Mr. Williams paced around the family room. Devin was sitting back on the sofa with a smirk on his face. He was enjoying watching the anguished look of his father as he let the news sink in.
Finally, his father stepped before him and looked down angrily. “I am about to say something I never thought would ever come from my lips.”
Devin grinned. He was expecting his father to say how disappointed he was about Kevin. As soon as Paul left, he had gone into the family room and told him what Paul had said about Kevin and Cameron. He left out the part about Stanley and Charles. That could wait until a later day.
“I never thought the day would come when I would tell one of my sons that I wish you weren’t mine.” Devin tried to contain the smirk on his face. Mr. Williams towered over his son.
“I wish you weren’t my son, Devin.”
“What!” Devin screamed as he jumped from the sofa. “Me! Didn’t you just hear me? I told you Kevin is gay!”
Mr. Williams took his son’s shoulders and slammed him back to his seat. “I heard exactly what you told me!” he shouted angrily. “I also watched as you tried to destroy your brother in front of me.” He grabbed Devin, lifted him to his feet and shouted in his face, “He’s your brother for Christ sakes. Why in the hell are you turning against your own blood?”
“But Dad!” Devin tried to pull himself away from his father’s grasp. “Kevin is a fag!”
“As long as you live under my roof,” his father shook with anger, “I don’t ever want to hear you call your brother that again.” He shook him violently. “Do you understand me?”
“I don’t understand why you’re mad at me?” Devin cried. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“That’s the problem, Devin!” His father shouted with anger. “You don’t see anything wrong.” He tossed Devin’s limp body onto the sofa. He walked to the other side of the room and stared out the window.
Devin tensed up when his father walked back over and sat down beside him. He looked over sadly at his son. “It’s hard enough to live in this world,” he said. “The only thing we can depend on is family. I thought I raised you to believe that. What have we got if we can’t trust our own blood? Kevin is your brother, your identical twin at that.”
“But he’s gay, Dad!” Devin cried. He looked surprised when Mr. Williams started laughing.
“I always thought you would be the gay one,” his father laughed. Devin started to blush. He knew the reason.
“Did I say a word when I walked in on you and Paul when you were twelve?” He started laughing again. “You boys were really going at it.”
Devin’s face brightened. He remembered the night very well. It was one of the worst mistakes he had ever made. Paul had spent the night, and he had brought one of his older brother’s Playboy magazines. They had gotten hard looking at the pictures. It began when Paul suggested that they touch each other. Touching lead to stroking, and stroking lead to sucking. His father had walked in on them when they were in a sixty nine position. It was the first- and last time- he ever had sex with another boy. The next morning he thought his father would say something, but the incident was never mentioned again- until now.
“Dad,” Devin tried to explain. “We were just kids. I’ve never done anything since then.”
“The point is, I never said anything. It bothered me at first, but then I realized that if you were gay, then I’d just have to accept it. You were still my flesh and blood.”
“But I’m not a fa.., I mean I’m not gay,” he insisted, “Kevin is.”
His father placed his hand gently on his knee. “And if Kevin is gay, then we, his family, have to accept it.”
Devin jumped up from the sofa. “I can’t/1” he shouted. “I don’t want a gay brother!” He ran from the room. Mr. Williams got up to follow him, but decided it was best to leave him alone. He hoped that in time, Devin would begin to understand.
Cameron took Kevin by the arm and led him to the sofa in the den. Kevin kept looking at Coach Alston and his friend, Dave. Looking around at the pictures on the fireplace mantle, it appeared they both shared the same house. In fact, it seemed to Kevin as if they shared even more. Many of the pictures had them embracing each other.
“Would you boys like something to drink?” The coach asked. “A Pepsi, or perhaps some tea?”
“Do you have any more peach tea?” Cameron asked excitedly. It had become one of his favorite drinks when he visited a few months earlier.
“Of course,” laughed his uncle. “I always keep it around just in case you happen to pop in.” He disappeared from the room. Dave took a seat across from them and smiled.
