The following is a work of fiction. Any similarities are entirely fortuitous. The story may contain profanity and references to gay sex. If such content offends you please leave now. The author retains all rights to the story. Do not copy or use without written authority from the author. Write Bobby at this address with your comments.
"Are you sure your family will like me?" I nervously asked Alan as we were walking up to his parent's house.
"They are going to adore you as much as I do." Alan rightly said. "And they will love you guys too." He turned around and smiled at Keegan and Travers.
"I sure hope so." I sighed uneasily. Alan rang the doorbell and I awaited my fate.
"Welcome!" a woman said brightly. She grabbed Alan in a hug, then released him when she saw me. "You must be Tyler."
"Hi, Mrs. Basset," I said, extending my hand.
"Manners," she grinned. "As much as I appreciate them I'd much rather be call Meryl." She then pulled me into a hug. "And are these your boys?"
"Oh, yes, this is my youngest Keegan. And this is Travers."
"Hi," the boys said in unison.
"Gosh, they are adorable." Meryl happily chimed. "Well, come on in. It's freezing out there."
I was introduced to Alan's younger brothers, Jason and Dave, and his dad, Mike. I made a joke about how my dad's name was Mike as well. His brothers are only younger by about six years. His sister hasn't arrived yet and apparently she has a new boyfriend she's bringing.
"So, Tyler, what do you do?" Mike asked. Everyone was in the living room by the Christmas tree.
"I'm a U.S. History teacher at the high school." I replied.
"Oh, good work that is. How long have you been a teacher?"
"This is actually my first year. It feels like forever though." I laughed.
"I can imagine. Alan and I have been doing architecture together for a couple years, but solo I've been doing it for thirty." Mike said. "You must make some money, right? I mean, especially now after the budget evened out a few years back."
"Dad," Alan cut in. "Let's not start the money talk, please."
"Sorry, I'm just curious is all. I'm not gonna start my presentation. Your mom already warned me about it." Mike gruffly said. Meryl just gave him one of those looks only women can give.
"So, when is-" The doorbell rang interrupting Alan. "Well, that answers that question."
"Ooh, I have to make the pie!" Meryl jumped up and said.
"Would you like some help with that?" I asked her.
"Please!" she shouted back from the kitchen.
Alan stood to get the door while I went into the kitchen to help with the food. Meryl was being extremely nice to me which I appreciated more than anyone could imagine. The weird feeling of being in my boyfriend's parent's house began right when I parked my car. After all, when Jared and I started dating I already knew his parents so there wasn't this stage that needed to be dealt with.
As I was peeling and slicing the apples for the pie, Meryl critiqued me and said I really knew what I was doing. She also said that Alan had no cooking ability whatsoever.
'Great,' I thought to myself. 'Another one that can't cook.'
"Mom," Alan said quickly, running into the kitchen. "Sis's new boyfriend is freaking hot!"
I laughed. "Well, maybe we should hook you two up."
Alan gave me a look of curiosity. "Tyler, I didn't mean hotter than you of course."
"Well, let's go meet him then." Meryl said. The three of us walked back out into the family room. If I could've foreseen what I was about to see I would've slit my throat while cutting those apples.
"Mom!" Taylor said happily. "I'd like you to meet my boyfriend, Jared."
I was absolutely frozen solid. My face showed so man emotions, but the most noticeable I think was complete and udder shock.
"Wow, Alan was right about you, Jared." Meryl said, oblivious to who he was.
"Isn't he amazing?" Taylor disgustingly giggled. She then looked at me. "Tyler, what are you doing here?"
"You two know each other already?" Alan asked. "This is my new boyfriend Taylor." He stood next to me and wrapped an arm around my waist. I was still shocked beyond all belief.
"Yes, we know each other. We met last week I think it was." Taylor said.
For a moment I glanced over at Travers and he seemed just as shocked as I was. I tried my best to try to pull myself together, but it wasn't working.
"Tyler, are you okay?" Alan asked. Now everyone's attention was on me.
"I-I need to use the bathroom." I was able to stutter out.
"It's right down the hall." Meryl pointed.
I quickly walked out of the room to the bathroom. Inside, I leaned over the toilet as I knew what was soon coming. I started to gag a little, but nothing major at least. The temperature inside the house suddenly turned extremely hot. I splashed some cold water on my face, and then stared at myself in the mirror.
A knock came at the door. "Tyler, are you all right?" The door handle twisted and in came Alan. He had a concerned air about him.
"No, I'm not all right. How am I supposed to be all right with him here!?" I said angrily.
"Him who? What are you talking about?" Alan asked.
"Jared," I cried out. I wrapped my arms around his neck and sobbed hard. "That's Jared."
Alan stayed silent for a moment. "Oh, my God! That's your ex-husband!?" I nodded my confirmation. "Tyler, I don't know what to say really."
