"I'm sure gonna miss this," Rory said, just before he planted another kiss on my lips. "It's been so fucking awesome having your house to ourselves every afternoon like this."
"Yeah, but what can I do?" I asked rhetorically. "Dad'll be back in town tonight, and when he's in town, he does most of his work from home. I'll have absolutely no fucking privacy for weeks . . . not until he leaves for New York again.
"'Course there's always your house," I pointed out.
"Yeah, and my brother and sister, who are constantly dropping in and out of the house with their friends. You don't know how lucky you are, Jase, being an only child."
"A father who works from home half the time, and my boyfriend has a younger brother and sister who are always under our feet," I lamented. "It's as if our relationship is doomed."
"I'm just glad you had the balls to come out to me," Rory acknowledged. "I never would have. I mean, we've been like, best friends since we were six and, shit, I've known I was gay since I was twelve."
"It was pretty much the same for me," I admitted.
"We could have been boyfriends for three years now if either of us had had the guts to come out to the other."
"At least I did finally get up the nerve to tell you," I said with a grin.
"Forgetting to erase your browser history did kinda help break the ice," Rory chided me as he punched me lightly in the arm. "I s'pose you coulda made up some lame excuse, but you didn't . . . you came right out and admitted being gay, and I'm sooo glad you did."
"I'm glad I did, too," I agreed, and then I planted my own kiss on Rory's lips, a kiss that soon led to some more serious making out. We'd barely recovered from our last round of making love when I found myself buried deeply inside Rory. Sometimes we'd take turns doing it as much as four times in an afternoon. We just loved each other so much.
We were childhood friends - best friends - who already knew everything there was to know about each other. We both knew beyond any doubt we would spend the rest of our lives together, but for the moment, no one else knew about us, or even that we were gay, and we wanted to keep it that way. This was the Midwest, after all, and even in 2009, Grosse Pointe, Michigan was not the best place to be out.
The past three years, until we came out to each other, had been hell on earth. We'd been best friends for a long time, and practically joined at the hip as our mothers always used to say, but once we hit puberty and I started having wet dreams, I couldn't get Rory out of my mind. I'd always loved Rory as a friend, but it was when I was twelve that I realized I was in love with him. It almost reached a point where I couldn't stand being around him - it hurt so much to not be able to kiss him, hug him and, well . . . do other things.
The sleepovers at each other's houses were the worst. It was bad enough seeing him changing in gym class in school, but when he stayed in my room in my own bed, wearing nothing more than a pair of boxers, it was shear torture. I wanted nothing more than to snuggle up with him and make endless love to him, but of course I couldn't. The funny thing was that as much as it was torture, if he didn't invite me as often to his house as he used to, I'd get worried there was something wrong - I even asked him about it. It seems we were both dancing around the same insecurities.
For my own self-preservation, I tried diversifying my sexual interests through the Internet. I read a lot of stories on Nifty and downloaded a lot of porn, but they were a pathetic substitute for what I really wanted.
Yup, the happiest day of my life was when Rory was over at my house a few weeks back, working on a homework project with me, making use of my computer. I guess I'd gotten a bit careless and had neglected to clear my Internet history the last time I'd downloaded porn.
I was looking through one of our textbooks while Rory was on my laptop, getting ready to do a Google search, when he suddenly said, "What the fuck?"
When I looked up, Rory was intently watching a video of a couple of guys going at it - the same video I'd jerked off to the night before. He turned to me with a sheepish look on his face.
"I typed `g' expecting to get Google, and hit return, and this is what came up instead. He asked, "Um . . . is there something you'd like to tell me, Jase?"
Well, I could have made up some excuse about it being an accident and all, but I didn't. I paused, full of anxiety, before I said, "Rory, I'm sorry if it freaks you out, and I don't want to lose you as a friend, but I'm gay." I then swallowed hard and looked at him pleadingly, hoping he didn't bolt from my room and blab it to the whole school. I didn't think he would outright hate me - we had too much history together for that - but I knew it could still wreck our friendship, permanently.
Instead of any of that happening, he got the sweetest smile on his face. "You can't imagine how happy this makes me, Jase," he began. "You see, I'm gay too, b . . . but I've been scared to death to tell you, 'cause I was scared I might lose you as a friend, and that would've been the worst thing of all. The only thing that could make me happier is for you to tell me you like me as much as I like you."
Like? Man, we went from, like, coming out to each other, to making out, to engaging in a wild, passionate `69' within the space of fifteen minutes. Not bad for a couple of virgins! Like? No, it was finding a new way to love my life-long friend.
"So, about tonight," Rory started to ask as we continued to snuggle in my bed, "your dad comes home, and then tomorrow's Thanksgiving, and he'll be staying in town, working mostly from home until he leaves the fucking day after fucking Christmas. After three solid weeks of non-stop sex, we're gonna have to, like practically give it up?"
"I'm sure we'll find some time when we can be alone," I tried to reassure Rory, but I knew that what he was saying was essentially true - even if he were to stay overnight, my parents would be in the house. Our chances for any real privacy would be few and fleeting.
"I'm just glad we have as much time together as we do," I pointed out. "At least there is the half the year that my father's in New York when we do have the house to ourselves."
"Yeah, you're right, Jase," Rory said. After sharing another passionate kiss, he resumed, "Of course you're right. We shouldn't complain. It's just that you're sooo damn sexy and for three years," we kissed each other again, "I've admired this hot body of yours, thinking it was off-limits, and now that I can have it all I want," we shared another kiss, "it seems so cruel that I won't be able to have it for more than a month."
"I feel the same way about you, bud," I admitted, and then kissed him passionately on the lips.
It was during our kiss that I heard the distinct squeak that my bedroom door makes when there is a change in air pressure in the house - a change in air pressure from someone entering the house through the garage. That could only mean one thing, and the implication instantly had my heart pounding in my chest.
"Shit!" I practically shouted, "Mom's home early!"
"Fuck!" Rory said as he shot out of bed and started frantically searching the floor for his clothes and rushing to put them on. For my part, I was doing the same. I only hoped I was grabbing the right shirt and pants in the process. As I heard my mom coming up the stairs, I very quickly made the bed and did a last-second visual inspection of the room to make sure that nothing, such as a stray sock, was out of place.
She knocked on my door and said, "Jason?"
Opening the door, I said, "Hi, Mom. You're home early."
"Yeah," she said, "with Dad coming home tonight and with the holiday coming up, I thought I'd better take off a little early to clean up."
Seeing Rory behind me, she then said, "Oh hi, Rory," and then she burst out laughing. She was practically convulsing with laughter. What the hell was going on?
When I turned around and looked at Rory, I couldn't help but burst out in laughter, too, but I colored up. Rory's hair was in complete disarray, and his shirt was inside out and backwards. I could only hope that I didn't look that bad, but it didn't matter any more. It was pretty obvious from Rory's appearance what we'd been up to before Mom got home.
Seeing us laughing, Rory decided to find out what was so funny, and when he looked at himself in the mirror, all he could say was, "Oh shit," which of course caused my mom and I to laugh all over again.
It was finally with more than a bit of nervousness that I turned around to face my mother. She must have seen it on my face, 'cause she instantly grabbed me in her arms and gave me a tight hug as she rubbed me on the back.
"It's OK Honey," she began, "I already knew about your relationship with Rory. If you want to keep a secret like that, you need to wash your own sheets."
Of course her saying that caused me to turn beet red.
"And Jason," she continued, "your being gay doesn't matter to me one bit. You're a wonderful son, and I love you very much."
"Thanks Mom," I said as I hugged her back, and then I asked her, "Does Dad know?"