“It’s good to see you again, Cameron,” he said. “Are you still painting?”
“Yes, Sir,” Cameron replied. “Thanks for buying me that paint set for my birthday.”
“He’s really good,” Kevin added. “You should see the one he painted of me.”
Dave looked at Cameron and raised an eyebrow. “I hope he had his clothes on.”
“Uncle Dave!” Cameron screamed. “You’re so nasty. Of course he had his clothes on.”
He looked over at Kevin and playfully joked, “Maybe I’ll do him nude later.” Cameron and his uncle laughed when Kevin’s face reddened.
“What’s so funny?” Coach Alston walked in carrying a tray with four beverages on it. After distributing them, he sat down beside Cameron.
Dave started laughing. “Your perverted nephew is going to paint this young man in the nude.” Coach Alston started laughing as he watched both boys blush with embarrassment.
After a few minutes of light conversation, he turned to Kevin. “I guess you must have a million thoughts running through your mind right now.” Kevin looked around the room and nodded.
The coach got off the sofa, walked over and sat on the arm of the chair in which Dave was sitting. He gently put his hand on his shoulder. “The answer to your question is yes.”
He looked wildly at Cameron, then back to the Coach and Dave. He managed to stammer out the question, “You’re gay?”
Coach Alston smiled, “Yes, Son. I’ve known I was gay since I was about your age.”
“But...” stammered Kevin. “You’re a coach.” Everyone started laughing at Kevin’s innocent statement.
“We come in all sizes,” laughed Dave. “We’re bankers, lawyers, dentists, policemen, plumbers,” he reached out and took Coach Alston’s hand, “and sometimes even teachers and coaches.”
Coach Alston walked to the fireplace mantel and picked up a picture of him and Dave. They were at a baseball game with their arms around each other. Alston walked over and handed it to Kevin.
“Dave is my partner.”
Kevin looked up at him. “You have a business together?” He glanced over at Cameron when he fell over on the couch laughing loudly.
“What?” Kevin asked. Cameron started to laugh even louder. “Did I say something wrong?”
After a minute Cameron sat up and smiled at Kevin. “They’re partners, like in a marriage.”
“You’re married?” Kevin seemed surprised. He didn’t know two men could marry.
“No, Kevin.” Alston walked over and sat down beside Dave. He reached down and held his hand. “Unfortunately, the laws of this state don’t allow us to do that. However, six years ago we did exchange vows of commitment. So I guess in a way, you could say we’re married.”
Cameron looked over at Kevin and smiled gleefully. “Isn’t that the coolest thing? That’s why I call Dave, Uncle Dave.”
A serious expression appeared on Alston’s face. “Now Kevin, what I’ve told you here isn’t to go beyond this room, do you understand?” Kevin nodded his head.
“Yes, Sir,” he responded. “I promise I won’t say a word.” He crossed his heart with his hands and kissed his fingers.
“It’s not that big a secret,” Alston said. “Most of the staff at Western High knows that Dave and I live together. In fact, we’ve had many of them here for parties and private dinners. I just try to keep it from getting out to students. You know how young people your age can be.”
Cameron laughed nervously. “Boy, do I ever know.” Alston walked over and sat down beside him.
“Now what is this your mother was talking about on the phone? She said you boys could be in some sort of danger.”
Kevin spent a few minutes explaining what had happened in the gym locker room. He seemed upset by Devin’s reaction to Kevin being gay. He said it didn’t surprise him that Paul was homophobic because he’d heard him call younger boys derogatory names in the gym before. However, he couldn’t understand how Devin could turn against his brother.
“I’m really afraid the same thing is going to happen here that happened at my other school,” Cameron said worriedly. Without thinking, Kevin reached over and took his hand. He blushed when he saw the coach and Dave look at them and smile.
“It’s all right, Kevin,” Coach Alston replied. “You can be comfortable to do whatever you want here in our house.”
“Within reason,” Dave added. “If you make a mess of the sheets, you have to do the laundry.”
“Ewww,” giggled Cameron. “You’re nasty, Uncle Dave.”
