Fiction Gay Drama

Author's note: This story contains the lyrics to one of George Strait's most heartfelt and recognizable love songs. I don't own any rights to the song, although that would be really great for my bank account. (And despite what one character says out of anger, I really do love the song — cross my heart.)


He never wanted to slow dance.

In all my time spent with Mickey, I could never convince him to get out on the dance floor with me. He'd race out there for all the regular wedding bangers like 'Takin' Care of Business' and always put on quite a show — but was never up for a mushy slow dance. I chalked it up to us usually being the only gay couple in attendance. We'd do anything to make others feel comfortable with our presence, and we'd opt out of doing certain things for that same reason. But here at his cousin's wedding, toward the end of the night, he strolled up, grabbed my hand, and asked me to join him on the floor with all the other couples still in attendance.

What a peculiar thing, I thought, and rose to my feet to join him.

Mickey was still a full-on mystery to me, even after six years in a committed relationship with him. When we first met, this charming and electrifying man swept me off my feet. He couldn't get enough of me — and was borderline obsessed with making sure I knew it. He was full of wild ideas and discussions of taking care of me, marrying me, and the two of us living our best gay lives for the rest of our lives. I, of course, was smitten. And although I had yet to figure him out after all this time, I was still madly in love with him. It was an endlessly frustrating love, but love nonetheless.

As 'I Cross My Heart' began to pump out of the DJ's speakers, Mickey's right hand landed on my waist. The man could still send a surge of adrenaline through my body any time he touched me. And those massive hands of his, rugged from his work outside on construction sites, made me absolutely weak. It had been so long since he'd touched me, I melted knowing that hand was touching me. I said a little prayer to myself that he wasn't too inebriated to take advantage of our hotel room later.

Our love is unconditional | We knew it from the start

Mickey cleared his throat. "I need to say something, and I need you to listen to the entire thing before you respond," Mickey whispered in my ear. This entire wedding was such a dramatic affair, from the ornate decor to Mickey's Bridezilla cousin's antics to the reception (which I could only describe as 'Pinterest-fancy'). Perhaps he was simply absorbing the dramatics, being the chameleon he is. It was late in the evening and most of the wedding goers had taken off already. There were kids to put to bed, grandparents to get back to houses and nursing homes. I'd spent most of the day with Mickey's siblings and cousins, listening to them prattle and tittle-tattle about the bride and groom and other assorted family members. I'd barely spoken to him most of the event.

"Okay," I said back, wondering where we were going with this conversation, secretly hoping the good vibes of the day's activities made him realize we should move forward with planning our own wedding. We'd been engaged for three years with no plans in the works. Every time I tried to talk about it, he would shut down.

I tilted my head a bit, resting it on his chest and shoulder. I could hear his heart beating. It seemed a bit rapid. He's nervous. My heart started beating faster to match his.

I see it in your eyes | You can feel it from my heart

"You've been such a huge part of my life and I see how hard you try to make me happy," he said leaning down toward my ear. This giant man lumbering over me with his hand still gripping my waist made me want to hightail it back to our hotel room and call it a night, socially speaking anyway. "I want you to know how much I appreciate everything you've done for me."

From here on after | Let's stay the way we are right now

"But..." Mickey stopped talking. Okay, this was an unexpected 'but' thrown into this wildly unusual romantic moment, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. He hasn't been good at the romance thing for quite a few years. I take a deep breath, steeling myself for what's to come, wondering which spectrum this conversation will eventually land on: Good or Bad?

And share all the love and laughter | That a lifetime will allow

"I can't be with you anymore. I'm in love with Tyler."

"Wha-?" I start to look up at him, and he grips my waist tighter.

"You have to just listen," he sputters, coldly. "And don't make a scene at my cousin's wedding."

This is what this whole scene is. The man who bombed me with love to convince me I was the greatest thing that ever happened to him six years ago, then slowly invalidated my existence over the course of six years, who would never have an adult conversation about how lonely I always felt and how difficult it was to be in this relationship with him, who slowly checked out on me more and more every day for the past five years, was now using his cousin's wedding dance as a means to an end for our entire relationship. Doing it right in front of God and everyone and controlling the entire conversation like an absolute psychopath. I can't react. I just have to continue to dance — like a monkey on a leash in a sideshow at the circus.

