The Journey Begins

Chapter 28

Mom Takes Us Out

Our story takes place the day before the events of this story unfold. As Eric is in his room doing homework when he gets a phone call on his cell phone.

"Hi Mom, what's up?"

"I want to take you and Steven out to the mall so we can try that restaurant that opened up last month."

Ever since his mom came back into his life, he's made sure that, he makes himself available when she wants to do something.

"Sounds good Mom, I'll see if Steve can go with us, but if he can't can we just go by ourselves?"

"Sure Eric, I would love to spend time with you. You call him and let him know that I will pick the two of you up from Sarah's around 5:00 pm."

Mrs. Keiser is making every effort to spend time with both her son and his boyfriend. It seems to be paying off for her.

"Thanks Mom, I'll be there for sure, and I will text you as soon as I hear from Steve."

"Okay Sweetie, I'll see the two of you at 5:00 pm tomorrow."

With that, Mrs. Keiser ended the phone call. Eric immediately jumps on his phone and texts Steve.

"Mom wants to take us out to a restaurant in the mall tomorrow. She'll pick us up from Sarah's at 5:00 pm. Interested?"

He sends off the text and then waits for his boyfriend's response. A few minutes later, the phone goes off and it's a text from Steve.

"I would love to go with you. Hey, we are about to eat so I need to let you go. See you at school tomorrow."

Eric responds back to him with another text.

"I love you Steve."

Steve doesn't hesitate to send a quick text right back.

"I love you too Eric."

After their texts, Eric types up a message for his mom.

"Steve says he wants to go with us tomorrow."

He then clicks send. Everything is lined up for tomorrow so Eric goes to bed.


After school, the guys start on their homework at their homes. When his homework is done, Steve packs up his stuff and heads out to Eric's house. He arrives at the house and he knocks at the door. Eric opens the door excited to see his boyfriend. For five minutes, they sit around and talk for a while before Eric's mom arrives at the house. She knocks on the door and Eric opens the door for her. Before she walks into the house, she hugs her son.

"Is that Steve's car?"

She asks hoping that they could head straight out from the house to the restaurant.

"Yes, he is here and he's hungry, so I guess we should head out."

Hearing Eric talking with his mom, Steve gets up and heads towards the door.

"Hi Mrs. Keiser, how are you?"

"I'm good, thanks for asking Steven."

Eric is pretty sure that his stomach is going to start growling any minute now. Turning to Steve and his mom he says:

"Can we go before my stomach starts to talk?"

His mom smiles as she turns towards the car. He takes Steve's hand and they walk towards the car. By the time the guys reach the car, Eric's mom has the car going and the doors open. Eric and Steve sit in the backseat so they can sit beside each other and talk. His mom is slowly getting used to seeing her son and Steve together. It's still a work in progress as far as she is concerned but, it's all good. She will tell anyone that Steve is a great young man. Everyone is super excited to be going out to eat.


Mom parks the car and then they head into the mall.

"So are we shopping first or are we going straight to eat?"

Mrs. Keiser asks the teens as they enter the anchor store closest to where they parked.

"I didn't bring any money for shopping, so I think I'll pass, but I could do some browsing."

Steve gives his answer as he looks at Mrs. Keiser.

"It doesn't hurt to look right?"

Eric says as he takes hands with his boyfriend. Mrs. Keiser smiles as they walking through the store. They go about looking at clothes without any problems. A man and a woman walk past with their kids and they look very displeased with the hand-holding teens. Mom sees it and gets upset over it. The worst part is that Steve and Eric aren't even aware of the looks. Three other teens walk by and laugh when they see the couple holding their hands. What really surprises her is when, she sees a store employee giving them the stink eye. It's okay because, she has had it. Instantly, she gives the same look right back at the employee. The store worker turns and walks away without making any comment.

`I can't believe my son has to put up with people like her.'

She forgets that she treated Eric pretty badly as well, and maybe it's worse because she is his mom. The people at this store don't Eric or Steve and yet they are constantly showing their ugliness to him. She doesn't know how the boys handle all the hate. They finally head off towards the restaurant. Eric's mom is hoping the guys enjoy their dinner.