“Well,” he laughed. “I know how boys your age can be. I was your age once.”
“Back in the Dark Ages,” giggled Cameron. Kevin started laughing loudly.
“That remark, Mister,” said Dave as he got up from the chair and approached Cameron, “just got you a noogie.” Cameron started yelping when Dave leaned down, pulled his head under his arm and rubbed Cameron’s head vigorously.
“Help me, Kevin!” he yelled breathlessly. Unsure what to do, he jumped on Dave’s back and tried to pull him away from Cameron. Before he knew what happened, Dave released Cameron, grabbed Kevin and gave him several noogies. Alston stood back and laughed uproariously. After several minutes, they stopped and sat breathlessly on the sofa.
“If you boys are done playing,” Alston said sternly before he began to smile, “we need to talk about what happened today.”
“Can I ask you something, Coach?”
Kevin gave Alston a puzzled look. “You didn’t seem surprised when I told you about Stanley and Charles. Why?”
Alston started laughing. “What I’m about to tell you, you can’t repeat. Got it?” Kevin and Cameron nodded. “One afternoon last year after practice, I thought all you guys had left the gym. I went in to pick up some of the dirty towels on the floor. I heard some moaning coming from the shower. I peeked in and saw Stanley and Charles. They were, how can I say this? In a compromising position.”
“You saw them having sex?” Kevin asked excitedly.
“Well, they weren’t playing checkers,” he laughed.
Kevin asked surprisingly, “You didn’t say anything to them?”
“I realized later that I should have. I was concerned what would have happened if another student had walked in instead of me. I talked to Stanley about it the next day. It took them a month before they could look me in the face again.”
“I’m not sure I could ever have,” laughed Kevin.
“Well, don’t tell them I told you,” he warned.
“So they don’t know you’re gay, too?” Kevin asked.
“No,” he looked over at Dave. “But something tells me they’re about to find out. This whole situation could get out of hand very quickly. I’ve seen it happen before.” He looked worriedly over at Cameron.
“So what are we going to do?” Kevin asked worriedly.
“Nothing right now,” Alston responded. “Let’s just see what happens next. I’ll make a few phone calls and see if I can find out anything. I’ll also call Principal Langdon and let him know what is going on. I’m suspecting that Glenn boy will have told just about anyone who would listen this weekend about what he heard.”
He looked over at Kevin. “Can you get in touch with Stanley?”
“Sure, Coach,” Kevin replied. “I have his cell phone number.”
“Good. Call him later and tell him and Charles to come by my office the first thing Monday morning. Tell him you were concerned about what happened in the locker room and you confided in me. That’s all he needs to know right now.” Kevin nodded.
Just then the doorbell rang. Dave got up to answer it. He returned to the family room followed by Cameron’s mother. She walked over and kissed her brother on the cheek. She then looked over worriedly at Cameron.
“What do you think?”
“Right now,” Alston said, “I think the best thing to do is wait. Cameron and Kevin know to come get me if anything happens at school.” He looked over at both boys. “Right?” They nodded their heads.
“I’ll let the principal know what’s going on. We’ll do the best we can to provide for the boys’ safety. The last thing we want is for you to run away again."
Kevin put his arm protectively around Cameron. “You don’t have to worry, Mrs. Lynch. I’ll watch out for Cameron.” She walked over and embraced him.
“Thank you, Kevin,” she said warmly. “Cameron’s lucky to have a friend like you.”
Kevin looked at Cameron and smiled. “No, Mrs. Lynch. I’m the lucky one.” She gave them both another hug.
“We’d better get you home,” she said looking over at the clock on the wall. “It’s late and I told your mother I’d have you home soon.”
Kevin hung his head. “She wants me to come home?” When tears welled up in his eyes, Cameron reached out and took his hand.
“Of course, Dear,” she replied. “Just give her a little time to adjust. She is your mother.”
“She may adjust to it,” Kevin said sadly, “but I don’t think my father will. He’ll probably kick me out of the house when he finds out.”
