Two days passed and neither my friends or Peter reached out to me. That's when I decided to do something to fix my life instead of waiting for someone else to do it for me. Only I could sort myself out. Waiting for Rick and Skyler's signal had just been an excuse for me not to tackle the true issue. So, I called my mom and asked if I could come over. She agreed and told me to bring Peter also since she hadn't been able to reach him since they last talked. I didn't want to tell her what happened over the phone so I agreed and focused on not throwing up while driving to her house. I let myself in and found mom busy in the kitchen putting together a lunch meat and cheese platter for our lunch. She looked at me as I neared, her happy expression melting and she stopped fussing with the food.

"What's wrong? Why isn't Peter with you?"

I took a slow, deep breath and held it."He's not living with me anymore. We had a fight and I kicked him out."

"What? Why?"

I exhaled and forced myself to look at my mom in the eyes. "I was mad at him for telling you my secret,that I'm gay and that we were lovers."

The silence in the kitchen was maddening. I had to bite my lip to keep from saying anything else. Mom stared at me for a long moment before walking around the counter and hugged me. I stood rigid in her embrace for a minute before my body melted and I returned the hug.

"Does this mean you're no angry with me?" My throat tightened.

"For what? For being gay?" she pulled away to look at me. "Honey, I love you and I want you to be happy. I just wish you didn't hide this from me or feel like you couldn't confide in me something this important."

"I was afraid you wouldn't want me anymore if you knew. That's why I denied it before when you asked," I said, wiping my damp eyes. "With dad gone, you're all I have. If you walked out on me too, disowned me ... I couldn't handle it."

"Never, Justin! Never," Mom crushed me in another hug before letting go to snag us both tissues. "Don't ever think that again and you tell Peter that goes for him too. Have you spoken to him since that day?"

"No but I plan to soon," I said, getting myself under control. My body felt light, like I was going to float away if I moved too fast. "He's staying with friends of mine and they're doing damage control. I didn't want to start over with him until I fixed things with us first."

"We were never broken, honey," she went back to her platter. "Just make sure you let Peter know I'm still here for him, no matter if things don't work out between you two. I'm his mom for as long as he wants." She paused and looked at me, grinning. "It just hit me. If you two get married, he'll become my son-in-law."

I couldn't help but laugh at the thought. Pulling out my cell phone I went to the living room and typed a short text to Peter.

“I'm sorry for what I did to you. I was so fucking stupid to throw away one of the best things ever to happen to me. I want you back, Peter. I love you and miss you like crazy. Mom does too. I told her about us, about me and she's cool with it all so don't shut her out. If you don't want to be with me anymore at least keep your relationship with her, she's your mom too after all. Love you. Justin.”

After sending the text I turned off my phone and went went to help mom bring the food to the dining table, feeling better than I had I had in years.


I spent the night over at mom's because I couldn't stand the thought of returning to an empty house. Peter didn't respond to my text nor did I expect him to.  After breakfast I left for home. Since breaking up with Peter I had been neglecting work and money, or lack thereof, would soon be an issue. Self pity and loneliness threatened to take over as I pulled into my driveway. 

“Stop it!” I said as I unlocked the door. “No more crying. Enough.”

The house was dark so when I saw Peter sitting on the living room couch I though my eyes were playing tricks on me. His head was back, eyes closed and wet streaks drying on his cheeks. Had he spent the night crying over me? I could feel tears gathering as I sat down next to him and touched his arm. He woke with a start, Blinking the sleep from his eyes. Before I could say anything he threw himself at me, wrapping his arms around my neck and wept like a frightened child. I followed his example and for the next ten minutes we clung to each other for dear life. When our crying subsided I kicked off my shoes, stretched out on the couch and held my arms open to him. 

Peter settled himself next to me, his head on my chest. “For the record, I’m sorry,” he said.

I brushed the hair from his forehead. “You don’t have anything to be sorry for. You didn’t do anything wrong. It was all me. I shouldn’t have exploded. I’m sorry.”

“So, forgive and forget?”

“Sounds good to me,” I said, kissing him on the forehead. “You do know I love you, right.”

“Yeah, and I love you too.”

And just like that all anger and resentment was forgotten. As long as we had each other, nothing else mattered. 

November 28, 2019 15:18

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.