It was chaos all around me. Some crazy guy had set the gay bar on fire. I was following behind Fidel and Miguel. We were at the front of the bar. There were a bunch of other people. We looked out the doors. There were people out there. There were a group of people. They were dressed in all black.
“Help! HELP US!” Miguel was screaming out.
That was when someone next to Miguel, another gay boy shook his head, “They aren't going to help us. They did this. They fucking did this!”
At that moment it became clear the boy was right!
People had barred the door. They had barred the door of the fucking gay bar and were standing behind the glass doors watching. Smoke filled the entire room.
I looked behind me to realize that I lost Fidel. When I turned around I noticed him wrestling with the bartender. The bartender was the one who lit the fire. Everyone was trying to get out but somehow Fidel was trying to get even.
I watched as he punched the bartender throwing him on the ground and pinning him there. There was smoke everywhere.
I started to cough.
“Fidel!” I found myself screaming.
It was useless! The room was filled with smoke. People were screaming. The fire had spread across the bar and was making it's way towards us. The smoke was so heavy that I could hardly breathe at this moment.
I could hear crying to my right. Towards the door Miguel and the others were trying to break down the barricade that was keeping us in there.
It was useless.
That was when I noticed the fire making it's way towards Fidel. Fidel was too busy fighting the man who set the fire that he didn't even notice.
“Fidel!” I screamed again.This time I did more than just scream. I ran towards Fidel grabbed him by his shoulders and pulled him away. Just at that a moment a part of the roof started to cave in. Rubble fell where Fidel was before. Luckily I had got him out of the way just in time.
Fidel didn't even seem aware. He was pissed. I could see the look in his eyes.
“He's running. He's running away.”
Fidel was right. The guy who had set the fire had started running the opposite way out of the bar. He was running through the back. He was an young Spanish guy, not particularly handsome but had a very burly look about him. He started out the back immediately, making his way past the fire that spreading across the dance floor.
Smoke filled my lungs as Fidel shook himself away fro me. I could see just how pissed and upset he was. Someone had just fucking attacked us.
“Follow him!” I screamed out, “He knows a way out!”
I had screamed it as loud as I possibly could. Luckily the other gay guys who were in the bar at the front heard me too. They all turned around to see what I was talking about. We were running with him, chasing the man down. The man must have not noticed that we were chasing him.
Either that or his own life mattered more than having us burn in this gay bar. He led us to the back and through a very slim tunnel to a back entrance of the bar.
We were outside!
That was when I realized a truck was there.It was more of the men in black. The Spanish man hopped into the back of the pickup truck and started to drive off. I watched Fidel as Fidel desperately chased the truck down. He had so much intent. I was actually scared for him when he made this incredible jump to get onto the pickup truck before it pulled off too far. He jumped on the truck. At that moment I saw the words spray painted on the back of the truck. . It was sprayed in bright red letters. Fidel lunged at the truck with so much anger in him. And he barely missed.
“It sounds like this guy was just a lunatic. It had to have been a one off situation,” the cop stated.
An hour had passed. The paramedics and fire station were called. Luckily everyone had gotten out of the bar but the bar was completely burnt down. The police officers had spent time taking statements. I guess that was what you wanted to call them. They weren't even really listening to what the fuck we had to say.
“This was a hate crime. We were targeted because we are fucking gay.”
“Now we don't know that to be true.”
“Are you fucking serious?” Fidel stated, “This isn't the first time that we were attacked. This isn't a one off fucking situation.”
“And you know that how?” the police officer asked.“BECAUSE IT'S BLATANTLY FUCKING CLEAR!” Fidel screamed at the top of his lungs.
I noticed at that moment a group of police officers were surrounding Fidel. They looked aggressive. Fidel was all in the cop's face at that moment but the cops weren't trying to hear it. We had tried to talk to them for almost an hour now but none of them were budging.
None of them seemed to even be slightly interested in all the guys in black. None of them seemed to care that the man who burnt down the gay club had help. They just assumed it was a one off situation. They were doing the minimum.
“Now if you boys want to fuck each other in your shitholes, that's on you,” another cop told Fidel, “Until you have proof that this is a hate crime, you can just shut the fuck up and stop throwing one of your sissy hissy fits.”
Sissy Hissy fits?
I was shocked. I was shocked that the police were talking to us like this. I was even more shocked when the groups of cops started to laugh at that moment. They were laughing at Fidel. They weren't just laughing at Fidel though. They were laughing at all of us.I watched Fidel's fists ball up at that moment. He took a step forward. He was about to do something. He was about to hit the cop. Just in time though Miguel stopped him pulling him back.