"Not yet," she admitted. "That's not the sort of thing I think he should hear over the phone. I think he should hear it directly from you, and I think you should tell him during this visit, but I'll leave the ultimate decision to you."
"Are you gonna tell my parents," Rory asked with obvious trepidation in his voice.
"Again," I think that's something they should hear from you, and I'll leave that decision up to you, Rory," my mom assured my boyfriend. I could tell from the look on his face that he was instantly relieved.
Changing the subject, I asked, "Can Rory stay for dinner?"
"If it's OK with his parents," Mom answered. "You might want to strip your bed and open a window first, however," she added. How embarrassing!
As soon as Mom left the room, Rory said, "God, I can't believe I `outed' us like that."
"You didn't out us, Rory," I reassured my boyfriend. "You heard my Mom . . . It's entirely my fault for not washing the sheets myself."
"Geez, Jase, I told you to wash the sheets, didn't I?" Rory admonished me.
"You did at that," I admitted, and then wrinkling my nose, I added, "and she's right, it stinks in here. I can't believe I never noticed how much it smells after we have sex. I was so oblivious."
"You and me both, Babe," he said before giving me a little peck on the lips. Of course, that led to me kissing him back, and pretty soon, we were engaged in a prolonged lip-lock. The sound of a throat being cleared behind us caused us to spring apart faster than atoms in a nuclear explosion.
"Like I said, don't forget to change the sheets and to open a window," Mom reminded us before heading downstairs.
"Damn!" I said, "Having my mom know is gonna take some getting used to."
"Major getting used to," Rory agreed.
Laughing, I said, "Why don't you flip your shirt right side out and straighten your hair while I strip the bed?"
"Oh . . . um, yeah," he said in the cutest voice.
As I pulled the duvet back and removed it from the bed, I couldn't help but notice how utterly fucking cute my boyfriend was, with his strawberry blond hair in total disarray, his crystal blue eyes and his shirt inside out and backwards. His lopsided grin completed the picture of perfection. I'd always thought he was adorable, but untouchable, and now - now he was mine.
As he removed his shirt to turn it right side out, exposing his perfect torso in the process, I just about sprang a boner, even though I was still sore from all the lovemaking we'd enjoyed that afternoon. Damn, he still had dried cum all over his chest. He wasn't the most muscular boy I'd ever seen, and he didn't exactly sport a six-pack, but he had fairly decent muscle definition and there was just something about him that oozed sex. He was gorgeous.
"Jase," my boyfriend said, bringing me out of my trance, "do you plan to finish stripping the bed?"
"Yeah, I guess," I laughed. "I was just thinking about how fucking sexy you are."
"Not sure about sexy, but fucking's the right word, all right," he agreed with a giggle.
"C'mon," I said, "let's see if my mom needs some help with dinner," I said, mainly 'cause I knew from experience, she'd be back for us anyway if she did, and 'cause she tended to be more generous with my allowance when I volunteered. "Don't forget to call your 'rents to get permission to stay for dinner first, though," I reminded him.
"And don't you forget to open the window," he reminded me, which earned him a throw of my pillow.
It was just as we were finishing dinner that the company car dropped Dad off. As was usual, the only luggage he had was a small overnight bag and his laptop case. Because he had a fully furnished apartment in New York, as well as a full wardrobe there, the only clothes he ever needed to take with him were those he wore on his back, no matter how long he stayed.
Yeah, our household arrangement was unique, but we lived well and Mom and Dad seemed to be happy, so who was I to complain? Mom and Dad met while they were students at the University of Michigan. They both grew up in Detroit and, with many friends and their families here, wanted to remain in the area after graduation.
Trouble was, while they both got great jobs, my father's company had its main office in New York City, and it was made clear from day one that he'd have to split his time between Detroit and the `Big Apple'. The pay was phenomenal, so it was an offer that was pretty hard to refuse. It was more than enough to pay for a large house in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Detroit, and an apartment on Central Park West in Manhattan. The other cool thing was that even though he physically had to be in each of the two cities much of the year, he could handle most of the work from home.
Dad was always spending a month here, and then a month there, or two months here, and then two months there, and so on. We didn't particularly like the arrangement, but we were used to it, and it did have the silver lining of giving Rory and me some privacy.
"Hey, Dad," I said to my father, once he'd had a chance to set his stuff down. "How was New York?"
"Hi, Jase," Dad said as he came up behind me and gave me a quick half-hug to my torso while he kissed the top of my buzz-cut. Geez, did he have to do that in front of Rory? "New York was New York," he answered. "Same city, same chilly, rainy, late November weather."
"Hi, Scott," Rory said to my father, with a quick wave of his hand between mouthfuls of dessert.
"How's it going, Rory?" Dad asked. "How's school treating the both of you?" he went on to question us.
"School's school," I answered, making a play on Dad's answer of a minute ago.
"And you," Dad said, planting a big, wet kiss on Mom's lips, "look as beautiful as ever." How embarrassing to have Rory see that. Yuck!
Laughing, she responded with, "Flattery will get you everywhere. Now why don't you take off your coat and I'll get you some dinner?"
"Sounds wonderful," he answered.
As Dad headed to his study with his overnight bag and laptop case in hand, Rory said, "Well, I prolly should be heading home. My grandparents are coming in from out of town and I really should be there when they arrive."
"Damn," I said, "I was hoping we'd have a few more hours at least before you had to go."
"Yeah, I know, but I'll be back over for Black Friday," he reminded me, "and then we can do some serious shopping."
"God, do we sound gay or what?" I asked my angel in a whisper and with a smirk.
"See you Friday, Babe," he said one last time as he gave me a peck on the lips before he turned to head out.
Just as he turned, however, we heard my father say, "What the Hell?" from the hallway as he came back into the kitchen. "Did I just see what I thought I saw?"
"Oh shit," Rory said. Turning to me, "I'm sorry, Jase, I forgot where I was. It's all still new to me, you know?
"Would you like me to leave so you can talk to your dad in private?" my boyfriend asked.
"No," I replied, "if you don't mind, I think I'd like you here for this."
"In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say, whatever that means," Rory sighed as he took my hand in his. He was so fucking adorable.
"Dad," I said as my father took a seat across from the two of us, "there's no easy way to say this, so I'm just gonna come out and say it. I'm gay, and Rory's my boyfriend."
"Well that's just fucking grand," my father said under his breath.
"What?" I asked, looking at my father with a feeling of trepidation I'd never known before. In all the time I'd been alive, I'd never known him to swear. The way Mom had reacted, surely Dad wouldn't have a problem with me being gay, would he?
"I mean it's just . . . never mind," he finally said.
"What do you mean by, `never mind'?" I asked.
"I mean that it's not what I wanted for you, Jase. What did you expect me to say? Did you expect me to jump up and down and shout for joy? Yay! My son's a faggot. Whoop-de-doo!"
"Don't you ever call Jase or Rory that," Mom said in the sternest tone I'd heard her use in a long time.
"It doesn't matter what you call it, Jen," Dad countered. "Gay's fine, but whether you call it that, or queer, or homosexual, or maybe call 'em poofs like the Brits do, it's all the same thing. The bottom line is that nobody likes them."
"Scott, Jase is your son, and you've known Rory since he was no taller than this table," Mom admonished Dad.
Looking at her, he said, "You're right, Sweetheart. It was just a rough flight on top of a difficult half-week. This whole thing was just a shock."
Looking at me, Dad continued, "Jase, I'm sorry for the way I reacted, but I still don't like it. I'd much rather you'd be straight. There's no getting around it. You know your grandparents won't like it. They'll like it even less than I do. In fact, I wouldn't tell them if I were you . . . ever.
