Waylon and Frank were sitting on the sofa in the living room, going through Waylon’s family photo album, which he took out from the depths of a shelf and, after brushing off the dust from the covers, came to present it to his husband in hopes of lighting up the atmosphere that was continuously tense ever since Clint found out about his biological parents. The three of them were in desperate need of a serious family talk, but Frank and Waylon agreed that it’d be better if Clinton set the time for this inevitable talk himself. After having realized what a giant mistake they’d made, there was no turning back or taking their words back now. The burden of the truth was on their shoulders for the past 21 years, now it was out. They were aware of the fact that the decision to tell him so late was not a good one, but neither Frank nor Waylon was quite sure what would be the best option in this delicate case. There were times in his life when Frank tried to imagine the situation, in which Clint would get to find out earlier, but each time he got worried that Clint might not take to it well. After all, their situation was special as it was. Theirs was not by any means a standard family dynamic and it’s always been perfectly clear that two men cannot have a child together, which was where the lie came into place. Clint was told that Frank was his father and they didn’t know his mother, as she was out of the picture. Clinton did not quite believe it as much as he wanted to believe the fact that his dads were indeed telling the truth. He was not an exceptionally bright child and didn’t have a tendency to overthink. He just took facts as they were, just as he was presented with them. He never questioned it too much, being happy with what he had. And he had a lot – close friends, financial stability, loving parents, a possibly bright future ahead of him… What went wrong? Well, it seems that it’s Clinton that went wrong here and his uncanny laziness that made him fail not one but three times as far as studies were concerned, which made the relationship with his fathers, Waylon in particular, strained as it was, especially when Clint disappointed him when he was dismissed from law, crushing his hopes that maybe his son, an exceptional student (but only in his dreams!), would get to take over the family business. There was sibling rivalry going on between Waylon and his younger brother, Kenneth. Frank hid his disappointment better than his husband, although it still was not hard to notice. It was obvious what the plan for Clinton was right from the very beginning and he did not live up to his parents’ expectations.
Frank thought back to the times when Clint was little, desperately trying to find something to clutch onto, a cause to his son disappointing him so badly that could possibly be fixed. But there was no such thing, as Clint had a really great childhood, probably much better than most of the kids of LGBTQ+ parents. In fact, it did not really differ from the youth of his peers who were raised by straight parents. Of course, the major difference was the fact that Clint was exposed to LGBTQ+ community from a young age, as both his dads kept in touch with other members of it. That opened Clinton’s eyes to the diversity that exists in our world and he was possibly more cognisant of some matters than some other kids. Having seen so much of it, there was a time in Clint’s life when he constantly searched for some hints that would lead him to find out who he truly was.
When Clinton was 12 years old and his best friend, Ron, was 9 years old, he convinced him to kiss him. That’s also when Clint realized that he really, really was not into boys. That never changed and Clint realized that he would never be a part of that same community that his parents belonged to and admittedly, he felt bad about it. It was funny how different this boy’s views on the outside world were to the views of his peers, who were constantly bugging him, asking him what it was like to have two dads, how it worked or if he was gay too. At first, Clint liked the attention, but with the passing years, he started feeling tired of responding to the same questions all the time. To him, there was nothing extraordinary about his family. What was the difference, anyway? He did not get it, and then again, with time he realized that he’d never understand the people who had any type of problems with or felt weird about the way his family was. The words that came out of their mouths never meant any sense. Clint would call it bullshit, but only when Dad F was not around to hear him saying that.
After 3 failed attempts at studying and 3 years after graduating from high school, Clinton was now a 21-year-old attractive young man with light blond hair and strikingly bright blue eyes, undoubtedly taking after his father whom he’d call grandfather if he didn’t know better. Even though many girls fell for him in the past, Clint only had his eyes on one. Unfortunately for him, though, that would’ve been the only one that was off-limits in every way possible. The “lucky” girl was Rebecca Calloway, a self-confident, intelligent redhead who had the ability to wrap any guy around her little finger and who was not at all interested in Clint. As if it was not enough trouble, Becca also happened to be his half-sister, something that Clinton had found out about only recently and what was the main reason as to why he took to the news as badly as he did. Clint had just descended the stairs and he was now wondering whether or not he should make his presence known. He nervously fumbled with his fingers, observing his dads and casually overhearing their conversation.
“We met on Grindr,” said Dad W. “Aaron was much older than me and my parents did not approve,” he added, shrugging. Meanwhile, Dad F’s finger was still pointing to some photography in the album.
“Uh-huh,” responded Frank, obviously uncomfortable. “How many more have you had? I saw at least three different guys before this and you never commented on them.” Suddenly, Waylon realized that the whole photo album thing was not so much of a good idea.
“I can’t quite respond to your question, Frankie. You see, it’s hard to tell when so many of these relationships weren’t serious and if you counted various hook-ups…” By then, Clinton had had enough. He didn’t really want to know the details of his father’s previous relationships and he had the gut feeling that this conversation was bound to develop into a fight. And so, he stepped in.
