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All rights reserved. ©2022 Jay Gilbert
The slam of the kitchen door at Tyler”s house sucked all of the air out of the room. What had been the best night of my life had turned into the worst morning for all of us. Only hours before, I”d been living out fantasies that I”d been collecting in the “classified” archives of my brain since before I hit puberty. Now, the warm, sweet afterglow of sex had been replaced by a stark, ugly reality. The shit was headed for the fan.
Tyler was hyperventilating and mumbling, “Oh, shit. Oh, shit. What the fuck am I going to do? What am I gonna tell my parents? I”m gonna get crucified when I go to school on Monday.”
“It”ll be OK. We”ll figure something out,” I tried to reassure him, knowing that it was going to be a blood bath, worse for the two of them than for me. I was only going to be the “other woman,” so to speak, who helped break up two couples. But I”d already outed myself, so I couldn”t be exposed as “now, even more gay.” For Tyler and Eddie, this was going to be awful. They really had no alternative but to out themselves to their parents quickly, before someone else”s parents got wind of the story and let Tyler”s and Eddie”s folks know. They also needed to out themselves at school. It”s tough coming out as gay, tougher as trans, but for bisexuals, especially bi guys, it”s really tough because it usually means missing out on relationships with women who might have been your soulmate otherwise. Let”s face it, most straight women don”t want to date a guy who also likes sex with men. There aren”t a lot of out, male bisexual celebrities, after all.
“You guys have to come clean with your parents,” I said. “They don”t need all of the details about last night, but you need to tell them that you two have been boyfriends since you were thirteen and that your girlfriends found out. Let them know that you”re bi and really do have feelings, both sexual and emotional for both your girlfriends and each other. Admit that by keeping this a secret, you betrayed the trust of two girls who deserved to be treated better. As long as your parents aren”t complete homophobes, like Brandon Grimes” shithead dad, they”ll get over it and appreciate that you told them before someone else did.”
Eddie spoke first. “You have amazing folks. When you came out as gay, it was nothing for them. You didn”t cheat on anyone. You hadn”t had sex with anyone. You got away easy. My whole fucking life, I”ve been the `perfect” son. Perfect grades. Star athlete. A nice guy who cares about everyone. My parents pushed me to be that way from the time my mom crapped me out. Now, I”m nothing but a disappointment. A fucking failure. All of their efforts laid to waste. They”re going to fucking kill me. I don”t know what I”m going to do. I need to get out of here.”
Eddie ran upstairs and put on his clothes, gathered up his stuff and walked down to the kitchen. Tyler ran up to him and hugged him, then started to cry. “I don”t know what I”m going to do either. But I know that since we were thirteen, you have no idea how much you”ve meant to me. You may not be `perfect,” but you”re perfect for me. I”ve always been afraid to tell you, but I love you, not like a brother, not like a friend, but like my other half. I can”t imagine what I”d do without you. The next few weeks are gonna suck, but we have each other and Jaime to lean on. We”ll get through.”
Eddie just looked numb. He opened the door, walked out and left Tyler and me standing there. Tyler walked over to the kitchen table and sat down, putting his head in his hands and cried silently, the tears dripping onto the table. I gave him a hug and said, “You two guys are incredible people. You both supported me when I thought I would die of embarrassment. Even though you caused the problem initially, you more than made up for your mistake by sticking up for me and showing that you”re a good friend. What happened between the three of us last night will bring a smile to my face for the rest of my life. I know you both had fun and totally got into it, but you also went out of your way to make sure that my first time was amazing. I”ve never felt better about myself than I did last night.
“Neither of you intended to hurt your girlfriends. No one was Blog İçerik Tabanlı Sosyal Ağı Sitesi supposed to know what happened here. Whatever you guys decide to do, I want you to know that I”ll do what I can to help you and to be your friend.”
I went upstairs and got dressed, grabbed my backpack and came back downstairs. Tyler had made a pot of coffee and threw a couple of toaster pastries into the toaster. I thanked him for the coffee then said, “Hmmm. I wish I”d known that the breakfast service at this hotel was so bleak before I checked in. Well, at least I can say the room service last night was outstanding. I”ll still give this place a five-star review.” He shot me a look, then cracked a smile. The two of us sat in silence for a few minutes, then the sound of the garage door opening snapped us both to attention.