"The bottom line," he concluded, "is that you are my son, and I'll always love you, but I don't want to see Rory around here, period. I know you're going to do stuff, and you can't help wanting to do stuff, but I just don't want to know about it, OK?"
"But Dad," I said in exasperation, "Rory isn't just my boyfriend. He's been my best friend for nine fucking years."
"Don't you swear at me, Jason," Dad scolded me.
"Sorry, but it's true, Dad," I reiterated. "Rory and I have been best friends for, like, ever. We study together. At his house, his little brother and sister are always around. Why can't he come over here to study, like he always has?"
"Because you're still holding hands," Dad answered, which caused us to finally let go. "Listen," he said, "I just don't think you two can be around each other without acting like boyfriends, and even if you don't, I'll know, and I don't want to be reminded you're queer. You got it?"
"It's your loss, Dad," I wound up saying. "We see each other so little as it is." Yeah, it was a mean thing to say to my father, but he sure as hell deserved it.
I ended up showing Rory to the door, and then gave him a hug and a long and passionate kiss goodbye, with tongue and everything, right in front of my father. I was steamed, and I'd be damned if I was going to tone it down just because he was uncomfortable with my sexual orientation.
That night, I could hear my parents arguing. It was one of the loudest arguments I'd ever heard them have, and I had little doubt that it was about me. I wasn't about to apologize for who I was, though. I was just glad that at least Mom was sticking up for me. If she'd been like Dad, I honestly don't know what I'd have done.
Thursday, Thanksgiving should have been a much happier day, but it was anything but this year. We had a traditional turkey dinner with my grandparents - Dad's parents, actually - up in West Bloomfield Hills. For the most part, I liked my grandparents, even if they were pretty old-fashioned. My aunts and uncles were there, as well as a number of cousins. All together, there were around eighteen of us, I think.
Anyway, it was during dinner that Grandma Lisa said, "You'll never believe what I heard the other day, Scott. Did you know that Larry Zimmerman's son is queer?"
"Really?" Dad asked in seeming surprise, but I could tell that the conversation was prolly making him as nervous as it was making me.
"I know," Grandma continued. "It's hard to believe that Little Larry has a queer son. Larry always seemed like such a nice boy. How could he have a queer son? You'd think he'd do something about it."
Before I even realized I'd opened my mouth, I found myself saying, "What in the world could he do, Grandma? It's not like he could make his son be straight. It's not like his son had a choice in the matter."
"Don't be silly. Of course he had a choice," Grandma said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "No one in their right mind would go through being queer unless it was something they wanted."
Just as I was about to open my mouth, Mom, prolly sensing I was about to dig myself in deeper and deeper, interrupted. "Lisa, that's absurd. Every study out there says gay people are born that way. Why would anyone choose to be gay when all the peer pressure is for them to be straight?"
"I don't buy any of that crap about being born that way," Grandpa Ben broke in. "What's the point in there being gay people?" he asked. "They don't produce children . . . they don't add anything to society . . . they don't even contribute their genes to the gene pool. If being gay were genetic, wouldn't the trait have been eliminated generations ago?"
"You don't have to reproduce to contribute to the gene pool," I countered, "Some of the greatest minds of all time were gay . . . men like Plato, da Vinci and Tchaikovsky. The genes that gave us those individuals helped society overall . . ."
"In the time of Plato, they did it with boys and sheep, and that's part of what led to the downfall of the Empire," Grandpa interrupted, "and da Vinci was celibate . . ."
"Yeah, sure," I said.
"He was," Grandpa continued, "he was a God-fearing Christian, and Tchaikovsky was tortured throughout his life. There's a fine line between genius and madness. My point remains, however; if being queer's genetic, why weren't those genes eliminated from the gene pool a long time ago. It's not like queers have kids, after all . . ."
"A lot of them do," Mom chimed in. "The pressure they feel from people like you to conform to what's `normal' forces them into the closet. A lot of them wind up getting married and having kids, even though it's not natural for them."
"Which is my point exactly," Grandma resumed. "They can be normal, so why doesn't Larry put his foot down and insist his son stop being queer?"
The conversation was obviously going nowhere, and so we just left it at that.
I told Rory all about the whole exchange the next day as we were tooling around Eastland Center in Harper Woods, checking out all the Black Friday sales.
"So what'd your dad have to say about it all?" Rory asked me as we entered Macy's.
"He didn't say anything," I answered. "He and all the other relatives were silent. The only ones speaking up were me and my mom, and of course my grandparents."
"That's your dad's parents, right?" Rory asked.
"Right," I confirmed.
"And his sisters and brother, and their children?" Rory added.
"Yeah, my aunts and my uncle, and all my cousins from my dad's side of the family," I agreed. "But why do you ask?" I added.
"Must have been hard for a gay boy growing up in that house," Rory whispered, confusing the hell out of me.
Touching me on the arm, he went on to say, "Listen, we need to talk, but not here. Let's hit Chili's, OK?"
"Fine with me," I answered, "but you've got a lot of explaining to do, 'cause you're not making any sense!"
Once we were seated with our menus and a couple of Cokes, Rory started telling me what was up.
"Listen," he began, "I need to apologize up front for bein' so nosy, but I've known your dad as long as I've known you, and his reaction the other day just wasn't like him, so it got me to thinkin'. You ever hear the saying, "Perhaps he doth protest too much?'"
"Well, yeah," I replied, "but I was never sure what it really meant."
"It means that someone who speaks up loudly against something very often has something to hide. For example, some of the worst homophobes are secretly gay themselves."
Suddenly, my eyes flew open wide as the implication of what Rory was saying hit me like a ton of bricks. "Shit, Rory, are you sayin' my dad's gay? No way!" I practically shouted.
"Hear me out, Jase. I haven't said that . . . yet, but naturally, your father's reaction made me kinda wonder, so I decided to do some checking. You know, a little private-eye work?"
"How the hell did you do that?" I asked, just as our server, a boy not much older than us, came to take our order. I ordered the fire-grilled chicken fajita quesadillas with guacamole, and Rory ordered the fajita trio.
Once our server had left, Rory answered, "Well, first, let me explain a bit more. You know how you hear these stories of men who live double lives . . . men with two wives . . . sometimes even two whole families in two different cities. Well, when I got to thinking about it, I realized how easy it would be for your Dad to do that. I mean he lives in two cities, Detroit and New York, spending equal amounts of time in both places, so it would be pretty easy for him to get away with having completely different lives in each city.
"But then I got to thinking, well, what if he's gay? You yourself told me what his parents are like. He couldn't be gay in Michigan, so he found a nice woman he liked, got married and had a kid. But then he spends half his life in one of the best cities in the world to be gay, New York . . . so I got to thinking, maybe he met someone in New York and has a partner there as well."
Laughing, I said, "You sure have one hell of an imagination, Rory. Sometimes, I don't know where you come up with these ideas . . ."
Before I could even finish my sentence, Rory had gotten out a photo of a man, about my dad's age, and put it on the table in front of me. "His name's Kevin Langston, he was born in Toledo, Ohio, studied Engineering at the University of Michigan . . . a bit of a coincidence, perhaps . . . and he lives at the same address as your dad."
"Wait a minute . . ." I interrupted, "how did you even find this guy?"
"Easy," Rory explained, "I did an address look-up on your dad. I didn't want to bother you to get his address in New York. I know it's not supposed to be listed, but for a little money, any information can be had, and you know how generous my allowance is."
That was true - Rory didn't lack for anything.
"Anyway," he continued, "then I did a reverse address look-up, seeing if anyone else could be traced back to that address, and sure enough, this Kevin Langston dude traced back to the same address. So it seems this other guy lives at the same address in New York as your dad."
