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Authors: Emily McKee

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A Beautiful Struggle (9 page)

BOOK: A Beautiful Struggle
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Groaning he begged, “Oh please
, Patrick.”

Tracing his cock around my lips I asked, “What do you want
, Derrick?”

Releasing a ragged breath
, he said, “Suck on me.”

As I moaned
, I said, “With pleasure,” and sucked him all the way into my mouth.

“Oh god
, Patrick,” Derrick moaned. “Please don’t stop.”

And this time I didn’t.

***

As I lifted my hand to the doorbell
, I sucked in a ragged breath. To say I was nervous would be an understatement, but this had to happen. I had to have this talk with his dad. Even if nothing came out of it, at least I would know that I did what I could. The rest was in his court, to use a sports analogy.

Just as I started to press the doorbell
, the door opened. “Hi, Patrick,” Mrs. Miles said, a sincere smile on her face.

“Hello
, Mrs. Miles.”

“You know I told you to call me Tricia,” she said
, as she gave me a knowing smile.

“Sorry
, Tricia,” I said.

“Well
, come on in. He’s in the living room watching television.”

I
stepped into the house when Derrick’s dad walked out into the foyer and started to ask, “Tricia, who’s—” He paused when he saw me. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Walking over to her husband
, Tricia said, “Brad, he wanted to talk with you.”

“I have nothing to talk about with him
, Trish,” Brad said.

His wife cut in
. “Actually, you do, Brad.”

Bitterly Brad said, “Well
, come into the living room,” and turned away.

As I looked
at Tricia, she mouthed, “It will be okay.” Walking over to me, she grabbed my hand and we walked in together. I was grateful she was here for this. I knew that if she wasn’t, it would turn into an all-out war within a matter of seconds. But Tricia was the peacekeeper; she kept her husband calm.

I didn’t even get to sit down all of the way before Brad
asked, “So what do you want?”

Clearing my throat
, I placed my hands in my lap. “I love your son.”

Brad let out a breath and started to roll his eyes
but Tricia demanded for her husband to listen to me.

S
he gave me a small smile and I continued. “By the time I was twelve, I lost both of my parents. My dad died in a car accident when I was really young and my mother passed away from cancer. Before she died, she told me that she loved me for me and told me to be whoever I wanted to be.” I cleared my throat. “As you both know, Derrick is this amazing, bright, intelligent, charismatic, funny human being. It shouldn’t matter who he chooses to love. What should matter is that he’s happy, and that that person, whether it’s a man or a woman, brings joy to his heart and doesn’t break it.”

Tricia and Brad were both sitting together on the couch
, holding hands. Tricia had tears running down her face. I was sitting across from them in a single chair. Letting out a breath, I timidly got up from my seat and started towards them. Carefully I sat down on the couch next to them.

I sucked in a breath and slowly let it out
. “I love Derrick. I would never hurt him. I’m not perfect.” I shook my head. “I’m not saying I am, but I love your son and I would do anything for him.”

I
peeked over towards Brad. I was curious what his reaction would be. I could see tears in his eyes.

Taking a deep breath
, he said, “I love my son very much, Patrick. You have to understand that. For twenty-two years I thought he was someone he wasn’t. I have never agreed with homosexuality. To be honest, I thought it was disgusting.”

At that I looked down at my hands and started to dig under my nails.
I couldn’t sit still but I couldn’t just get up and leave. I wanted to hear everything he had to say.

“But
… like I said to you, I love my son. I blew up on him and it wasn’t right. That was my first reaction to what he had to say. While it wasn’t right, I can’t change it. But I can change how I act in the future.” Looking directly towards me, Brad did something I didn’t expect. He grabbed ahold of my hands and held onto them. It was sincere and filled with… love.

“Patrick
, if it’s all right with you, I would like to start over.” Releasing my hands, he placed them on my lap. “I’m Brad Miles. It’s nice to meet you, Patrick Christiansen,” he said as he extended his hand towards mine.

I started to feel tears forming in my eyes.
I couldn’t believe Brad’s change of heart. Meeting his hand, I said, “It’s nice to meet you, Brad,” and gave him a big smile. I started to say something when my cell phone started ringing in my pants pocket. Standing up, I pulled my phone out of my pocket and saw that Derrick was calling me. Looking down at Tricia and Brad, I said, “I’m sorry, it’s Derrick. I have to get this.”

