The LeFleur-Winfield Men V: Boy Meets Boy Epilogue
by John Michael***
In this chapter:
John: 24, Graduate Student at UCLA & Engineer Intern at Fehr & Peers
Dustin: 23, Graduate Student at USC & Assistant Coach at Arcadia High School
Darren: 23, Graduate Student at Rice & Accounts Receivable Associate at IBM
Jesse: 23, Social Worker at DePelchin Children's Center
Josh: 23, Graduate Student at LaTech
Part Five: Boy Meets Boy – Epilogue
"It's still cool," Dustin said, eyeing John's bronze medal from the 2010 Winter Olympics.
"I know it's cool, but it's not gold."
"There's always 2014."
"Are you coming to Russia with me?"
"Of course! All of my students want to meet you."
"I never thought they would be interested in curling."
"They just want to meet a real life Olympian."
John smiled and kissed his boyfriend before rising off the sofa. "Okay; we have to go if we don't want to be late!"
Dustin pulled into the parking lot at the Waxman campaign headquarters. John was excited to campaign for the first time; he was becoming very political. Dustin was content to tag along, hoping to mold John into a full-fledged Democrat. John was very liberal on most issues, such as being prochoice, for equal pay for women, and the role of government as the Good Samaritan. On the other hand, John still had deep conservative beliefs about gun ownership, to an extent, and the death penalty. Dustin was a complete progressive, opposing the death penalty, something he considered appalling, archaic, and barbaric.
John and Dustin joined campaigns to help get Henry Waxman, Barbara Boxer, and Jerry Brown reelected against Charles Wilkerson, who John called a Teahadist, Carly Fiorina, who John and Dustin both agreed to be a hardcore bigot, and against Meg Whitman, who Dustin called the "psycho-bitch-excuse-my-French woman", respectively. Along the way, the met a group of people who live in their apartment complex and were affiliated with the No On Prop 8 campaign. John and Dustin decided to join their cause, as well.
It was the day of decision for California's "Proposition 8" and John and Dustin were with a crowd ready to protest or celebrate the decision. After noon, the wait started to feel like an eternity and, even though the rally was not scheduled until six, there was already a large crowd awaiting the decision. Finally, nearly ninety-minutes later, word quickly spread throughout the crowd of Prop 8's demise. The cheers were so loud, John was sure there crowd in West Hollywood could be heard all over Los Angeles County. John and Dustin, standing in the midst of the energy, could only describe the feeling that washed over them as magical. John grabbed his boyfriend and kissed him as news cameras flashed and recorded. John and Dustin were excited. This meant that they could get married without having to leave California.
Sitting on the stage, facing the audience, was very surreal. John was about to give a speech at a marriage equality rally and he was very nervous. Dustin sensed his nervousness and put his hand on John's thigh. John felt a little more comfortable when he felt Dustin squeeze, but was still nervous as hell. This was a big audience. Finally, John heard his named called; John took a deep breath and then made his way to the podium. John could barely hear the introduction, but he knew it was time to speak when the host left the podium.
John walked up to the podium and said, "Good evening, my fellow neighbors and friends and my fellow second-class citizens."
The audience applauded the introduction, so John took this as a good sign and used it to calm his nerves. He continued, thanking the host and then he began his speech. He said, "The LGBT civil rights movement is our generation's civil rights movement. We are the last group of people in this nation who are still treated as second-class citizens. It is still okay in more than half this country to fire a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered person just because we do not fit into a heteronormative box. It is still status quo in many states to deny thousands of rights, including parental and hospital visitation rights, just because we do not fit into that heteronormative box."
John noticed his voice was rising and decided to take the Barack Obama speech approach when he continued, saying, "Because we do not all fit into that heteronormative box, it is obviously okay to be discharged from the military for this reason, even if we make exemplary soldiers. Across this nation, our younger generations are finding death easier than living because of bullying, not just at school or on the internet, but at home and, perhaps, most viciously, at church.
"We live in a nation where it is the law to break up binational gay and lesbian couples just because they are not opposite sex couples. We live in a nation where the rights of a minority are left up to the will of the majority, only because we are not straight. We live in a nation that has a political identity in which oppressing LGBT citizens by suppressing their rights is part of its agenda. We live in a nation that, time and again, seems to tolerate the wrong things.
"We live in a nation that is just grasping what full equality means for a group of people." John's voice continued to escalate as he continued, "Granting full equal protection and rights, such as marriage, to LGBT Americans make us equal in the eyes of our oppressors." John calmly continued, "When we are no longer considered `less than' in the eyes of the law, people start to see us as their equal. History has shown this repeatedly. Women are now seen just as capable as men are; life for African Americans has gotten categorically better. It is now our time to demand our rights!