"Shit!" I said, just as the dinners arrived. Once the server left, I added a thought. "Maybe my dad took in a roommate. After all, the economy's not so great these days, and the apartment's vacant half the year, so maybe he took in a roommate to help share expenses."
"Nice try, but they're more than roommates, Jase," Rory said as he took out another piece of paper and handed it to me. It looked like some kind of legal document.
"What is this?" I asked.
"It's a marriage certificate," he explained, "from Connecticut, from last year. They're married, Jase. Scott and this Kevin guy are married. Your father is married to two different people, and one of them is a man."
"Fuck!" was all I could say as I picked at my dinner. It wasn't just that my dad was gay, but that he was leading a double life. He'd been deceiving my mom and me. All these years, he'd been sneaking away to New York not just for his job, but also to lead another fucking life. Did he even love us? Of course he did, I reasoned in my muddled thoughts. He could have and undoubtedly would have left us long ago if he didn't, but still, the whole thought of this other, secret existence kinda gave me the creeps.
"So are you gonna tell Jen?" Rory asked.
"I think I have to," I answered at first. "I mean, my mom has a right to know about this, but it'll kill her to find out that her husband has been cheating on her all these years, and with a man. It'll devastate her to find out Dad has another spouse in New York, and a husband no less."
"Do you think your parents'll end up getting divorced over it?" Rory asked.
"Shit, they prolly will!" I answered, "And that could be a fuckin' disaster."
"How so?" Rory asked. "Once it's all out in the open, he can go live with his husband in New York, and pay alimony to your mom, so you should be fine."
"But bigamy is illegal," I pointed out. "He could lose his job over this, and he could even go to jail. There's no way we could afford our house without his income."
"Fuck, I hadn't thought of that," Rory said as reality dawned on him. "What about your mother's job? Does she make enough that you could still afford a smaller place nearby? Property in Detroit's pretty cheap these days. If you can't afford Grosse Pointe, there's always something like Hamtramck."
"Mom works for GM," I practically cried. "Every year, we've prayed hers wouldn't be one of the middle management jobs they cut. If she loses her job, the chance of her finding something in her field here are slim to none. We'd almost certainly have to leave Detroit."
"But you can't leave Detroit, Jase," Rory implored me. "Now that we've finally found each other, you can't leave. I love you!"
"I know, Rory, I can't let that happen, which is why I can't simply take this to Mom. For better or worse, my parents have to stay together, but I can't let Dad get away with this, either. He has to be called to task for the deception he's been pulling on us all these years, and he can't apply a double standard when it comes to our relationship."
"So what are you gonna do?" Rory asked.
"I don't know, but I'll think of something," I answered.
"Maybe you could confront your dad . . . and hold the information over his head to keep him from treating you the way he did, ever again . . . you know?"
"That's an interesting idea," I said, almost thinking to myself, but aloud, "but I'd still like the whole thing out in the open, somehow, and yet I want to keep things the way they are."
Laughing, Rory said, "Shit, you don't want much, do you?"
"Well, I can't let him get away with it, but I want things to go on the way they have," I said again. "I know I'm talking in circles, but if Mom and Dad love each other, if Mom can accept me being gay, maybe she can accept Dad being gay, too. Then if Dad and this Kevin guy are faithful to each other, if Dad's gay, isn't it better for him to be married to one guy rather than for him to be fucking around with a lotta guys? I mean, maybe this really is the best arrangement, and maybe Mom will accept it once it's out in the open and once Dad fesses up, you know?"
"That's a hell of a lot of wishful thinking, Jase," Rory chided me.
"I know, but it beats having him lose his job and go to jail, and it sure as fuck beats us losing our home and maybe moving away," I reminded my boyfriend.
"True that," he agreed, "but if your Mom's the least bit vindictive, she ain't gonna go for it, you know. And what about this Kevin guy?" Rory reminded me. "Who's to say he won't want Scott all to himself?"
"But Kevin stands to lose as much as anyone if Dad goes to jail," I pointed out. "The apartment in New York's in Dad's name, right?"
"Actually, I did check on that," Rory admitted with a little embarrassment, "and yes, it's still in your father's name."
"So if my dad goes to jail, Kevin would be out of a home, too . . . and he prolly wouldn't be the type to fall in love with my dad if my dad had left a wife and kid for him."
"That's a stretch, Jase, but it might be something you could use to sell your argument," Rory agreed.
"Yeah, that's what I thought, too." And then I had a true epiphany. "Yes! That's what I'm gonna do! I'm gonna get my mom and this Kevin guy together and get them to get to know each other, and to like each other, and accept each other, and only then will I allow the pieces to fall in place as to their relationship. Once that happens, I'll lay out my plan to them both, and we'll all confront him together."
"And how in the fuck do you plan to get Jen and Kevin together in the first place?" Rory asked.
"Always the practical one," I laughed at him. "Actually, I have a plan, but I'll need your help for it to work. The first step is to make sure they end up in the same place at the same time. We'll start by making sure we're all in New York for the Christmas Holiday. You, too," I added.
"Ohhh," Rory said. "I think I see how that might work. Your dad could always go back a little early, just before the holiday rather than the day after Christmas, and he could take you and your mom with him."
"And you too, Rory. After all, I might need you as a moderator," I explained. "Besides, with four of us, we'll have to stay in a hotel for the week, cause his tiny apartment on Central Park West isn't big enough, and that should stop him from making excuses. After all, we know why we really can't stay in the apartment, but with you along, there just won't be enough space for both of us to crash on the couch in the living room. That'll give him the perfect out to have us all stay in a hotel."
"But after the way your dad reacted to us being together," Rory asked, "how will he react to the two of us being together with him and your mom on vacation?"
"You leave that little detail to me," I suggested.
"Oooookay," he answered.
"The biggest challenge," I continued, "will be to find a way to get Mom and Kevin together for a prolonged period, and to get them to actually know each other. It has to be something perfectly logical . . . something they would be involved in, regardless of our meddling."
"Remember how I mentioned he went to the U of M, right?" Rory asked.
"Well, yeah, as did my Mom and Dad, both," I said.
"Well there's your answer. We just need to find an alumni event in New York that would appeal to both of them, but not your Dad. Something involving a common interest of theirs."
"What's the likelihood there'll be something like that going on in New York while we're there?" I asked in exasperation.
"There doesn't have to be a real event, Jase," Rory stated as if it were obvious. "Geez, sometimes you're so dense. We can create a bogus event and send a spoofed e-mail to both of them for it, and then follow it up with a phone call. We can even send them a fake brochure for the event . . . with our computers, it's so easy to make something that looks professional. We can arrange a day and time for the event and when no one else shows up, they'll start talking, and with nothing better to do, have lunch or dinner together and get to know each other. You see what I mean?"
Grabbing my boyfriend's hand, I exclaimed, "Rory, you're brilliant! That really could work. We'll need a backup plan though, in case our first attempt doesn't work. In fact, having them bump into each other a few times would help to reinforce their friendship, which would be an excellent thing to have happen. Once they become friends, finding out they have the same husband won't be quite so traumatic."
"Oh, I think it'll still be a shock," Rory cautioned, "and what if they discover it right away? What if they start showing each other pictures of their spouses in the first few minutes after meeting?"
"That's a good point, Rory," I admitted. "I guess I'd better arrange for Mom's picture folio to disappear from her wallet before the trip, huh?"
"Prolly a good idea," Rory agreed, "and make sure she doesn't have any family photos in her phone, either."
"Good point," I agreed.
