Author's Notes:

Before I get into the Legal stuff, I want to say thanks first to my Editor, Pete. He always does a wonderful job. Second, I want to thank my Readers. You guys are the best. Okay, these characters are not meant to resemble any living or dead persons. I make no apology to anyone who is offended by anything in this story. If you don't agree with the idea of guys being in love, then find something else to read. Let me know what you think of the story by emailing me at


Copyright 2008-2012 by Chuck B.

The Journey Begins

Chapter 17

Dad's Last Act

Dad has called the house to let Sarah know that I'm being excommunicated. She doesn't look very happy.

"Dad, are you serious, over a stupid kiss?"

There is a slight pause before she says anything else.

"You know what? This has nothing to do with Eric. It's about you and your hurt ego because you can't stand having a gay son."

You could see her anger literally building. Her face is turning red and she is starting to shake just a little bit. Heaven help Dad if he shows up here before Sarah cools down.

"No, I won't have anything to do with this. If you really want to alienate Eric, then by all means, go ahead with your witch hunt."

I've heard enough. I'm going up to my room.

"No, I will not put him on the phone."

After that, I heard her climbing up the stairs and my heart is readying itself for whatever Sarah has to say.


Just as I said, Sarah enters my room with a box of tissues. It's not an encouraging sight.

"Well, there isn't a good time to say this, little bro, so just let me say it and hear me out."

"Okay." I really didn't want to hear what she had to say. There is no sugar coating with my dad and I know Sarah will try to cushion the pain.

"Eric, Dad is asking for you to be excommunicated from the church over your kiss with Steve that Dale snapped the photo of and sent to Mom."

"Great! Leave it to Dad to join sides with Dale. Do you think that we can fight this?"


She must have seen that tear drop start to fall because she handed me a tissue. Someday, in my mind, I knew that there might come a day when I might step away from the church, but I never expected to be excommunicated. I never thought my own father would do something that would hurt me.

"I don't think that it's worth all of this mess."

"I... I agree, Sarah."

Sarah saw the emotions starting to take their toll on me.

"Eric, I'm going to go start dinner. See ya in a few, okay?"

"Yeah." I almost didn't get my reply out before tears came pouring from my eyes.


In the quiet of my room, my tears fall into my pillow. How is it that parents can legally toss their kids away just for being gay? How can they say that they love me when they use words like "fag" or "queer" to describe me? They would rather I go through life alone, or marry a woman and feel nothing for her, than be with someone I love. They treat the man that I love as if he is responsible for making me gay. They would have me locked away and never know what love truly is and what it feels like, rather than be happy. People of the church shun me, talk about me, and my parents do nothing. Am I supposed to accept all this and act like it doesn't hurt when it does? This hurts; this feels like they've given up on me, that I'm just refuse, meant to be thrown away. All I want to do right now is to lay here and let my pain soak into the pillow.

I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I know, Sarah is at my door.

"Are you ready to eat?" Her voice passed through my closed door.

"Sure," I said, but I'm not sure I `m all that hungry. Getting up, I open the door and head to the bathroom to wash my hands before heading downstairs to eat.


At dinner, Mark can see my red, puffy eyes and gives me the look. It's a glance that says, "I know what happened and I'm sorry." Sarah gave him the "Don't you dare!" glare. I'm glad she did, too, because I don't want to discuss it. I'm done with it. The joy in my heart is gone. Leaving half my dinner on my plate, I excuse myself to go back to my room. I don't like being around people when I'm upset. Right now, I am hurting.

I can hear Mark coming up the stairs, and I know he's coming to see me. Normally, he respects my space and he won't enter my room without knocking. Today though, he barges right into my room. I came really close to throwing him out of my room. He sat in my computer chair for a second in absolute silence. His eyes didn't even make contact with mine. The silence is broken.

"Hey, Sarah told me what your dad is trying to do, and I'm sorry. I'm totally pissed off. Seeing you hurting gets to me. I've always liked you; you know that, right?"

"Yeah... Mark, I know. It... it's just too hard. Why does... he have to be so... cruel?"

"I really don't have an answer for you, but a part of me believes that your dad loves you."

How can he say that? How can he claim that my dad loves me when he knows what Dad has done and what he's doing now? I don't believe Mark knows what he's saying.

"I know that look and I know you don't like me right now, but that doesn't change anything. Sarah and I still love you."

