Jacques and Frank
© The author reserves all rights to this work.
This story is of an adult nature. It is not intended for minors nor for those whose law in their land forbids them to read this material.
This story is entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual people is purely coincidental and unintentional.
NB: Words found between asterisks (*) refer to words exchanged in psychic or telepathic communication.
Date: 26 July 2671, Wednesday
Frank had returned home to find a welcoming wife. His youngest child was still welcoming but his three older children were very cold towards him. They were polite but he could sense that it was out of fear more than respect.
It was the third day of his so-called vacation. He was sitting in his study, depressed. His wife came in to encourage him.
“What’s wrong, Frank? You know you can talk to me.”
“Well, its the project. Something went wrong and I’m trying to figure out why and how.”
Geraldine knew that was not the reason but decided encourage him, “Take a break. You’re supposed to be on vacation. Take the opportunity to know your children. Your two older children are already in their teens. You should take this time to get to know them. You weren’t present often …” his wife told him.
“Yes, I know. I’m doing what I’m doing for their future, don’t they know it?”
“No, they don’t. You started on your projects when Chiara was born. Little Chiara is not little any more. She’s already eight. Jacques is eighteen and Stef is going to be seventeen. If anything, I don’t think they like you much, especially Stefanie. She doesn’t even want to hear about you. Whenever I say that you called, she’d make an excuse to leave the table.”
“You should discipline them more. That’s what they lack. Children nowadays have no discipline. When I was young, I was working very hard to get to where I am now.”
Geraldine sighed. “As I recall, Frank, you weren’t a normal boy when you were growing up. You kept to yourself and had very few friends.”
“That was a long time ago!”
“These are your children you’re talking about. If you don’t want to lose them, you’ve got to try to communicate with them. You can create any kind of communication device but you still got to use them and use them well. Devices can’t improve communication skills; only practice.”
“I know but I sense that Jacques and Stef are hostile.”
“I know but you should try. I think that Stefanie may be sexually active. She tells me that she isn’t but I don’t know … and Jacques may have inherited the condition from you.”
“What?!” Frank asked, getting agitated. “Just because I’m absent from home doesn’t mean that you can pin everything on me.”
“Well, we were checked before we got married. You were a carrier and you got treated.”
“Yes! I got treated. I was assured that it would take care of any problems.”
“Frank, we were told that after the treatment, the chances of passing on the gene was only 10%. Even 10% means that there is a possibility of it happening.”
“So now you’re blaming me for Jacques behaviour.”
“No, I’m not blaming you. He’s already eighteen and you can’t force him to do anything that he doesn’t want to. I’m only saying this because he isn’t spending time with girls. He’s just keeping his head in his books.”
“You’re saying that he has the condition because he’s diligent in his studies? What can you be thinking of? Jacques’s a highly intelligent boy. I suspect that he even surpasses me.”
“Precisely. Why were you spending so much time in your books when you were eighteen?”
“Er … I see what you mean. So what do you want me to do? I never did anything on psychology. That’s your field.”
“But you’re his father. Frank, I’m not asking you to cure him. I’m asking you to be his father. If he has any questions, you can answer them from your experience …”
“What experience do I have? I was a bookworm …”
“Look, Frank. Either you make good use of this time to be his father, or you may lose him forever. I know that he didn’t like the way you handled the matter of his entry into the Academy.”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you know for certain that he wanted to go to the Academy?”
“What do you mean? Of course he wanted to go.”
“How do you know?”
“I … I just know.”
“No you don’t!” Geraldine was getting a little annoyed. “You decided for him. He was very unhappy. During the time, you hardly spoke to him. A hello and a few grunts was all there was. If you don’t start to do something soon. You will lose him. Do you understand? You won’t be able to get two words into him. I won’t help you because I think there’s justification for his actions.”
“You’re taking his side if he rebels? What kind of wife are you?”
“What kind of mother would I be when his father refuses to be a father.”