All right, we had a plan - a lot of precise details to work out, but a plan nonetheless.
Although I'd initially thought we had plenty of time to organize our little plot, the reality was that a month was not all that much time to organize something of this magnitude. For one thing, alumni events are usually scheduled many months in advance, and so we'd have to improvise. Convincing my parents to take me and my boyfriend on a trip to New York was also a major challenge, but it really had been a while since my last visit to the city, and eventually they relented. Dad wasn't thrilled with the idea of having Rory with us, but with both Mom and me working on him, non-stop, he eventually gave in. We'd stay in a suite in the W hotel on Lexington Avenue, which meant that Rory and I would have our own room. Sweet! That part of the plan worked beautifully.
Going back on-line, we discovered that, among other things, Kevin Langston was a member of the Museum of Modern Art. Knowing that Mom had a strong interest in modern art, we checked out the MoMA's website and found that they had a special exhibition of Monet's Water Lilies that would be in New York during our upcoming visit. We knew that Mom would definitely be interested in seeing the exhibit, with or without the alumni association, but having a special showing with the alumni would definitely be a bonus that would almost certainly lure her wherever we wanted her to be. The trick was to get Kevin there as well.
Agreeing on a date and time, we put together a very professional-looking e-mail from the Alumni Association, inviting members to a special showing of the exhibit. We chose a restaurant around the corner from the museum as a gathering place from which members would depart at the specified time. All we had to do was to get both Mom and Kevin to sign up. To that end, we sent out the e-mail, spoofing it from a U of M address, and then followed it up with a phone call. Rory made the phone calls, since he had the deeper voice of the two of us and could easily pass for being a university student.
Selling Mom on the event was easy, but Kevin was a much harder sell. After all, he lived in New York to begin with, and was already a member and could go to see the exhibit any time he pleased. Getting Kevin to show up took a little of Rory's charm.
"Mr. Langston," Rory said after he'd already run through our rehearsed spiel, "I understand that you could go see the exhibit anytime, but this will be a special tour, hosted by the curator of the exhibit. You'll get unique, background information you'd never get seeing it on your own."
"There are similar tours for museum members," Kevin countered.
"But this would be a great chance to see it with folks from back in Michigan," Rory shot back. "Who knows, you might see some friends from long ago."
"I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I don't have too many friends from my days in Michigan. The University was great, but growing up in the Midwest is something I'd really rather forget," he said.
"Oh man," Rory said with genuine concern in his voice, "I'm so sorry to hear that. I kinda know what you mean," he went on to say. "I mean, we're not supposed to talk about our private lives, but I understand New York's pretty good when it comes to how they treat gay people, so yeah, my life kinda went to shit when my parents discovered I was gay.
"But things are so much better for me now that I'm at the U of M!" Rory continued. "I've made so many friends here . . . friends I know I'm gonna have for life."
"Randy," Kevin responded, using the name Rory had given him, "you hit the nail on the head. I'm gay, too, and my teenage years really sucked, but you're right, the U of M was great. Better than great, actually, and I shouldn't hold the attitudes of the Midwest against the University, now, should I? All right, you can put me down for the event."
"Oh, that's great, Mr. Langston," Rory said with enthusiasm. "I'm sure you'll have a great time."
Another major part of the plan was in place.
For our backup plan, we chose an off-Broadway musical called Convenience about a gay young man coming out to his mother. I knew Dad would have no interest in seeing it, so I talked Mom into taking Rory and me to a matinee performance. Rory told her he'd buy the tickets, as a thank you for us taking him on the trip, but when he placed the order, we made it for four people instead of three.
We sent the fourth ticket to Kevin with a letter on official-looking Starbucksª letterhead, saying he'd won the ticket in a promotional drawing. We figured he prolly went to Starbucks at least occasionally, so although he wouldn't remember entering the drawing, he prolly wouldn't question it, either. To be on the safe side, we requested he RSVP using a spoofed Starbucks website that we set up for him to do so. Fortunately, he responded that he'd attend, so we were all set!
Our back-up plan was in place.
This was sweet. In a matter of days, we'd be having a blast in New York, and we were all set to deceive the deceiver.
As the time got closer and closer for our anticipated departure, however, I got increasingly nervous about our little scheme. I thought about everything that could go wrong . . . I was beginning to have my doubts.
Maybe I should have just confronted Dad. It would've been so much simpler to take the bull by the horns, but then the deception would have continued, and I couldn't live with that. As much as I wanted things to continue as they were, I'd never be able to face Dad, or even Mom, the same way again, and the thought that I'd be participating in Dad's deception was too much for me - I could never do that.
Finally, school let out for the winter break, and our trip was upon us. With trepidation, I packed up everything I'd need for the trip - mostly casual clothes, with a sports coat and tie for the fancier restaurants we'd probably go to for dinner on a few of the nights. It was kinda cool to pack a razor kit for the first time in my life. I'd only recently started shaving and even though I really only needed to shave once or twice a week, I felt pretty grown up traveling with the added essentials. I wasn't a little kid anymore.
There's no place like Christmastime in New York and we could all feel the energy of the season as we stepped off the airplane on Sunday, December 20. We were spending two full weeks in The City, flying home on Saturday, January 2, with Sunday to recuperate before the start of school on January 4. As is pretty usual from my experience, we were late getting into LaGuardia, but that hardly dented our holiday enthusiasm. The taxi ride into Manhattan was a fairly short one, and in no time at all, we were pulling up in front of our hotel.
Of course Rory and I talked non-stop from the time we left for the airport at home until the moment we arrived at our hotel. Even though we pretty much saw each other every day, we never seemed to run out of things to say to each other. We were just so in tune with one another - after all, we were best friends as well as lovers. We talked about anything and everything . . . except for our plans to get Mom together with Kevin and then confront Dad. That was something we could only discuss in private.
Our suite at the W Hotel was really pretty cool. There was a living room with a sofa, a couple of recliners and a huge motherfucker of a plasma TV, and there was a full wet bar with a nicely stocked refrigerator and a microwave. There were two bedrooms, each with another flat-screen TV and each with its own bathroom. My parents' bathroom had a Jacuzzi; ours only had a conventional bathtub, but we weren't complaining - we had a room all to ourselves, and two whole weeks to enjoy it.
As Rory and I stood just inside the entrance to our bedroom, arm in arm, looking longingly at the queen-size bed, Dad came up behind us and put a hand on each of our shoulders. As if he was reading our minds, he said, "A nice, comfy bed for sleeping, I trust. I realize you probably have other ideas, but keep in mind that Jen and I will be right next-door. We'd better not hear even a peep through the walls."
Leave it to Dad to spoil the mood. He was right, though - we'd have to be careful to be extra quiet. Rory wasn't about to let Dad have the upper hand, however, as he said, "Why whatever else do you think we'd do in the bed besides sleep, Scott?" That made both of us giggle, and even Dad couldn't help but laugh with us. We were two, very horny teenagers, after all.
By the time we got settled in, we were all starving, especially Rory and me, so we dressed up and went out for a nice Sunday dinner at a fancy restaurant nearby. By the time we finished dinner, it was already getting dark outside, even though it was still only four o'clock in the afternoon. We spent the rest of the day window-shopping, and then called it an early night, as we were all pretty tired from getting up early to catch our flight.
When we got back to the hotel room, Dad announced to Rory and me, "Listen, guys. Jen and I talked about this, and we feel that since you're both nearly sixteen, you're old enough to get around Manhattan on your own. Hell, Jason, you've been coming here all your life, and know the city like the back of your hand, and the last thing you probably want is to string along with Jen and me when you and Rory probably have your own interests, just as we have ours. So we thought we'd let the two of you spend tomorrow and Tuesday out on your own. That is, unless you'd like to tag along with us."
