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It was wonderful, Colin. I almost teared up on the last line. But then, I do that easily.

It brought a new feeling to the extent of the brotherhood between the two. I really liked it.

C

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Meeting

By Grant Bentley

After nearly half an hour, Curt came back into the kitchen and set the phone down. Tears were streaming down his face and I immediately ran to him and pulled him into a hug.

?What is it? What?s wrong?? I asked him.

When he pulled back, he had the biggest grin I think I?ve ever seen.

?You jerk,? I scolded with a chuckle, ?I thought something was wrong.?

?No way. That was Brandon. He just apologized for being so brusque with me. He actually said brusque. He said he?s been thinking about me a lot lately and finally realized that being gay really doesn?t change who I am. He said he wants me to know that he?ll still always be there for me no matter what. He still loves me and I?m still his little bro.? he blurted out without stopping to take a breath.

?That?s wonderful,? I exclaimed as I pulled him close again and gave him a quick kiss, which wasn?t easy considering the huge grin he had on his face.

?You can?t believe how good I feel right now,? he stated. ?I?ve been waiting for that call from him for months. I knew it would come. I felt it. I just knew it would come.?

?I can?t tell you how thrilled I am for you,? I said as I squeezed him tighter.

?I know you are,? he responded before asking, ?Guess what??

?What?? I asked as I released my grip on him and stepped back a little.

?I told him about you and he wants to get together for coffee in the SUB caf? tomorrow. He wants to meet you,? he replied.

?Seriously?? I asked.

?Yeah. He said if you are important to me, then you are important to him, so it?s only right that he gets to meet you,? he responded still grinning from ear to ear.

?Oh my God,? I exclaimed laughing, ?What am I going to wear??

?Oh my God, stop being so gay,? he laughed as he gave me a nasty little flick to the forehead, followed immediately by a kiss to make up for it.

Curt was on cloud nine for the rest of the day and well into the next morning. I don?t think I had ever seen him so excited. I, on the other hand, felt more than a little nervous. I was going to meet Brandon, his big bro; a person who had obviously played a very influential and positive role in his life growing up. The person he had spent a lifetime looking up to and depending on. And, the person who had probably caused him the most hurt.

Now, after nearly a year; a year of hurt caused by losing Brandon?s love and acceptance and finding them replaced by hurtful comments and brusque behaviour, the ?old? Brandon appeared to be back. He had not only made it clear that he accepted Curt and still loved him, but he had offered to go one giant step further. He had offered a willingness to accept that Curt had a boyfriend?me.

Knowing our meeting would be a major step for both of them, I desperately wanted to make a positive first impression. Considering that Brandon had struggled with himself for almost a year, the last thing I wanted to do was jeopardize things between them. Way before I felt I was ready to face him, however, we were walking into the caf? and making a bee-line for a guy who, if he were a couple of years younger, could have been Curt?s twin. He was sitting in a booth by the window and, before we were half-way across the room, saw us, stood up, and was walking towards us. Within seconds, he had pulled Curt into a huge hug.

?I?m so sorry bud,? he whispered into Curt?s ear, ?I don?t know what I was thinking.?

?I love you too,? Curt responded as he leaned into Brandon?s hug and his eyes filled with tears.

It was the better part of two minutes before they finally let go of each other and Brandon?s attention focused on me. I suddenly felt totally awkward and momentarily lost the ability to think or communicate, so I just gave him a shy smile, reached out my hand to shake his, and kind of croaked / whispered, ?Hi.?

He grinned, bypassed my outstretched hand, pulled me into a hug and responded with, ?It?s good to meet you David. Welcome to the family little bro.?

Sorry people, but this is probably the only chance I will have the privilege of collaborating with James, so I simply had to take advantage of it.

