Chapter Thirty One - 20 Questions!
As we entered the front room, Rick’s Dad got up from the sofa. I could see where Rick got his height from. His Dad is a big man standing at 6’5” (201 cm.) with a football player’s build. Rick is a couple of inches shorter at 6’2” (188 cm.) and a slighter build, more like a basketball player than a football player. Standing between them made me feel extremely short!
“Are you boys ready to have a bite to eat?” Jim asked.
“Sure thing, Dad,” Rick responded enthusiastically for both of us. “You know I’m always hungry.”
“Okay then, let’s go into the dining room and get started then.”
We followed Rick’s Dad into the dining room. It was small but very well appointed. Rick and I sat next to each and his Dad sat at the head of the table. Rick’s Mom came in from the kitchen placing a platter of fried chicken in the center of the table. She returned to the kitchen, as she removed her apron. Rick’s Mom is a very beautiful woman. She has auburn hair and very fine features. Her sun dress showed off her deep tan and accentuated her tall, slender frame. She smiled at us as she sat down across from us next to her husband.
Rick’s Dad said grace and we started eating the most delicious fried chicken I have ever tasted. After a few minutes of silence while we all dug into our meal, Rick asked, “Where’s Grandma? Isn’t she going to join us for dinner?”
Vickie responded to Rick’s question, “I’m sorry dear. Your Grandma is living in a residential care facility where they can work with her and get her back on her feet. After she fell and broke her hip, we couldn’t help her with her physical therapy so we arranged for her to stay for a few weeks where they can work with her every day.”
Rick looked surprised. He looked over at his Dad who shook his head signaling Rick not to ask any more questions.
Rick’s Dad looked over at me and asked, “Glenn have you decided where you are going to attend college?”
“Yes, I have. I plan to attend Georgia Tech and room with Rick since my cousin is getting married next week.”
“I’m glad to hear you will be staying in Atlanta with Rick. Keith and his family have been very kind to us. I know they treat Rick as their one of their own and have gone out of their way to help him. Of course, you look a lot like Keith. I'm surprised just how much you look alike.”
“We could pass for twins. My eyes are grey-blue where Keith’s are deep blue. Otherwise, we look just alike. We like to play jokes on Keith’s fiancée. We put on our sunglasses and make her try to guess who we are without us speaking to her. As soon as I start speaking, she knows I’m not Keith,” I said, laughing. “Plus I don’t have the North Carolina drawl that Keith has.”
“That's true you don’t sound like Keith. Your Canadian accent gives you away every time!” Rick said as he punched my arm. “You can’t hide the fact you're Canadian from anyone who talks to you.”
“We're glad you are going to spend some time with us, Glenn. Our family reunion will start tomorrow around 10 AM. We will have a lot of games and lots of good food. We will treat you to some good Southern cooking by the time the day is over!” Jim said, as he licked his fingers after finishing off the last piece of fried chicken. “Just like Vickie’s fried chicken!”
“I’m sure I’ll enjoy all of it. Rick has told me a lot about your family and the wonderful food to be had. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.” I said. Conversation flowed easily around the table as we talked about Rick’s family. They did a great job of describing them to me, so I would recognize them when I met them the next day.
After we finished eating, we helped Vickie clear the table. Rick and I volunteered to wash the dishes. “Mom and Dad, Glenn and I will take care of the clean up. Why don’t you both relax and have a class of wine.”
“Thanks dear,” Vickie said, smiling at us. “Jim, why don’t you fix up our usual after dinner drinks. Can I get anything for you boys?”
“No thanks, Mom. We'll grab a couple of sodas before we join you,” Rick responded. “Which do want Glenn? Wash or dry?”
“I’ll wash,” I volunteered. I knew how much he hated to wash. He would much rather dry and put away than wash.
“You’re such a sweetheart,” Rick whispered into my ear, as he grabbed my cute bubble butt. “You know how much I hate washing dishes.”
I laughed at Rick as I filled the sink with soapy water and started adding the dirty dishes. “Yes, I do know how much you hate washing dishes. You’ve broken a fair number of the few plates we have in the apartment. If you break any more of them, we will need to go buy more!”
Rick grabbed the dish towel and started drying the dishes as I handed them to him and he put them away as we went.
“You don’t have to be so insulting about it! I’m just clumsy when it comes to handling soapy dishes! They just seem to jump out of hands!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah…..I know that story. You’ve told it to me before. I’m sorry I just haven’t brought myself to believe it. You just like getting your hands in my pants when my hands are full and I can’t stop you!”
Rick grinned from ear to ear. “You caught me! What can I say?” Just to prove his point he put his arms around my waist and slipped his hands inside my Speedos to fondle what he found there.
I pushed against his hands. “You’d better stop that big boy or will have a lot of explaining to do if your parents walk in right now.”