The party of three enter the restaurant together. Right away, Mom can tell that they aren't welcome in this business. The hostess doesn't look very happy, when she sees that Eric and Steve are holding hands. The employee doesn't even attempt to sit them down at the table. Instead, she walks straight to the back.

"I bet, she is going for the manager."

Eric said as she watches the lady walk away. Eric must be psychic because the woman comes looking very upset. Looking at the group, she starts to talk:

"I'm afraid that we can't serve you. You'll have to find someplace else to eat."

Now, Mrs. Keiser is upset.

"What? You are really going to deny us service."

"Yes, we are going to deny you service. We don't want people like that in our business."

When she said "that", she pointed straight at Eric and Steve.

"Well, if you aren't going to serve us, then I guess we'll go someplace else."

As they walk out of the restaurant, Eric texts everyone on his contact list.

"Hey guys, don't eat at Kender Fish Company at the mall. They just kicked us out because they saw Steve and I holding hands when we walked into the restaurant. They're homophobes Spread the word please."

In just a few minutes, everyone on his contact list knows that the restaurant discriminates against the members of the LGBT community. This act will not stop Mrs. Kesier from enjoying her time with her son and his boyfriend, but it will give her something else to think about for awhile. For Eric and Steve, it's the first time that they've been kicked out of a business just for showing signs of affection towards each other.


Mrs. Keiser is still furious as they walk out of the restaurant.

"Has this ever happened to you before?"

She asks Eric and Steve hoping they haven't been discriminated against like that before.

"No, we haven't faced hate quite like that before, but as you know we've had homophobia thrown in our faces at times."

Eric says as he looks at his mom. Instantly, she feels guilt bubbling in her stomach.

"I'm sorry for adding to your suffering. I know, I have apologized before today, but today really brought home how offensive hate can be, makes me realize how much I must have hurt you."

She can see the light in her son's eyes and in the eyes of his boyfriend. The pain may still be lingering at times, but what's more important is that he forgave her and that they are healing with time.

"I've heard about people who have been kicked out of businesses but never had it happen to me until now."

Steve says as they walk through the mall.

"Let's hope it doesn't happen again, because I am super hungry."

Eric is telling the truth. They all agree that it's time to eat, and so they continue their search for a place to eat. There is still one more restaurant here at the mall that none of them have eaten at and they all agree to try it.


They ride the elevator to the lower level and then they head straight for the new eatery. It's a Chinese restaurant. The hostess sits down them down at a table and then hands them their menus. After a little bit, the waiter comes out to take their orders. Steve decides to order pot-stickers for his appetizer for his main dish, he gets bbq pork lo mein. Eric orders deep-fried Chinese buns for his appetizer and his entrée is chicken curry. Mrs. Keiser gets salt and pepper calamari and her main dish is mu shu pork. While they are waiting for their food, they talk about what happened at the other restaurant. After he takes their orders to the back, he walks around his area and overhears them talking, and then heads back so he can speak to his boss. When the appetizers are ready, their waiter and the restaurant's owner walk out to deliver it. They pass out the food to everyone and then the waiter introduces the owner to the party and then they all shake hands.

"My waiter tells me that you mistreated at the Kender Fish Company, and I wanted to make up for it. Dinner for your table is half off today. Here are also half off coupons for each of you. I am truly sorry that someone treated you that way. Thank you for choosing my restaurant."

Everyone is surprised by the owner's actions.

"Thank you for so much for the coupons, but you didn't have to do this."

He looks at Mrs. Keiser and smiles.

"No, I need to do this, so just accept the coupons."

"Thank you again."

Eric says immediately after the owner was done speaking. The owner shakes everyone's hands then returns to the back and the waiter heads off towards another table.


Ten minutes later, their waiter returns to their table.

"Sorry but I overheard your conversation when I first came to your table. I wanted to do something special for you since you were kicked out of the other restaurant. I hope you enjoyed your meal. Oh and one last thing, I wanted to show you something."

He lifts up his right hand and shows them his wedding ring. Everyone at the table looks at the ring smiles, but they don't know the significance of the ring just yet, but they will.

