o-“
“I’m not afraid.” He shot back, “Why does everyone say that? I’m not afraid of him.”
“Who said that?”
“Matt did, earlier.”
Connor sighed, “Then what’s your problem? Why don’t you like gay people?”
Max thought for a moment, “Why should I?”
Connor frowned, “Because they’re people.” He looked closer at him, “You’re not racist, but you don’t like gay people.”
“How?” He asked, “It’s still being hurtful.”
Max looked at him, “It’s still different.”
“You wouldn’t make a comment about Li being Chinese, or Ayo being black, so why would you insult Matt for being gay?”
Max shook his head.
Connor leaned closer, “It’s the same thing. Exactly the same thing.” He sat back, “It’s discrimination and that’s wrong. Just wrong, Max.”
“Yet you sit there unable to tell me why you hate Matt so much. I thought he was your friend.”
“He is…I mean…”
“What? Don’t you like him anymore?”
Max looked at him, “He’s…different now.”
Connor shrugged, “He likes boys. Big deal.”
His eyes widened slightly, “It is to me.”
“But why?” Connor looked at him closely, “Did something happen to you?”
Max looked at him, “What?”
Connor took in a breath, “Did a boy…you know, try to do something with you?”
He shot him a disgusted look, “No!”
He raised his hands, “Hey, I was just asking.” He paused, “I’m just trying to figure out why you dislike them.”
Max shifted on the bed.
“Has a gay person ever done anything bad to you?”
Max remained silent.
Connor shook his head, “Then what is it Max?” He asked, raising his voice slightly, “There has to be a reason why you got your friend kicked out of his own home!”
“It wasn’t my fault.” He retorted.
“Oh yeah, because you didn’t shout jack about him being gay.” Mocked Connor.
Max opened his mouth to reply, but closed it quickly.
Connor sat there, staring at him, wanting, needing, an explanation to his behaviour.
“I didn’t mean it.” Spoke Max quietly.
“I didn’t mean…I was angry. I wasn’t thinking.” He paused, “I shouldn’t have shouted those things.”
“Damn right.” Replied Connor before he sighed, “Max, why can’t you just accept Matt and Jamie?”
He shook his head, “No, it isn’t.” He was silent for a moment, “When you kiss a girl, what does it feel like?”
Max frowned at him.
“Your feelings, is it good, bad?”
Connor nodded, “How would you feel if people told you that kissing girls was wrong?”
“I’d be angry.”
“Because it isn’t wrong.”
“Why? Because it feels normal? Because it feels right?” Asked Connor.
Max looked at him, “Yeah.”
“I bet you that Matt feels the same way. Only people do tell him that it’s wrong to kiss boys. Hell, he’s even being punished for it.” Connor looked at him, “Have you been punished for kissing a girl? I haven’t.”
Max shook his head, “No.”
“Then why should Matt?”
Max remained silent.
“Look, I don’t know why Matt’s gay and I don’t know why we’re straight. All I know is that it just turned out like that. No one chose it.”
“He can choose not to kiss…boys.”
“Would you go through your whole life never kissing girls?”
Connor looked at him, “That’s what I’m trying to say. Matt may be gay, straight or whatever, but he’s still a person. He’s still a guy.” He looked into Max’s eyes, “He’s still our friend.”
Jamie lay back on his bed
and giggled, “I love you too, Matt.” He said into his
“God, I wish you were here with me right now.” Came Matt’s reply.
Jamie frowned, “I thought you said things were going alright?”
“Oh, they are, it’s just that I’d like to be with you.”
“Me too, babes.” Replied Jamie, “Have you eaten yet?”
Matt giggled, “Yeah, I didn’t eat with them though.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“No, I just didn’t want a confrontation with them again. Not today.” He paused, “Josh ate with me though.”
Jamie nodded, “Yeah? How is he managing?”
“He’s happy that I’m back, seriously Jamie, the guy’s never been so happy to see me!”
“You’re his brother, it makes sense.”
“Yeah, yeah it does. What about Sam, how is she doing?”
“Oh, she’s ok. She hasn’t really said much, but she did tell me that she loves me today.”
“Awww, that’s sooo cute!” Replied Matt.
“Shut up.” Giggled Jamie, “Nah, it was nice of her to say that.”
“What about your mum?” He asked.
“She’s trying, you know? Actually, you affected her quite a bit yesterday.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
“No, no babes, I meant in a good way.” He paused, “Whatever you said to her when you came over must have done something, she seemed a little happier today.”
“I didn’t do anything.”
“Perhaps it was just her seeing you, hearing what had happened.”
“Yeah.” There was a slight pause before Matt spoke again, “I’ve been thinking, Jamie, I think there’s some people who could help us.”