“I doubt that, Kevin,” said Alston. “I’ve known your father for years. But just in case, if anything happens, you’ll always have a place to stay here.”
Kevin walked over and gave him a hug. He then turned and hugged Dave. “Thank you. I’m really glad you know, Coach. I’m not sure I could deal with this on my own.”
“That goes for me, too.” Cameron walked over and hugged his uncles.
After several more minutes, the boys put on their coats and headed for the car. Kevin’s hands shook as he opened the door. Cameron sat in the back with him and held his hand until they pulled up in Kevin’s driveway. After a quick kiss, witnessed in the rear view mirror by Mrs. Lynch, Kevin sighed deeply and got out of the car.
“I’ll wait until you get in,” she announced. Kevin then walked slowly to the front door. A few minutes later, when she was reasonably sure he wouldn’t reemerge, she reluctantly pulled away.
The house was quiet when Kevin entered. The clock on the wall told him it was already past midnight. He wondered why no one had waited up for him. He was sure that his mother would be waiting to talk to him, but it appeared everyone had already gone to bed.
When he passed Devin’s room, he saw a light coming from under the door and he could hear him talking to someone on his cell phone. When he heard him say ‘baby,’ he knew he was probably talking to Ashley.
He still couldn’t believe what Stanley had told him about Devin and Ashley having sex. Perhaps, that was what was bothering him. In the past, they had shared all their secrets. Devin was the first to start jacking off when he was twelve, and he told him about it. For several weeks they had lain in bed late at night having a contest to see who could cum first. At that time, they only experienced dry orgasms, but it didn’t take away from the pleasure their young bodies felt. It was about a year later that Kevin was able to actually produce cum. Devin was heartbroken until he finally came for the first time four months later. They had continued to masturbate openly in front of each other until they were fourteen. Since then both boys pleasured themselves in bed late at night when they thought the other was asleep.
He stood a minute outside his old room and sighed. He missed Devin. The laughter he heard behind the door had always been shared with him. Now, Devin had moved on. Ashley had taken his place, and the love he had formerly shared with Devin was lost forever. Even if they could go back to speaking to each other again, the closeness they had shared for sixteen years could never be rekindled. He sighed again, and then walked sadly to the guest bedroom.
He undressed and crawled into bed. He rolled on his side and was almost asleep when he heard the door slowly open. He opened his eyes, expecting to see his mother checking on him; but instead his father’s figure silhouetted the doorway. He stood a moment before tiptoeing over and standing before the bed.
“Dad?” Kevin whispered. It surprised him when his father sat down on the side of the bed. In the darkness he could tell his father was staring down at him.
“You all right, Son,” his father asked softly. He reached out and rubbed Kevin’s bare arm.
“Yeah,” Kevin’s voice cracked as he choked back tears. This was not the reaction he was expecting from his father. Obviously, neither Devin nor his mother must have told him what happened at school.
“Good.” His father leaned forward and kissed him gently on the forehead. Kevin couldn’t remember him doing that since he was about seven. “Sleep tight, Sport.” He brushed Kevin’s hair back and then rose from the bed. Tearfully, Kevin watched as he slowly walked to the door and closed it. He then covered his head with the covers and sobbed. Fifteen minutes later, sleep finally overcame him.
However, sleep wasn’t peaceful. He tossed and turned most of the night. Horrible thoughts kept running through his mind. Most of them dealt with Cameron. He was so afraid that he had exposed him to danger. He didn’t think he could live with the consequences if something happened to him.
Even though it was a Saturday morning, he still got up before seven. After showering, he headed to the kitchen. He was surprised to find his mother up. She was sitting at the table drinking a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper.
“Hi, Mom.” He tried to sound cheerful. It was the first time he had spoken to her since her visit to see Cameron’s mother. He still didn’t know what they had talked about.
“Good morning.” She replied without looking up from behind the paper. Kevin walked over to the cabinet and took out a bowel for cereal. When he went to the refrigerator to get the milk, he glanced down at his mother. Her eyes were puffy and wet with tears.