Tyler”s parents walked into the kitchen. “Hey, good morning, Jaime,” Tyler”s dad said. “It”s nice to see you. It”s been a while. You think you guys have a chance at the gymnastics championship this year?”
I forced a smile and said, “Hi, Mr. Jacobs, Ms. Spiewak. We”re working really hard at it. Maybe this year will be the year. It only took the Cubs 108 years between championships. Maybe we can beat that.”
Tyler”s folks laughed. Tyler remained silent.
His dad Josh was a good-looking guy in his mid-forties with salt and pepper hair and brown eyes. He definitely had the dad-bod thing going and was about Tyler”s height at 5″7″. His mom Carol Spiewak was also very attractive, She had opted to keep her maiden name after marrying. It was obvious that she spent time at the gym. Seeing the two of them together, it was easy to see that Tyler had inherited the best features of both.
“I”m going to head home,” I said. What little color was left drained from Tyler”s face. He nodded at me and the corners of his mouth turned upwards ever so slightly. My heart ached for my friend. This was going to be agonizing for him.
I grabbed the remains of the toaster pastry and gave Tyler a fist bump, “Later, my brother. Take care, Mr. Jacobs, Ms. Spiewak.”
“Bye, Jaime,” they said in unison.
I walked out the front door into the chilly morning light and headed home, filled with fear for my friends, but also with memories of my first time. Out of habit, I reached down into my pocket and pulled out my phone to check for messages. The last message received hit me like a slap in the face:
Tyler Jacobs: Megan HERE!! Shhh!!!!
Definitely an instance where my little head had been doing the thinking and not my big one.
Tyler stood up from the table and offered his parents some coffee, which they both accepted. “How”s grandma?” he asked, looking for a way to stall the inevitable, even for just a second.
“She”s fine. She”d love for you to drive down and pay her a visit soon. She misses you,” his mom said. “She made cannolis. I brought some back for you.”
“I need to tell you something. This is going to be very, very hard for me. Please sit down and let me finish before you say anything,” Tyler began.
His parents looked at each other and immediately a sense of panic set in, “Are you OK? Were you in an accident? Did anyone get hurt?” his dad asked.
“Not physically hurt, no,” Tyler responded, “No accident, no damage.”
His parents looked a little relieved and sat down at the table. Tyler continued, “I wanted to tell you something before you found out from anyone else. I know that I”m not a perfect son, but I”ve always tried hard. I did something that hurt Megan a lot and she broke up with me. Megan found out that I was cheating on her.”
His parents looked concerned, but inwardly were thinking that this is just a teenage relationship story and would blow over.
“Do you have feelings for this other girl?” His mom asked.
“That”s the thing, Mom, it”s not a girl. It”s a guy. I”m bi. It”s Eddie. He and I have been together for four years now. I really thought I loved Megan. She”s a great person and she”s cute, but I”ve come to realize that I love Eddie more. I”m sorry for hurting her. She didn”t deserve what I did. And I”m sorry to put you through this. I”m sure you”re really upset with me.” If Tyler could have crawled under the table and disappeared. He would have.
Tyler”s dad spoke first. “What you did to Megan was unfair and mean. You basically lied to her by not telling her the truth about yourself. She could have decided for herself if it was worth pursuing a relationship with you, or not, based on the truth, but you denied her that. Relationships only work if you are honest and communicate.
“As far as you being bisexual, you are who you are. If you”re comfortable in your own skin, then that”s all I would hope for. You”re my son and I love you no matter Sesli Kitap Dinle what. I think your mom also wants to say something.”
Tyler”s mom took a deep breath, held it for a second, and let it out slowly as she gathered her thoughts. She took a sip of coffee and said, “First of all, you are very brave for telling us. It must be really awful being in your shoes right now. I agree with everything your dad said, but want to add a couple of things. As much as I like Megan, and you”re right, she is a wonderful girl who deserves to be treated better, but I like Eddie more. I”ve noticed how close the two of you are and kind of wondered if there was more to the story than just a friendship. You”re still in high school, so I have no idea how long your relationship with Eddie will last, but for as long as it does, I can”t think of anyone I”d rather have for you than him.”