“Let's go home, it's not worth it.”
“We need to finish taking your statements,” another cop stated, “Unless you just want this case to be ignored.”
“Pretty sure you guys plan on ignoring it anyway,” Miguel replied.
I left with Miguel and Fidel at that moment. I looked back at the cops. I looked back at the building. The entire building was burnt down and completely destroyed. If Fidel hadn't followed that guy there was no telling what would have happened. We all would have been dead possibly.
The fact that the cops didn't give a damn was one thing. The fact however that they found it funny was another thing. It was at that moment I realized how fucked up the world was.
It was at that moment that I had a feeling that things weren't going to get any better. They were only going to get worse.
I had gone home that night. My parents were there and when I told them what happened I didn't know how they would react. They were just standing in the middle of the living room. My mom had a shocked expression on her face. My dad was just shaking his head. Donovan and Kenyon hadn't come home yet. I felt like maybe this was the best time to talk to my parents about what happened.
“You need to stay away from those kind of places,” my dad said.
I was shocked. That was the first thing he said.
“Are you serious?” I asked, “I was almost killed because I'm gay and the first thing you say is that I need to stay away from those kinds of places.”
“Your father's right,” my mother replied, “We are just worried about you. We are just scared. Nothing good comes from those kinds of places. You of all people should know that by now.”
“The gay bar is NOT the issue. It's these fucking radicals...”
My dad shook his head at that moment, “Not everyone in this world is understanding. Being gay is just very...unpopular right now. Maybe one day it will change. Why can't you just...keep a low profile until then. You aren't feminine. No one will know you are gay. The only reason they know you are gay is because you tell everyone.”
I was shocked.
“This is so fucked up.”
I didn't know if I would have gotten some better advice from my parents. I wasn't expecting my parents to call lawyers and try to sue the police station for how they were handling the case. I didn't expect them to take up banners and protest or anything like that.
What I did expect was that they would at least try to understand the outrage I was feeling. They didn't. They wanted me to completely change who I was. They wanted me to fucking hide.I couldn't believe them.I got up off the couch in the living and made my way to my room.
I didn't turn. I couldn't even look at them at that point.
“It's for your own good. Stay away from those gays.”
“That's what you don't understand. I can't stay away from them. I am them.”
I walked away. I could feel the anger in me as I did. A part of me knew that it could be worse with parents. Maybe my parents could have been those people who hated gays. They weren't. They were just scared of what could have happened to me because I was gay. I sat in my room and just shook my head. I couldn't believe what was going on.
The next afternoon I went downstairs to see my brother Kenyon.
He wasn't alone. He had two girls in the living room with him. Kenyon smiled over at me.
“Where's everyone at?” I asked Kenyon.
I ignored the girls that he had with him. By the way Kenyon stood up I could tell he was drunk. He had a cup in his hand. I hoped it was alcohol but I knew Kenyon did some harder stuff than alcohol. When I got a closer look I could see the two cups. I had no doubt that he was drinking lean...a popular drug similar to prescription cough syrup.
“Everyone's out. You been upstairs all day...you good...”
“Better than you. God, you stink. Lay off that shit,” I replied looking over at Kenyon and seeing how he was drinking the Lean in his cup.
“You need to relax yo,” Kenyon stated laughing, “Get that stick out your ass...literally...”
Kenyon was laughing and I rolled my eyes. It was pointless talking to him when he was fucked up like this. Kenyon was more embarrassing and annoying than anything. I didn't completely hate him like I hated Donovan. He did have moments where he was actually a good guy, but that was usually when he was sober which wasn't too often nowadays.
“Is that your brother?” one of the girls stated, “He's cute. You guys look just alike.”
“Sexy twins...” the other girl replied.
“Shay meet my girl Tina and her sister Marisol. Marisol was asking about you...”
The one named Marisol looked over at me. She smiled and played with her hair. It wasn't the first time people thought Kenyon and I were twins. We weren't twins though. Far from it actually. They were Spanish girls. I saw how big their boobs were and they were kind of shapely.
Kenyon was always popular with the ladies. They loved how attractive he was and they loved the fact that he actually had a sense of humor. I honestly could see how people found Kenyon to be so appealing. He was about my height but just a slight taller and a little more muscular especially in his torso area.
“Shay, Shay...come say Hi to the ladies...”