“Finally!” Said Frank, obviously relieved to see him.
“Yeah, we were – uh – hoping you would want to talk to us,” added Waylon, adjusting his glasses and glancing subtly at his husband.
“Well, that’s a lot to discuss. Sit down, Clint, so we can explain everything to you thoroughly and without disturbance this time, so you can understand this case better.” Waylon was just about to confirm Frank’s words, but then Clint spoke up.
“I understand everything,” he said to his dads’ amazement. That was not the answer they expected, after having been readying themselves for the big talk for a couple of days now.
“Ooh-kay,” said Waylon slowly in response to his son’s statement. “What is it you wanted to talk about, then? There’s obviously something bothering you.” Clinton definitely looked uneasy, standing in front of his parents with crossed arms and an unsure look on his face.
“I wanted to meet my father,” replied Clinton, confusing both Frank and Waylon, but then he quickly added, “The biological one.” That earned him a frown on Frank’s face.
“Why would you want to see my dad? I told you, he’s not a good man at all. That’s not wise.”
“I want to schedule a meeting with him. Just to talk as a father and son.”
“Well, um, I mean, you have every right to…” Began Frank.
“…but he’s a dick and a bigot and you should really not want to have to do anything with him,” finished Waylon with a scowl on his face. “You have two, Clint, why would you want a third one? Two’s more than enough, for goodness sake!” Both Frank and Clinton could not hide the wide smiles that spread around their faces at Waylon’s remark. But then they realized again how serious the conversation was.
“I have his number,” said Frank. “We can arrange a meeting if you wish…”
“No! Don’t do it, Frankie. He’s had enough contact with toxin already. Any more and he might die from this!”
“Jokes aside,” responded Frank, looking meaningfully at his husband,” I can understand Clinton’s need for a talk and he has the right to see with him. He even suggested a meeting in the future before leaving that day, remember? I can’t say I think my father is a good person, but Clinton is an adult and he makes his own decisions.” But then Frank’s mouth twisted into a smile and his features softened as he added: “Right, kiddo?”
“That’s right, Dad,” Clint smiled back and looked at the screen of his phone, as Frank sent Cedric’s phone number to his son. He couldn’t waste this chance that he was presented with.
“I can’t believe you’re going to Bridgeport!” Sharicka shrieked, as she watched Ron pack his luggage. “That’s such a big city. Not that far away, though, you, guys, can always visit us if you get bored.”
“You know well that we’re on a mission to find Becca. Clint will not move on if he doesn’t get to talk it over with her. And it would be nice to find my twin sister, ya know!”
“Yeah, I do. You know, Ron? I’m glad we broke up. That was just not meant to be, and imagine all the pretty girls in Bridgeport! I would have been soo jealous and you would probably betray me anyway. Long-distance relationships rarely work.” Shari knew Ron too well to misinterpret the sad smile on his face. His eyes weren’t meeting hers, as he said:
“Oh, yeah. And, like you said, it’s just friendship closeness that we had mistaken for love,” he told her, as he threw another pair of boxers onto the floor and slummed the drawer with too much strength, causing himself to land the floor. “That’s enough,” he said, coming up with another one of these fake smiles.
“Hey, don’t beat yourself up. We used to be kinda cute, but that’s our time to move on now,” Shari said gently, playing with her hair. “Besides, I’ll be studying fine arts now. This relationship would have had no future had we kept it up. It’s just, first love, just never works out.”
“Maybe you’re right,” Ron agreed with her, even though he did not believe in his own words, too focused on admiring yet again the bright green eyes that were such a contrast to her light brown skin.
“Hopefully, we both can one day find someone that we’re truly destined to be with. It’s just, we experimented and that’s good. Life’s all about earning experiences and then one of those will be it, the experience you want to continue with this one special person,” Shari continued, but the only thing Ron could think about was that Shari was the one he wanted to experience things with. He was head over heels for her, still. And yet he agreed again and again, and again with her until it was too late and the time had come to say goodbyes to the rest of his family.
His mother, Hailey, was sitting next to his father’s bed, as usual. After the surgery, it was like she had become a whole other person. Yes, she actually seemed different when the throat troubles first started, but what she was now was another level of depressing. Even though the medicine that was available in those days presented her with many options that could make up for her speech difficulties, Hailey refused to use an electrolarynx or anything of the kind. There were only two ways of communication with her, first one being the occasional slips of paper she would stick into the palms of your hands, and the second one was the application that she had installed on her phone and mainly used to communicate with strangers, but only if she felt forced to. Hailey had become a quiet person who tended to blend well into the background. Sometimes it was forgotten that she was in the room, as she spent days not attempting any form of communication, completely lost in her own world. Now Ron just strolled past her and made his way to his father’s bed. Reggie’s eyes lit up for a second when he glanced at the floor.
“You’re wearing them,” he said, smiling at Ron’s shoes, his old favorite ones that he gave him when he figured he wouldn’t be using them anymore.
