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 Chapter 21: Handles & Hinges

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Kell
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PostSubject: Chapter 21: Handles & Hinges   Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:47 am

Can we talk? Might as well just say 'sit down & don't speak' instead.

I nodded as my parents sat down on the couch across from Travis, Chris & me. I figured it was time for them to join us.

Some people claim they never had any fear of coming out to their family, that it was so easy for them that they never had to worry. You know what I call that? Bullshit. EVERYBODY has had fear of it. Whether they worried for a few anxious minutes, or a lifetime of agonizing years, the fear is there. It's sad that we've come to that, that we've come to a point in time where it's "normal" to be in the closet for a while & how it's EXPECTED that we live in hiding. Will any of us live to see the day when a 12 or 13 year old who IS gay can safely come out & tell his friends he prefers other boys to girl as if he were stating the temperature for the day? Or the day when a 12 or 13 year old can tell her family that she wants a girlfriend instead of a boyfriend as if she was saying what she wanted for dinner? I don't know. I sure hope so.

But until then, we live in these days, when we think of ourselves as being different at a young age. When, at as a young teen, we're afraid to admit to ourselves we might like other boys or other girls. As a teen, we fear persecution & maybe even isolation from our peers. When, if we're adults & still closeted, then the years of built-up secrecy & devotion to ever-lasting self torture convinces us that we will have to accept a life of lies.

Top priority of somebody who's gay? Not getting outed. And once they ARE outed...?

"Connor, could you & Travis give us a few minutes with Chris alone? We need to talk. When we're done talking to him, we'll call you out, ok?" said dad.

I gulped & a shaky 'yeah' & left with Travis to my room.

"Oh god..." I grabbed chunks of hair in my hands as Travis closed the door to my room.

"Connor, look, it won't be as bad as you think, trust me," Travis grabbed my hips in his hands & looked me in the eyes, his dark blue eyes trying to hold me tightly.

"Travis, it's COMPLETELY different with you," I said, starting to become hysterical as my lower lip started to tremble, "you came OUT, I'm OUTED. You had the luxury of having the stones to tell your parents. I'm not that strong."

"Babe, what's done is done. You can't make them un-know it. And to be honest, it didn't look like they were that upset about it out there."

I sat on my bed. Travis came over, sat next to me & held me in his arms as I waited for my execution.

*****

About an hour later, I found myself apparently sleeping on Travis' chest, who was propped up against the headboard of my bed. My arm was spread across his warm torso & I could feel his arm around my back, his fingers stroking my hair. I moved my head very gently to look up to see him. His eyes were closed & his lips were ever so slightly parted as he breathed. I slowly leaned up & kissed him softly. His eyes opened. I made a decision.

Just then, there was a knock on my door. I painfully separated myself from the best boyfriend on the planet & got up to answer it. It was Chris.

His innocent eyes were wet with shame, but he wasn't quite crying. Not yet anyway. Once he closed his door to his room, I knew his face would be in his pillow.

I knew I couldn't prevent him from feeling certain ways. But even with that in mind, I hugged him, my hand rubbing his back gently to let him know there were no hard feelings.

After some heartfelt moments of hugging, I let him head off to his room. I felt Travis' hand on my shoulder & with that, I headed out to the living room.

I sat down across from my parents who were staring off at the wall or the floor. Travis gave me a sad smile as he started to head towards the door to leave, knowing this was a conversation my parents wanted to have alone with me.

But that's not what I wanted.

What I wanted was my boyfriend to be by my side.

"Wait," I said as Travis made it to the door. He stopped & turned around.

"I want Travis with me," I turned to my parents. They glanced at each other.

"Connor, I really think this is something just between the three of us," dad said.

"No, it's not. Travis either stays, or I go," I said firmly. Honestly, I really wouldn't get up & leave if they said no. I was never good at bluffing, but they never knew that. Probably because I had never been one to have many conversations like this before.

After a moment of hesitation, my mom gave in.

"All right, Travis can stay," she said. I noticed a slight change of expression in my dad's character. His brow furrowed & he slightly shifted his position. It would've gone undetected by anybody who didn't know him though & I mentally noted that he wasn't exactly expecting mom to make the choice she did.