He prepared his cereal and then sat down. There was an awkward silence. Usually, she would talk to him about school or basketball practice. Instead, when he looked over, all he saw was the advertisements on the back of the newspaper. Occasionally, he’d hear her sniff, so he knew that she was still silently crying.
“I’m sorry, Mom,” he uttered almost inaudibly. He waited for her to respond, but she said nothing.
He waited a minute before speaking again. “Are you mad at me?” Her hands started trembling as she began to sob. Finally, she put the paper down and attempted to smile. Her expression was forced, and the tears continued to roll down her face.
“No, Honey,” she replied. “I’m not mad at you.”
“Then why won’t you speak to me?” Tears began to well up in Kevin’s eyes.
“I need time to sort things out,” she said tearfully. “I wasn’t ready for this.”
Kevin hung his head and whispered, “I’m sorry, Mom. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“Kevin, look at me.” Kevin raised his head and peered into his mother’s wet eyes. “It’s not your fault. You’ve done nothing wrong. You can’t help it if you’re gay.”
“Then why are you mad at me?”
“I’m not mad at you,” she insisted. “I told you that. I can accept that you’re gay. It’s just...” She stopped and took a sip of coffee.
“It’s just when I think about you having sex with another boy, it makes me physically sick. I can’t get over the fact that it’s wrong. It’s just the way I was raised. I’m sorry. I just need time.”
“I’m not having sex with any boy,” Kevin confessed, hoping it would make her feel better.
“But you will someday,” she responded. “Right now, I’d rather not think about it.” She lifted the paper and started reading it. Kevin quietly ate his cereal. After several minutes, she laid the paper down and looked at him.
“I want you to promise me one thing.”
“I don’t want you seeing that Lynch boy anymore.” A stern look appeared on her face.
“Why?” Kevin shouted. “Why can’t I see him?”
“I, um...” she hesitated for a minute. “I just think you’re too young to date right now.”
“I’m not dating him,” Kevin insisted. “We’re just friends.”
“For now,” she replied. “But that could change.”
“Mother,” Kevin said angrily. “You’re being mean now. Besides, you let Devin date Ashley. You don’t think he’s too young.”
“That’s a different matter,” she replied angrily. “We’re not discussing Devin right now.”
Kevin pushed his chair back and rose to his feet. He looked angrily down at this mother. “Cameron is my friend. I’ll see him when I want.”
“In that case,” she rose to her feet and stared at Kevin, “you’re grounded.”
“Grounded! Why?” Kevin shouted loudly.
“To begin with, Young Man,” she shouted back, “you’re being disrespectful to me. You’re also being disobedient.”
“Disobedient because I want to see my friend?”
“Yes!” she shouted. “I told you I didn’t want you to see him anymore. He’s a bad influence on you.”
“Bad influence!” Kevin started to shout something else, but his father walked into the kitchen.
“What in the hell is going on in here?” he asked angrily. “I could hear you two from the bedroom.”
Kevin’s mother looked at him and then at her husband. “This child is being rude, disrespectful and disobedient!”
Mr. Williams looked over at Kevin. “Go back to your room,” he ordered calmly.
“Go to your room, Son.” He pointed to the door. “I’ll come see you in a little while.”
“But Lyle!” shouted his mother. “He needs to be punished. You should have heard the way he was talking to me.”
He walked over and pushed Kevin from the kitchen. He whispered in his ear, “Please leave Kevin. Let me handle this.” Kevin gave him a questioning look and then glanced over at his mother. She was standing in the middle of the kitchen weeping.
When he returned to his bedroom, he closed the door and lay down on the bed. Even though he couldn’t hear what they were saying, he could hear angry shouting coming from the kitchen.
Several minutes later, he got out of bed and crept to the bathroom. He could still hear their angry words. Just as he approached, Devin’s door slowly opened. He peeked out and said angrily, “Way to go, fag. Now you have Mom and Dad mad at each other. You’re such a retard.”
“Fuck you!” Kevin gave him the finger and then disappeared into the bathroom. He took a hot shower and wondered if he was losing his family.