Read A Beautiful Struggle Online

Authors: Emily McKee

Tags: #Fiction, #Gay

A Beautiful Struggle (7 page)

BOOK: A Beautiful Struggle
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“I know my mom would be okay with it.
I know she loves me for me. I know she just wants me to be happy.” He paused. “But—” At that moment I took his hand in mine. I wanted him to tell me what he had to say. I also wanted to give him a little bit of comfort knowing that I was here and I was going to listen to him.

Choking up
, he said, “But my dad?” He shook his head. “I just don’t know what’s going to happen between him and I.” Sucking in a breath, Derrick let go of my hand and started to wipe the tears away from his face.

I couldn’t believe the way he was struggling.
I didn’t have to go through this with my family. Of course there were people who didn’t accept me. People filled with ignorance. People I didn’t even know, or better yet, didn’t even know me. But my family and friends? They accepted me for who I was. To be honest, I don’t know how parents or siblings or friends could walk away from a person because of who they chose to love.

You can’t choose who you love.
If you could, the world would be so much simpler. And for that sole reason, it wouldn’t be beautiful. You love people in spite of their flaws. If you could choose who you fell in love with, then people wouldn’t fall in love with abusers or addicts.

While I’ve never been in love or even remotely close to it
, I truly believe everything happens for a reason. You may not understand it at that exact moment in time, but maybe it’s a life lesson. Or just a small lesson. In some way it makes an impact on your life and you’re changed forever.

Love doesn’t have a gender.
It’s not a choice. You can’t force yourself to love someone. You simply fall. I think I realized then that I fell in love with Derrick Miles because when you love someone you think about them before yourself. You just want them to be happy. And if it’s with you? Then you feel like the luckiest person in the world. You look out for their well-being first. You just want that twinkle in their eye and that look on their face when they look at you.

I know it sounds crazy. I mean
, how can you fall in love with someone after only knowing them for 24 hours? I have no idea, either, but that’s exactly what love is. It’s the impossible. There’s no explanation for it. It’s your feelings and emotions. Love is the only thing that really can conquer it all. It can get you through your messes and mistakes. It can tear you apart. It can open your mind to these great ideas and beautiful choices.

I’m not saying it’s easy.
Nothing in life ever is, if it’s worth it. And love is. But when you love someone and you go through those struggles, you realize that those beautiful moments are worth going through the downfalls to get to the beautiful, amazing, sweet, cute uphills of love. While I’ve never experienced it, I do know that that’s what I would do. What people in love would do.

Of course with all of that said, there are different types of love.
There’s the mutual respect type of love. There’s the for now love. Then there’s the forever love. The undying highs and lows, good and bad, beautiful and ugly type of love. The love that will get you through anything. Do anything. Be anyone.

I kneeled down in front of Derrick.
He was still crying into his hands. I started to tear up. First off, I hate seeing people cry. It just tears me apart. But when it’s someone I’ve connected with? It kills me and I can’t take it.

I wrapped my hands around his wrists and pulled his hands away.
Tears were falling freely from his face. His eyes were puffy. His bottom lip was quivering. His nose was running. Yet in spite of all of that, I still found him to be the most beautiful person I had ever seen.

Holding his hands in mine
, I sucked in a breath and said, “I’ll be there with you.” I paused a moment. “Well, if you want me there.”

At that moment
, Derrick opened his eyes. “I want you there.”

“Ok
ay,” I said, nodding. But what I really wanted to say was, “I’ll be there with you for as long as you’ll have me.”

Chapter 7

Derrick

Breathing heavily
, I struggled with the words. “I think it’s time I told my parents.”

Pat grabbed the remote from the coffee table directly in front of us and turned off the television.
Really, it was just noise in the background while I worked on homework or Patrick worked on inventory for the bookstore that he and his grandparents owned.

Placing the papers onto the table
, Patrick turned to me. “Are you sure about that, Derr?”

Letting out a huff
, I nodded. “Yes. I think I am.” I knew there really was never going to be a right time. There never is a right time for anything. I think you kind of just have to go with it.

But it had been three months since Patrick and I started hanging out.
We quickly became a couple and we were getting pretty close and very serious. For once in my life, I was really happy with everything. I was finally able to live my life, something I hadn’t done for a really long time. I always felt like I’d been lying to everyone, and I was done hiding myself.

“I’m sure.”
I looked at Patrick. “I’m just tired of hiding who I really am. I want everyone to know who I am. I want my parents to meet you, Pat. You mean so much to me and I’m really happy with where I am.” I shrugged. “I know it’ll be hard for them at first, but I can’t hide who I am for the rest of my life. Fuck, I want to start living it.”

I heard Patrick let out a sigh so I turned to him.
Grabbing ahold of his hands, I said, “Pat I’m living my life with you, but I want to introduce you to my parents. I want them to get to know you. You mean so much to me, Pat, and I want to share my relationship with my parents. I—”

Within seconds
, Patrick was grabbing my head and slamming his lips to mine. I couldn’t believe how rough he was and it excited me. Of course we had done things within the few months we had been dating, but we hadn’t done “the deed” itself. Neither of us were virgins, but I had only had sex with girls. I’d never been with a guy. Patrick was the opposite of me in that sense. He had only been with guys and never girls.