Travis made his way over to the couch & sat down next to me.

"First things first," my dad started, "Connor, you call US when something like this happens. You don't call the PRINCIPAL back & try to handle it yourself."

"I WAS going to call you, but then she called back & I just kinda took charge by myself."

"We're glad that you're ABLE & that you CAN take charge of something like this. But you're not old enough to act as Chris' third parent. You leave that stuff to us, got it?"

"Got it," I said softly.

"When did you think your father & I were going to find out about it?" mom asked.

I shrugged a know-nothing.

"The second thing to know about taking RESPONSIBILITY, Connor, is knowing who to go to afterward. You didn't even tell us AFTER," my dad said incredulously.

Believe it or not, but I was glad to be going through this. I knew it was delaying the inevitable, but everybody did that, right? Public speaking, chores, work, etc. It's human nature to put off what doesn't want to be done. And right now, I take being scolded for intervening over being confronted about being gay VERY easily.

Regardless, I bowed my head in shame.

"Your brother is grounded for a month. You're grounded for a week. Sound good?" my mom said.

I nodded my head.

"With that in mind..."

Oh no...

"...I think it's time we talk about some other issues," my mom started.

I could feel Travis' leg barely nudge me to show me he was here.

"There were some...things that came up during our meeting with Ms. Frost that we think would sound better coming from you," my mom said. "She tells us the reason Chris is being picked on at school is because apparently somebody saw...the two of you engaged in some sort of private affairs with each other one night, I don't know. We thought it'd be best to hear from you what exactly has been going on."

I didn't say anything.

"Are you two...in a relationship with each other...?" my mom said cautiously.

I could feel my throat closing up & my eyes blinking rapidly as I slowly nodded my head.

"So you're gay? That's what you're telling us?"

I took my last, shaky, shameful breath.

"Yeah," I said meekly.

Silence. The sound of the unknown. The sound of contemplation, of effort. Nothing can replace silence in meaning. It speaks for itself. They had no idea what to say. And I wasn't ok with that.

My dad stood up & paced towards the windows. I knew he still loved me, but was he having trouble with this? I knew my dad, but not well enough to know what he thought of it. My mom stayed where she was sitting & gave me the most glorious of pity smiles.

"Honey, we love you no matter what, you know that right?"

I nodded my head as I felt Travis' fingers gently rubbing my back behind us out of sight. My eyes were wet, but I was able to hold back any more tears that begged to be let out. You always hear about the "weight being lifted off one's chest" & to some extent, that was what I was feeling. There was a sudden...change. I felt it in my skin, under my clothes & through my whole body. My head went light, but not in the dizzy way. In the way that one feels after the greatest relief possible. Like a child crying & then being told they're not in any trouble. A lick of freedom pumped through my veins like blood of its own sort. I hoped Travis could feel it radiating from me like embers 'cause I felt like I was glowing.

But the glow was dim. I glanced at my father, who was looking out the window towards the white-picketed fence protecting the house across the street. A white suburbia family full of it's 50's glory, frozen in time before the madness of liberation blew up like a bomb. Maybe he thought times with milkmen were better? I doubted it. But either way, he didn't look happy.

"I should mention that my folks already know about us, so I hope you guys don't feel the need to keep a secret from them," Travis piped in. I was a bit shaky, so I took his hand in mine & held it between our thighs. It wasn't in plain sight, but if they looked, they could see.

"Connor, why didn't you ever tell us? You thought we wouldn't love you anymore?" my mom said.

"No, I just...I dunno. You guys wouldn't understand."

"How long have you been together?"

"Pretty much since I got here," Travis said sheepishly.

Nobody said anything for a few awkward seconds. I glanced back toward my dad who was still looking out the window. His silence was now not only invading my thoughts, but wa snow beginning to anger me.

"Dad, please say something."

He seemed to come out of a transfixed state & looked back at me.

"I don't know what to say."

"Are you mad at me?" I said, feeling as though I was little & had just been caught doing something wrong.