“Yes, Dad. They’re quite comfortable if I say so myself,” he replied with a smile back. “So…”
“So,” Reggie repeated. “I will not take you back without Becca, son.” That was supposed to be a joke, but everyone in the room could feel his pain when he said her name. And they felt it, too.
“I’ll try my best,” promised Ron, then shook his father’s hand. “I will see you with her next time, Dad.”
“If there is a next time, son,” remarked Reggie in response. Ron chose not to respond to this question, knowing his dad all too well. Then he moved on to another person.
“Mom,” he said, looking at the faint figure who seemed totally devoid of color. Hailey got up and extended her arms to hug her youngest child. Then Ron felt the touch of paper on his skin and he grabbed the slip that was offered to him by his mother, then automatically stuck it in the pocket of his pants. “Until next time,” he said and was met with a sad smile, recently, his mother’s specialty.
Aunt Candy was already approaching Ron when he turned around to go in search of her. It was with pride when she looked at the young man in front of her.
“I know that you and Shari are not together anymore, but I don’t need you as my son-in-law to be telling the ‘son’ word when I think of you. You know I love you, Ron, and I’m sure the trip will do you some good. What can I say? Bon voyage, darling!” When Ron fell into his aunt’s warm embrace, he knew he felt the same about her being his aunt. For him, she’d always be one, no matter the biology. When Candy finally let go of him, Ron was met with Sharicka’s eyes studying them.
She seemed somehow touched, but Ron quickly forgot about it as he heard the honking of Clinton’s car. It was time.
Sharicka went to the elevator with him and she followed him out the front door without a word. When Ron was just about to get in the car, Shari unexpectedly planted a kiss on his cheek along with have a safe trip whispered straight into his ear.
He instinctively reached out to hug her and got overwhelmed by the familiar smell of her perfume and the soft hair he buried his nose in. But she broke the embrace as quickly as she had earlier shifted her lips away from his cheek.
When Ron got into the car, his cheek was still burning from her touch and he felt left with a desperate need to get more physical with her which he knew wasn’t possible. Not anymore. Trying to distract himself, he accidentally stuck a hand in his pocket and found a slip of paper. Then he unfolded it and read a message, saying: “Eventually, we’ll see each other again.” He thought it sounded a bit strange, but then, as Clint seemed to be in his own world of thoughts and didn’t speak to him, the travel lulled Ron to sleep. When he woke up, they were already fast approaching Bridgeport and Ron felt ready for the new adventure, temporarily having forgotten both about Sharicka and the message…
Note: Surprise, surprise! I’M BACK!!! And I’m so happy to be telling you this now. It’s super exciting, isn’t it? I hope not only for me. Below I will post some ramblings about the break, so don’t feel obligated to read them, as this post is already lengthy as it is…
My break wasn’t really a break. I mean, what I did was preparing my game, uploading a ton of characters to my character download page (they may have different hairstyles, ’cause I changed my mind), so you’re welcome to download anyone here if you’re interested, I also worked as a proofreader for Darren, his wonderful story has come to an end and I encourage everyone to check it out here. Thank you to Bee for the awesome friends poses I used for that picture of Clint and Ron, and for the portrait set. And also, I felt so down about my writing that I only got back to it with this post in the beginning of September and I started taking pictures only yesterday. Plus, it was initially meant to end with Ron saying goodbye only to Shari, but I decided I wanted to feature everyone. Then, as I celebrated my granddad’s 81st birthday today, it is up later than I intended (almost 3 hours later than it used to be at the magical 3 pm :P), it doesn’t bode well that I only just got back and this is already late. Can you believe the last story post was published on August 25th?! 5 weeks and almost 3 hours later, here we go! Well, I have to say I thought about my story and how to make it better all the time and I missed it so much, and I missed this community and hearing your thoughts, too. I even tried ReShade a few weeks ago, but you know it, I didn’t like it, still. That’s not a surprise. Ironically, DOF didn’t even work for me. 😛 But I experimented a bit with the effects in Photoscape in the first half of this chapter. Maybe the photos are too light. And I tried the height slider, as you probably noticed, but I’m not sure yet how I feel about it and if I want to continue with this mess of setting it up. And I downloaded so many poses that I feel so much better about what I have for photo-taking. I also made a simple edit of an open book to make this cute album and feature another of Sam’s exes, as if it wasn’t already enough. Now whom do I have left? Lane and Jade, probably. But you now know more about Aaron, Beatriz, Deq and Amanda, so that’s something! I was also relieved when I found out I still know how to make poses and I made the ones for the photo album, as well as the ones for Reggie and Ron’s handshake. As for the new schedule, I’m not sure yet, but I’m leaning towards the pseudoschedule that I had at the beginning, so weekends in general, either Saturday or Sunday at any hour. It doesn’t seem like a lot. But I’ll see!
Aand… gosh, I know I desperately need to refresh the layout I did it and really love how big the photos are in the new theme! :D, but I am too excited about posting to do it now and that’s not even a prologue! I’ll see what I can do.
Anyway, please share your thoughts and I am so happy to be back, I hope you are too, and that you enjoyed this super late post! ♥