I admired Patrick so much.
He knew who he was and what he wanted. He wasn’t ashamed of who he was and couldn’t give a rat’s ass what people thought of him. He was out and proud, and if people didn’t like it or accept it, then they could fuck off. But me? All I thought about was what people would think. Not necessarily strangers walking down the street, but my close friends and family.

My family mattered so much to me.
I knew my mom would be okay with it, but my dad was a whole different story. I knew that coming out to him could potentially ruin my relationship with him, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. Hiding who I really was. I don’t think there really is ever a right time for anything. I think it’s just you get to a certain point and you can’t take hiding who you really are anymore. You’re no longer ashamed.

Releasing my face
, Patrick leaned back and looked up at me with a smile. I smiled back. Thoughts began to race through my mind. I couldn’t believe just how beautiful Patrick really was. Not only was he a sexy guy, but his soul was so pure and beautiful. He always put others before himself and I knew I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life.

Staring down at him
, I wanted to tell him how much I loved him. I think I fell in love with him when we first met and when we had breakfast with his grandparents. I wanted desperately to tell him now, but I wanted to get this over with my parents.

Getting up off the floor
, Patrick sat on my lap and wrapped his arms around me. “We’re going to Las Vegas for Iz’s birthday and Sarah and Gabe’s party soon. Did you want to tell them before or after?”

“Before.”
Shaking my head, I said, “I’ve waited so long already.” I looked into Patrick’s eyes. “I’m tired of waiting.”

Nodding his head
, Patrick kissed me on the forehead. “I’m so proud of you, Derrick. And no matter what happens, I’m going to be there for you.” He gave me a smile.

I could feel tears in my eyes.
I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have met him. He really did save me. Closing my eyes, I felt tears falling. Feeling Patrick’s hands begin to wipe away the tears, I opened my eyes and looked at him.

He had this
worried look on his face. Sucking in a breath, he ducked his head to look at me and asked, “What’s wrong?”

With a smile appearing on my face
, I shook my head and whispered, “Nothing’s wrong, Patrick. They’re happy tears.” I didn’t think this was the right moment to tell him, but there’s never really a right time for anything. You just have to live in the moment. Take every chance and opportunity you get. That’s what Patrick taught me. To live every moment as if it were your last. He told me about how he lost his parents at a young age and the beautiful outlook on life that his mother gave him.

I felt like I was being reborn
, in a sense. I was finally being selfish and thinking about myself for once. And what I wanted more than anything was Patrick.

Sucking in a breath
, I said, “I love you, Patrick.”

Patrick’s eyes filled with tears
. “I love you, Derrick.”

Smiling at one another
, Patrick leaned in and kissed me. It was closed mouth at first, but then he opened his mouth and sucked my lower lip into his.

Patrick started to lean away but it was just to get a leg on either side of me.
Pushing me back onto the couch, I felt his hardness in his jeans, as I’m sure he could feel mine.

Pulling him as close to me as I possibly could, chest to chest, stomach to stomach, arms wrapped around one another, and legs entwined
, I whispered, “Make love to me, Patrick,” and that’s exactly what he did.

***

Standing there at the front door, I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. To say I was nervous would be the biggest understatement. I was… petrified. I just didn’t know how my parents would take me telling them I was gay. I was glad that Patrick and Ashlynn were there to show their support and love for me. I knew I would need it when I told them, especially my dad.

Reluctantly
, I rang the doorbell. Within seconds the door was opening and my mom was standing on the other side screaming, “Oh my god, Derrick!” She wrapped her arms around my neck and squeezed.

Laughing
, I wrapped my arms around her waist. “Hey, Mom.”

Giving me one more squeeze
, Mom let go and pulled back from me to take in Patrick and Ashlynn. Shaking hands with Patrick, she said, “It’s so nice to meet you,” and quickly turned to Ashlynn. She pulled Ash in for a hug. “Derrick has told me so much about you. I’m so glad to finally meet the person who has gotten through my son’s shield.” She released Ash. “We thought he was going to be single for the rest of his life.”

I was excited for Patrick to hear that.
He knew I loved him. I knew he loved me, but I just wished that my mom was saying it to Patrick and not Ashlynn.

“Well
, come on in, guys. I’ve got some sandwiches and stuff for lunch,” Mom said as she waved us in. Mom closed the front door. “Where are your bags?”

Looking between Ash and Patrick, I turned back to
Mom. “Oh, we’re staying at the hotel.”

Lowering her head
, Mom said, “Is it because of Dad?”

My dad and I never really got along.
He was always pushing me to be “the best.” But what is the best? I try to do the best that I can and be the best that I can be for me, not for anyone else. Just recently I decided to finally be me and I wanted to tell my parents who I was. Letting out a deep breath, I asked, “So you have sandwiches?”