"My name is Diego. When I heard the owner of the other restaurant said, I wanted to show you my ring and let you know that there is goodness in the world, and this ring is proof of that. My husband and I have seen the good and the bad in people, but we're stronger together, and you will be too."

Eric and Steve's eyes get huge now that they know why he wears the ring. Diego doesn't want them to fear the world.

"Thanks for talking with the boys. It's crazy how many time today, people gave them bad looks while they were holding hands."

Mrs. Keiser wanted the boys to know that she noticed the stares.

"Whose mom are you?"

Diego asks wanting to know. She reaches across the table and takes Eric's hands as she smiles.

"I reacted badly when my son told me he was gay. We, my husband and I, kicked him out of the house. Luckily, his sister wasn't so close-minded, but I've woken up and I'm trying to be better. Today, I got to see how ugly the rest of the world can be. Thank you for speaking with boys."

The guys smile and their smiles tell Diego that he made a good impression on the teens.

"Thanks, I am just doing what I do."

It's pretty clear to everyone that Diego has a big heart.

"You're welcome. Keep doing what you're doing."

Eric and Steve hope they run into Diego again.

"I need to run. My husband is waiting for me and he's hungry, so if I don't leave he'll starve."

"Bye Diego. Thanks for talking with us."

Diego smiles as he waves his hand at them to say goodbye. It didn't take long for the three of them to finish their meals. They move from eating to talking without any effort.


The conversation focuses on the events of that took place before their meal. They talk about how it made them feel. The boys tell Mrs. Keiser, that this is the world that they were born into and for better or worse, they're right. She realizes that although they are sometimes afraid generally speaking they are excited about the future as well. They want to live their lives without someone else telling them how to live their lives. In turn, she admits that she is afraid of what might happen not just to her son but to Steven as well if they are not careful. Bullying, bashing, and homophobia scare her and perhaps rightfully so, but the teens are quick to reassure her that although the world is scary, it's still beautiful. It isn't easy for them to assure her that there is room for them in this world, but eventually they get her to relax.


In the middle of their conversation, Mrs. Keiser's phone begins to vibrate wildly. She has ignored the phone all evening but now that the meal is over she checks it. As she checks the display, she realizes that it's her husband. She's sure that he's not happy that she has been out so for so long.

"Eric, Steve, I need to Dad back really quick."

"Okay Mom."

The conversation quiets down allowing Eric's mom to make her phone call. The phone rings several times and ends up going into voice mail, which surprises her. Mrs. Keiser isn't happy that he allowed the call to go to voicemail. She doesn't leave a message instead she chooses to touch the redial button. On the second call though, he is quick to answer.

"Hi Honey, did you want something?"

She asks as she mentally prepares herself for what her husband might say.

"Yeah, I want to know where you are at, it's late and you're not home. Are you still out with those boys?"

She is not happy with his tone of voice. Yes, he has a right to worry about where she is, but he has no right to talk about their son this way.

"I am at the restaurant with Eric and Steve."

At this point, his blood pressure goes up just a notch.

"You're out with them, eating with them, instead of cooking me a meal and eating here at the house."

She looks at the boys. Immediately, she feels the need to defend herself and the boys.

"I'm here with our son and his boyfriend. If you were not such a self-righteous jerk, you might have come with us."

He laughs out of disgust.

"I would rather starve."

"You're choice Honey. Do you want me to come home or should I sleep at Sarah's?"

"I want you home, and I want you to come home now."

"Fine, but I am not cooking, you are on your own for dinner tonight."

"Well, then maybe you should spend the night at Sarah's house."

"Very well, I'm going to let you go."

Eric can tell by what she said and by the tone of her voice, that his mom isn't happy.

"Mom, I think it's time that we head home."

He isn't ready to go back home and Steve would rather stay and talk too, however it is getting late. Mrs. Keiser wants to stay and chat also. For the first time, she feels close to her son and to his boyfriend. She admits to herself that it's time to head home. She asks the teens to wait outside the restaurant for her. The owner comes over to accept payment for the meal.