From reading the other excerpts, Curt has made it clear that he wants to introduce David to his family as his boyfriend. Feeling sorry for him, David, that is, I thought it would be nice for him to have it happen it in stages, starting on a positive note. Taking Colin?s queue that Brandon was going to phone Curt, I decided to take it from there. Since Brandon wasn?t the first one Curt came out to, I thought he should get to be the first one to know about and meet David.

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Great addition Grant.

I hope someone will combine these FFs into a whole, and when it if 'finished' post it as a complete story.

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Perfect, Grant!

Colin :icon_geek:

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Great addition Grant.

I hope someone will combine these FFs into a whole, and when it if 'finished' post it as a complete story.

Is everyone happy to follow Trab's suggestion for a complete story compilation when finished?

Please register your disapproval with the department of Natural Authors Society Of America. (NASA)., otherwise we will assume there is agreement to collate and post it as a whole, with The Dude's assent of course.

But please keep the story going, you are all doing a great job. :icon_geek:

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Grant, had I even known that collaboration was going to happen I would have worn something nicer than my jammies and fuzzy slippers. Your solution for David to meet Curt's family gradually, beginning with Brandon on neutral turf went brilliantly.

Des, I'm all for hooking it up together when it finds its natural end. I think, out of consideration for Pecman, that each element might continue to be labeled or formatted somehow as a separate section, but I am more than willing to leave the scheme for weaving it together up to you. I'm hard pressed to imagine where this saga is headed, and I think each contribution has been enormously insightful and exciting. I do have an idea for the very last element, when the time comes.

James Merkin

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Three Little Words.

By Grant Bentley

Life was good. It had been simple and straightforward from the time I was a child. There’s was always a way things should be and that was that. Black was black and white was white. Right was right and wrong was wrong. That’s how I was brought up and that’s how I brought my boys up. They knew what I expected of them and they knew there would be consequences if they didn’t measure up. I didn’t play mind games with them and they didn’t play mind games with me. We had a nice simple no-nonsense relationship.

There were things that fit the scheme of things and things that didn’t fit. If they didn’t fit, you changed them…simple. However, sometimes in life, a time comes when you can’t change them. You may just have to change instead. This was one of those times and I wasn’t sure I could.

Considering the thousand and one things I have heard from, or have expected to hear from, the mouths of my boys. “I am gay,” was not one of them. Does that make me na?ve or just foolish? I don’t know. I do know one thing. Those three words scared the hell out of me. I knew enough about the trials and threats that gays have to face, often on a daily basis, that I could honestly say those three words were the three words I never wanted to hear from either of my boys.

Unfortunately, I heard them almost a year ago now and they shattered the hell out of my simple no-nonsense view of life. I heard them and I didn’t know how to react. My youngest son, Curt, announced to the family that he was gay and all I could think of to say was, “It’s your life. You can make something positive out of it or not.” I don’t think he had a clue what I meant by that. Hell, I didn’t have a clue what I meant by that. But I had to say something.

I wanted to say, “No you’re not,” or “You can’t be,” but I knew better. Curt is far too much like his mother. When he says something, he means it. So when Curt uttered those three words, I knew he meant them. There was no room for debate. He knew he was gay and he was making a simple statement of fact.

Those three words took over my mind for several days. My little boy was gay. That was a fact and it didn’t fit my simple scheme of things, not even close, and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

Now I know I carry off the masculine, stubborn, manly image quite well. I’ve even been called a man’s man whatever the hell that is. Truth is, I’m not much for expressing feelings or opinions, never have been. But, as one of my teachers said when describing me in high school, “Still waters run deep.” I guess they do. I may not express myself freely, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have deeper thoughts, and feelings. I’m just good at hiding them. I learned early, you wear your heart on your sleeve and you’re only going to get hurt, so I made sure I kept those kinds of things inside. Inside, creating a comfort zone and as long as they stayed there, I felt safe.

When Curt came out, as quickly as I could, within days, I had filed those three words in the very back of my comfort zone. I tried to ignore them and avoid the whole issue. I decided, if I don’t talk about it, I don’t have to think about it and therefore, don’t have to deal with it. But they kept gnawing at the edges of my comfort zone and it wasn’t comfortable anymore.