“You’re impossible!” shouted Frank.
“No, you are. I’ve lived quietly in the hope that when you’ve the time, you’d start making use of that time to know your children. Instead you’ve shut yourself up in the study moping around. I want you to start being the father that you should be.”
“I spent my time trying to make sure that there’s food on the table and security for the family and you’re accusing me of not being a father?” Frank shouted again.
“You know as well as I do that your involvement in your project is due to your interest and not because you wanted to put food on the table. You can put food on the table in any other kind of work. You’ve never put this family first. You put your work and interest first. So don’t give me that big man of the house act. I see right through you, Frank Robinson!”
Frank got up and left the study in a huff. He slammed the door on his way out of the flat.
Lelia and Chiara ran into the study. They were frightened to hear their father shouting. They came in and found their mother crying. They, too, started crying. They were soon joined by Stefanie who also started crying. Jacques had heard the shouting from his room and his sisters crying in the study. He came down and got his coat from the closet. His mother heard the closet door and immediately stood up and met him at the door.
“What are you doing?” Geraldine asked her son.
“I’m going to look for him.”
“It’s already late.”
“No. I need to talk some sense into him. I won’t let him treat you this way.”
“Don’t go Jacques. Please, for my sake, don’t go.”
“Mama. My room is just above the study. When he started shouting, I heard every word. I’m doing this for you, for me and for the family. If he refuses to be part of this family, then I’ll have nothing to say. He’s hot-headed, I know because I am too. I’ll try to get him to cool down and then come back.”
“Mama, we’ve been living in fear all these years. I’ve lived in fear of him for so long. It’s time I faced my fears.”
Geraldine realised what her son was saying. “All right. Just promise me that you’ll come back as soon as possible.”
Jacques rushed out of the building and saw his father walking towards a nearby park. Jacques moved towards him and shouted, “Dad! Wait up!” His father did not turn around, instead, he chose to continue walking. Jacques called out again as he ran faster towards his father, “Dad, wait up!” When he reached his father, he was surprised to see his father crying.
“Get away, Jacques, I need to be alone!” said his father gruffly.
“No! You keep shutting everyone out! I’m your son. You can’t shut me out!”
Frank turned and glared at his son. Frank was feeling very vulnerable at the moment. His wife had hit a very raw part of his life. Frank was born gay. He buried himself in his studies because he was attracted to boys. He actually spent his time between wanking off and studying very hard. He was an only child which made things more difficult because he was also feeling very lonely.
His only acquaintance was Geraldine, his neighbour. They were not close until university. Geraldine was a very pretty woman. She was small framed and many guys passed her by for taller women. She was also very intelligent which kept many of the less intelligent men away. Coincidentally, both Geraldine and Frank were offered scholarships to the Academy. Knowing him to be a shy boy, Geraldine made the first move to get to know Frank. They often took the public transport together to the university to save time and became very close friends.
Then, Frank fell in love with her. Though in love, he found it hard to think of her sexually. That brought about a crisis in Frank. He tried to avoid Geraldine altogether. Geraldine, who was also in love with Frank, was surprised at the sudden distance he had put between them. It did not take a psychology major to realise that there was something wrong. After some thought, she decided to see him personally. Geraldine went to Frank’s home and confronted him face to face. Frank broke down in front of her and spilled everything out. Geraldine was not surprised to learn that Frank was gay. She had had her suspicions why Frank was the way he was and being gay was one of them. She was surprised though, that Frank was in love with her. They hugged and Frank did something strange: he kissed her on the lips. That healed the bond between them. Some time later, when they discussing Frank’s condition. Geraldine suggested that Frank might be bisexual. Frank was able to come out and say that he did not see his only true friend in a sexual way but at the same time he was in love with her and could not think that he could be apart from her. Frank decided to see a doctor and a psychologist regarding his condition. The doctor affirmed that Frank had the gay gene and the psychologist affirmed that Frank was in love with Geraldine, but not in a sexual way. Frank was in love with the person of Geraldine. The psychologist had thought that there was some psychological disorder at work here, but after months of seeing Frank, realised that Frank truly loved Geraldine.
