Chapter Twenty Three – Surprise!
I wasn’t sure what to do about Rick and Keith as we landed in Atlanta. It had been nice not to have to face them over the last couple of weeks. I never did explain to Brett what had happened between me and Keith. I didn’t intentionally avoid the subject. It just never came up while we were visiting his family. I wasn’t sure how Brett would react to me being gay, but yet I didn’t want to lie to him about what had happened between Keith and me. I was still mulling over my options in my head as we collected our baggage and headed out to the parking garage to retrieve Brett’s car.
As we got in the Brett’s car I said, “Let me pay for the parking since you drove.”
“Okay, but are you sure?” Brett asked, looking at me questioningly
“Yeah, I want to do this. I really appreciate what you have done for me over the last couple of weeks. It’s been great meeting your family and friends.”
“Thanks! It’s been fun getting to know you too,” Brett said.
“Brett, would you mind putting me up at your place for few days while I figure out what to do about Keith?”
“Sure, you are welcome to stay as long as you want. I’ll be glad for the company. Being alone in that apartment gets kind of lonely sometimes,” Brett said, throwing me another puzzled look. “You never told me what happened between you two.”
“I know. It’s kind of difficult to explain. I’ll try to tell you the whole story as soon as we are back at your apartment,” I said.
We arrived at Brett’s apartment a little while later and unloaded our stuff and hauled it upstairs to his place. After taking a quick shower, we both were much refreshed from our trip back from Austin. We were sitting in Brett’s kitchen having a snack when Brett asked, “Okay, is now a good time to talk?”
My nervousness must have shown on my face because Brett said, “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”
“It’s okay. It’s just that you might not want me to stay with you after I tell you. I need to tell you so let me start by saying I’m gay,” I paused to gage Brett’s reaction to my announcement.
Brett looked very surprised, “Get out! You can’t be gay! I saw you checking out the girls in every place we went! You even noticed some of the same gals I did, remember?”
“Yes, I do remember. I was attracted them just as much as you were but I was also checking some of the guys that they were with as well!”
“Are you sure you’re gay? How can you like both guys and gals?” Brett asked, showing some confusion.
“If I knew the answer, I could solve all of my problems,” I said in heart-felt voice.
“So how does this have anything to do with Keith?” Brett asked.
I let out a very long sigh and started to tell Brett about Ian and how Keith had said he was okay with me being gay when I told him how hurt I was over what Ian had done to me. I told Brett about the argument between Rick, Keith and I about my attempts at supposedly “seducing” Rick when Keith left me alone with Rick and my apparent power over him to turn him into a gay guy.
“Keith finally owned up to the fact that he wasn’t okay with me being gay and turning his best friend into one as well. Rick and Keith continued to argue when I called you to come get me, Brett. I didn’t want to be where I wasn’t wanted especially since I trusted my cousin not to turn on me. My Dad has always resented my mom’s family and their snobby attitudes towards those who are different or less fortunate than they are. Maybe he was right all along. I had always thought he was being stubborn and unforgiving when it came to my mother’s family. He never wanted anything to do with them and when my grandparents did come to visit us on the farm, he made sure he had business to attend to elsewhere to avoid being around them if at all possible. It really hurt Mom’s feelings that he wouldn’t even sit at the same dinner table with them but would eat in the kitchen or wouldn’t come to eat at all.”
Brett listened attentively to me and didn’t interrupt through the entire narration. When I finally fell silent, I looked at Brett face and saw the look of disbelief and then disgust as his mind processed the implications of what I had just told him and thought to myself that I had just lost a friend. Brett tried to cover up his reaction but didn’t quite manage to keep it out of his voice.
“You do know that it’s a sin to have sex with a guy don’t you?” Brett asked.
“No, I don’t believe that at all. But I know that many churches preach to their congregations that gays are evil. Does being gay make me evil or someone who will rape little children or worse cause all the men in the world to turn to uncontrolled and rampant sex abusers?” I asked.
“No, I don’t believe you are evil, Glenn, but you can’t continue committing sin. I don’t believe as many of the people in our church that you should be put in prison for sodomy or worse murdered to prevent the disease of “homosexuality” to spread in our community,” Brett said honestly. “I and my parents don’t hold those same views. We see them as being inconsistent with what we believe Christianity to be. However, we believe in trying to help the sinner recognize the error of his ways and try to help them return to the Lord,” Brett said.
“I’m sorry that you feel that way, Brett. I don’t think it’s wrong to love someone and want to share your life with them. Keith told me he was okay with me being gay. He lied to me. It wasn’t true. In the end, he couldn’t tolerate the fact that maybe his best friend might be gay too! It was okay for me to be gay as long as Keith believed it wasn’t really true because I was attracted to girls at the same time. He has kept pushing Kerry’s little sister at me and stressing how you can’t be gay and like her at the same time,” I said just a little heatedly, trying not to let the tears in my eyes fall. I didn’t want Brett to see just how much Keith’s betrayal had hurt me and how much his words had stung me.