I knew my silence was hurting one of the people I loved most in this world…my youngest son. I had forced Curt into a state of limbo. I had left him full of questions I wouldn’t answer. Do I still love him? Do I accept him? Do I still see him as my son? And, I began to realize it wasn’t fair to him. As long as my comfort zone stayed intact, his was replaced by confusion and fear. I saw the hurt in his eyes every time he looked at me.

He has always made it clear that he is accepting and proud of who he is. It’s time I told him, I am too.

When I read Colin’s description of Curt’s dad, I immediately thought of my dad. The only time I ever saw him show any emotion other than anger, when one of HIS boys strayed from his view of right and wrong, was when my mom died. It was the one and only time he hugged me and the one and only time I saw him cry. But that one time showed me that, hidden away inside was a very loving, caring man and I saw him in a whole new light from that day on.

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Nice work, Grant. Correct me if I'm completely wrong, but this last FF, "The Little Words", is set at least a year AFTER the rest of the stories. As Curt only just told his brother, and that was the first person in his family he told, and dad says he was told a year ago, this story must be a year later. Right?

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Thanks Bart,

I'm just going from Colin's statement:

"It took almost a year for Brandon to finish resolving his feelings about Curt, and how he was upset that Curt hadn't told him before telling their folks."

So I thought I would have Brandon making up with Curt and meeting David occur at about the same time Curt's dad finally tells Curt he was proud of him...about a year after Curt came out to them.

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I'm so confused!!! I'm actually in the middle of doing up rules and regulations for 2 different organizations, not to mention reviewing and correcting two sets of minutes for another two different organization, while feeling like shit with a cold. I guess I'm just distracted too much.

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Welcome to the club. I've been confused for years.

You sound like you are just way too busy. If I was trying to do all that at the same time, combined with having a cold, I think I would have lost it by now. :wave:

You take care of yourself. :wave:

I hope you get over your cold real quick...like by this afternoon. :icon_geek:

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Well, Trab, I can't imagine how multiple POV's by multiple characters, written by multiple hands and brains could lead to confusion! I think the timeline was originally laid down by Cole, when we learned Curt had been out to his parents and Brandon 'for over a year' by the time of his epic journey home with David to meet David's parents and stay the night. It was Brandon who has taken that year to come around and pony up the will to call his brother and make amends. Curt's father may also have said a few harsh words a year before, but like Brandon in this present moment he appears to finally gotten his head into a place where he is willing to reach out to Curt and accept him for who he is. It seems that David and Curt may be moving toward an important meeting as attitudes finally seem to be about to jell within Curt's family. Oh, to be a fly on the wall when they all sit down to that dinner table! Who's got the goods on that?

James

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Fly on the Wall

by Merkin

"Dad, I wish you could have been there. It was so different from how we have dinner."

I could hear the excitement in David's voice. "Whoa. Slow down, boy. Is having a different dinner from us what's got you so worked up?"

"Oh, no, Dad. But I sure miss your cooking."

"Flattery will get you a Care package, and you know it. What'll it be -- cookies or brownies?"

"How about both? You're baking for two now, you know!" David's voice, so alive, so different from the day he'd left to return to university. So much had changed for all of us since then.

"So," I prodded, "the weekend went well?" The boys had just returned from the weekend at Curt's rural home, the weekend Curt had taken him home to meet his parents. I knew how worried both of them had been over it, and I'd spent several phone conversations assuring both of our boys that, no matter what the outcome, they had a home with us. Mary fully agreed, and had amazed David with her offer to write to Curt's parents as a followup, if Curt thought her account of how she came to grips with the boys' relationship would help smooth things over.