Mark leans in and hugs me. I act like I hate it but I'm glad that Mark is here.

"I know that Mark."

"Are we good?"

"Yeah, for now, but if Dad means what he said, then I'm in trouble."

"Well then, I guess Sarah and I better do the right thing and be ready to fight."

Mark got up, left my room and went downstairs.


I don't want to be up in my room any more. After my visit with Mark, I want to be around people. I was on my way downstairs when I heard Sarah on the phone, so I stopped dead in my tracks.

"Steve, has Eric called you?"

"Oh!" She has a worried look on her face. I step off the very last step and Sarah hears me. She turns to look at me. Placing the phone down, she comes up to me and gives me a hug. She whispers into my ear "I've got Steve on the phone now, hush." Being the smart brother that I am, I sit down on the couch as quietly as possible. She picks up the phone and pushes a button on the handset.

"Sorry. Steve, Eric is facing excommunication..."

"Oh!" Steve's voice is filled with worry.

"I thought you should know!"

"I'm coming over to see him."

There was a click and Steve went quiet; Sarah ended her call as well.

"Sorry Eric, I thought maybe we should rally the troops."

My sister is a general. Who knew?

"Thanks Sarah."

"You're welcome."

She pulled out her phone list and started dialing.


While Sarah was busy with the phone, I went into the pet room to check on the animals. I can still hear Sarah as she talks on the phone.

"Hello Brother White, Sarah Perez here. I'm Eric's sister."
"I'm good and you?"
"I'm calling to let you know that Eric is facing excommunication."
"Yeah, you guessed it. It's our dad. He called earlier today to let me know what he has planned."
"I really don't know what else you can do other than to pray and just support him."
"I'm sure he'll appreciate that, thanks so much."

From the pet room, I could hear her moving around in the living room, and then came the sound of the front door. Someone was knocking on it. Sarah must have answered the door because the knocking stopped.

"Eric, Steve is here!" At times, she gets so loud you can hear her talking all over the house. Leaving the animals behind, I came to see my sweetheart. Steve's face showed his anxiety over my situation. I walk over to him and embrace him. Steve's presence is comforting.

"Thanks for coming over."

I break off the hug and sit down on the couch.

"So your dad is all up in arms over our kiss?"

"Apparently; I'm not totally convinced just yet on the actual reasons."

Steve just smirked.

"What happens now?"

"I don't know. I'm assuming an interview and then a meeting with the church court."

"At the church court is when you'll find out if they will expel you?"

"Yeah." Right now I feel pretty calm about the whole situation.

"What kind of a dad does this?"

"A dad who wants to keep his son from sinning."

"You don't really believe that do you?"

"No, but it doesn't matter, it's what they think that's important."

Suddenly the phone rings and my heart sinks.


I don't have a good feeling about this phone call. Sarah picks it up the handset.

"Hello. ... Oh, President Walker, what can I do for you?"

She was quiet as President Walker spoke. Steve clasped my hand in his and just let it rest there. I feel like we are at the doctor's office waiting on test results.

"Yes, he's here. I'll see if he's free."

Sarah sat the phone down and looking at me, she pointed to the phone. I picked up the phone and tried to calm down a bit.

"Hello, President."

"Hi Eric, do you know why I called you?"

"Something to do with a picture of me kissing my boyfriend."

He didn't say a thing right away. I think he was trying to digest what I said.

"Are you still with your boyfriend?"

"Yes, I am still with Steve."

Again, there is silence. No doubt he is taking notes

"I'd like you to come out to my office for an interview."

"Ah... no, I can't do that."

"Well, we need to meet somewhere. Can you suggest a place?"

"Look, I'm really busy."

I'd love to tell him where we could meet.

"Sorry sir, but I have to go."

With that I hung up the phone.


Steve looked at me with a shocked look on his face. I felt bad for treating President Walker that way, but I don't think that I deserve to be treated this way.


I took one of the pillows and hit Steve playfully.

"Mr. Keiser, I do believe you were rude to that caller and you need to apologize."

He came close to getting smacked. His sly smirk saved him from my hand.

"Steve you are so lucky."

Steve pulled me into a hug. Of course, I put up no resistance whatsoever. Sarah just laughed at our antics. She just got up and put in some chick flick. Steve and I stayed curled up on the couch and we watched it with her. About a half hour into the movie, I heard a car pull up. Steve took a quick glance outside.

"It's your dad and some guy in a suit."