I cross my heart | And promise to | Give all I've got to give

"We've been linking up for quite a while, and he and Nate are at separating," Mickey states, coldly. "I never meant for any of this to happen, I swear."

To make all your dreams come true | In all the world

"Linking up? That's what you call it? That's insulting. Fuck you, Mickey," I sputter. I can't even cry, I'm still just so shocked by the entire charade. We're slow-dancing around the floor, his mother is grinning at us, and he's confessing he's been having an affair of some kind with one of our best friends.

You'll never find | A love as true as mine

"I swear, I didn't know how else to tell you, but I had to tell you this weekend," he starts muttering in my ear. I see him smile back at his mother. The show must go on.

You will always be the miracle | That makes my life complete

"Perfect, Mickey. This is a perfect setting for this conversation. For your Sunday school version of the truth," I snipe back. I'm on the verge of tears but refuse to give him the satisfaction. "Make sure you smile at your mom."

And as long as there's a breath in me | I'll make yours just as sweet

"How else was I supposed to do it?" he implores. "If I'd done it at the hotel, you would have completely lost your shit like you always do."

"I was losing my shit all the time, because I knew you were being sneaky," I'm about to snap, but dammit, I refuse to give his family the satisfaction of a scene. "And stop trying to gaslight me. It doesn't work anymore, you coward."

As we look into the future | It's as far as we can see

"I'm not try-"

"How long have you two been doing this?" I interrupt, already knowing the timeline. I had felt that something was off, brought it up numerous times, but would get called paranoid or crazy every time I'd broach the subject. Narcissists are great at the act of the brainwash. But I definitely knew a general timeline, based off the overall shift in energy.

So let's make each tomorrow | Be the best that it can be

"I can't say."

"Of course not. That would take honesty," I snap back. We're still slowly dancing around the floor, appearing as though we're both madly in love with each other. We'd hate to let down our audience; we've never done that. Always showing up as a couple, always putting on a happy face before we leave the house, always faking it to look like we're making it.

I cross my heart | And promise to | Give all I've got to give

"What do you want me to say? Do you want details? Would that get you off to know all the graphic details?" Mickey is going into Mickey Mode — sarcasm, ridicule, and gaslighting to rearrange the entire narrative.

To make all your dreams come true | In all the world

"Yes. I can't wait to get back to the hotel and rub one out thinking about you and Tyler together," I snark back. "Honestly, the thought of it makes me ill."

You'll never find | A love as true as mine

"Don't be mean," Mickey lights the gas.

"Oh, I won't," I bite back. "I sure won't. I'll walk out of here with a smile on my face and never look back."


And if along the way, we find a day | It starts to storm

"Don't call me babe. Ever again. I wish you nothing but a lifetime of him loving you exactly the way you've loved me," I pull away from him.

"Don't you dare walk away from me," he snaps back, rather intensely. Inside my head, I make a mental note that Whitney Houston sang that line so perfectly in 'I Have Nothing' and with far more passion. I start to laugh.

You've got the promise of my love | To keep you warm

"Oh, I'm walking away," I say as I start my personal walk of shame. "You're on your own now, buddy."

"Chris, don't."

I stop and turn back around, walking back up to him.

In all the world | You'll never find

"By the way," I have to get one last word in before I walk out of this wedding and out of his life forever.


"I hate this stupid fucking song," I lean in to say it so he can hear me well, and go for the jugular, knowing it's one of his all-time favorites. "It's as cheesy as your new boyfriend's entire fucking persona."

A love as true as mine

I start for the door. Mickey's mother's face looks confused, but of course she's still smiling. She can tell something's off, but as a good country belle, she knows that smiling is what's required of her in this moment.

A love as true as mine

I, however, have tears rolling down my cheeks. I can barely see where I'm walking. I arrive at the main doors and struggle to get them open. It feels like I'm opening the main doors on a castle they're so weighty.

I get outside and start speedwalking away, in no particular direction — walking toward nothing, but away from everything. Six years of us, cancelled to the soundtrack of a George Strait love song.

The dance is over.

June 10, 2024 16:16

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Trudy Jas
01:03 Jun 16, 2024

David, this story has perfect pitch. Not a wasted word, no maudlin emotions. Raw, painful, deadly.


David Ward
13:10 Jun 17, 2024

I can't thank you enough for this comment. I'm a noob to writing fictional stories, so that's much-needed encouragement!


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