He knew I wasn't interested as well. I had come out of the closet a long time ago and for some reason Kenyon took it the hardest. He just assumed that since Donovan looked like shit I would be the perfect wing partner for him when he was pulling these ladies. He always had a little speech about how we were twins even though we weren't. It drove the ladies crazy.
“What's the matter with him? He a fag?” the one girl stated.I was about to say yes but Kenyon shot me an eye. I knew it was probably dangerous for me to go around just telling people about my sexuality anyway. I wasn't doing it for him though. I made my way towards the front door.
“I'm out of here.”
I realized that Kenyon was following me when he made his way next to me at the front door. When I opened the door Kenyon slammed it behind me.
“Where you going...”
“I'm going to see some friends. Something happened yesterday."
“The gay bar burning down?”
“You heard about that?” I asked.
Kenyon nodded shaking his head, “There's a group of cats in the area. I was out smoking yesterday and they said they were going to mess with some gay kids. I had no idea it was something that crazy though.”
“Well it is.”Kenyon rolled his eyes, “Why you going then? You need to stay away from that fag shit bro. Kick it here with me. I got some girls here. You see how sexy they look? They are sluts too man. I guarantee they can change your mind.”
Kenyon was serious. He was dead serious.
A part of me knew that he wasn't coming from a place of malice like Donovan usually was. A part of me knew that Kenyon actually believed if I had sex with these random chicks I would be turned back to being straight.
I think Kenyon was kind of even hoping that would be the case here.
“Kenyon I'm...” I stated before leaning to whisper what I was about to say instead, “I'm gay. I've accepted it. Why can't you?”
Kenyon shook his head, “Donovan said that shit is going to get you killed one day. He said if it's not from AIDS, someone is going to just come around and murder you. People hate gays nowadays. It's dangerous. That's not cool. Why don't you just change? You want to die?”
“No. I want to live. I want to live my life,” I replied, “The way I want to live it. You don't understand.”
“We may not be as close as we were back in the day but you still my brother. I love you kid. Let me find someone to hook you up with. Go talk to Marisol. You never know. You might really actually like her. It might change things for you.”
I looked back into the living room. I looked at Marisol. I wasn't bisexual but I could perform if I needed to. It would have been such an easier life to try to be straight. It would have been so simple. That wasn't what I wanted though. That wasn't what I was going for.
Kenyon looked disappointed as I walked out of the house leaving him in there.
I went next door and knocked on the door. In just a few minutes someone came to open it. It was Lamont. He wasn't alone though. There were other people in the house. When I opened the door I realized that there were about 6 boys sitting around the room.
“Lamont. Um...actually didn't mean to interrupt whatever you have going on,” I replied, “I just wanted to come over to see if Miguel and Fidel were OK after yesterday.”
“Fidel isn't here. He went to the the police station.”I wondered why.
I nodded, “I'll check back again.”
“Actually why don't you come in. We were having a meeting. It had a lot to do with you as well.”
“Yes. It has to do with all of us.”
I was suspicious. I didn't expect Lamont of all people to be inviting me into his house. I figured he thought I was trying to steal his man or whatever.
I nodded though and walked into the house. The only people I recognized besides Lamont were Rashad and Miguel. They were all sitting around in the living room with a bunch of other guys.
One was a real queenish looking dude was sitting in a wheel chair. He smiled at me lightly when I walked in. Two were white boys who seemed to have a street edge to them.
Miguel got up when I walked into the room, “Did you want to sit?”
I smiled as he offered me his seat. Everyone had kind of bothered looks on their face. I felt a little out of place being here. What the hell was this about?
It wasn't until I saw Rashad standing there that I kind of got the idea of what was going on. Rashad looked pissed. No. he looked beyond pissed. He was standing and pacing around the room.
“We were attacked yesterday,” Rashad was saying at that moment, “We were attacked as a people and I don't know about the rest of you guys...but I'm sick of it. I'm sick of being the fucking victim. I'm sick of living in fear. I'm sick of going out of my house everyday and wondering if I'm going to be harassassed, or gay bashed or killed because of who I choose to sleep with.”
“It's easy for the rest of you,” the queenish boy in the wheelchair stated at that moment, “You guys can hide the fact that you're gay. I get clocked everywhere I go. It's so much worse for me.”
Miguel shook his head, “Venus, in all due respect, you weren't at that bar yesterday and almost lost your life. Clearly it can happen to any of us. Me and Shay experienced it first hand.”