"Great!" I didn't want to see Walker, and I don't want to see them."

"I've got this little bro."

Sarah got up and walked to the front door. The knock came as Sarah reached the door. She answered the door by only partially opening the door and looking outside. She gave Steve and me enough time to leave the living room.

"Hi Dad, Bishop." Sarah was being polite but at the same time being a bit weary. "I'll let you inside, but after that it's up to you and Eric. I promise you nothing."

I watched from the safety of our dining room. Steve held my hand as Sarah talked with my dad and the bishop. Mark came up from the basement to see who had knocked at the door.

"Look Sarah, the sooner we have a chance to talk with your brother, the sooner we can leave."

"Dad, I'm not sure that he wants to talk with you, and I'm not forcing the issue."

Somehow, I know that Dad wouldn't let up until they saw me, so with Steve by my side and with Mark already in the living room, I entered the living room. Dad still doesn't seem to like Steve; too bad.

"Why is he here?"

Sarah, Mark, and Steve all sat quietly as Dad pointed his finger at my boyfriend. Dad just doesn't get it. Everyone looked at me pleading with me to speak my mind.

"He's here because Sarah invited him over and he isn't leaving. You can either say what you came here to say or leave."

"I expect more out of my kids."

"That's funny; I thought that I was Sarah and Mark's kid."

Mark just smiled and gave me a thumbs-up. The Bishop seemed shocked to hear that I didn't consider myself to be my dad's son. Bishop looked at me and my dad with a look of concern.

"I came with your dad to interview you."

"Okay." I really couldn't care less why he came.

"You told President Walker that you kissed this boy, right?"

"Yeah, I kissed him."

"Dale told me that he warned you to avoid this boy, and apparently, you did not follow your friend's advice."

Steve was pissed and I could tell he was ready to lash out and mouth off to the Bishop. I heard Sarah whispering into Steve's ear.

"I mean no disrespect, but my boyfriend's name is Steve, not 'this boy'. He is my boyfriend. Yes, I did kiss him. Now that that is out of the way, did Dale tell you that he blackmailed me, threatened me, and physically attacked me, is that how you warn me?"

"Well... uh..." The Bishop just stared at me in disbelief.

"Allow me to answer my own question then, since you seem to be speechless. He didn't tell you any of that stuff because he didn't want anything getting out that would tarnish his holy appearance.

"But you got him arrested!"

Bishop kept digging himself in even further.

"Bishop, your little angel got himself arrested because he would not listen to warnings from me, the principal, or the police."

Dad looked pissed and I was about to add some gasoline to the fire.

"You can both stand there and pass judgment on me, but I'm not the one who kicked me out, disowned me. I've never shunned anyone in my entire life. I've not changed."

I looked my dad right in the eyes.

"But you've changed, Dad."

"As your bishop, I urge you to turn from the homosexual lifestyle, and from Steve's corrupting influence."

"Wow... you are way off! I expect an apology right now or you can leave. No one is going to sit here in my house and tell me that my boyfriend is wrong for me. I love him and he loves me. Now I have no idea what a homosexual lifestyle is, or what kind of a lifestyle you think that I'm living, but it's not a homosexual one. I'm living my life."

"So you're not having sex?"

Hmm... seems to me that Bishop was under the impression that Steve and I were sexually active.

"No, but thanks for the corruptive influence! I want to go on the record for saying that Steve and I have only kissed and nothing else."

"You expect us to believe you?"

Now I'm pissed. I don't care that it came from my dad. I said my final words.

"I'm done!"

I took my boyfriend's hand and we walked up to my room.

"Answer my question!" Dad commanded.

I slammed my door and locked it.


All I want right now is to hold Steve and have Steve hold me. We sat on the floor and cuddled. Sometimes he can say a lot by not saying anything. I could feel his heart beating through his shirt. Out of nowhere, I started crying. Steve tightened his embrace and I felt so safe. Even Steve's embrace, though, will not be enough to keep my dad and the bishop from biting at my heels. As my tears subsided, I heard someone coming up the stairs.

Someone knocked at my door. Don't they get it; I'm done with this whole mess. Whoever is out there knocked at my door again.

"I said I was done!"

"Open the door, Eric."

I only opened the door because it was Mark. He stepped inside the room.

"Hey guys, things got a little hot downstairs, but I need you to come back downstairs."