"I have an idea of what not to say." I pushed off of him. Alan gently wiped my eyes for me. "Please, do not mention anything about us being together or his gay phase. Don't ruin this night for him."
"Ruin his night? Don't you think he ruined yours already?"
"Sacrifices must be made for the..." I trailed off, catching myself of what I was about to say. "Just please don't say anything. I don't want to cause a scene."
"All right, I won't say a word, but I hope things aren't going to be too awkward now. Mom and dad will start asking like a million questions." Alan said. "And just so you know, he is really the fool." I smiled at his compliment. The two of us walked into the family room, our hands together.
"Tyler, are you okay? You look so pale." Meryl asked worriedly, coming up to feel my forehead.
"Oh, I'm fine. I guess I'm just a bit hungry." I deceptively smiled.
"Dinner is ready, though, so let's eat."
During the course of dinner, Jared and I continually made eye contact. This hopefully went unnoticed though. Travers kept giving me sly grins indicating he knew what was going on, however.
Taylor explained to everyone how they met. It sickened me. I guess Alan didn't like it either as he interrupted her and suggested that we talk about other things. His family gave him a quizzical look.
"Do you play any sports, Travers?" Mike asked him.
"No, but in the spring I plan on trying out for the swim team. I don't mean to brag, but I'm pretty fast in the water." he let out pretty arrogantly.
"It's important for high school students to be involved in something. A sport is definitely a plus, but even a club could help them out later in life." Mike explained. "Hell, Alan must've been in every club there was at that high school. Did you two know each other in high school?"
"No, we didn't know each other. I actually wasn't involved in anything though. The only thing I was concentrated on was my grades." I said. "My ex-boyfriend played water polo though." I glanced at Jared as I spoke. Alan looked a bit uncomfortable after that.
"What about a girlfriend, Travers? By how cute you are you must have dozens flocking to you." Meryl asked politely.
"Actually, I have a boyfriend. We've been going out for a few months now I think." Travers said.
"Well, isn't that wonderful? How about you, Keegan? Do you have a girlfriend yet?" Meryl asked him.
"No, I'm gay too." he casually said.
"What!?" Jared and I both loudly let out. We looked at each other then looked away. All eyes were on me once more.
"Wait, why are you surprised, Jared?" Mike asked.
"Oh, no one knew?" Taylor inquired. "Jared and Tyler divorced a couple of weeks ago." The room grew eerily quiet. This time all eyes were at least shared with Jared. He looked at me cautiously. I suddenly felt incredibly sick.
I scooted away from the table. "Boys, it's time to go. I feel sick. Meryl, Mike, thank you for dinner." I rushed out of the room, grabbing my jacket on the way out of the house. Travers and Keegan were following closely behind me.
"Tyler, wait," Alan said. "Tyler!"
I unlocked my Murano to let the boys in. "What, Alan? I can't be here now."
"I'm sorry she said that. That was very inconsiderate of her, but please don't leave." he begged of me.
"I'm sorry, but I just can't stay here with him. It's like torture. Tell your parents I'm sorry again. I'll call you tomorrow maybe." I kissed his cheek then got in on my side before driving off.
When we got home no one spoke. There wasn't even any talk on the way here. Travers and Keegan went into their room whereas I dropped on the couch and cried in my hands. A few minutes later, Keegan came out with tears streaming down his face.
"Daddy, I'm sorry I made you mad." he cried out.
I opened my arms for him. He walked up to me and collapsed into a hug. "You didn't upset me, Keegan. Jared's friend did by what she said. I was just really embarrassed."
"Are you sure?"
"Positive," I sighed.
"Just so you know," Keegan began, "I'm not gay. I just said I was because I thought it'd be funny."
I chuckled lightly. "Well, it's funnier now than it was earlier."
* * * *
Family. There is nothing more important. They are the ones who show up when we're in trouble. The ones who push us to succeed. The ones who help keep our secrets. But what of those who have no family to rely on? What happens to those poor souls who have no loved ones to help them in their hour of need? Well, most learn to walk life's road by themselves, but a sad few of us...
"Tyler, I need to go to Jared's really fast. I left my cell phone there." softly I said. Keegan was asleep in his arms. He nodded his approval.
I ran out to my car and sped over to Jared's. Trevor has probably been calling me all night. Thankfully Taylor's car wasn't outside when I got there meaning she wasn't here.
"Jared! I forgot my cell phone!" I shouted, walking to my room. My phone was just sitting on my bed. I mentally kicked myself for being stupid enough to forget it. "Okay, I got it!"
He didn't answer back though. In fact, the house was silent. Usually he has a TV going or something. He hates being in a quiet house. I walked upstairs to his bedroom. The light was out so I turned it on and found something I wish I hadn't.
...simply stop trying.*
* * * * * * * * * * * *
* © by Marc Cherry, 2007
I hope you enjoyed chapter five. As always feel free to e-mail me with any comments or questions. Also feel free to join my group at this address. Thanks!
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