With a small smile
, Mom reluctantly nodded her head. “Yeah.” She turned around to walk into the kitchen. “You three must be starving.”

***

As we sit on the couches in our family living room and joke around, I can’t help but look at the clock directly across from me. It’s almost like it’s staring me down and laughing. Laughing at the fact that in just a few short minutes, my dad will be coming in through the front door thinking he’s just going to see his son and a few friends. Little does he know that I have something important to tell him. Something I can no longer keep hidden.

I thought for the longest time that I could just hide these things.
Keep them hidden. Buried away under lock and key. But when I met Patrick and Ashlynn, I realized that I couldn’t hide who I was anymore. I met people who were amazing and embraced who I was. Who I really was.

Joining in the conversation
, I laugh and talk with everyone. I smile, but the smile is fake. I see Patrick sitting across from me. He’s actually sitting next to my mom and I like the view. I like that he’s comfortable here, because I desperately want him to be. I want him to feel welcome, because one day, hopefully, he’ll really be a part of this family.

Ashlynn is sitting next to me.
She’s holding my hand and I can’t help but see my mom look at me every couple of minutes with a huge smile on her face. I know she’s happy that I finally have someone but little does she know that the person I feel alive with is sitting next to her.

My heart plummets the second I hear a key go into the lock and the knob slowly twist open.
Hearing dad’s shoes click on the hardwood floors, I feel my chest tighten, my stomach drop, and my heartbeat quicken. I’m so nervous and I’m sure Ash can tell just how nervous I am because my palms instantly moisten and my hand starts to twitch in hers.

It doesn’t
faze her, though. The second she feels it, Ash continues her conversation with my mom and Patrick and lifts my hand that she’s holding onto with desperation and nestles it onto her lap, tightening her grasp every so often. With her other hand, Ash lightly rubs my hand, drawing circles on the top in an attempt to calm me.

Taking a few deep breaths
, I feel relaxed. Just as Dad walks into the living room, I let go of Ash’s hand and get up from the couch. Dad walked over to me. “Derrick, how’ve you been?” He extends his hand. He never really was big on hugs. He always just shook my hand, even when I was little. I never really understood it.

I look down at his hand.
Shaking my head and letting out a breath, I wrap my arms around his shoulders and hold on tightly. I feel his body stiffen at first, but then I feel something that I hadn’t felt in a really long time. My dad wraps his arms around my waist and holds onto me just as strong. I feel tears forming in my eyes. “I missed you, Dad.”
I really did
.

Pushing me back
, Dad started chuckling. “All right, enough of this pansy stuff. What are you up to?”

I wasn’t prepared for that.
I felt like we were taking a tiny, baby step in the right direction with the hug but I was wrong.
I was so wrong.
Stuttering through my words, I said, “Nothing much, Dad.”

Dad was walking to the kitchen to grab an ice cold beer.
“How’s football going?”

Wow.
I’m surprised it took him this long to ask me about sports.
Ash wrapped her arm around my shoulder and gave me a little squeeze when I sit back down. I yelled back at Dad, “It’s going.”

D
ad walked over to Mom and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Walking over to his “man chair,” he sat down and took a generous chug from his bottle of beer. Waving it in the direction of Patrick and Ashlynn, he asked, “And who are these people?”

“Oh
, I’m sorry, Dad. This is Ashlynn,” I said, indicating her, and then I point to Patrick. “And this, this is Patrick.”

Looking at Ash,
Dad smiled and said, “It’s nice to meet you, Ashlynn.”

“It’s nice to meet you too
, Mr. Miles,” Ash said.

Waving his hand
, Dad said, “Please call me Brad.”

“Ok
ay, Brad.” Ash smiled at him.

Looking to Patrick
, Dad just stared at him. I could tell he was judging Patrick and it pissed me off. I knew Dad had an issue with gays, but I was surprised at how ignorant he really was. Lifting the bottle of beer to his mouth, Dad said, “Nice to meet you,” and left it at that.

I felt my heart breaking.
I couldn’t believe how ignorant Dad was being. I was just about to open my mouth when Patrick gave a genuine smile. “It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Miles.”

Letting out a huff
, Dad looked at me. “So you wanted to tell me and your mother something?” he asked, ignoring Patrick in the process.

I sat there for a few seconds
, debating what I was going to say. Feeling Ash’s hand wrapped around mine, she gave me the courage. Looking at Patrick, I saw a small smile on his face, but doubt in his eyes. He knew, just like Ash and I, that I would lose my dad when I came out. But I was fine with it. Patrick was my future, and my dad was my past.

Sucking in a breath
, I said, “Well, um, I’ve been wanting to tell you two for a while, but I haven’t really had the words.” I looked at my mom and then at my dad. “I’ve been hiding who I really am and I can’t do it anymore.”

BOOK: A Beautiful Struggle
8.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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