"Sorry, I'm not going back there. Steve can, but I'm not."

"Good! I really didn't think that you would. No offense, but your dad and the Bishop are a couple of real asses."

All I could do was laugh. I have to hand it to Mark, he was always honest.

"I'm going to go back downstairs now."

"Okay." I know Mark has my back. Steve and I watched as Mark left my room.


Shortly after Mark left the room, Steve and I moved into the hallway so we could hear what was being said.

"Sarah, Mark, I'm going to recommend to President Walker that Eric begin his repent process via excommunication."

"I don't understand, Bishop. He told you the only thing he did was kiss Steve."

"Sarah, can you honestly tell me right now exactly what they're doing. They could be having sex."

"So, is it safe to assume that you when you and my dad leave here, that you're going to go to a bar, have a few drinks, and then hit the road? Maybe, you're going to back to your place to smoke some weed or watch some porn."

Way to go Mark, I wished that I could have seen their faces after hearing that.

"Look, he boldly said that he`s gay and that he refuses to walk away from his boyfriend and he shows no remorse whatsoever."

I have no reason to show remorse. The kiss I shared with Steve was done out of love, not lust. Being gay isn't, or shouldn't be, a reason to excommunicate There is no way that I'm going stop being gay or even could stop being gay.

"He loves that guy and love isn't evil."

Bishop and my dad no doubt cringed when they heard what Sarah just said.

"He knows what the Lord has said on the matter."

My father's right, I do, but I know my feelings are real.

"My mind is made up, Sarah; I'm not changing my recommendation to the Stake President. Eric will be excommunicated. It's for his own good."

My heart sank as the Bishop's words left his mouth.


Sarah and Mark walk past the stairs as they head into the dining room. Sarah must have turned to face the visitors.

"Please wait before you leave, we want a second to talk to each other."

For the next four minutes, there was agonizing silence. Steve hugged me and didn't let go. Mark and Sarah left the dining room and rejoined the visitors.

"We agreed that while the church has a right to do as they please with Eric's membership, we have the right to decide to back our son."

"Did you hear that?" Steve whispered, as a tear of joy washed down my face. Did Mark just say that? Is that how Mark and Sarah really think of me?

"He shouldn't have to go through life alone."

"Mark, Sarah, he could have kissed a girl, and then there wouldn't be this problem."

My father just doesn't get it.

"Bottom line, he shouldn't have gotten involved with that fag."

I looked at my guy in absolute horror. Steve's face went from white to red. His grasp suddenly becomes a lot stronger. I'm worried that he might take off down the stairs to put some pain on my dad's face. Luckily, he didn't.

Why is it so suddenly so quiet? Fear is creeping into me because of this silence.


Wow... Mark is hot! I don't think I've ever heard him like this before. Sarah has managed to stay quiet so far.

"Young man, you shouldn't talk to your father-in-law that way."

"It's the truth, and if it happens again, I'll ask you both to leave my house."

"Look, the excommunication gives the sinner time to repent. We came to talk with Eric about his sin, but it has become very clear that he doesn't intend to repent. Will we have your cooperation in this matter?"

"I'm sorry, but that I can't answer that question."

Sarah is being way too quiet still. Why isn't she saying anything? I can't believe she's keeping her cool. She usually keeps Mark from raising his voice to our parents. Maybe she finally had enough of our father's mouth.

"Sarah, are you going to allow this sin to continue in your house?"

"There is no sin in this house. My brother is not a sinner."

Again there is silence.

"I demand that corrupting child be sent home."

"Dad, Bishop, you need to leave!"

"You can't mean that Sarah."

She looks at our father.

"Oh... but I do! Now please leave my house!"

No one was moving.

"Gentlemen, my wife asked you to leave. I'm not asking, I'm telling you to get out!"

I heard the front door open and a few seconds later the door closed. Hopefully now it's safe to leave our hiding place.


I came downstairs, followed by Steve. "Hey." It was all that I managed to say before breaking down into tears. It seems like that is all that I'm doing lately. Steve held me till I stopped.

"I take it you heard everything?"

All I could do in to answer Sarah was to nod my head 'yes'.

"Steve, Eric, we are so sorry for the way that they talked about you."

"Mark, you can't control other people."

Unfortunately, Steve is right. Still, there was no love in what they said. What I want right now is just to have this all over with. Perhaps fighting it is causing more conflict.

There can be no doubt; I know what I have to do.