Smiling up at me
, Tricia said, “Take your time, honey.”

Giving them both a reassuring smile
, I walked out into the hall and opened my phone. As I brought it to my ear, I started to become nervous. I could feel a pit in my stomach—something wasn’t right. “Hey, Derrick, what’s up?”

“Patrick
, you have to come home now.”

Stuttering
, I asked, “Wha—what’s the matter? Is everything all right?” I could hear him sniffling. “Derrick, please tell me!”

The phone was silent for a second
. “Your grandma. Patrick, she passed away.” Sucking in a breath, he cried out, “I’m so sorry.”

I didn’t hear anything after Derrick said my grandma had passed away.
Breathing heavily, I pulled the phone away from ear and let it fall. I then fell to my knees and cried. I heard footsteps running into the foyer but I don’t remember anything because my vision went blurry from my tears and then all I saw was blackness.

Chapter 9

Derrick

“I’m so sorry we have to come back early
, Derr-bear.” Placing a hand over her mouth, Ash muttered, “I’m just really not feeling too good.”

Looking away from the highway for a second
, I could see Ash was starting to gag. “Do you want me to pull over?”

Nodding her head
, I barely pulled the car onto the side of the road before Ash was leaping out to throw up. Getting out of the driver’s side, I walked over and started to pat her on the back. “Are you okay, Ash?”

Coughing
, Ash stood up and wiped the side of her mouth. “Yeah, I think I’m okay.” Waving her hand in my direction, she said, “I think it’s just the flu or something. I haven’t really been feeling good for a while now.”

Lowering my head
, I asked, “Is there any chance you might be pregnant?”

Shaking her head as soon as the question left my mouth
, she started to ramble. “No, I’m on birth control and everything’s okay.” Looking up at me, she gave a small smile.

“Well
, okay then,” I whispered. A part of me didn’t believe her, but I guess only time would tell. I wrapped my arm around her shoulder. “Come on, let’s get you home, babe.”

Dropping Ash off at her apartment
, I was excited to surprise Patrick. After I parked my car on the side of the road, I jumped out and started to run towards the apartment but something just wasn’t feeling right. Normally, at this time Patrick’s grandma and grandpa were planting more flowers in the front garden.

I thought maybe I should go check on them first just to make sure everything was okay.
Walking up to the front door, I started to knock but I heard screaming and crying from the other side of the door coming from his grandpa.
Oh no.

As I ran
past the door, I yelled, “Herman! Herman! What’s going on?” All I heard was Gramps and the sounds he was making weren’t good. I knew the noise was coming from their bedroom, so I headed there as fast as I could. Opening the door, I saw Evelyn lying in the bed and I knew something just wasn’t right. Herman was holding onto her, crying as he whispered in her ear and kissed her forehead.

I froze.
My mouth hung open and tears instantly fell from my eyes. I just stood there—I didn’t know what to do. I had never lost anyone before.

Death is peaceful.
It’s living that’s hard as hell. Making choices and mistakes. Having ideas and messing up. Life is what’s hard because you have all of these situations and outcomes and paths to choose and in the end, we’re all going to the same place. We can’t change the end result because every single one of us is going to die. It’s life that gives us that difference from everyone else. Because what you make of your life is all up to you. Of course you take others into consideration, but in the end the choice is yours. No one else’s. Those mistakes are ones you made. And those beautiful choices and ideas are yours as well.

I truly believe everything happens for a reason and I think we go through ups and downs in life to learn.
At least, I hope people learn from them. I think I learn from mine. While I have struggled my entire life with who I really am, I made that choice.

Just recently I had decided to finally live my life.
I was tired of hiding. Hiding from myself… from everyone. And that’s why I made that choice. It was a struggle but I wouldn’t change it for anything because I’m finally able to be who I want to be.

Sucking in a breath
, I slowly walked over to Herman and just held onto him. Turning around in my arms, he held onto me and cried into my chest. It broke my heart to see a grown man cry. I had never even seen my dad cry. I held onto him tightly and just let him release all of that sadness. Taking a breath, I whispered, “Come on, Herman.”