He pulled his hands out of my pants but reached under my shirt to caress my pecs and twist my ever so sensitive nipples. I started squirming in his arms and finally put down the pan I was scrubbing and grabbed his arms.
“Rick Lernier you are an evil man to tease me this way! I’m definitely going to have to tell your mom on you!” I said, laughing as I tried to remove Rick’s hands from under my shirt.
Rick finally let me go. “I will have my way with you later,” Rick said, as he nibbled on my ear.
We finished washing up the pans and quickly wiped down the counters, the dining room table and swept the floor.
Rick said, “I can’t believe how domestic I’m becoming. Before meeting you, I would never have dreamed of spending time in the kitchen other than to nuke something in the microwave. Over the last year of school, Keith has done all of the cooking when we ate at home, which was very seldom.”
Rick grabbed a couple of sodas from the fridge and followed me into the front room to join his parents.
Rick and I sat down on the couch together across from his parents. Rick had warned me about his parents and their “20” questions whenever he brought someone new home to meet them.
Dad opened the conversation by asking, “Glenn, tell us about your family. You’ve heard all about us in preparation for tomorrow’s reunion but we haven’t heard much about you.”
“Well, there isn’t much to tell. I grew up on a farm south of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, not far from the U.S. border. I have 3 older brothers and a younger sister. My Dad loves farming and hopes we will follow in his footsteps.”
Vickie asked the next question, “So how did your Mom and Dad meet?”
“They met while attending the University of Rochester. Mom was studying music and Dad was studying engineering.”
“That’s wonderful. What does your mother play?” Dad asked.
“She plays the piano, the violin and sings beautifully. She has been giving me violin and piano lessons since I was old enough to hold the violin.”
“I’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano,” Dad said. “But I’ve never seemed to have enough time to dedicate to practicing even though I’ve attempted to learn to read music several times. We would love to hear you play.”
“I would love to play for you,” I said. “Do you have a piano?”
Vickie answered, “Yes, we do. It’s in the family room. After we’ve finished our after dinner drinks, we can move into the family room so we can enjoy hearing you play. What do you plan to study at college?”
“I don’t know, yet. Rick is trying to convince me to join him and Keith and study mechanical engineering.”
“I think that would be a good idea since both Rick and Keith can help you study.” Vickie smiled at us. “Do you have a girlfriend?”
Rick about choked on his soda when he heard his mother ask me that question. He looked over at me to see how I was going to answer that question.
“Not right now. I dated Keith’s future sister-in-law for a while at the beginning of the summer but I haven’t seen her since she went out west to college. I hope to see her at Keith’s wedding though.”
I gave Rick a quick nod just to let him know everything was okay as he breathed a sigh of relief. I knew that there were more questions to come by the look on Dad’s face.
“What are you plans after you graduate or do you know, yet?” Dad asked.
“My Dad wants me to return to work on the farm but I think maybe I will do some humanitarian service somewhere overseas before I settle down in a career. My best friend from high school and I were planning to work with his church youth group in helping out orphaned children in Mexico.”
“Are you still planning to do that?” Dad followed up.
“Yes, I think I will try to do it next summer to give me a break from school work.” I said. “I had to take French in high school and managed to get decent grades so I think learning Spanish should be fairly easy for me. I plan to take some Spanish courses at Georgia Tech to help me get a head start.”
Then it was Vickie’s turn, “Music and languages. What other things interest you?”
“I love to cook. My fondest memories are of spending time in the kitchen with my Mom learning how to cook. I love to read all kinds of literature. I guess some folks would call me a nerd because I like doing academic things and never really excelled at sports like my brothers did.”
Vickie smiled at me as she said, “Well, Rick here, is almost the total opposite wouldn’t you say, Rick?”
It was Rick’s turn to be on the hot seat. I know how he hates it when his mom talks about him like this.
Rick said, “Yeah, I was always the best athlete in the entire school. I love playing football and just about every other sport. In most other areas, I struggled to keep a passing grade. Your cousin, Keith, helped me study and managed to get me through math and English.”
Dad spoke up then, “Yes, we owe your cousin a lot for helping keep Rick in school and your Uncle Stan for making it possible for Rick to attend college. Have you told Glenn about that, yet?”
“Yes, Dad I’ve already told Glenn about my situation at the university and his family’s help in that regard.”
I quickly jumped in, “I’m glad Uncle Stan is helping Rick. My Grandpa is helping me go to college. My parents don’t have the money to pay for my college, so Grandpa said he would pay for me to attend the school of my choice. I’m the first one Dad has let Grandpa assist with college. Dad’s a very proud man and refused to let my grandparents help us in the past. So I was a little surprised when Dad told me I could come spend the summer with my grandparents and would allow Grandpa to pay for my college expenses.”
Jim smiled. “It sounds like your family has a habit of helping out those in need. That’s such a rare quality to find in people these days.”
By this time we had finished our wine and sodas and were ready to move to the family room. “Rick, please take these glasses into the kitchen while I show Glenn the piano," Vickie said, handing her glass to him.