Wow! Never in a million years did I think my parents would trust us to be out on our own in the big bad city. But then, like Dad said, I knew the city even better than I knew Detroit, and New York was, frankly, a much safer place than back home, even in Grosse Point.
"Thanks for trusting us, Dad," I replied. "It's so cool that you're letting us do that."
"Just remember that your mom and I are just a cell phone call away, and don't go anywhere off the beaten path. I want you to stick to Manhattan, and no further north than, say, 96th street. Other than that, you're free to do what you want, within reason. How's that sound?" Dad asked.
"Fantastic," I answered.
"Try not to stay up too late," Dad admonished us, "you'll want to make the most of tomorrow, and that means getting up at a reasonable hour. Even so, I suspect Jen and I will be gone by the time you get up," he laughed. "Here," he added, taking out his wallet and handing me some cash. "There's two hundred fifty bucks, which should be plenty for the next couple of days, even if you have to take a cab at some point. Just try to bring some of that back with you."
"Thanks, Dad," I replied as I hugged him tightly.
"I want you back here by nine tomorrow night," Dad added.
"But Dad," I countered, "this would be a great time for us to check out some of the clubs in The Village, and they don't really get going until ten."
"I doubt that you guys will be going `clubbing'," Dad challenged. "You're not even sixteen, yet, and you probably won't be able to get in, in any case."
Seeing the way Rory and I were both pouting, Dad added, "It's not even wise for you to be `out', even here, but something tells me you're going to have a hard time keeping your relationship in check in a place like New York, especially if you go to The Village." Sighing, he said, "All right, you can stay out 'til ten, but no later, and call if you have any problems at all. And if you're out past nine, promise me you'll take a cab back to the hotel. I don't want you taking the subway late at night."
"We're not stupid, Dad," I responded. "Of course we'll take a cab back if we're out late, which I'm sure we will be . . . and thanks again."
"Goodnight, boys," he said as he exited our room, "and remember to keep it quiet."
As soon as he had disappeared down the hall, I closed and locked our door.
"Two whole days on our own!" Rory practically shouted once the door was closed. "That's fucking fantastic!"
"I especially like the `fucking' part," I added as I turned around and brought my lips to his, encircling his body with my arms. The kiss seemed to last an eternity as our hands roamed freely up and down our backs. Rory was the boy I loved more than anything in the world, and I wasn't letting go.
It wasn't long before our clothes lay in a heap on the floor and we were writhing on the bed, our hands and mouths caressing, licking and nipping every place they could reach on each other's body. I lost track of the number of times we brought each other to orgasm that night as we did our best to keep the noise level down. It wasn't easy, with Rory being the screamer he is, but we managed to stifle our moans as we sucked and kissed with passion. We, literally, fell asleep in each other's arms.
By the time we awoke, it was already bright and sunny outside and the hotel suite was quiet. It was already close to ten o'clock! We'd obviously forgotten to place a wakeup call or set the alarms on our cell phones. So much for getting an early start on our first day of freedom.
"Shit, it looks like we're gonna have to have our clothes pressed," Rory noted as he looked down at the heap of our clothes on the floor. They were our good clothes, too.
"There's always a price to be paid, my love," I said with a laugh, "but maybe next time, we should take a few minutes to hang our clothes up first."
"No doubt," my boyfriend agreed, "but last night, we were thinking with our `little heads'."
"And I ain't complaining one bit when it comes to the results," I said with a smile. "Last night was fuckin' fantastic."
"True that," Rory said just before he covered my mouth with his. The kiss only lasted a few seconds before we both realized we desperately needed to brush our teeth if our making out was going to continue. Besides which, we needed to get going if we were going to make the most of the time we had left.
We settled for getting each other off in the shower as we got ready, and then headed out, stopping at a diner we'd spotted the day before to grab a hearty brunch.
"So watcha want to do first?" Rory asked as we ate.
"God, there's sooo much to do, it's hard to know where to begin," I replied. "We could go shopping . . . the stores here are second to none . . . but it being so close to Christmas, they'll be jammed to the gills. I think it might be best to wait until after Christmas, when everything'll be marked down.
"You've been here before, haven't you?" I asked my boyfriend.
"A couple of times," he answered. "The last time my parents brought us here was when I was twelve, and we only split the week between here and Philadelphia. Most of the time involved going to the usual tourist stops, like Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. We didn't get to any of the museums."
"Wow, man," I replied, "you haven't seen anything of the city, and it's been three years since your last visit, too." Collecting my thoughts, I asked, "Is there anything in particular you'd like to see?"
"I definitely want to see some of the museums," he answered. "You know how much I love the Detroit Institute of Art back home, and who could forget our trip to the Chicago Art Institute . . . it's awesome."
Rory and I are both into art - in fact, Rory had made some really wicked sketches over the years, and more recently he's done some awesome nudes of me, which I share with no one.
"Perhaps we should wait 'til Wednesday to see the MoMA, since we'll likely end up going there anyway," I suggested, "even after Kevin and Mom realize the special alumni tour isn't taking place. The Metropolitan Museum is second to none, and we could spend days there. It's usually closed on Mondays, but this being a holiday week, they're open today . . . I checked it out on-line before we left . . . aaand we have a family membership, so it won't cost us a cent."
"That sounds wicked," Rory responded, "but I'd like to leave early enough to do a little clubbing in The Village afterwards."
"No sweat there, man," I stated. "The museum closes at 5:30, and then we can head down to The Village and grab something to eat, check out the shops, and then go clubbing."
"Sounds like a plan," Rory agreed.
Taking an express bus up Madison Avenue, it didn't take us any time at all to get to the museum. Rory was totally in awe of the place. It was so much fun to see it with him. In spite of Dad's warnings, we spent the afternoon hand-in-hand as we toured the permanent collection and a couple of special exhibitions - one celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Robert Frank's influential black and white photographs, The Americans, and the other being an exhibition of carved Chinese lacquer. We stayed until they, literally, were turning out the lights, and both agreed that we'd return the next day, as we'd barely scratched the surface of the permanent collection.
After our afternoon at the museum, we took an express bus back down Fifth Avenue, right to Greenwich Village. By then we were absolutely starving and so we set about finding a nice restaurant in our price range, with a little help from my iPhone and Yelpª. After dinner, we did a little window shopping, occasionally stopping in some of the shops, all of which were open late for the holiday season.
Later, we went in search of a club for teens. Unfortunately, we quickly found that most all of them had a minimum age of sixteen, and they all carded us. Finally, we found one that let us in, since we were nearly sixteen, and it was the holiday week, after all.
Man, did we have a great time! We danced the evening away to the latest Top 40 hits. Just about everyone had their shirts off and, as they say, when in Rome. . . . We both got hit on a lot, but it was kind of fun, dancing with a lot of other teenage gay boys. It felt great to be free and out. When it got to be 9:00, I called Dad and begged him to let us stay out until eleven. Finally, he relented, which was fuckin' fantastic!
By the time we got back to the hotel, we were way too tired to even think about sex. Rory and I quickly fell into one of the most restful nights of sleep we'd had in some time. It had truly been one of the best days of our lives.
Tuesday was pretty much a repeat of Monday, except we started the day by making love to each other. After all, it had been more than twenty-four hours since the last time we'd had sex, which was way too long for a couple of sex-crazed teenagers like us.
By the time we left the museum at the end of the day, we both felt pretty well satisfied, even though there was still a lot we hadn't had time to see. If my parents gave us more free time in New York, we were ready to move on to see some of the other great museums the city had to offer.