Falling in love was one thing, getting married was another. Frank proposed. Geraldine was not sure at first. She loved Frank very much but at the same time she also wanted a family with children. If Frank could not have sex with her, she would not be happy. Being the good friends they were, they discussed it and Geraldine decided that if Frank could find a way to let her have children, they would get married. Frank had a terrible time as a child and teenager and did not want his offspring to suffer like he did. He decided to get gene therapy to try to remove the gay gene. The doctor told him that on average, only about 90% of the genes in the gonads could be removed. This was due to the fact that if any more intense, the man or woman could end up sterile. The treatment included a psychological package to help the gay person respond to someone of the opposite sex. This came as a bonus as Frank and Geraldine were prepared to have children via the test-tube.
The first six years of marriage were the happiest in Frank’s life. He was able to have a semblance of a normal family life. Geraldine never complained about the sex. Their love-making was infrequent but Frank was always hugging and kissing her. She had been thankful that Frank usually initiated sex. She knew it was hard for him, even after the treatment but he managed. She had two children during their first three years of marriage. She was contented. Then Frank started getting involved in a highly classified project and had to be gone for long periods of time. Frank came back every six weeks or so and really paid attention to her and that was how she ended up with two more children.
What she did not know was that Frank had found himself attracted to a young male scientist working in the project. Frank had thought that he was cured of his condition and this attraction was bothering him. Frank had walked into the wrong bedroom one evening and found the young scientist naked. He had just finished his shower and was drying up. Apologising and red-faced, Frank had hurriedly left the room. That was before he had seen the nakedness of the scientist. That night, he masturbated to the picture of the naked man in his mind. Fortunately, the scientist was not working closely with Frank, though there were times that they were together in the same room. Frank was extremely uncomfortable with the situation though he would act as if there was nothing amiss. Frank felt extremely guilty that he could lust after the man because he was still in love with his wife. It was that guilt that gave him the impetus to pay attention to his wife. After his wife was pregnant with the fourth child, the male scientist’s contract expired and was not renewed. Frank’s pebble in the shoe had disappeared. This allowed him to be more focused in his work and he did it with a vengeance. He still felt guilty about not being totally honest with his wife and so started distancing himself from his family.
It was his guilt that was keeping him in his study. He felt so guilty regarding the fact that he was not completely cured. When his wife informed him that their son could be inflicted with his condition as well, he felt so much like a failure.
“Dad, don’t shut me out. Most of all, don’t shut mama out,” Jacques pleaded. He did not like his father much but he saw his mother hurting and knew he had to plead with his father.
Frank had a sudden burst of confidence and turned to face his son. “Jacques, I need to talk to you about something. Your mother asked that I should talk to you about it and I couldn’t. That was why we argued and I walked out of the house.”
“You had a quarrel over me? Why? Am I the reason you’re distancing yourself from the family?” Jacques asked with confusion.
“No!” Frank said firmly. “That has to me with me. That’s why I have to have this talk with you.”
“Mama was worried about you. Maybe we should get home for this talk,” said Jacques.
“Don’t worry, I’ll get your mother now.”
Frank took out a personal communicator and contacted Geraldine.
“Gerry, it’s Frank.”
“Frank! How are you? Is Jacques with you?”
“I’m fine. Our son is with me. He’s all right too.”
“Come home, dear.”
“We will. I’ve decided to have that talk with him.”
There was a moment of silence before Geraldine responded, “All right, but don’t stay out too late. Your dinner will be in the warmer when you return.”
“Thanks, Gerry. You’re a gem. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Frank put away his communicator and turned to his son. “Come, son, we’re going somewhere to talk.”