"I was wondering if I could leave a tip for Diego. I'll also leave a tip for the waiter or the busboy."

"No problem, he'll be in the morning so I can make sure he gets the money."

She hands him the receipt and pays for the meals on her credit card. Digging through her purse, she gives the owner 4 dollars for the busboy and then 5 dollars for Diego. The owner smiles then carefully writes a note on a piece of paper and then wraps it around the five dollar bill and puts a paper click on it. As Mrs. Keiser walks out of the restaurant, he places the 4 dollars on the table that they were sitting at during their meal. She turns back to the entrance and the boys.

"Ready to head home boys?"

Mrs. Keiser smiles Eric and Steve.

"Yeah, I'm ready for sure."

Eric says as he looks at his mom. They leave the mall in the same manner that they did coming into the mall. There are still people who stare in disgust as they pass by them, but they ignore them. As they exit the mall, they laugh, talk about the evening, and just plan to enjoy the world. Reaching and entering the car seemed to ruin the evening. It meant that soon, they would reach Sarah's and the night would be over for them.


It didn't take long for Mrs. Keiser to talk with Sarah and Mark about staying over for the night. She explained why she needed to stay the night, and Sarah is quick to give her the pull out bed, but Eric wouldn't let her sleep there.

"No Mom, you can sleep in my room tonight."

She smiles and looks at him and then gives him a hug.

"I'm going to go upstairs and grab my journal and a pen, and the room is all yours."

Eric walks upstairs and grabs his journal and his pen. After grabbing everything, he makes his way back downstairs.

"Okay Mom, the bedroom is all yours."

She is grateful that she doesn't have to sleep on the uncomfortable pull out bed.

"Thanks Eric, I really appreciate you giving up your bed for me."

Eric knows that, she'll sleep better upstairs, and is glad that she'll sleep comfortably tonight.


Eric is sitting on the couch thinking about the evening when Sarah enters the room. Eric doesn't seem to notice that she's there. She sits next to him and places her hand on his shoulder. He doesn't jump, but he does appear to be startled.

"Sarah, I didn't know you were there. Thanks for scaring me."

Normally, scaring her brother would have been funny but something is going on with him and she wants to know what it is so she can help him out.

"Are you still bummed because of what happened at the restaurant?"

"Yes and no, it's a mix of feelings all rolled up inside of me."

Sarah looks concerned.

"So, what else is swirling around inside that head of yours?"

"Our wait was this gay, latino guy. He was kind, cute, and he has a ring on his finger. He's married and I guess that has me thinking about the future. You know, Steve and I have had a rough two years, but we've managed to pull ourselves back and look at us now. I just wonder, if we'll make it will we're married? I want too, but what if he doesn't want too?"

Eric says to his sister hoping for some wisdom. Sarah hugs him and holds him for a few seconds.

"I think, you have plenty of time before you have to worry about wedding bells. Now relax and just enjoy your life."

They've had this discussion before or at least he thinks that, they've had it before at some point. Sarah is right, Eric and Steve do have a whole lot of time before they have to worry about proposing and wedding vows.

"So you don't he would say yes?"

He asks in all seriousness. She picks up a pillow and throws it at him.

"I wasn't sure until he came for you when you were with Vince, but yeah, I think he would marry you."

Eric tosses the pillow back at his sister, when Mark enters the room. Sarah grabs the pillow from the couch and throws it at Mark.

"Why did you throw the pillow at me?"

She laughs at her husband.

"So do you think that at some point your brother in law and Eric will get married?"

He pauses for just a second to tease his wife.

"You know what, I think we should let time answer that question."

Mark answer isn't what Sarah was hoping to hear.

"You're no fun Mark."

His wife teases him just a little. Mark just shrugs his shoulders. Mark sits down next to his wife and hits her with the pillow.

"I'm going to bed."

Mark says as he gets up and heads to the bedroom.

"Okay, I'm headed up too."

Sarah leaves the couch and follows her husband up to their bedroom. Eric pulls the sofa and fixes up the pull-out bed for the night. In the morning, he'll take time to write in his journal about the today's happening.


