Chapter Sixty One – Beverly
After graduation, Ben and I were anxious to continue our road trip. My grandparents took Nancy and Cynthia on a trip to Europe as a graduation present. They left two days after graduation. Ben and I packed our stuff in the back of the Land Rover and said our good-byes to our parents.
We went directly south from Swift Current following Saskatchewan Provincial Highway 4 to the US Border and crossed into Montana, where we took US Highway 191 south to Interstate 90. We stopped in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for a few days of boating on Coeur d’Alene Lake. We heard about the car races being held in Spokane, Washington; so we decided to drive over to watch them. The Spokane Falls were very pretty and the races were great!
We made our way to Seattle, Washington, and then north to Vancouver. We doubled back through Seattle and headed south to Hillsboro, Oregon, where we stayed with Mom’s cousin, Beverly. I don’t know how we’re related because I don’t remember Mom mentioning a cousin Beverly. All Mom said was, “Beverly is our cousin and is the family historian.” I called Beverly on my cell phone to get directions to her home. It was a gray, misty morning when we pulled into Beverly’s driveway.
As we got out of the Land Rover, Beverly came out to greet us. “I’m Beverly. Welcome to Oregon, boys!”
“I’m Glenn and this is my cousin, Ben,” I said, introducing ourselves. “Thank you for letting us stay with you.”
Beverly said, “No problem. Come inside out of this drizzle.” We followed her inside and sat down at the kitchen table where she had put out some cookies and milk. “When your Mom called and said you would be coming out this way, I told her I would love to see you. I’m the family historian, and have been gathering information on our family for over twenty years now. Would you be interested in seeing some of the stories I have collected on our family?”
“Yes, I would. I don’t know much about Mom’s family,” I said, smiling.
Ben said, “I’d like to know how you started collecting family stories, etc.”
Beverly replied, “I’ll be glad to show you how to start your own family history collection. I love discovering my heritage. Things like why our great grandparents left England, and what they did when they first came to America. We have a very large extended family, with lots of interesting people.”
“How did you first become interested in our family history?” I asked.
“My grandfather kept a daily journal that was given to me when I was in high school. It was after grandpa died and we were going through his things. Grandma asked me to come with her into her bedroom where she gave me Grandpa’s journals. She said, “Beverly, your Grandpa wanted you to have these journals. You two were inseparable almost from the day you were born. He wanted you to have his journals because he wanted you to remember all of the wonderful times you had together. I know that you will take good care of them and preserve them for others to enjoy when the time comes.” I spent the next few months reading my grandpa’s journals. At my grandma’s suggestion, I transcribed them and added photographs, birth certificates, newspaper clippings and other interesting items and published grandpa’s journals for the rest of the family to enjoy.”
“So you’ve been working on your family history since then?” Ben asked.
“Yes, that is how it started, and I’ve kept at it since then. Since you’ve finished with the cookies and milk, let’s bring your things in and get you settled in the spare bedroom. After that, I’ll show you what I’ve managed to collect over the years,” Beverly said.
Beverly was very excited to be able to share her life’s passion with us. We spent the rest of the day reading journal entries, newspaper articles, histories, etc. Ben and I were totally amazed at all of the information she had amassed on our family. She created a gigantic family tree that traced our family back to England in the early 1200’s. Beverly included photographs of each ancestor on the family tree. It was interesting to see the different facial features of each of the individuals on the tree and how they were passed down from one generation to the next.
Over dinner, we had quite an interesting discussion. I asked, “I saw the photos in the front room of your children. Where do your children live?”
“They live in California near their stepfather, Jimmy. I divorced him a few years ago because he kept bringing his male sex partners home and flaunting them in my face,” Beverly said.
I was surprised to hear that. I looked over at Ben before asking, “Did you know he was gay when you married him?”
“Yes, I did. We were friends in high school and I knew he was gay. In fact, we used to hang out together, checking out the guys! Then his parents died, leaving him their estate. The only problem was they had stipulated in their will he had to be married in order to inherit their money. That’s when he asked me to marry him, so he could get their money,” Beverly explained. “I told him no several times. Then I married another man and had my two children with him.”
Ben seemed as curious as I was to know how Beverly ended up marrying a gay guy. He asked, “So what happened that you ended up married to Jimmy?”
“My first husband was a very abusive man. He beat me a lot when he came home drunk. One night he came home and beat me so badly I ended up in the hospital. That’s when I left him and filed for a divorce. He fought me over every little thing and left me with very little. What child support I got didn’t meet our needs; so I went to work and managed to save enough money to buy a house. When I went to get the loan, the bank denied my loan application; stating they couldn’t loan money to a woman,” Beverly said.