Everyone in the room turned to look at me including Venus...the Queenish gay guy. It was almost as though they were expecting me to say something. Half the room looked scared and the other half looked mad as hell. I noticed Rashad's face before anyone else. Rashad was one of the guys who looked just mad as hell. I didn't even pretend like I knew what this meeting was about.
“What's going on?” I asked.
“Change. Change is going on,” Rashad replied, “It's time we stopped being afraid. It's time we started to act. Gangs are coming together in the city and they are targeting gays. WAF...have you heard of that Shay?”
I shook my head.
“Warriors against Faggots,” Lamont stated, “It's a local street gang in Miami. First it started as a bunch of religious nuts but they quickly started to recruit younger. They go around now targeting gays in Miami.”
“They were the ones who burnt down the bar yesterday,” I replied, “I saw the WAF on the back of the escape truck.”
Rashad and Lamont exchanged glances. Lamont was shaking his head. I had a feeling they weren't surprised about them. I was shocked that they knew who they were.
“They also put me in this wheelchair,” the feminine boy added in, “Last summer me and my boyfriend were holding hands. A group of them gathered around us. They put me in this wheelchair and they killed him.”
Oh my god.
“If we know the organization why isn't anyone going to the cops? Why isn't anyone trying to stop them?”
“What do you think Fidel is doing at the police station right now? He's been trying to get action taken against this for years now. Nothing changes,” Lamont explained to me, “He doesn't understand that. Fidel is blind.”
Just at that moment I realized that Fidel was in the house. He had gotten through the front door without anyone hearing him. I wasn't surprised. With all the heated discussion of everyone talking over each other it was clear that we would miss someone walking into the house. Fidel shook his head looking at the group.
It was Rashad who spoke, “Fidel, we were holding a meeting. We think it's time we formed our own group. It's time we took the war to them.”
“And what? Be criminals like them?” Fidel replied.
“But it's so much better to go beg the police for change that isn't going to happen?” Lamont asked.
“You know what...the next time my own husband wants to gather a meeting behind my back in the house that I paid for...I'd probably like to know about it,” Fidel replied sharply, “In the meantime if you don't live here...why don't you all get the fuck out with this bullshit.”
I was torn on how to feel about everything. I watched as people started to leave one at a time. I got up as well. Fidel looked like he meant business. I noticed how he raged against Lamont at that moment.
Lamont clearly didn't take it well. I watched as Lamont stormed off into the kitchen area followed very closely by Rashad. Lamont looked beyond pissed. I made my way to the door. Fidel had shut this shit down...quick.
Fidel quickly stopped me midway however.
“Can I talk to you?”
Fidel looked at me for a moment, “Upstairs?”
We walked upstairs at that moment, following behind him. We walked into his bedroom. The bedroom smelled masculine and was actually designed really nice.
I figured Fidel had to be Catholic or something when I saw a small figurine of a Mary at the foot of his bed. Fidel went into the bathroom at that moment and washed his face. I stood by the door a little nervous on what he wanted to talk to me about.
I peeked into the bathroom area where I saw him take his shirt off. His defined muscles got splashes of water on it as he washed his face. He came out without a shirt but had a towel on his shoulders. Droplets of water were still flickering from the sunlit room on his washboard abs. He was so fucking sexy.
Fidel stared at me as I walked into the room. I couldn't help but to stare at that BODY.
He seemed to notice me staring however, “Sorry. I always walk around without a shirt on. Maybe I should put one on. I get so used to shit like that.”“No...no...whatever makes you comfortable,” I replied.
He was married and taken but I wasn't complaining. I could stare at his body all day. Fidel had an amazing physique. I struggled not to catch a hard-on just from looking at it.
“I just wanted thank you,” Fidel replied.
“Back at the bar...you saved me. You don't remember. I should have thanked you then but I was just seeing red. You pulled me out of the way before the ceiling collapsed.”
“It was nothing.”
“No it was. You had my back. I don't know what that means in Alabama yo...but here that is the truth. You a rider and I appreciate it.”
Fidel had this cool way of talking. He was so masculine. He was so fucking sexy. I struggled not to flirt with him and go against my nature. If he wasn't taken I would have definitely been pulling out every card that I had right now. I made a decision not to though. Instead of flirting I just innocently smiled at that moment.
“Don't mention it. We have to take care of our own.”
Fidel stopped at that moment. He looked like he had something on his mind.
“What did you think of the conversation they were having downstairs? Rashad trying to push his agenda again. What'd you think about that?”