"Marriage equality is not a privilege to be by those who fit into the heteronormative box. Marriage equality is not a privilege to be granted by religious institutions – institutions that have no business in our political system, in the first place! Marriage equality is a right – over a thousand rights, actually. Marriage equality is not a privilege!" John paused while the audience applauded before continuing, "My mom once asked me, `Why is everything about gay rights with you; do the other issues not matter?'" John smiled and continued, "I sat her down and said, in a very jovial manner, `Until I get one-hundred percent of the rights you and your straight peers enjoy, it will always be the defining issue with me, just as African American rights were a defining issue with your mother and father, my grandmother and grandfather.'"
After the audience applauded, John leaned forward and said, "Here with me, this evening, is my rock, my constant in what seems like a world of entropy, the love of my life, Dustin." John waved Dustin forward, who left his seat and stood near his boyfriend on stage. John continued, "We met in high school and quickly became best friends. A year later, Dustin caught me off guard, kissing me unexpectedly and, thereby, becoming my boyfriend. This was in 2002." The audience applauded and then John continued, saying, "I still have yet to catch him off guard, so tonight, I'm going to return that favor." The audience laughed, after which John said into the microphone, while facing Dustin, "Dustin, you already know that you are the love of my life, we tell each other this fact every day; we also had the underlying understanding that someday, I would ask you to marry me. That day has come. Dustin Matthew LeFleur, will you marry me?" Dustin's hands quickly shot up and covered his mouth as John lowered onto one knee and removed a ring box from his coat pocket.
John opened the box to reveal the platinum Trinity Ring from Gemvara. The ring was a thick band of platinum with a three diamonds set into the band. Dustin extended his hand and John slid the ring onto Dustin's ring finger. When John rose, the two kissed, signifying their engagement. The audience cheered and applauded along with fellow speech givers on stage.
John said I love you to his fiancé as Dustin went back to his seat. When John came back to the podium, the audience continued to cheer. When the audience finally quieted down, John said, "Thank you for that; this will be a moment we will both never forget!"
John became livelier when he continued his speech, "We must never give up; and when we win, we must never be complacent! Our rights will always be under attack and it is from those attacks we must guard them steadfast and adamantly so that the next generation can enjoy them and have an easier life than the previous! Our time is now! Let's go get the other ninety-percent of those rights we are missing! We are the future; you are the future! Thank you! Good night and fight on!"
John waved at the applauding audience and took his seat next to Dustin. The boys listened to the final speaker, both very excited about their life and their future together.
"I cannot believe this is happening," John said as he watched Democrat-after-Democrat lose their seats to tea party extremists. John was screaming at the TV when Dustin finally decided to say, "John; calm down, or I'm unplugging the TV."
"Fine; how are you not bothered by this?"
"John; you knew this was going to happen. You predicted the entire race, just like in 2008."
"I didn't think I was actually serious!"
Dustin laughed and said, "Well, unfortunately for America, you were right."
"Ooo; ours is about to come in!"
John and Dustin watched as Barbara Boxer easily destroyed Carly Fioriona. Waxman decimated his opponent, much to John and Dustin's delight. "Man; it sure feels great to live in a blue district," Dustin exclaimed.
Finally, the major result poured in. Jerry Brown was the state's new governor by nearly one-and-a-half million votes. John and Dustin were now jumping for joy. John tweeted, "Sorry Meg Whitman, bidding for this item is closed!" John then tweeted, "California just showed money can't drown the voice of the people!" Where the nation turned redder, California turned bluer, a sign of hope for John and Dustin. John immediately felt bad for Darren and Jesse because of how Republican Texas had become; but he was certain that how Prop 8 was ruled, it would be only a matter of time before marriage-equality bans were struck down nationwide.
Dustin convinced John to go out and meet with friends to celebrate the California victory, choosing to worry about the national implications of losing the House to radical right-wing nut jobs tomorrow.
John was excited to be back home for Christmastime because most his family would be there, including his aunt and her daughter who both live in Alaska and another cousin and his parents, who live in Virginia. It was his aunt Janelle's, the one from Alaska, fifty-fifth birthday and John was ready to celebrate with his family. The first stop from the airport, however, was a Dustin's place, where he and John would be staying until after New Year's Day.
It was December 22, the start of their two-week stay in Lake Charles, and John already felt that he would have problems adjusting to the time change and then having to readjust once they returned home. When Dustin turned down their street, John was amazed at the outrageous yard decorations.
"So these are the people who by those crazy yard ornaments from Stine," John said. Dustin smiled and continued driving until he got to the end of the road, parking the rental car in the driveway. Also in the drive was Darren's truck.
Before John and Dustin even reached the door, it opened with Darren running out of the house and into his brother's arms. "You guys need to come more often than every-other-year," Darren said, still clinging to his brother. "We've missed you guys!"