“There”s something else that I want to tell you that I was waiting until I thought you were old enough to understand. Before I met your dad, I dated both men and women. I”m also bisexual. Your dad proved to be my soulmate and I never regretted settling down with him, but it could just as easily have been a `Tyler has two mommies” story.”
Tyler looked stunned. His mom stood up, walked over to Tyler and wrapped her arms around him, “I couldn”t have asked for a better son. Everyone makes mistakes. We learn from them. You need to make amends to Megan for not telling her the truth, if she”ll even talk to you, then you need to support Eddie. He”s got it just a rough as you do.”
Tyler, swallowed hard, fighting back a tear. “That”s just it. She said she never wants to see me again and I suspect that I”m about to be outed on social media.”
“”Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,”” his father said.
Back at my house, my dad was sitting at the kitchen table eating the huevos rancheros he”d prepared for himself. “How was your night at Tyler”s?”
“Eddie was there, too. We really had a great time until Tyler”s girlfriend Megan showed up this morning. She found out that Tyler has been cheating on her and broke up with him. She”s really pissed off,” I said.
“Can you blame her?” Dad asked.
“No, I can”t. Tyler never meant to hurt her, but he did. Now I”m sure she”s going to burn him on social media. The poor kid”s going to get crucified.” I didn”t want to fill Dad in on Tyler being outed, at least not yet. Tyler needed to come out to his own folks first and let that settle before I could say anything.
“I”m kind of tired,” I added. I”m going to head upstairs and take a nap. I gave dad a hug and walked upstairs, but instead of napping, I wanted to check social media to see what Megan was saying.
Nothing yet on her feed or Tyler”s. When I went to check Eddie”s, the account was gone. I checked on other social media apps. All of his accounts had disappeared. I felt like I was going to pass out. This was bad. Really bad.
I texted Eddie and got no response. I tried calling him. He didn”t pick up.
I called Tyler. “Are you OK?” I asked.
“Actually, I”m doing OK. I”ll fill you in on the details face-to-face, but my parents took the news better than OK,” he said, sounding relieved.
“I don”t want to scare you, but Eddie”s disappeared. His social media accounts are gone and he”s not answering his phone or texts,” I said.
“What do you mean? People don”t just disappear,” a sense of panic started to rise in Tyler”s voice.
“We need to find him right away. Can you pick me up and we”ll drive over to his house?” I asked.
“I”m on my way. Oh, God, Eddie, don”t do anything stupid,” Tyler pleaded.
Five minutes later, I was in Tyler”s car and within ten minutes we”d arrived at Eddie”s house. We flew out of the car and rang the bell. Eddie”s mom Letricia answered the door. She”s a tall, African-American woman with a sophisticated air about her.
“Oh, hi, Tyler. Hi, Jaime. Eddie didn”t mention you”d be stopping by. It must have just slipped his mind,” she said.
“Eddie”s here?” I asked, trying to keep the panic from creeping into my voice.
Yes, he came in about half an hour ago and said he was going to take a shower and lay down for a while. Come to think of it, he”s been in the shower for quite a while now.
“Oh, God,” Tyler screamed. He pushed past Eddie”s mom, and ran towards the bathroom. Eddie”s mom”s eyes shot open wide, sensing the fear in Tyler”s voice. She turned and ran after Tyler. I followed. Eddie”s dad Robert, who”d been watching TV in the other room, heard the commotion and ran after us.
Tyler tried the door handle and, thankfully, it wasn”t locked. He threw open the door to see Eddie, slumped on the floor of the shower with a razor blade in one hand.
But Exxen there was no blood. Just the sound of Eddie sobbing loudly over the noise of the shower.
“Oh, dear God,” screamed Eddie”s dad. His mom just screamed, then fell to her knees.
Tyler ran to the shower and slowly opened the glass shower door. He gently pulled the razor blade from Eddie”s hand, then squatted down to hug him. He slowly lifted Eddie to his feet and turned off the water.