“I'm not sure where he was going with it? Was he talking about some sort of neighborhood watch or something?”Fidel laughed.“I think he was talking more like a gang.”
“A gay gang?”Fidel nodded, “Crazy ain't it?”
I struggled with it at that moment. I had never heard of a gay gang in my life. That definitely didn't even make sense to me.
“I mean what would our colors be...pink?” I laughed.
He shook his head, “Exactly. I'm glad you are thinking like I'm thinking. It's a crazy idea. That kind of organized activity can lead to some violent stuff. Rashad isn't looking to defend people. He's looking for payback. He's looking for retribution. It would get out of control.”
“You do? Lamont thinks I'm acting like a pussy.”
“FUCK no. I mean there's something about you,” I explained, “The way you chased after that guy at the bar. You didn't have a fear in the world. You led everyone out of there. You are like a natural leader for real. And I don't know you but I trusted to follow behind you then and if you think that whole gang is a bad idea I honestly support you.”
“Support. Funny. I get full support from a dude who is damn near a stranger while my own husband doesn't support me,” he replied.
Fidel smiled at me. God my heart was going.“If your husband doesn't support you...then why is he your husband?”
“Damn...”I shook my head at that moment, “Sorry. That was way too fucking forward. It was out of line. I don't know what the fuck I was thinking. Really. Just ignore me.”
“It's kind of hard to ignore you...”
The way he said it carried almost every intimate connotation known ever. He took a step closer. He was so fucking sexy. He was standing over me. His muscles so close to me. He was taller than me and when I looked up at him I could hear him breathing slowly and deeply. I remembered how it felt like to dance with him the night before. I remembered how special he made me feel. It had warmed my heart. He was doing the same thing to me right now. He was looking down at me. He was giving me this look that made me just feel like I was the only man left in the world. And my heart was fucking racing at every moment.I couldn't help it.
“If you were single---”I stopped. I stopped midsentence.
“---I know. I know more than you think,” he replied with this recognition to what I was feeling.He took a step back away from me at that moment. It was almost like his steps were heavy though. It was almost like he didn't want to. He looked guilty.
“I should leave.”
It was clear that he was trying to keep himself away from me. I could tell by how quickly he stepped back. I felt guilty now too. The last thing I wanted to do was be a homewrecker. Regardless of how supportive Lamont was of him or not. Lamont was still his husband.
“Look Shay. I'd love to be your friend,” he stated and shook his head, “It's for more reasons then one. Clearly I'm married. And honestly I don't want to step on my cousin's shoes as well.”“Your cousin?” I was confused. “I think Miguel has a little bit of a crush on you.”
He laughed at that moment. I smirked. Miguel honestly was kind of cute. He did seem like he wasn't nearly as smooth as Fidel was. I had to admit I did have a feeling that Miguel was definitely trying to get at me.
“I respect that,” I replied, “You're a good man Fidel. Lamont is...a lucky man.”
He smiled weakly. I walked out of the room at that moment. I closed the door of the room behind myself and took two deep breaths. I didn't know what I was talking about.
As I walked down the steps at that moment I decided I'd go cross into my backyard and take a swim in the pool. Some cold water would be good. After seeing Fidel without a shirt on I definitely needed to calm down and get myself together. He was just too sexy and it was taking everything I had not to jump all over him.
Luckily Fidel was a good man though. I guess his name wasn't just a name. He seemed like he was very loyal even with the obvious chemistry we had between us.I made my way to the back of the house.I noticed talking.
It was Rashad and Lamont. I turned to go back towards the front but when I heard what they were talking about curiosity got the best of me.
“He is fucking scared,” I heard Rashad state, “How the fuck is he supposed to protect you? What kind of man doesn't want to protect his family?
”I stopped. He was talking trash. He was talking trash about Fidel. I made my way back to the backyard and peered through the door. Lamont was a few steps away from Rashad.
He had his arms crossed, “Fidel used to not be like this. He used to not be scared. I don't know what happened. But we need to start this with or without him.”
“I like the sound of that.”
“Sound of what?”
Just at that moment I realized Rashad took a step towards Lamont. He was being suggestive. I was shocked by how he walked up to him.
“Rashad...I love Fidel,” Lamont replied, “I told you, the last time was the last time.”
“You've said that before, best friend. But you always seem to come back for this dick, don't you?”
My mouth was open. Best friends? Best friends my ass. Rashad had been fucking Lamont!
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