Jesse and Richard came out of the house and greeted John and Dustin before helping with the luggage. Before Dustin could help with the luggage, Darren said, "Okay; let me see it!"
Dustin smiled and showed his brother the ring John bought him. Darren gasped and hugged Dustin again. "It's about time, John," Darren said when he released his brother.
John smiled and responded, "I like to take things slowly."
"I was starting to wonder if you were ever going to pop the question," Darren told John in a more intimate tone. "So; how much did it cost? I can tell you that Jess' was very expensive."
"Let's just say, `I'm still paying for it!'"
The following day, John and Dustin visited with John's parents and sisters where Dustin eagerly showed off his engagement ring. Deciding it was safe to tell Sybil the amount of money he spent on the ring, John told her that it was more than half the money he spent going to McNeese.
John was excited to see his relatives; they were truly his favorite part of Christmas. Tomorrow would be his aunt's early birthday celebration; John was already excited about the food he had been missing while living away from Louisiana.
Christmas Eve came and went and the birthday celebration for John's aunt was huge, loud, and fun. Many of John's relatives had no idea he was gay, but after finding out and meeting his fiancé, they were more than supportive. John's mother had even become very progressive on these issues, completely reversing her beliefs that being gay is a sin. John's family was just as great as the seafood Creole-style gumbo.
John woke up and walked into the kitchen. John was greeted by the smell of hot chocolate and allspice. Richard was in the kitchen with chocolate powder, chocolate chips, whipping cream, and marshmallows. John sat down at the kitchen table, astonished at the amount of care going into making the hot chocolate.
"Good morning, John," Richard said.
"Good morning, Richard," John said. "That looks like some serious hot chocolate."
"It's my Christmas special; want a cup?"
Richard prepared a cup of his Christmas special hot cocoa for John and then one for himself. Richard sat down at the table with John and the two started conversing while waiting for the cocoa to cool a little.
"So; when are you two planning to get married?"
"We don't know yet. Hopefully spring or summer of twenty-twelve."
"Where are you two planning to get married?"
"Probably in or around L.A.; although we haven't discussed it, yet."
"Okay; Linda and I just wanted to know. We're going to help pay for it."
"Nothing to thank us about; we are just as excited as you two are. We want to see you guys happy."
"I'm worried about Darren and Jesse, though."
"Yeah; Texas isn't the friendliest state," Richard agreed.
"Hopefully this Prop 8 thing will go to the Supreme Court."
"Do you think it will?"
"What Judge Walker did was unprecedented. He said this law violated not only the state constitution, but also the United States constitution. This provides a vehicle for the case to go to the federal Supreme Court. I have faith that we will win; we have fought for this long."
"That's good," Richard said, taking another sip of his cocoa before the rest of the house started piling into the kitchen, attracted by the smell of the cocoa.
Christmas dinner at Linda and Richard's was fun. Katy, Josh's fiancée showed off her ring, as well. From Linda and Richard's, John and Dustin went to John's first childhood home, the home of his mother's parents.
John was astonished at the amount of food his family had cooked, just having a large meal on the twenty-third and on Christmas Eve. John went directly to the crawfish cornbread, devouring two plates of the delicious concoction. Later that night, John, Dustin, Darren, Josh, Katy, Jesse, and John's cousins went to the movies to see True Grit, a remake of the original that followed the novel more closely.
It was the day after Christmas and John went home to visit with his parents personally. John could not believe they were cooking another large meal. John walked into the house and recognized the aroma immediately: crawfish etouffee and fried chicken.
"Oh, my...more food? Who's coming over," John asked as he walked into the house.
"A few people," his mother said.
John sat down; without wasting time, he asked, "So what made you come around?"
"I realized that you are a child God, made in his image. God made you the way you are and as long as you are a good person, you will make it through the gates of heaven."
"God exists, John. You may not be able to see it, right now, but he does love you...no matter who you are."
The remainder of the day was positive for John, who hung out with his cousins and sisters. John was happy that his mother was much more accepting of his sexuality, but still a little disappointed that she could not grasp the fact that he needed further proof to believe in God. Baby steps, John thought.
Dustin thought it was comical how riled up John became about hockey, especially during the Winter Classic on New Year's Day. After enjoying cabbage, John, Dustin, and their family decided to go see another movie.
While in the theater, John saw Mauria Caldwell, one of his closest friends in college. Mauria ran over to John and said, "Hey; how are you?"
"I'm great; what have you been up to?"
"I just got a project management job at Shaw in Baton Rouge. I'm also working on my MBA."
"I am, too. Well, my MBE."
"Really; we should go into business together!"
John smiled at her enthusiasm and said, "If I find something, you'll be the first person I call."
"Ooo; we can call it Caldwell, Winfield & Associates!"