“Help us? What do you mean?”
“I’m talking about with our parents, well, mine actually.”
“Who are you thinking about?” Asked Jamie.
“You’ve mentioned them before.”
“Yeah, well I think they can help. They’re ok with gay people and they’ve known my parents for a long time…” Matt said, trailing off.
“You should tell them, if they can help you at home, then do it.”
“But I will have to tell them about us, about you.”
“I know, I’m ok with that.” Replied Jamie.
“You sure? I won’t tell them if you don’t want me to.”
“No, tell them.”
Matt paused for a moment, “Ok.”
“When were you thinking of telling them?” asked Jamie.
“I dunno, perhaps sometime tomorrow, after school.”
“Ok, we can sort it out tomorrow.”
“Yeah.” Replied Matt, stifling a yawn.
“Am I keeping sleeping beauty awake?” Giggled Jamie.
Matt giggled, “I’m just tired, it’s hard to sleep when…you know.”
“Yeah, I do.” There was a slight pause, before Jamie spoke again, “Anyway, I’ll let you get some sleep.”
Matt yawned again, “Yeah, I think I need that.”
“Goodnight, babes. Love you.”
“Love you too. Goodnight.”
Jamie hung up the phone and looked at the clock, 9:14. He knew that Matt didn’t usually go to bed so early, but the events of the last few days had obviously taken its toll on him. Although it was better that he was back in his home, Jamie wished that Matt was there with him instead, so he could cuddle up and hold him close as he fell asleep.
Jamie sat up on his bed, “Come in.”
The handle turned and the door opened, revealing Noah standing there, “You ok, Jamie?”
He nodded, “Yeah I just spoke to Matt.”
Noah entered the room and closed the door behind him, before he walked over and sat next to his son, “How’s he doing?”
“He’s ok.” He said, “It’s just…things are so messed up for him, with his parents and all.” He looked up at his dad, “Why are they like that to him?”
Noah sighed, “I wish I had an answer.”
Jamie studied him for a second, “You wasn’t like that.” He pointed out.
“You’re my son. And you always will be, no matter what.” Replied Noah.
“But how are you so accepting and stuff?” He paused, “Grandma and Grandpa aren’t like you.” He said, recalling some of the comments that he’d heard his grandparents use about gay people.
Noah wrapped an arm around his son’s shoulders, “I know, I’m sorry about them.”
“It’s ok, it’s not your fault.” He looked at him, “So why aren’t you like them?”
Noah sighed, “Well, it wasn’t like there was one thing that made me accept gay people, it took time.”
“So you wasn’t always like this?”
“No, I used to say some stupid things, things that I didn’t understand properly. I was young then, around your age, but as time passed and as I grew older, I began to realise what those words meant and why I shouldn’t use them.”
“What made you change?”
Noah thought for a minute, “I guess it was a few things. Where I lived, where I worked. I also knew a few gay people, some before they came out, so that made me change a bit, just realising that they were always the same.”
“You know, I was going to tell you.” Began Jamie, “About a year ago.”
“What changed your mind?” Asked Noah.
“We were getting ready to move here, I didn’t want to mess things up.”
Noah leaned and kissed his son on his head, “You will never mess things up.” He paused, “I’m sorry if you thought that I was busy with the move, I always had time for you and your sister.”
Jamie shook his head, “I know, I just didn’t want to stress you out or anything.” He said, looking up at his dad, “And I didn’t know how you’d react.”
“Oh Jamie, I could never hate you.”
“Look at Matt’s parents, I bet they said the same things to him.”
Noah nodded, “Yeah, probably.” He looked at Jamie, “But I know that you’re gay and I’m telling you that I don’t hate you. I love you.”
“I love you too, Dad.”
It was lunchtime in
school and so far everything had gone ok. Well, I had pretty much
avoided my parents this morning before I left for school, so I don’t
know how they were, but that aside, things were going ok.
I looked across at Max sitting opposite me at the table in the dining hall. Jamie and Connor had gone off to get their stuff to eat, so I held the table with Max. He had been really quiet throughout the day. I noticed him glance briefly at Jamie and myself several times, but other than that, he didn’t make any sign to acknowledge us. At least he was back to sitting at our table today, unlike yesterday, so that’s a step forwards. But after last night around Connor’s home, I thought that he’d really begun to change some. I guess I was hoping for a bit too much. I should let him adapt to things at his own pace.
And just as I thought that, he stood up, grabbed his bag and walked away. I sat there confused for a few seconds, before Ayo plopped himself down where Max was sitting.
“Hey, what’s up with Max? He seemed really out of it for the past few days.”
I looked at him, wondering where he came from, “I’m not sure.”
He looked at me, “You’re not sure? I thought he hanged around with you and Connor.”