Our second night of clubbing in The Village was just as much fun as the first, and it left us wishing Detroit had more of a gay scene - particularly one that catered to teens.
Mom woke us up early the next morning at 8:00 - well, it was early for a couple of teenagers on vacation. She felt, and probably rightly so, that it would be a good idea for us to spend the morning at the MoMA in advance of the alumni tour, which we'd scheduled for 1:00.
The MoMA is a really sick museum, and both Rory and I were glad in the end that Mom got us up early enough to enjoy it before lunch. One thing that was really cool is that they have on-line audio accessible via Wi-Fi, which we took full advantage of using our iPhones. There was even a separate program done by teens for teens, which was incredibly sick. Unfortunately, we were both a little nervous the entire time, thinking about what was about to happen. The special part of the plan.
Soon, Mom would be meeting the man to whom my father was married. Soon, my dad's double lives would come into contact with one another.
At noon, we all headed over to the restaurant where we were supposed to meet for the tour. Mom figured we might as well get our lunch there, since they seemed to have an extensive menu and were reasonably priced. When Mom asked the hostess where the group from the University of Michigan would be meeting, the hostess answered that she wasn't aware that any group was meeting there as far as she knew. Indeed, she claimed to have no reservation on file whatsoever.
Oops - this was something we hadn't anticipated. We'd na•vely assumed we'd wait at the restaurant, no questions asked, but Mom was being insistent and she even pulled out the brochure we'd made on Rory's computer.
Even with printed evidence of the group meeting, the hostess continued to insist that she was unaware of the arrangement and, furthermore, they would never allow a group to convene there for the stated purpose - not unless everyone planned to buy lunch there.
"Well that's very strange indeed," Mom pondered with the hostess. "Oh well, let's get lunch here, and then if no one else shows up by one o'clock, we'll head over to the museum and see if they know anything about where we're supposed to meet." Shit! This was not how we'd planned for things to go.
Mom and Kevin were supposed to strike up a conversation while waiting for the rest of the group to arrive - not to go in search of the group. Murphy's Law was definitely at work, here.
It was as we were looking at our menus that Mom suddenly called out, "Kevin!" Both Rory's and my jaws dropped open as we saw the man from Rory's photo of Dad's husband approach our table. Double shit! They already knew each other.
"Jen, it's so good to see you!" Kevin said when he reached us.
"You, too," she replied as she stood and they kissed each other on the cheek. "What a coincidence to run into you here."
"Maybe not," Kevin added. "I'm here for the U of M alumni tour of the special exhibit at the MoMA.
"Same here," Mom related, "but the hostess didn't seem to know anything about the group meeting here."
"That's odd," Kevin noted, "the instructions were explicit to meet here. Maybe they get a lot of groups meeting here and she just didn't know about this one?"
"Not according to the hostess," Mom replied. "In fact, she said they would never allow a group to meet here unless they were buying lunch. Speaking of lunch, we thought we might as well eat here, and then if no on else shows up, we could head over to the museum and straighten things out."
"Sounds like a reasonable plan," he agreed. "Do you mind if I have lunch with you guys?" he then asked.
"Of course you can have lunch with us," she answered. Turning to Rory and me, she said, "Boys, this is Kevin Langston, a good friend of Scott's and mine from back in college." Holy shit, was our plan starting to unravel?
Mom and Dad both knew Kevin from back at the University of Michigan. We'd assumed he and Dad met in New York, and that they both went to the same school was coincidence. Obviously, we were wrong. Well at least we didn't need to wait for Kevin and Mom to get to know each other, but with them having known each other for nearly twenty years, how would she react to Kevin and Dad being married? And obviously, Kevin knew Dad was married to Mom, and in spite of that, he married Dad. How weird!
"And Kevin," Mom continued, "This is Jason and his boyfriend, Rory." What the FUCK? Mom just outed us to Kevin!
I know I was blushing furiously, and I guess Rory was too, as Kevin said, "There's nothing to be embarrassed about, guys," as he pulled up a chair and sat down. "Scott already told me that you recently came out to him, and besides, I'm gay, too.
"So I understand you guys are in town until just after New Years," he continued. "Scott told me you were planning to go clubbing last night. So did you, and how'd you like it?"
Holy fucking shit! Dad talked to Kevin just yesterday, and Mom was obviously aware of it. This was getting stranger and stranger by the minute.
Regaining my composure, I answered, "Yeah, it took a while to find a club that would let us in, 'cause we're not yet sixteen, but it was awesome. It was great to be able to dance with Rory out in the open. There were a lot of cute boys there, too. None of them as cute as Rory," I added, "but nice to look at, nonetheless."
"That's sweet of you to say that, Jase," Rory interrupted. "I think you're biased, but then I feel the same way about you."
"They're adorable together," Kevin said to Mom, embarrassing the hell out of us. Turning back to us, he said, "It's really an amazing story. Scott told me all about it, the way you two were best friends for all those years and then finally came out to each other. There's nothing like true love," he concluded with a wink.
"I know Scott had a tough time accepting you when you came out," Kevin continued, "but then you know how homophobic his parents are. Mine weren't much better, but I accidentally outed myself to them when I was around your age, so hiding in the closet was never really an option.
"My parents never stopped loving me, but from that moment on, they treated me like a stranger in my own home, and forget about having a boyfriend. I wasn't permitted to hang out with my friends or do anything without parental supervision. It was pretty awful right up until the day I left for college.
"Thank God I found acceptance from the people I met at the U of M, or I'd have been a total basket case."
At that moment, the waiter came to take our orders, temporarily ending the conversation and leaving me with far more questions then answers. Knowing that Mom already knew Kevin and had for years certainly changed the equation, but I sensed there was more to the situation than met the eyes - much more - and somehow I needed to find out. How could Kevin and my Dad keep their marriage a secret from my Mom when they were obviously in frequent contact? If I were Kevin, I'd never be able to keep up the deception - I wouldn't be able to look Mom in the eyes without giving myself away.
As soon as the waiter left, I screwed up my courage and decided to engage Kevin in conversation. I had to know more. "So you've known my parents for a long time?" I asked Kevin.
"Since my freshman year in college," he answered. "They're two of my oldest and dearest friends. They know me better than anyone."
"That's cool," I responded, and then my devious side took over and I asked, "Do you have a boyfriend?"
"Actually, I have a husband," Kevin answered.
Holy shit! What now? I decided to ask more questions. "That's sweet," I said. "How long have you been married?"
"We got married just over a year ago in Connecticut, but we've been partners for much longer than that," Kevin replied.
"How did you two meet?" I asked.
With a smile on his face, Kevin replied, "Scott and I met back in college at the U of M. Freshman year. We had a class together, and we struck up a friendship right away. I was very much out at the time, and eventually Scott confided to me that he was in the closet because of homophobic parents, but was very interested in taking our friendship to the next level. Up 'til then, I didn't even know he was gay! Well the rest is history."
Realizing that Kevin mentioned my dad by name, I asked, "Scott? Just like my dad's name?"
Kevin blushed furiously, apparently realizing he'd revealed something he hadn't intended to, he answered after a pause, "Right, just like your dad's name."
Then Mom interjected, "Kevin and his Scott and your father and I have been good friends all these years."
HOLY FUCK! It suddenly dawned on me that Mom already knew! They'd been carrying on since before I was even born. I was the only one being deceived. But how and why? I had so many questions, but didn't know how in the hell I'd ever get them answered without letting them know that I knew.
Our meals arrived, and Rory and I ate in silence as Mom and Kevin chatted away, just like the longtime friends they were. Rory was obviously as puzzled as I was, but we couldn't exactly talk about it with Mom and Kevin at the table. What was going to happen to our plan now?