In the morning, Eric fixes the bed back into a couch, Steve has come over, and Mrs. Keiser has made breakfast. Everyone has had their fill and now the boys are headed over to Shaun and Jason's house. They knock on the door and Jason answers it.

"Hey guys come inside."

Eric and Steve walk into the house and sit down in the living room. Jason joins them in the room.

"What's going on with the two of you?"

Jason asks as he looks at their faces wondering what's up with them.

"Did you get my text last night?"

Eric asks hoping if Jason read the text, so he won't have to retell the whole story. Jason nods his head.

"That restaurant lost our business as well. Anything else happen yesterday."

Jason asks hoping that their day didn't go from bad to worse.

"Thanks man, we appreciate it. Yeah actually, we ended up going to a different restaurant and we met two awesome people, our waiter and the owner of the Chinese restaurant. Ends up the waiter overheard our conversation about the discrimination, and he told our story to the owner. The owner was this really great guy who was super nice to all of us. The waiter was this awesome man who happens to be married and gay. It ended up being a great evening that wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Eric's mom and that horrid episode earlier in the evening."

Steve tells Jason about the better part of the yesterday evening.

"Well, we've never been kicked out of place before, but we have faced some hate in our lives. Shaun and I talked about it last night. We actually sent out our own text to the LGBT-straight alliance at the university and to our friends."

Jason says with a smile as he looks at Eric and Steve. It seems that the last night's text got spread out across the city.

`I doubt they'll feel the pinch? But who knows what might happen?'

Eric can't help but think about the text that Jason sent out and how it could make an impact.

"Do you guys want a drink?"

Jason asks as he gets up and heads towards the kitchen.

"Can I just have water?"

Steve answers Jason.

"I'll have the same Jason. Thank you."

Eric responds with his answer.

"You're welcome. I'll be right back with your drinks."

Jason responds to both Eric and Steven.

"Do you think Jason's club will start a boycott of the restaurant?"

Steve would love to see a boycott and he wonders what Eric's thoughts are on the subject.

"It would be cool if they did."

`I guess that answers my questions.'

Steve thinks to himself as he smiles at Eric. What the guys don't know, is that, a boycott is in the works. Jason reappears with the drinks and the guys sit there and drink.

"So I overheard you ask about a boycott via the gay-straight alliance at my university. I got a text this morning and they have already called for a boycott.

Eric and Steve both smile and they both intend to stand with the boycott. It's a good feeling to know that the club is backing them up.

"Oh man, Mom needs me to come home. I guess, I had better head home."

Steve says after glancing down at his phone after it vibrated.

"Well I guess, I'll walk you out to the car."

Eric says as he Steve stands up to leave.

"Bye guys."

Jason says as he shakes their hands. Eric and Steve exit the house and head for Steve's Car. At the car, Eric and Steve share a quick kiss before Steve gets into the car and heads for home.


Eric enters his house and walks into the living room. After visiting with Steve and Jason, it's time to sit down and write in his journal. First though, he needs to grab it off the bookshelf. Once he has his journal, Eric disappears into the pet room and closes the door. The only other person who enters this room is Marc, and he is gone so, Eric will have the place all to himself.

"Dear Me,

Yesterday was an interesting day. Mom decided to take Steve and me out to eat at a nice restaurant that we've not been to since it opened up at the mall. As Steve and I were holding hands waiting to be seated, we were told by the manager that we needed to leave, because they don't serve people like that, and they said it looking at Steve and I. My mom was seriously pissed off. After texting our friends so they know not to give that restaurant their business, we moved on to another restaurant to eat. At this eatery, we were quickly seated and had an incredible meal. After our meal, the owner came out with our waiter and spoke with us. He did his best to make up for the way we were treated at the other business. Ends up our waiter is gay, but he isn't just gay, he is married to a great guy. Diego is incredibly nice. Our day, yesterday, was crazy but ended beautifully."

With the entry made in his journal, he heads back up the stairs to his room. Once in his room, he returns his journal to it's resting place and places the pen back in its place. Wanting to have some alone time, he closes his door and then lays down on the floor and stares up at the ceiling.