I nodded, “He does, but he’s keeping himself to himself.”
“I see.” He leaned closer, “So it wouldn’t have anything to do with him finding out about you?”
I flinched at that but otherwise kept a straight face, “What about me?” I asked. What was with people ambushing me on this table? I’m going with Connor and Jamie from now on!
“I don’t need to spell it out, do I?” He asked. He wasn’t being offensive, more like inquisitive, but it was still making me uncomfortable.
I leaned closer, “You’re not still on about that ‘gay thing’ are you? I’ve already told you, I’m not gay.”
“Oh come on! Back at the party, you were so obvious.” He said.
I looked closely at him, checking to see if he was bluffing, if he was trying to catch me out, “You got it all wrong, Ayo.”
“Really?” He asked.
“So if I asked Max if you’re gay, he’d say no, right?”
I thought for a moment, I was pretty sure that Max would deny it if Ayo asked him, “Yeah, go ahead, but I don’t think you’ll get him to say much.”
“Dammit Matt, why you being so difficult?”
“Why won’t you just drop it?” I said, getting louder, but I quickly lowered my voice and continued, “What do you want to hear? You want me to say that I’m dating Jamie?”
He shook his head, “I want you to know that I’m here, as a friend.”
I sighed, “If you’re a friend, why are you interrogating me?”
He looked at me for a moment, “You’re right, I’m sorry.” He said standing up, “Just forget I said anything, k?”
“Ayo-“ I began.
“No, I shouldn’t ask you about that, it’s none of my business.” He paused, “Just know that I’m here.” He said before he walked off.
Well, if things weren’t confusing enough with Max, now Ayo had come along and spiced things up a bit. My life just kept getting better and better. After a couple more minutes, Jamie and Connor finally appeared. I waited until they sat down before I spoke.
“Ayo just came and talked to me.” I said, looking at Jamie, “He knows about us.”
“You sure?” He asked.
I nodded, “Yeah.”
He thought for a second, “Did you tell him anything?” He asked. He wasn’t accusing me, he was just asking a simple question.
I frowned, “Of course not, I told you I’d never tell anyone unless we both agreed.”
“I just wanted to check.” He paused, “Did you want to tell him?”
I opened my mouth to reply, but closed it. I was going to say no, but something made me stop. Did I want to tell Ayo that I was gay?
“I’m not sure, Jamie.” I said, looking at him, “Part of me wants to keep it quiet, but part of me wants it to be out in the open.”
“Maybe you guys should tell him.” Said Connor.
I looked at him.
“Well he guessed most of it and he seems like he can be trusted. Didn’t he say that he has a gay cousin?”
I nodded, “Yeah, he said that.” I looked at Jamie again, “I dunno, what do you think?”
He thought for a moment, “Tell him, he seems like a decent guy and like Connor said, he virtually knows anyway, somehow.”
“Yeah, ok. I’ll tell him.” I replied. And just like that, we had decided to come out to another person. While it sounded like we didn’t know Ayo that much, in reality, I had known the guy for years, I was certain that we could trust him. Jamie and I agreed that I would be the one to tell him, given the fact that he’s known me longer. I was to tell him after school as he walked home, that way there would be few people about and I’d be alone with him.
I looked at Jamie, “I’ll
catch up with you later.”
“Ok, good luck.”
“Thanks.” I replied as I turned away and scanned my eyes across the kids exiting the school. I stood there for a few minutes and began to wonder if I missed him but fortunately, I caught sight of him as he stepped out of the main school building. I watched as he walked in my direction and walked out of the gate.
“Hey!” I called out, causing Ayo to turn around and look at me. “Mind if I walk with you?” I asked.
He nodded slowly, “Sure.”
I started to walk alongside him. I wasn’t sure about the exact location of his home, but given the direction that he was heading, it must be somewhere near mine. Jamie, Connor and the others left a while ago, so it was unlikely that we’d bump into them, which was good as I’d rather speak to Ayo alone.
After a few minutes, we found ourselves walking through the park. There were a few kids walking home, but other than that it was quite empty. As we approached an empty bench I pointed to it, “Can we sit?”
“Ok...” He said, sounding unsure.
We sat down and was quiet for a few seconds before I turned to him, “I guess you know what I’m going to say, right?”
Ayo turned to me, “No, you don’t have to say anything.”
I raised a hand, “It’s ok.”
He shook his head, “No, I shouldn’t have pressured you today, I’m sorry.”
“Ayo, it’s ok. I…want to tell you.” I said, looking at him.
He stared at me for a moment before he nodded.
I turned to him, “Ayo, I’m gay.” I said, pausing for a second, “And I’m dating Jamie.”
He watched me carefully before he reached out and squeezed my shoulder, “Thank you, for telling me.”