"No, I'm not mad at you. I just can't understand it."

I stared at him.

"So you guys are really...together?" he said as though what he was saying was a trap.

Without thinking, I raised Travis' & my hand to show them we were a couple. My mom just looked & I thought I might have seen a slight smile on her face. My dad saw it looked away.

"I'm happy for you both, really. But...for now, I think it'd be best if you went to see each other at Travis' house for a little while. It's a lot, for all of us & I think your father & I need some time to think. Is that ok?" my mom asked.

I looked at Travis & he smiled. I nodded.

I looked back at my dad.

"Dad..."

He sighed & put his hand over his mouth, dragging it downward over his chin.

"I can't say I'm comfortable it. Just, the thought of two guys...I just can't imagine it," he said.

My throat closed up immediately as I expected him to say he didn't accept me being gay.

But then he kept going.

"But since you are...I suppose I'm glad it's Travis your with. Travis, if Connor has to be with a guy, I'm glad it's you," he said with a small but heartfelt smile

I couldn't hold back my tears anymore. I was just glad they were joyful tears. Their relief dripped down my face & I wiped them away with the sleeve of my shirt & gave a small chuckle. As I was wiping away the water, I felt Travis hug me from the side & kiss me gently on the cheek. Soon after, I felt him get up & my mom come over to hug me. I wrapped my arms around her warm body & sighed.

When she let go, my dad made his way over to me & grabbed me into a hug. I rested my head against his shoulder. While his reaction wasn't completely what I hoped for or expected, it was enough to let me sleep easy that night.

"So what have we learned today?" he said.

"Call you when Chris gets in trouble," I replied with a laugh.

**********

A few days later, Travis & I were at his house relaxing. I was laying upside down on the couch while he was sitting on the floor up against it, his head next to mine.

"So how's home?" he asked.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, you just recently came out of the closet as gay to your mom & dad," he grinned. "Everything at home goin' all right?"

I shrugged.

"I guess so. My dad's still a bit...weird, but mom is fine with it."

"Ya know, I hope you're grateful. Not every kid is as lucky as you were when they come out."

"I know I'm lucky. Of course I know that. Plus, I had the best boyfriend in the world there to help me," I said, kissing his cheek upside down.

"Hmmm what about me?" he giggled. I tongued his ear playfully.

"You & him should meet one day," I said as the tip of my tongue traced the outline of his ear.

"Yeah? What's he like?"

"Oh you know. He's tall, very handsome, blond. He's got these blue eyes that make me stare at them for God knows how long. And he plays basketball & baseball, so he's got the most amazing body. His smile makes a tiny dimple appear on his left cheek & his laugh is one of those contagious laughs that even if something unfunny happens, his laugh will make everybody around him laugh."

"Anything else?" he whispered as he kissed me on the lips.

"He's got such a perfect cock. It's a solid eight inches & he knows just how to make me happy," I grinned.

Travis backed his head away for a second & looked at me.

"I'm not eight inches."

"The guy I've been sleeping with is," I giggled.

"Pffffft," he scoffed as I brushed a few strands of his hair out of his eyes. His hair was starting to get long. I liked it.

"Seriously though Travis...thank you," I said, turning my body around so I was sitting next to him. "there's no way I could have come out without you."

"I didn't do nothin'. You got found out & YOU were the one to tell your mom & dad. I was just sittin' there," he said.

I leaned in & placed my lips on his. They were full of warmth & love as always. For a few mesmerizing seconds, I fell in love with him all over again as his lips rubbed mine & his tongue tickled my own. Warm moist skin over warm moist skin. Barely audible sounds of our lips smacking together caused us to grin as his hand touched the side of my face.

"Regardless, you were there for me. And that's most important," I said. He smiled.

I had never been happier in my life. I had two wonderful parents who loved me no matter what, a brother who idolized me & was proud of me, a loving boyfriend who was there to support me in every way possible & the start of a journey I knew had just begun. My closet door had been broken door & tossed aside, & all I had left to do was step out of the doorway.

And I was going to make sure Travis was there with me.
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Chapter 21: Handles & Hinges
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