“So do you like Kerry’s sister?” Brett asked with more than a little curiosity.
“Sure I do. She has to be the most wonderful person on the earth. She is great in bed too!”
“What! You had sex with a girl!” Brett exclaimed in surprise. “You just said you were gay and wanted to be with Rick. How can this be true? How can you want to be with a guy after being with a beautiful girl?”
I blushed and tried not to be embarrassed as I told Brett about Ruth Ann and how aggressive she was and how I couldn’t resist her when I wanted to be with her as much as she wanted to be with me.
“So Ruth Ann would sneak into your bedroom and sleep with you every night right across the hall from Keith’s room and he didn’t know it?” Brett said in amazement. “You can’t be serious! Keith must have heard something.”
“No, Keith was pretty clueless and was even more amazed than you are now when I told him about it after Ruth Ann and her family had left for home,” I said, smiling at the memory of the look on Keith’s face when he heard what we had been doing right under his nose.
“In part, that is why I was so surprised by Keith’s reaction to me being attracted to Rick when he knew I was also attracted to Ruth Ann. It was like I was trying to steal his only prized possession from him. Rick confronted him directly about that too. I left after that so I don’t know where they ended up.” I said.
“Well, you are welcome to stay with me until you figure things out with your cousin,” Brett said.
“Thanks, Brett. It really means a lot to me right now to know you trust me enough not to throw me out on the street or worse, yet, attack me and try to murder me in my sleep,” I said.
I placed a phone call to my grandparents to let them know I was back in Atlanta and staying with Brett for a few days. I had promised my grandpa I would always let them know where I was so they wouldn’t worry about me.
Next, I called my parents to tell them I wasn’t going to attend any of the schools in Texas. Mom suggested I try some of the schools in Utah since my friend James was going there as was Ruth Ann. She also suggested Minneapolis where Ben was going to be playing hockey. I thanked her for her suggestions and told her I loved her and hung up. I looked up to see Brett listening to my conversation with my Mom.
“So you have decided against going to Texas?” Brett asked.
“Yeah, I have. Sorry, Brett. I hope I didn’t disappoint you,” I said earnestly.
“No worries! I’m not going to school in Texas either! My dad will be the one disappointed though!” Brett laughed.
“I know. He tried pretty hard to convince me to go to Austin. Oh, well! I will have to write him and your mother a thank you note for their hospitality over the last couple of weeks,” I said.
Just then, the Brett’s phone rang. Brett went to answer it and return signaling that the phone was for me.
“Hello,” I said.
“Glenn, this is Rick. Can I come over and talk with you?”
“Sure, do you know where Brett lives?”
“Yes, I will see you in a few minutes.”
The line went dead and I just stood there dumbfounded. I wasn’t sure what to think. Why would Rick want to talk to me?
“So what did Rick want?” Brett asked.
“He wants to talk to me and will be here in a few minutes,” I said with a little bit of a quaver in my voice reflecting my state of emotional uncertainty.
“Do you want to talk to Rick?” Brett asked with concern.
“Yes, I do. But I am really nervous about it though,” I said.
I sat down on Brett’s couch and waited. It wasn’t too long before there was a knock on the door. Brett opened it to let Rick into the apartment.
“Thanks Brett for bringing Glenn back from the airport. Glenn, I’m sorry Keith and I got into an argument and hurt you in the process. Can you forgive me?” Rick begged me as his eyes pleaded with me to say yes.
“Yes, I forgive you. It’s not your fault Keith has issues with me being gay,” I said, looking at him with tears in my eyes.
“Please come back to our apartment, Glenn. Keith is in South Carolina with his fiancée and won’t be back for a couple of weeks. I promise to be on my best behavior if you do,” Rick said with a hopeful smile.
Brett looked from me to Rick while he waited to hear my answer.
“Okay, but I am going to hold you to your promise!” I exclaimed as I got up off of the couch. “Let’s go. My bags are right behind you by the door.” I shook Brett’s hand and said, “Thanks Brett for listening and I really had a great time in Texas.”
Rick grabbed my bags and headed out the door and I followed right behind him. Rick threw my stuff in the back of his Jeep and helped me into the passenger seat. Rick jumped into the driver’s seat and turned the key in the ignition as he gave me a quick smile. My mind is all in a whirl over what this meant for me and Rick. We rode in silence for the few minutes it took to drive from Brett’s place to Rick’s apartment. Again, Rick grabbed my stuff and we climbed the stairs to his apartment. Rick opened the door and threw my bags down just inside the door and closed the door behind me as I entered the apartment. I stood there for a moment wondering what to say or do next. Rick pulled me into a tight embrace and then leaned back to look into my eyes. I was about to speak when he gave me the most passionate kiss of my life!