Over the year and a half that Steve and Eric have been together, it's become abundantly clear just how much hate is out there in the world. Eric had seen it come from his family when his parents kicked him out of the house. He has seen it in people who he thought were his friends. Once at church, he had people whispering around him, talking behind his back, and staring openly at him. His friend, Seth, went through hell on the wrestling team because of his sexuality. Steve and him have had people mock them, stare at them, and because someone disagreed with their sexuality, they were kicked out of a restaurant. The world may be becoming a better place, but there is still hate out there in the world.


The rest of the day is filled with work around the house and on projects that need to get finished. Now it's time to eat dinner, and Eric had earned every mouthful. He is grateful for the food that Sarah and Mark made for dinner tonight. It was made out of love and that is all that matters to him. He wants to forget yesterday and what it represented in his life. More importantly, he wants to look towards the future. Sitting with Sarah, Mark, and David, he's reminded that there is love out there in the world. After helping wash the dishes, he retires to his room.


After dinner, Sarah and Mark are getting David ready for sleep, when the phone rings. After the third ring, Eric decides that no one is going to answer it, so he runs to the living room to answer it.

"Hello Perez household, Eric speaking. Can I ask who's calling?"

His mom smiles as Eric speaks.

"Eric, it's your mother. I think, you had better put Sarah on the phone."

He starts to worry about what might be going on with his mom.

"Eric, can you please get your sister?"

"Okay Mom."

He puts the phone down and goes off in search of his sister. When he does find her, Sarah is sitting in the nursery near the crib.

"Sarah, Mom called and she wants to talk to you. She sounds upset about something, but she won't tell me what's going on at home."

Sarah is also worried about what might be wrong.

"Is she still on the phone?"

"Yeah, I answered in your room. Do you mind if I sit downstairs with you while you talk to her?"

Not knowing what going on, Sarah agrees to allow her brother to join her downstairs. Together, brother and sister walk downstairs to answer the phone. When Sarah gets into the living room, she picks up the phone.

"Hello Mom, Eric said that you needed to talk to me. He thinks that something is wrong. Is there anything wrong?"

Mrs. Keiser tries to hold back the tears so that she can tell her daughter what is troubling her. Her fight to keep back her emotions in check fails.

"I'm...sorry Sarah. I-I-I am really sorry."

Sarah's face about says it all, Eric can tell that something is wrong.

"Mom, please tell me what's going on."

Mrs. Keiser doesn't want to tell her daughter what's going on with their family, but her kids deserve to know. It starts with her oldest, if she can talk with Sarah then maybe they can tell Eric together.

"I'm afraid, that your father and I are getting a divorce."

Sarah's jaw drops. She can hardly believe what her mom just said.

"Mom, what did you say?"

"Sara, I can't stay with your father anymore. I can't stay with him if he is going to hate your brother so much. Your brother deserves a family who respects him and loves him."

Sarah gets what her mother is saying but she also hopes that her father will see his son for who he is instead of just his sexuality.

"Maybe, I can talk to him, make him see the truth."

Sarah says hoping that it will buy her mother some time, and maybe, just maybe help their father change.

"Sorry Sarah, but the divorce was his idea not mine. He said that the trip to the mall was the last straw."

"What are you going to say to Eric?"

For as much as their parents have put him through, Eric still loves his mom and dad. When he finds out, Eric will be guilt-ridden, it will spin him into depression.

"I'm not going to lie to him."

Mom says as she looks at a picture of Eric and Steve on her phone. At this moment in time, Mr. Keiser is in the master bedroom crying.

"You know what Mom, I'm going to put the phone on speaker so that Eric can hear as well."

Sarah says knowing that it's probably better to get it done now instead of keeping Eric in the dark. Sarah pushes the speaker icon on her phone then sets it down between Eric and her.

"Okay Mom, it's ready."

Eric can hear their mom sighing in the background.