“Isn’t that illegal?” I asked. I had never heard of a bank NOT lending money to a single woman.
“Yes, it is, now. It wasn’t then. I went from bank to bank and got the same answer. I made enough money to qualify for the loan; but when they found out I was a single mom, they would find a reason to deny the loan request,” Beverly said. “That’s when Jimmy approached me, again. He said he would sign for the loan on the house, if I would marry him. I agreed to marry him on the condition that the house had to be in my name only, and that he couldn’t have his male friends spend the night.”
“Did he agree to those terms?” Ben asked.
“Yes, he did. But after the first year of marriage, he started having his partners sleep over at the house. I kept warning him I’d divorce him if he didn’t stop. He laughed at me, and kept making out with his lovers in front me and the kids. So I kicked him out and filed for a divorce,” she said.
“So how did you manage to keep the house?” I asked.
“I threatened to tell the trustees of his parents’ estate he was gay and we never really had a marriage relationship. As a result, we had an amicable divorce. He got to keep his money and his boyfriend, and I got to keep my house,” Beverly said.
“You said your children live near him in California. Why do they live there?” I asked.
“I only divorced Jimmy because I couldn’t handle watching him making out with his boyfriend in front of me and the kids. My children adore him. He was more like a big kid than a stepfather to them. He is more of a father to them than their real dad. In fact, my children were mad at me for leaving him. It’s just I wanted more in a relationship than to be roommates,” Beverly said. “I don’t have a problem with gay men. I think they are some of the best people around, and I’m happy Jimmy has finally found someone to be his life partner. Now, I just need to find me someone, too!”
Ben asked, “Do a lot of gay men marry women to cover up the fact that they are gay?”
Beverly looked at Ben. “Some do. Why do you ask?”
“It seems that trying to cover up who you really are would cause more problems than it would solve,” Ben said.
Beverly agreed, “You’re right, Ben. Even though Jimmy and I are great friends, trying to pretend we were actually husband and wife nearly ruined our friendship. Jimmy wasn’t happy either. He wanted to live with his boyfriend full time; but had to keep up appearances in order to keep the money coming in from his parents’ estate. Now that anti-discrimination laws have stopped banks from denying loans to women, I don’t have to worry about having a man sign the loan papers for me.”
“I’m hoping Rick asks me to marry him when he returns from being overseas,” I said.
Beverly looked at me in surprise. “I didn’t know you're gay. Your Mom told me about Randy and Shawn getting married; but didn’t say anything about you, Glenn. So, who is this Rick fellow, and why isn’t he with you on your road trip?”
“Rick and I have been together for almost a year now. He’s in the Marines and is on active duty right now,” I said, answering Beverly’s questions.
We talked more about me and Rick. Talking about Rick made me miss him terribly. Beverly said, “It’s obvious you love him, Glenn. Rick is a very lucky man.”
Ben said, “Glenn did choose well. I like Rick and he’s good for Glenn.”
Beverly said, “I’m currently dating a guy named Joe. He will be coming over for a few minutes to meet you. He hates it when I get started with my family history stuff; so he stays away until I get my fix, and can concentrate on other things!”
“Things like Joe?” I asked, grinning.
“Yes, you’re right, Glenn. I get so focused on what I’m doing I forget about everything else, including Joe. He says he feels like he’s just part of the furniture when I’m in the middle of a family history project,” Beverly explained.
Later that night, we met Joe. He seems to be a nice guy. Ben and I retired to our room shortly after he arrived; since we were planning to make an early departure in the morning.
Ben asked, “Are you going to be alright? You were starting to worry me there for a minute. I saw how much you are missing Rick as you kept talking about him.”
“I’ll be okay. I’m going to text Rick in a few minutes,” I replied. Before I could type in the text message, I received a text from Rick that said, “Real busy, 8-3-1-4, talk to u tomorrow.” I sent back the message, “Back at you.”
The next day, Beverly said, “Glenn, I want you to take a copy of our family history to your mother for me. I’ve included a copy of grandpa’s journals. I hope you will take the time to read them. I think you will come to have a greater appreciation for what they did for us. Reading grandpa’s journals makes it seem like he’s sitting next to me telling me about his life. I miss him so much.”