He didn’t say anything.
Just shook his head in my chest.

“Herman
, I need to make some calls. Please come into the living room and I’ll make you some coffee.” Standing up, I wrapped Herman in my arms and walked him out of the bedroom. I sat him down on the couch. Sitting down next to him, I said, “I need to go tell Patrick.”

Quickly shaking his head
, Herman said, “Patrick isn’t here.”

“I know he’s up in the apartment.”

“No, he left for the weekend,” Herman spit out.

“What do you mean
, Herman? Where is he?”

Turning to me with unshed tears still in his eyes
, Herman said, “He went to talk with your father. He wanted to try and make amends with him.”

“Are you serious?”

Dropping his head to the back of the couch
, Herman closed his eyes. “Yes.” Tears rolled down his face. “This will kill him.”

Grabbing
ahold of Herman’s hand, I said, “I’ll call him.” Standing up, I walked out into the kitchen and pulled my cell phone from my pocket. Scrolling to Patrick’s name, I looked down at it. I couldn’t believe that he was going to try and talk with my dad. Wiping the tears from my eyes, I took a few deep breaths and pressed dial.

***

Racing to the front door I flung it open. Relieved, I let out a breath. “Patrick.” I wrapped my arms around his shoulders. I knew he wouldn’t be excited to see me, at least under the circumstances. I could see my parents standing behind him and I was surprised my dad had come. The last time we had talked it wasn’t really a conversation. More of a yelling and throwing punches match. Letting out a breath, I gave Patrick another squeeze and whispered, “Welcome home,” before kissing him on the side of his neck.

As I kept one hand around his shoulder
, I went to grab his bag from my dad. “I’ve got it, Derrick,” my dad said with a small smile.

Giving him a small smile back
, I walked Patrick into the living room where his grandpa was. Herman got up from the sofa and before he could fully extend his arms, Patrick ran into them. As he ducked his head into his grandfather’s chest, my mom placed a hand on my shoulder and whispered, “I think we should give them some room, honey.”

Not taking my eyes off of Herman and Patrick
, I nodded. “Yeah.” Turning, I walked into the kitchen. As I walked over to the fridge to get myself a drink, I asked, “Do you guys want anything to drink or eat?”

“No thanks
, honey, I’m good,” my mom said.

“Um, no thank you,” my dad muttered.

After I grabbed a can of soda from the fridge, I closed it. Popping the top, I lifted the soda can to my mouth and took a healthy gulp. Allowing the foam to burn my throat, I thought about why exactly my parents were here. Well, my dad, more like it. Now was not the time to start an argument.

Letting out a breath
, I walked over to the dinner table where they were both sitting. As I sat down across from them, I placed my can on the table. Taking a deep breath, I placed my hands on the table in front of me. Without looking at him I asked, “Why are you here, Dad?”

“Will you look at me?” he asked timidly.

I looked into his eyes. It seemed like he was in pain. I had never seen my dad look like this before. He just looked worried and… scared.

Very carefully my dad lifted his hand up and started to place it on top of mine.
The second I felt his skin, I closed my eyes. My bottom lip involuntarily started to quiver and I could feel tears forming in my eyes.

“Please open your eyes when I tell you this
, Derrick,” my dad asked in a small voice.

Very carefully I opened my eyes and I was shocked to see tears forming in my dad’s eyes.
As he blinked, one, two, three, four tears fell from them. Lifting his other hand to his mouth, he sucked in a breath. Holding up his pointer finger, Dad said, “Please just give me a minute.”

I wanted to look over at my mom
, but I couldn’t. I needed to see my dad’s reaction. I had no idea what was going on but I needed to just see him like this. Vulnerable. When I grew up, my dad always put up a front. He could never just relax and be himself. It seemed like he was never… real.

“I’m sorry
, Derrick,” he choked out. “I’m so, so sorry for what I did to you.” He nodded his head towards the living room. “To Patrick. It just wasn’t right and I’m so sorry. I know those two words don’t mean a lot but—”

I shook my head
. “Dad, those two words mean more to me than you will ever know.”