"Eric, I didn't want this happen. I really don't want it to happen, but your dad feels that he can no longer be a part of this family. Last night, he told me that he wanted a divorce. The trip to the mall according to him the last straw. This divorce has nothing to with you. It's your father, he thinks my support of you and Steven is a sin. He can't live with a sinful person, so I'm leaving. Don't worry Sarah, I'm not moving in with you. I will be staying with another sister in the ward who's single and also has a gay son. We are going to support each other. Eric, I love you Son. Don't give up praying for your father okay? He's a good man, who is just stubborn and blind."

Eric's head is hanging down almost to his knees, and he's softly sobbing. Despite what his Mom said, he's laying the guilt across his heart. Even though, he's doing his best to keep his crying from being heard, Mrs. Keiser can hear his sobs and it's breaking his heart. Standing by the stairs of their house is Mr. Keiser, who also hears his son's sobs. Something about hearing his son crying is breaking his heart like it use too when Eric was younger.

`How can I do this to my family?'

He thinks to himself as he goes to head back to his room, but he stops and walks towards his wife. He sits beside her and puts his arms around her and kisses her softly on the lips.

"I've been a fool. Can you forgive me?"

He quietly whispers into his wife's ears. Now, it's Mrs. Keiser turn to break down and cry. Mr. Keiser wraps his arms around his wife and hugs her.

"Sarah, we're coming over to the house. Eric don't leave please."

Mr. Keiser says as to their kids.

"Is everything okay over there?"

Sarah ask wanting to make sure that everything is okay.

"Everything is fine."

Mr. Keiser replies as he breaks his hug and walks over to get the keys off the hook on the wall.

"I will see you when we get there."

Mrs. Keiser says as she stands up and ends the call before following her husband out the door. Sarah heads upstairs to speak with Mark.


When Mr. and Mrs. Keiser arrive, Mark comes downstairs after talking with Sarah about the phone call. Eric never moved from his spot on the couch. When someone knocked on the door, Sarah gets up, checks to see who is there, and then let them inside and the family gathered around the dining room table to have their conversation. Mr. and Mrs. Keiser are holding hands underneath the table as Mr. Keiser was getting ready to speak.

"I'm sure by now, you've heard that your mother and I were going to get a divorce and that it was my idea to split up. I had come downstairs to get a drink of water, when I thought I heard crying coming from the couch. I was angry at your mother and had been up in my bedroom crying out over the idea of losing your mother. When I heard the crying, I assumed it was your mother, but I quickly realized that it wasn't. As I listened, I realized what I was hearing. I heard Eric crying and I imagined him hearing about the divorce and crying his heart out with guilt. I couldn't let you carry that burden son, not when I love you. Eric and Sarah, I've already apologized to your mother and may end up apologizing for eternity. I wanted to come over and apologize to face for being such an ass. I-I-I love you Son. I want you and your siblings to be a family again. I...want to get to know your boyfriend as well, if you'll let me? I'm truly sorry for everything. If you want to move back to the house, I'll help you pack up your room."

Eric, Sarah, and Mark all sat in their chairs completely stunned by Mr. Keiser's words. All the pain, that he had been carrying around with him suddenly came erupting out in the form of tears. His father stood up and walked towards him, Eric stood up as well and the two guys hug each other. Sarah and Mark are tearing up. Sarah was planning on having banana splits tomorrow night for dessert, but she decides to celebrate. Mark sees what she is up too and starts helping her out.

"Okay guys, I think we have reason to celebrate so there are banana splits for everyone. You can add whatever toppings you want."

Eric is feeling completely overwhelmed at the moment. When everyone leaves and Mark and Sarah have gone upstairs to their bedroom, Eric slowly walks upstairs and grabs his phone. He decides to text everyone and let them know that his family is a family again. One by one everyone on his contact list congratulates him. Eric wants to remember this event so he grabs his journal and his pen and starts to write.

"Dear Me,

Today Mom and Dad announced their divorce and then a miracle happened. Dad heard me crying and it broke his heart. He's a new man. Mom and Dad came over to Sarah's so that Dad could apologize to us face to face. I cried in his arms. He wants to get to know Steve. I never thought that day would come not in a million years. I'm going to bed."

True to his words, Eric set his journal down and his pen down and gets ready for bed. As he lays down on his bed he cries some happy tears.