She handed me two book boxes holding the 10 volumes of our family history and great-grandpa’s journals (all 26 of them). “I’ve included video history of our family and how we settled Riverside County, California. Our cousin, Eleanor, inherited great-grandpa’s farm and has developed it into a gated community for seniors. She and I wrote the script and screenplay and she hired a local film company to make the film. It’s pretty neat and shows a lot of our history.”
I was surprised to hear great-grandpa settled Riverside County, California. “I thought Mom’s family was all from Georgia. How did we get to California from Georgia?”
Beverly explained, “Your great grandmother is my grandfather’s half-sister. Your great-great-grandpa met his first wife while he was in college in Atlanta. They married and moved to California and settled the farm in Riverside County, California. However, she didn’t like living on the farm in Riverside and decided she wanted to go home; taking her children with her. They lived with her parents in Savannah, Georgia, until she remarried. Great-grandpa remarried and had 6 more children; the oldest was my grandpa. So, we’re like, half cousins. I contacted your mother a few years ago to complete the family tree on your side of the family. We’ve kept up a correspondence since then. When she mentioned you were taking a road trip a few weeks ago, I suggested you stop here and visit with me.”
“Thank you for everything,” Ben said.
“Yes, thank you for the family history. I know both Mom and Grandma will enjoy reading these books,” I said with a smile.
“Thank you for taking them to her. If I shipped them, I would spend a fortune because they are so heavy,” Beverly said. “Have a safe trip and let me know when you get to Atlanta.”
Ben answered, “We’ll be sure to give you a call.”
We said our good-byes and left for California. We toured the redwood forests and stopped in San Francisco for a few days to see the sights. Then on to Los Angeles and San Diego before we set an eastern course back across the United States. We visited many of the national parks: Yellowstone, Zion, Arches, Mesa Verde, and the Grand Canyon before we crossed the continental divide and headed east to Denver, Colorado. After three more weeks of touring, we ended up back in Atlanta.
We pulled into the parking lot of our condo. Ben and I unloaded the Land Rover and hauled all of our stuff upstairs. It felt good to be home! We knocked on Keith and Kerry's door. Keith came to the door and let us in.
"Welcome home boys," Keith said.
"It feels good to be home," I said.
Ben said, "Thanks for letting us crash here for a few days."
Keith answered, "Not a problem. Here, let me help you take your stuff back to the bedroom."
I started unpacking my stuff and putting it into the closet; when Ben walked into my room and saw me in the closet, hugging Rick’s clothes that we had stored there. “Glenn, are you going to be okay?”
“I’ll be fine, Ben. I’m just missing Rick’s arms around me and his body being close to mine,” I said. I tried to keep the tears from falling; but actually verbalizing how I was feeling caused me to lose what little control I had.
Ben hugged me and said, “It’s okay, Glenn. It’s okay to miss the one you love. Let’s order some pizza and play video games. Kerry is staying at her mom's house, so Keith is on his own this week.”
Having regained my composure, I said, “Okay, I’m up for that.”
We did just that. We told Keith all about our trip as we ate pizza and had a beer or two to wash it down. We made it an early night since we were pretty tired from driving all day. I went to bed, but couldn’t sleep. I sent a text message to Rick, “can u talk?”
About a minute later, my cell rang and I heard Rick’s rich baritone voice come over the speaker.
“Hello, Babe. How are you doing tonight?”
“I’m good now, sweetheart. I’m just missing you being here in our bed with me.”
“I’m missing you as well. I’m really having a hard time here. The guys are great and we enjoy each other’s company; but it’s you I want to have here with me.”
“I walked into the closet where we are storing your clothes and hugged them. I was remembering how they smell of you. I’m wearing one of your shirts to bed tonight. It keeps me from missing you too much.
Rick laughed. “I’ve only seen that in the movies, Glenn. Have Ben take a picture of you and send it to me. I want to see you wearing my shirt to bed!”
I laughed as well. “It does seem kind of corny doesn’t it. I can’t help it sometimes, Babe. I need you so much.”
“Just don’t ruin it by using it as a cum rag! I know how you are about jerking off all the time!”
“I don’t jerk off all the time! Just some of the time, because you aren’t here to take care of that particular need!”
“Okay, you can start by jerking off as I talk dirty to you over the phone,” Rick said laughing.
I was surprised, but eager to do what he asked. As he told me what he would do to me when he returned home, I went wild and soon was shooting cum everywhere.
I lay there gasping for air as Rick said, “Good night, Babe. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“I love you, Rick.”
I ended the call and fell asleep dreaming of my lover boy!