“I love you
, Derrick, and um,” shaking his head, Dad said, “I want you to be whoever you want to be.” “Most importantly, Derrick, I just want you to be happy in the decisions you make. I don’t want you to question what others are thinking.
Especially
your parents.” Dad held tightly onto my hands.

Getting my hands out from under
Dad’s, I stood up from the table. With tears pouring from my eyes, I walked as fast as I could to the other side of the table and wrapped my arms around my dad. Holding tightly to the back of his shirt, I sobbed into his chest. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have the parents I did. While we did struggle, the outcome was beautiful.

Hearing a chair push back
, I then felt my mom’s arms wrap around the two of us. Kissing me on the cheek, she said, “We love you
so
much, Derrick. That will never change. We just want you to be happy. Because if you’re happy, then we’re happy.”

Letting go of one another
, I wiped away the salty liquid from my face. Taking steady breaths in and out, I looked at my parents. Smiling at them, Patrick ran through my mind because I couldn’t believe the love and compassion he had for me and the relationship I had with my parents.

“That man in there loves you
, Derrick. A lot,” my dad said. “We couldn’t ask or hope for more than that.”

Wiping more tears away
, I nodded and said, “I know, Dad. I love him, too.” And I wasn’t ashamed to say it to my parents.

Quickly my dad wrapped his arms around me.
Resting his head in the crook of my neck, my dad kissed my cheek and whispered, “That’s what we want, Derrick. We don’t care who it’s with. Everyone deserves to find love. Why should anyone stop it?” Moving his head back to look into my eyes, he smiled. “You two are meant for each other.”

Pulling my dad into my arms
, I squeezed him. “I love you so much, Dad.”

Sucking in a breath
, he said, “I love you, Derrick. No matter what.”

***

“Evelyn Christiansen was an amazing woman—” the preacher said as he talked about Patrick’s grandmother. The rest was mumbled and jumbled up. It was just noise in the background to be honest, because at the forefront of my mind was Patrick.

Hearing him gasp next to me
, I wrapped my arm around Patrick. As I pulled him in to me, I kissed his forehead. “It’s okay, Patrick.” Sitting next to him was Herman. I couldn’t imagine what he was going through. I couldn’t wrap my head around it.

My parents stayed for the funeral.
They wanted to be there for Patrick and Herman. I couldn’t believe how quickly everything was turning around for all of us. I was just saddened that it had to happen during a death. I truly wish my parents had been able to meet Evelyn. I know for a fact they would have loved her and she would have loved them.

I
’m so grateful to Evelyn. She brought me into their family with open arms. No judgments. Just warmth and happiness and smiles.

Once the funeral was over
, we went back to the house. Herman still wasn’t able to sleep in the bedroom where his wife passed away. We were all grateful that it was peaceful.

Helping my mom in the kitchen making something for all of us to eat
, she nudged me and asked, “How’s Patrick doing?”

Shrugging my shoulders
, I let out a breath. “He’s sad.” I shook my head. “I just don’t know what to do. I’ve never lost anyone before.”

“Just be there for him,” my mom whispered.
“In some cases that’s all you can do. As badly as you want to fix this or change this or do something, the only thing you can do is comfort him.” She took the knife from my hands. “I’ll finish cutting the lettuce. Why don’t you go see how your man’s doing?”

Looking over at my mom
, I kissed her on the cheek. “Thanks, Mom.”

As I walked out the front door and ran up the stairs to our apartment
, I wondered what I was going to do. I walked to our bedroom where I knew Pat would be laying down. I heard sniffling and instantly my heart saddened. I hated seeing him like this. If I could I would take away all of his pain. There’s no doubt in my body. I would take away his pain and sadness, fears and nightmares.

I sat down
on the bed. Patrick was facing away from me, curled up in a ball. He hadn’t even changed out of the suit he wore to her funeral. Placing a hand on his back, I trailed my fingers up and down. I listened to my mom. Words couldn’t really do anything in this moment, so I gave him intimacy instead. I gave him comfort in my touch.

Laying
down on my side, I wrapped my arm around Patrick’s waist. I was relieved when he pushed back into me, wanting to feel my body up against his. Kissing the back of his head, I said, “I love you, Patrick and I’m here for you.”

BOOK: A Beautiful Struggle
11.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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