I grabbed a towel and handed it to Tyler, and he wrapped Eddie in the towel.
“I couldn”t do it,” Eddie sobbed. “I even left the door unlocked so my folks wouldn”t have to bust it down when they found me, but I couldn”t do it. I just thought of how it would hurt them and my sister forever and how I”d never see your face again and I just couldn”t do it.”
Eddie”s mom and dad rushed over and hugged him, both of them sobbing.
“What happened? Why would you want to hurt yourself?” Mr. Hondo asked.
His mom could barely get out the words, but said, “There is nothing that you could ever do that would make us stop loving you. Why?”
Eddie looked at them and said, “I”m not your ideal son. I”m broken.”
“What are you talking about?” his mom asked.
“I”m not straight. I like guys, too. I”m sorry,” he wailed.
“I know that, baby,” Mrs. Hondo whispered, as she held her son”s head in her hands. “I see how you act when Tyler is around. You like your girlfriend Mia, but when Tyler is around, your face just lights up. So does his. I guess I figured it out quite a while ago, but wanted to let you tell me when you were ready. I”ve talked to Dad about it, too. We couldn”t possibly love you any more than we do.”
Mr. Hondo interrupted, “We never wanted a perfect son, but you are damn close. You taught yourself to read when you were three years-old. By age four you were reading story books to your little sister, who, by the way, thinks you walk on water. She doesn”t understand why her friends keep calling their brothers “assholes” because she loves you so much. By the time you were twelve, you were doing complex mathematics. As a freshman, you broke school records for running. We pushed you to be the best only because you already had it in you. You took on every challenge and succeeded at it.”
Then his mom spoke forcefully, “Would you think you were less of the `perfect” man because you”re not white? Fuck no. Why would you think you were less than ideal because you”re not straight?”
Eddie smiled meekly. His mom wasn”t much for using foul language and it caught him off guard. “I”ve always tried to be perfect. If I didn”t succeed the first time, I pushed myself until I got it right. But I hurt Mia because I also love Tyler, but I also hurt Tyler because I”ve been afraid to admit how much I love him. I just couldn”t see how my love for him was anything but a flaw.”
“Relationships aren”t perfect, Eddie. They”re sloppy, with weird stuff oozing over the sides, and ugly little bumps. Human beings have feelings that can”t be wrapped up into neat little packages and labeled. Have you even talked to Mia? Do you know how she feels?” Mr. Hondo asked.
“No,” Eddie responded. “If she hasn”t found out already, she”ll find out about Tyler and me from Tyler”s girlfriend Megan. I haven”t checked my phone for any messages.”
Tyler said, “We never intended to hurt anyone. I”ve been with Eddie for longer than either of us has been with our girlfriends. We were just afraid that if Megan and Mia knew that I loved Eddie, that they”d never want to go out with us, not to mention what other kids at school will say. This is going to be hell.”
“Do your folks know?” Mrs. Hondo asked.
“Yes, I told them a little while ago,” Tyler said, “It went better than I ever thought.”
“OK then, the people who most needed to know already know and we love and support you. It doesn”t really matter what other people think, even though they may think it does,” Mr. Hondo said.
“Eddie,” his mom said softly, “I think it would be a good idea for you to see a therapist. No one should be as hard on themselves as you”ve been. You need to learn that `perfect is the enemy of good.” You need to love yourself for who you are. It”s obvious that Tyler and Jaime already do.”
As Eddie, Tyler and his parents left the bathroom to take Eddie to his bedroom and help him get dressed, I looked down to check my phone. Megan had kept her promise. She used Tyler”s and my profile names and had spelled Eddie”s name out in full, since he”d deleted his profile, and had written, “Three cheating gay boys in a love triangle. How f***ing cute! Rot in hell, assholes.”
The shit now fully engaged with the fan blades, which were spinning at top speed.
End Chapter 6:
*Author”s note: Suicide and self-harming behavior occurs among LGBTQI+ youth at a much higher rate than among self-identified straight kids. Please support organizations like the Trevor Project or other suicide prevention services in your area. Your support can save someone”s life.