"Good question; work on a name and get back with me."
"I'll make sure to continue returning your pokes on Facebook!"
"And I'll continue poking you!"
John and Dustin were excited to be home, but they were not excited about losing two hours in the process of getting there. "It balances out," John said. "We gained two hours when we landed in Lake Charles, and now we've paid them back. It was literally `borrowed time.'"
"Why do I still feel cheated," Dustin asked, dropping the last suitcase in the apartment. John walked up to Dustin and kissed him deeply. "Mmm," Dustin hummed as John kissed him. The two men hugged and rubbed each other. After not being sexual for nearly two weeks, John and Dustin were feeling extra frisky and barely made it to the bedroom before they were completely naked. John and Dustin were glad to be home.
Dustin was lying in his fiancé's arms looking at his engagement ring. John kissed Dustin's ear and then asked, "Whatcha thinkin' about?"
"Ooo; my favorite topic," John said, smiling. "So; what about us?"
"I was just thinking about our future together. Your job is starting to have you travel a lot and I'm worried that when we decide to start having children, your job could get in the way of an adoption."
"That's pretty heavy. I did make a promise that I would cut back on work when that time came."
"And what if you can't?"
"Then I promise that every night I come home late, I will kiss all of my children, even if they are sleeping, and tell them good night."
"And what about me."
John tickled Dustin and said, "Of course, I'll kiss you good night, silly!"
"And speaking of children, how many do you want?"
"Like two...or three, if we can afford it."
"We'll need time more than money, John."
"Two-to-three sounds good. Do you want boys or girls?"
"Whatever the adoption agency set us up with."
"I'd prefer boys because I would imagine two dads raising a girl would present unique challenges, but I know we would manage, either way."
"What am I going to do with you when you decide to open your business?"
"Be there for me; that's all I ask. I just need you to be my support."
"Are you still thinking about going into business with Mauria."
"It depends on what's going on in her life when I spot an opportunity, or vice versa."
"And what about you wanting to move to Irvine?"
"Wow; is this the third-degree, or what?"
"No, the third-degree involved violence."
"Oh; ha ha, nerd! I like Irvine; it's close to the city and the houses are reasonable; unlike Beverly Hills."
"But it's so red!"
"It's getting bluer by the election, babe. It'll be progressive before you know it!" John kissed his boyfriend on the shoulder, hoping this line of questioning was complete.
"Okay; I'll follow you, but don't lead me into a den of lions, John!"
"If you don't like a major change in our lives, tell me and I will stop; Dustin you know I will."
"I know...I love you, John. And we do have one last thing to worry about."
"And what's that?"
"You're haven't had any seizures in quite some time."
"That is true," John said. After a pause, John said, "I love you, too, Dusty." John and Dustin shared a kiss before John asked, "Are you changing your last name when we get married?"
"Yes; I'm going to hyphenate it, though."
"What last name are we giving the children?"
"That'll be a mouthful. LeFleur-Winfield; wow!"
Dustin smiled and said, "LeFleur-Winfield. Dustin Matthew LeFleur-Winfield. I like it."
"Me, too. You'll be mine in just a few more months."
"I thought I was already yours."
"You're right; you are already mine," John said, leaning forward to share a loving kiss with his fiancé.
End of Part 5
Thanks for reading my story, look out for Part 6 (the final part), to be released in the middle of November (no definite date yet)! Blame my procrastination!
Thanks for reading!
If you would like to be notified when I release the sixth and final part, send me a message with the subject line, "Send Notifications".
Enjoyed their story, have any unanswered questions; email me at JohnMichael.Nifty@gmail.com
Some simple recipes:
1/2 med onion
4 stalks green onion
2 pods garlic
1/4 bell pepper
1/2 stick butter
1 tbsp flour
1/2 can cream/celery
1 can cream/mushroom
1 pack crawfish
Seasonings Tony Chachere's & Red Pepper
Use medium grain rice.
Chop all ingredients. Sauté over low fire in butter until onions are cooked. Add Crawfish tails, let sauté for 15 minutes. Add Flour, stir in, add cream soups. Add milk or water to desired consistency. Season to taste, serve over rice or pistalette.
Southern Comfort French Toast
My own recipe:
1/3 c. Milk
1/2 shot glass of Southern Comfort
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Sugar
2 slices of stale bread
Powdered sugar or Syrup
1. Mix milk, SoCo, eggs, cinnamon, and sugar. Pour into a bowl with a flat bottom.
2. Dip bread in egg mixture; allow slice to soak up the mix. Melt 1/2 teaspoon of butter in skillet on medium heat. Cook eggy bread in skillet, flipping when the bottom becomes golden golden brown and the edges crispy.
3. Enjoy with powdered sugar or syrup.