As Rick entered the family room, I started playing some of Rick’s Mom’s favorites. She had given me a list of pieces she wanted to hear.
After I finished playing the first piece on the list, Rick said, “Isn’t that your favorite Mozart sonata he just played”
“Yes, it is dear,” she responded.
“I remember my sister used to play it over and over and over, again, when she was taking piano lessons. I hated hearing it then, but now I enjoy hearing it,” Rick said, smiling at me.
Rick’s thoughts were reflected in his eyes. I know he enjoys watching me play. Last time I played for Grandpa, Rick whispered in my year, “I never get tired of watching my lover’s hands float over the piano keys making such beautiful sounds.” The memory of Rick nibbling on my ear brought a flush to my cheeks.
“Mom, Glenn is truly amazing because he can play so many pieces from memory,” Rick said.
“I know. When I offered to get the music out of the piano bench for him, Glenn declined the offer and began to play the first piece on the list,” Mom said.
I moved on to the next piece on her list. All of the great composers were listed such as Bach, Beethoven, Hayden, Liszt and Debussy.
After I had finished playing, Vickie said, “You're a very accomplished pianist, Glenn. Your mother must be very talented indeed to be able to teach how to play like that.”
“Thank you. You’re right. Mom is a very talented musician and did her best to teach me how to play.” I said, blushing at the praise for my mother.
“Glenn plays for his grandpa every evening when we are at their house. I’ve even started to like hearing some of those classical music pieces Julie used to play endlessly when I was little!”
“Rick, you know your sister tried her best to learn how to play the piano. You should be grateful I didn’t force you to learn, as well,” Vickie said disapprovingly.
“I’m sorry, Mom. I didn’t mean to belittle my sister but you have to admit her practicing seemed to be endless some days,” Rick said, laughing.
Mom finally relented and laughed with Rick, “Yes, I have to admit you're right about that. It’s starting to get late, boys. We need to be up early to tomorrow and I’m sure you are both tired from the long drive up from Georgia. We should be calling it a night.”
“You’re right, Mom. We will see you in the morning,” Rick said. We both gave Vickie a quick hug and kiss good night. Rick gave Jim a hug as did I and Rick led me back upstairs to his room.
As soon as the door was closed, Rick breathed a sigh of relief. “Man! I don’t know how you managed to keep your cool during the “20” question phase tonight. My parents sure gave you the inquisition tonight.”
I pulled Rick into an embrace and responded. “It wasn’t hard really. They asked questions I would have asked if you were my son and brought over a new friend. The only question that gave me pause was the one about having a girlfriend.”
Rick squeezed me hard. “You seemed so calm and collected when you answered Mom. I’m glad you didn’t out me to them. I wasn’t ready to do that, yet.”
“I know, lover boy. Like I told you before, it's your decision and it's something you have to do on your own timetable. Besides, I didn’t lie to her. I really did have a couple of fun-filled weeks with Ruth Ann and she really did go out west to college and I do look forward to seeing her next week at Keith’s wedding.”
Rick’s face registered his dismay when I said I wanted to see Ruth Ann, again, so I quickly said, “Now don’t get all jealous on me. Remember I told you we are just friends, nothing more. You're my boyfriend and I don’t want or need a girlfriend. Any questions Mr. Lernier?”
Rick smiled at me. “No, Sir!” he said with his best Marine response voice.
“Good! I think I need some special attention right now from a very talented stud,” I said, running my hands up his shirt and caressing his muscular chest.
“It will be my pleasure, Sir,” he responded, grinning lecherously at me. It wasn’t long before we were both naked on the bed where he fulfilled my every desire!
Rick lay awake listening to his partner’s steady breathing. His mind was racing:
“How am I was going to tell Mom and Dad we're a couple? Part of me wants to have the acceptance Glenn has from his family regarding our relationship while part of me couldn’t fathom my parents accepting Glenn as my partner.
In my imagination, I can see my parents disowning me and throwing us out of their home. My parents aren’t super religious but they still hold pretty strongly to most of the church teachings they have been taught by their parents. I know for a fact none of my other relatives will accept Glenn once they found out he is gay. In fact, I fear they will do him bodily harm if they find out. Glenn didn’t seem to take me too seriously when I told him about my cousins but I know what they are capable of and don’t want to give them a reason to harass Glenn.
Tomorrow is going to be a real challenge for us. We’ve never spent much time with other people (other than Glenn’s grandparents) since we started our physical relationship. I just hope I can control myself. I will have to remind Glenn, again, of the importance of not disclosing his sexual orientation at the family reunion tomorrow. I know he doesn’t want to hide it but sometimes a little caution will prevent huge problems. We were pretty careful tonight and my parents seemed to be pretty clueless anything was going on between us other than being good friends. Maybe things will go smoothly tomorrow as well. I can only hope!