…from the last chapter
‘Can life get any better?
And that’s when Tom grabbed him by the shoulders and kissed him passionately.
The audible gasp from someone in the room reached Eddy’s burning ears.
Why did he do that? And at what price?’
[STRONG LANGUAGE and VIOLENCE]
Eddy felt his world crumbling under his feet. He didn’t want to look around the room. He especially didn’t want to look at his father’s face.
It passed through his mind to slap Tom but then thought that would look even gayer than the kiss.
He grabbed Tom’s upper arm – hard – and led him out of the room.
“What the hell was that?”
“That, my love, was a proper kiss,” said Tom smugly.
“What is wrong with you? I told you that there would be absolutely no PDA, and you did THAT!”
Tom was shrugging his shoulders with a maddening smile on his beautiful face. “Eddy. You DO want your father to accept you and who you are, right?”
“Yes, I do. But I don’t think that the little scene you just created will help with that, do you?”
“Eddy, these things come naturally to me. I made my parents accept me, and I’m going to help you, too. After all, if we are going to be together forever, your father will have to accept me, right?”
“How on earth do you believe we’re going to be together forever? I don’t even know if I can put up with you for one more minute!”
Tom moved in close and stroked Eddy’s cheek gently. “Oh, you don’t mean that sweetie.”
Eddy registered Tom’s perfect skin and gorgeous eyes. He felt himself swooning. After all, wasn’t it only last week that he hoped and prayed that this boy would even like him a little?
But loving him will tear my family apart. And I’m way too young to be in a committed relationship. I mean, …
“Tom, do you know what you just did to my dad?”
Before Tom could venture an answer, the door behind them banged open.
Eddy’s father stood in the doorway, just barely. The smell of scotch reached Eddy’s senses, and he knew this was going to go badly. His father’s temper was a sputtering flame when he drank, but it appeared he was downright drunk right now.
“Dad? Are you okay?”
The older man came towards them. He was unsteady on his feet, and the drink he held in his hand splashed dangerously close to the rim.
“Oh, I’m all right. But I’m not so sure about you and your little boyfriend.”
Eddy recognized that tone. This was how his father talked about ‘those people,’ and pontificated how ‘they’ were ripping the very fabric of society.
Tom miscalculated Eddy’s father’s rage. He also underestimated the strength the older man wielded.
With surprisingly fast movements, Tom was firmly held in a chokehold by Eddy’s father.
It was only minutes before Tom’s face turned an alarming shade of purple.
Eddy was frozen. Whenever his dad went into a rage about something, that was his reflexive action to protect himself. But a huge bong was clanging in his head.
He had to save Tom. Not because he loved him, but because he didn’t want to see his father get into trouble.
“Dad, let him go!”
“Little sonofabitch was going to make a fool of me at my party, Eddy. You don’t want someone like this in your life, do you?”
Despite the slurring of the words, Eddy registered that his father was trying to protect him. He wasn’t angry at Eddy at all. He was furious with Tom.
Tom’s face turned blue, and all his muscles became slack. Without knowing it wasn’t possible, one would think the boy could be dead. But Eddy knew better. He could see the shallow breaths and hear Tom’s wheezing.
Mustering every ounce of love and kindness, Eddy approached his dad. He worked to release the hold his dad had on Tom, and he felt his dad relax when they made eye contact.
His dad alarmed him when his eyes grew wet.
“Eddy, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
“No, you shouldn’t have, but I’ll get him fixed up. You go back to your friends. I’m pretty sure they’re looking for you.”
Eddy’s father looked sheepish. “No. They’re not looking for me. Most of them left after your friend here planted one on you. They mostly left in disgust. This whole fucking thing is a mess, you know that, right?”
“I’m sorry, Dad. I’m sorrier than you know. This was not what I wanted to happen. I don’t know why he did it. He was saying something about how it would make you accept me.”
The older man’s eyes flashed anger. “Eddy, I DO accept you. I wouldn’t be excited about you and some girl making out in front of my friends. You do know that, right?”
Eddy wasn’t sure if he knew that. But he did know that his dad believed it. But before he could have that discussion with his father, there was Tom to deal with.
Eddy found a chair and placed Tom’s limp body into it. He went into the restroom and got some wet paper towels. He patted the other boy’s face and tried to get him to come out of it.
There were the beginnings of some ugly bruises around Tom’s throat and Eddy just prayed there wouldn’t be any charges. This thing needed to go away.
It was a good sign that there weren’t any cops around. And then Tom opened his eyes.
“YOU happened. You and your warped sense of right and wrong. How on earth did you think you were doing the right thing?”
Tom shook his head. “Wait a minute. You’re mad at me?”
“Yes, I’m mad at you. And I’m done with you and your strange way of doing things. I will be me and hope that people accept me for that. I do not need to ‘do things,’ your way to make some sort of a statement about being gay. Maybe you do, but I don’t.”
Rubbing his throat, Tom tried to stand but fell back into the chair.
“Are we through then?”
Eddy laughed a sad little sound. “Yes, I think we’re through. No, I KNOW that we are. I need someone who will love me and help me discover things in a natural way. I do not need someone who is so determined to own me that they will sabotage the rest of the relationships in my life.”
“You’re a fool. Those relationships are over. Now that you told them you’re gay, things will never be the same.”
“You’re right. Things won’t be the same because I’m different. And I’m just going to have to make sure everyone around me knows who I am, and not some poster boy for being gay.”
Tom finally stood up. “You’re an idiot, you know that? I was willing to love you forever. I was going to make you happy. I…”
“You wanted to own me. That’s not a relationship. That’s something I don’t want to participate in.”
“So, this is goodbye?”
Eddy watched the other boy make his way to his car. And then he turned towards the party room. He had a lot of work to do there.