Frank led his son to a quiet cafe and sat at the corner. They each ordered tea and started to talk. Frank began by asking Jacques about his life at the Academy and whether he was happy being there. The talk turned to the various peculiarities about the Academy. Jacques was warming up to his father. He was discovering how much both of them had in common.
“You know that wall recess behind the astronomy lab?” Frank asked.
“No, where exactly is it. I haven’t had the chance to explore much of that part of the building.”
“It’s hard to miss. If you go out the back door and turn to your left, you’ll come to a wall with large windows. To accommodate for the aerial dish, there’s a small recess where the windows join the wall of the lab. It is quite wide. At least it was wide enough for me to slip in and look out of the windows without anyone from outside being able to see me.”
“Windows?” Jacques said, thinking to himself. “I know where those are but I think that they must’ve sealed the recess because there isn’t one now, at least I haven’t noticed anything there.”
“Well, that was the place that I realised that I was in love with your mother.”
“You mean mama and you were in the Academy together?”
“Yes, she was a psych major and I majored in ASE.”
“She never mentioned that you were in school together.”
Frank smiled. “Your mama’s a very quiet lady. She’s very observant and very smart. She just doesn’t show it often. I’m sure she’s figured out what’s eating me and she was trying to help when I lost my temper.”
“She is?” Jacques said, a little apprehensive because of the possibility that his mother might have known about his little adventure with the doctor a few days before.
“Well, Jacques, I was in love with your mother but I was afraid to tell her.”
“Because I’m a homosexual.”
“What?!” asked Jacques, his voice getting louder.
“Shhh! You heard me. I’m gay.”
“How can that be? Being gay means falling in love with your own sex … and you have four children … and … Wait a minute. That means …”
“That you’d got your gay gene from me.”
Jacques looked at his father in wonder. All his previous thoughts about his father being a non caring person was fading away. He began to see things in a slightly different light though he had many questions still. Then he realised what his father had said and his face fell.
“How’d I know? Jacques, your mama told me and how did she know? She noticed the similarities between you and me when I was at your age.”
Jacques fell very silent, not knowing how to react. His father was telling him something very personal about himself. He had many questions to ask his father at this point but he did not know if it was the right time to ask them.
Frank noticed the silence and said, “Jacques, you’ll need to talk to me. I shut myself up when I was your age and poured myself into my studies. If you choose to accept your sexuality, I will support you. If you decide to find yourself a boyfriend, I’ll support you. If you decide to go for treatment to try to reverse your sexuality, I’ll support that too. What I won’t support is to keep your thoughts on your sexuality hidden away like I did.”
“She’ll support you in anything. She just wants you to be happy.”
“Are you happy with mama?”
Frank did not expect that question. “Jacques, I love your mother very much.”
“That wasn’t what I asked. I asked if you were happy with mama.”
“How do you expect me to answer that question?”
“You’re not happy with mama?”
“Damn it, Jacques! The problem’s not with her. It’s with me. I love her very much. I doubt I’d be able to continue to live if I’m without her.”
“Yet, you’re not happy?”
“The gene therapy that I went through wasn’t a complete success. I still feel aroused when I see some men,” admitted Frank. After he said it, he realised that it was to his son that he was making this admission. He felt uncomfortable and yet relieved, as if a great burden had been lifted away.
Jacques was confused. How could his father feel for other men and yet love his mother as well?
“Jacques, I feel guilty about getting aroused. I promised to love your mother and your mother alone. I know what I feel isn’t love but lust. Yet, somehow I feel that that’s wrong. That is why I’m not fully happy.”
“Why don’t you just talk to her about it?” asked Jacques.
“How can I admit my infidelities to her? It’ll break her heart.”
“Dad, if you truly love her, you’d tell her and she’d understand if she really loves you. And Dad, I know that she does.”
Frank let out a chuckle, “To think that I’d set out to try to help you and you’re giving me advice instead.”
“But Dad, I really have a lot of questions to ask you.”
“Then ask away …”