I shrugged, “You practically knew anyway.”
“Still, it was brave of you.” He said, removing his hand, “How long have you two been together? I’m guessing that it was before the party.”
I nodded, “Yeah, we’ve been together since he, um, started.”
He raised his eyebrows, “Really?”
“Wow, you moved in pretty quick.” He remarked.
I smiled, “I couldn’t give the girls a chance.”
He laughed, “Yeah.”
I sat there for a moment, looking at him, “Ayo, are you really straight?”
He laughed again, “Yeah, I’m really straight. Why do you ask?”
I shook my head, “Dunno, I just…you seemed to know everything.”
He smiled again, “Like I said, it wasn’t that hard to figure out.”
“I know, but no one else has.” I said, before I felt a shiver down my spine. Ayo noticed my change in mood.
I looked at him, “What if other people do know? What if they figured it out too.”
“You’re not THAT obvious. You have to know what to look for, besides, you practically told me anyway.”
“At the party, when you pulled me away.”
I frowned, “I told you that I wasn’t gay.”
He smiled, “Yeah, you did, but you’re a terrible liar.”
I looked away and then back to him, “Am I really that bad?”
He nodded, “A bit, but I was kinda in your face though.”
I thought for a moment, “But Jamie and I, we’re not obvious?”
“No, not really. Just don’t hold his hand or give him a kiss, and you should be alright.”
I blushed, “I’ll try to manage that.” I smiled at him, “Thanks, Ayo.”
“You’re welcome, Matt.”
sat down opposite Amanda and Terry Reed, Connor’s parents. I
had known them ever since Connor and I became friends, around 12
years ago. As parents go, they were the best, well my own parents
moved down in the ranks some in my opinion, still I was sure that
they could help me, in some way.
“I’ll leave you guys-“ Began Connor, but I cut him off.
“No, you can stay. If you want.”
He looked at me for a moment before he came and sat down next to me.
“What’s the problem, Matt?” Asked Amanda.
I waited for a few seconds, “I have something to tell you guys…” I said, looking at their faces. I took in a breath, “I’m gay.”
They stared at me for a moment before they turned and gave each other a knowing glance.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
Amanda turned to me, “Nothing, well, Terry and I discussed this a year or so ago, when you came on holiday with us.” I thought for a moment before I remembered what they meant. About a year ago, Connor and his parents invited Josh and me to a short holiday to a resort next to the coast. It was only supposed to be a cheap getaway and nothing special, but it turned out to be really fun, not to mention all the eye candy that was there. Seriously. It was like the entire place was filled with teenage boys! I was going mental. I suppose there were some girls there too, but I didn’t take any notice of them. The boys are what held my attention. The whole time I thought I was being covert in my ogling, clearly I was wrong.
I blushed, “Oh, that holiday.”
Terry laughed, “Yes, that one.”
Connor looked at us, “What? What happened on the holiday?”
Terry turned to him, “You remember how you were eyeing up all the girls?” He asked, causing Connor to blush, “Well Matt wasn’t looking at the girls…”
Connor thought for a moment before he smiled, “You were checking out the guys?”
I blushed, “Yeah, and?”
He laughed at that.
I looked at his parents, “So you guys knew?”
“We suspected it, yes. But we never really knew, until now.” Replied Amanda.
Connor leaned towards me, “Tell them about Jamie.” He whispered.
“Oh, yeah.” I said, facing towards them, “I’m kinda with someone.”
“Really? Who?” Asked his mum.
“Wow, you and Jamie?” Asked Terry.
I nodded, “Yep.”
Amanda smiled, “You certainly have good taste in men.” She remarked turning to Connor, “And I was just telling you yesterday how sweet and good-looking that boy is.”
I began to blush, but Connor came to my rescue, “Mum!” He called out, but grinning himself.
“What? He is a nice boy.” She said, looking at me, “It’s good that you have someone.”
“Uh, thanks.” I said.
“Leave the boy alone Amanda, you’re embarrassing him.” Said Terry.
“I was only joking, Matt knows that.” She replied before turning to me, “How are your parents taking it?” Asked Amanda.
I shook my head, “Really badly, well, they didn’t exactly find out in the best way.”
I spent the next few minutes filling them in about the happenings of the last few days. It felt as though I was telling the story for the hundredth time.
Amanda sat next to me and hugged me, “Oh Matt, I’m so sorry.”
“I’ve known Joe and Monica for a long time but I’d never expect them to act like this.”
I nodded, “I knew that they would take it badly, but I didn’t think they’d…” I said, feeling my throat swell.
“It’s ok sweetie, it’s ok.” She said squeezing me, “Just relax. Let us worry about things now.”
you for reading Chapter 11 of American Differences.
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