When the time for meeting with the alumni group came and went, we all left the restaurant and headed to the museum. Kevin took us right to the Membership desk and asked about the tour, and after talking to several people who all said there was absolutely no record of a University of Michigan tour on the agenda, that day or for the entire year, or even next year for that matter. Mom and Kevin both showed them their brochures, but that did nothing to convince them of the legitimacy of the event.
"It must have been cancelled," Mom said, but then the museum staff pointed out the obvious - that they'd have a record of it if it had ever been planned. "When we get back to Michigan, I'll look into this," she told Kevin, and then asked, "Shall we go ahead and see the exhibit, now that we're here?"
Sighing, he answered, "Why not?" And so that's what we did - we went to see the exhibition by ourselves, using our iPhones to download and listen to the associated audio program.
When we finished the tour and exited the museum, preparing to go our separate ways, Mom said, "Well, it's been nice catching up with you, Kevin."
"That it has," he agreed.
"Perhaps we can all get together sometime before we head back," she suggested.
"That would be nice . . . perhaps we can get together sometime after Christmas," Kevin agreed.
Just to stir things up a bit, I said, "That would be cool . . . I'd really like to meet your husband, Kevin. I mean, some day, Rory and I will be getting married, and I'd like to see how things work with a married gay couple." And with that, I thought, `Try and get out of that one.'
"I don't think that's going to be possible," he replied, "but I'd still like to get to know you better, Jason, and you too, Rory. I've heard so much about you two, and it's been nice to finally meet you."
"It's been nice to meet you, too," I agreed.
"You know how to reach me," he told my mom as we were about to part, but then I did something really stupid. Without thinking I added, "See you tomorrow, Kevin." No sooner had the words left my mouth than I knew I'd really fucked up.
"What do you mean, Jason?" Kevin asked. "Why do you say we'll see each other tomorrow?" How the fuck was I gonna get out of this slip of the tongue?
And then Rory made things infinitely worse by interjecting, "At the musical tomorrow afternoon."
"How in crap did you know I'm going to a musical tomorrow afternoon?" Kevin asked.
I was blushing furiously, and when I dared to look, I saw that Rory was too.
"I think I smell a rat here," Mom said, and then she asked, "Let me guess, Kevin . . . you're going to see the off-Broadway musical, Convenience?"
"I got the ticket through a promotional drawing at Starbucks," he answered.
"By an amazing coincidence," Mom replied, "we're going to be there, too. What I'd like to know is how you knew about Kevin being there, Jason, particularly when you just met him today."
What the hell could I say? I wasn't about to admit to having pulled off my own deception, but there was no way I could explain it all away.
"It's all my fault," Rory interjected. His face was serious - his voice somber. "Please don't blame Jase . . . I was just looking for reasons why Scott was so opposed to Jase being gay. I mean it's not like he's a religious fundamentalist or anything, so I thought there had to be another reason, and I thought it might be that he was secretly gay . . .
"But, then my imagination got the better of me, and I wondered if Scott could be leading a double life, so I did some snooping. Using the Internet, I discovered that you, Kevin, lived at the same address as Scott, and I was even able to pull up a marriage certificate to prove that the two of you are legally married."
"Fuck," Mom exclaimed quietly, surprising the hell out of me. I'd never heard her use that word before. She then asked, "Why this elaborate ruse? I take it the whole museum thing was just a ploy to get Kevin and me together, but why?"
"I was scared, Mom," I admitted. "I thought that if dad was a bigamist, he could lose his job, or even go to jail, but I couldn't just let him go on deceiving you . . . at least that's what I thought he was doing. Rory and I came up with this plan to get you and Kevin together and maybe build a friendship, so it would make it easier to confront Dad. I just couldn't confront him myself. I was hoping we could find a way to keep the status quo going somehow. If Dad lost his job, we might not be able to keep the house, and if we moved, I'd lose Rory."
At that point, I started to lose it and Rory drew me into a hug and comforted me.
"Please don't blame Jase," my boyfriend said. "This really was all my doing. We just didn't realize that you two already knew each other."
"Wow!" Mom responded. "We never thought you'd be able to discover what's going on."
"Wha . . . ? What is going on?" I asked.
"It's a long and complicated story, and I think your father should definitely be there when we tell you. He's every bit as much a part of it as Kevin and I are. Although, the one thing you don't have to worry about is Dad going to jail or even losing his job. Your dad and I legally divorced, so that he and Kevin could marry. We didn't tell you about it, because we didn't want you to know."
Tearing up again, I asked, "Does this mean you and Dad are going to separate?"
Pulling me into a hug, Mom answered, "Oh heavens, no. Your father and I love each other, but just not in the way a husband and wife normally would."
Turning to Kevin, she suggested, "Why don't we all go out to dinner. I'll call Scott, and we can fill in the rest of the details for the boys."
Damn - best laid plans . . . as they say.
That evening was quite an eye opener. It seemed that my dad knew he was gay when he was growing up, but with such homophobic parents, he wasn't willing to accept it. He dated my mom, hoping that he could force himself to be straight, and even though the relationship became physical, they both realized that it wasn't working.
Finally, my dad admitted to Mom that he was gay, and she accepted it and actually talked him into going to some gay events with her and their mutual friend, Kevin. My Dad and Kevin fell hopelessly in love with each other, but then Mom discovered she was pregnant with me, and decided to keep the baby. Dad was thrilled to have a son on the way, because one of the reasons he didn't want to be gay, was that he really did want children of his own.
In the end, Mom and Dad decided to get married and raise me together, with Kevin living with them as Dad's lover. Unfortunately when they graduated, Kevin got a job offer in New York that was too good to pass up, but Mom didn't want to raise a kid in The City. The perfect solution arose when Dad was offered a job that involved working in both New York and Detroit, allowing him to live a double life.
"We didn't deliberately set out to deceive you, Jason," Mom concluded as we ate our desserts, "we just thought it would be a lot easier on you if you thought Dad and I were a regular husband and wife. We didn't want to confuse you, and so we never told you about Kevin."
"But why did you divorce Mom and marry Kevin?" I asked my father.
Smiling, he explained, "When gay marriage became legal, your mother and Kevin and I decided that I should divorce so that Kevin and I could marry. In getting a divorce, we wouldn't really be changing anything about your mother's and my relationship, and legally, we'd still have joint responsibilities for you, but in marrying Kevin, we'd gain legal rights as husbands that we wouldn't otherwise have."
"So I guess I have a mother and two dads?" I asked.
"Definitely," Kevin answered. "The one regret I've always had is that I never got to see you or know you Jason, but I promise that from now on, if you'll let me, I'd like to be a part of your life . . . both yours and Rory's lives," he added.
With tears in my eyes, I got up and hugged Kevin, quietly saying, "I'd like that very much."
"I'm sorry we deceived you, Jason," Dad added as I pulled him into the hug with us. "We thought we were doing what was best for you. More than anything, however, I want to apologize for the way I treated you when you came out to me. It was uncalled for. It was just such a surprise to me and it brought back all the unpleasant memories of what I went through as a teenager, myself."
"I understand, Dad," I cried as I hugged him tightly, "and I love you very much."
"I love you too, Jason, and I promise, no more deceptions."
"Nor from me and Rory," I said with a laugh as my boyfriend and Mom joined our group hug.
A NEW Dad! For sure, that was the best present I'd ever get for any Christmas.
The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of David of Hope in editing this story this story and Alastair in proofreading it, as well as the support of Gay Authors and Awesome Dude for hosting it. This story was written as part of the Gay Authors 2009 Winter Anthology.