'No more fighting, no more tears, I have to give in to the excommunication.'

"I have something to say. I'm done trying to keep the church and Dad at bay. I'll face the church court on my terms."

Sarah and Mark are smiling and Steve just stood there in shock.

"When they call me into the room, I'm going to say what I need to say, and then I'm leaving. Steve, I want you there with me inside that room."

Beyond what I say in that church court, I will not cooperate with them.

"So when they call and ask that we bring you to the church, you want us to just do what they ask?"


I know it needs to be done. Something about my decision just feels right. Sarah smiled and patted my back.

"Anyone want ice cream?"

All of us raised our hands and said "Yes!"


Sarah grabbed her keys and we followed her out the door. Leave it to Sarah to know the best place to go for ice cream. This particular business had just opened and seemed to be very busy. The line wasn't super long, but there was a line of at least 15 people in front of us. I knew exactly what I wanted, a large cherry cheesecake shake. We ordered and then waited to be called up to pick up our order. We waited about 5 minutes for it, and then we kicked up and forgot all about whatever was going on in our lives.


Our plans were to go home and then Steve was going to head home. When we got home and inside the house, we realized that there was a message on the answering machine. Mark listened to the phone and then handed it to his wife. My eyes and ears were glued to every little thing that Sarah did. I became more and more tense with each number she pushed on her phone.

"Hello, Mom. You called?"

"Yes Sarah, the Stake president wants to see Eric. He has his council already gathered up at the stake center."

"Okay, if he calls tell him that Eric is on his way. Bye."

She ended the call and then waved her arms at the door.

"Okay, get your butts to the car. Eric, I hope you're ready."

"I'm not and I don't know how I'm going to have the strength to do this."

"You'll have the strength because you have a small army backing you up," Steve said as he walked to the door. Everyone piled into the car and we headed out.

As we pulled up to the stake center, I felt scared, and a part of me wanted to just go home. Instead, I took Steve's hand we walked inside the building together. We got a few disapproving stares, but we kept right on walking. We reached the back of the building and took our seats outside of the Stake President's office.

"Are you Eric Keiser?"

"Yes Sir."

"We'll call you in when we're ready."

About 10 or 15 minutes later, we finally got called into the office. I stood up, as did Steve, and we walked into the room together. The man who called us inside went to say something to us, but I caught him off.

"Too bad!" I said before the man could finish his sentence. "He stays or I walk."

I wanted to puke, but since I know what needed to be said, I stayed my course.

"Gentlemen, it's true. I kissed the man standing at my right, not out of lust, but out of love."

"It's not love!" a man in the group said to both of us.

I looked at all of them and went ballistic.

"YOU WILL NOT INTERRUPT ME! I've been bullied, sucker punched, disowned, called names, and made to feel like crap. I am not going to be called names by anyone. I don't know why I'm gay, but I am. I will not live my life alone; I will not go through life without knowing what love is. This, this man beside me is my strength and I love him. I... I love him."

After saying my piece, Steve and I walked out of the room.

"Ready?" I said to my crew as a guy came out of the office and tried to call me back inside. We just kept on walking out the door. I know this isn't over yet, but somehow I feel stronger.


When we got home, the house, for some reason, just looked odd. I also noticed a few extra cars over at Jason and Shaun's house. Sarah and Mark walked into the house first followed by Steve and then me. As I entered the home, I was stunned to see Jason, Shaun, Brother White, Cathy, and Cody. A piece of poster board sat on an easel in the living room with the words "Eric, welcome to the first day of a new beginning." Everyone came up and gave me a hug. Shaun sort of stood off from everyone else. He made sure to come up last.

"You want to talk?"

"When is this going to end?"

"It will end when you let it end. Do you want to go through the repentance process or do you want to be you?"

I looked at Steve, and then at Jason and then back to Shaun.

"I want to be me. I... I want to be free to have the life that you and Jason have."

Jason went to work in the kitchen along with Sarah. Steve and I went for a swim. Mark took Cody and Shaun into the pet room to see the animals. About three hours later, as Mark went to take Steve home, Mark discovered an envelope taped to the front door. He pulled out the letter and handed it to me.

'We, the stake council, have voted in favor of excommunication. Our findings and our vote are being sent to Salt Lake City to make things official.'

I guess that is it, now all I have had to do is wait. I drove with Mark just to get out of the house. I needed the chance to just break away and relax.


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