Curt had taken the bull by the horns, as it were -- his father was a cattle rancher -- and decided what needed doing was for Curt to introduce David in person to his parents so they could see "just how normal we really were." I swallowed hard, thinking they were proceeding at Mach speed now that they were out at uni and here at home; I urged them to think it through carefully, fully aware of how dependent Curt still was on his parents' financial support.

Brandon, however, had encouraged Curt to call and ask to go home and bring a friend. He pointed out that sooner or later their parents would find out about his living arrangements, and that the longer Curt concealed the facts the more he'd give the impression that he was both deceitful and ashamed -- at which both Curt and David had shouted him down. Brandon has turned out to be a very loving and level-headed big brother to both of our boys, and his final piece of advice to Curt was inspired: to be sure to give his dad a chance to steer the conversation since that was the role he had always insisted upon.

"Dad, it was extraordinary. We got to the farm late Saturday afternoon, just in time for dinner. They eat early in the country, you know."

"I'll country you. Get on with it!"

"Well, Curt's mom took one look at us and I could see that she figured it out in a heartbeat. Her face must have run through sixteen different emotions, but the one she ended up with was a glowing smile. She kissed Curt and hugged me and for the first time in weeks I felt as though the world was off my shoulders. We stood there in that country kitchen with all the good smells and her warmth and I knew everything was going to be all right. Curt's dad was a gruff old bear, but he treated me with gentle courtesy throughout our stay and I realized I had no reason to worry about him. They are reserved people, but I could see how much they love Curt and they've had a whole year to come to grips with who he is. That was one of the things we talked about: how, over the year, they'd worked through their feelings and talked through 'what if's?' and 'when's?' and 'who will he bring home.?' I think they were more prepared to meet me than Curt could ever have realized. In an odd sort of way, it turned out to be easier for us to sit and talk about our relationship to them than it had been when I brought Curt home to meet you and mother." David was talking a mile a minute, but I could hear the relief in his voice, and the tension went out of my own shoulders.

"So we turned out to be the bad guys after all," I said.

"Dad! No way! You guys have been wonderful to us! But now we have two families, and our new aim is to get all of us together so you can meet them."

I sighed, happy for my son and his wonderful partner. "Just so we don't have to have a cook-off to keep your attention."

"Send the cookies and we?ll see."

______

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Indeed it is.

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I couldn't agree more James. That was definitely wonderful.

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While I’m thinking about it, I need to apologize to Bart, James, Bruin, Cole, and Colin. I am embarrassed to admit that the idea of taking part in this wonderful little project got me so excited that I neglected to say how much I enjoyed each of your parts.

Bart I loved your Uni piece giving us insight into David’s thoughts and fears. it was beautiful. I also need to thank you for getting this whole sequel thing started.

James, your Journey piece was so heart-warming as David’s dad showed his acceptance by inviting Curt to stay over. I should also thank you for starting this whole thing by writing that wonderful little story, Departure and inspiring Bart.

Bruin your piece, Mary’s Viewpoint giving us insight into David’s mom, who she was, her initial fears, her struggle with the news of David's sexuality, and her final acceptance of David and Curt was brilliant.

Cole, your piece Curt, with the interaction between the boys and their heart-felt discussion of Curt’s fears concerning his uncertainty about his family’s true feelings and the hurt it caused him was also brilliant. It also got the ball rolling with respect to the next set involving Curt’s family.

Colin, your piece on Brandon was wonderful and heart-warming. Not only did you give us insight into who Brandon was, his feelings and struggle to accept Curt, but you showed us brotherly love winning out in the end. You also gave us insight into both his mom and his dad. And, you inspired me to throw my two cents worth in concerning Brandon and his dad.

I want to thank you all for some wonderful reading and a truly unique and inspiring experience. You are amazing.

Thank You!

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I want to thank you all for some wonderful reading and a truly unique and inspiring experience. You are amazing.

Have you looked in a mirror lately? You are just as special and at the same time as ordinary as the rest of us unique beings.

GROUP HUG :boogie[1]::icon13:

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I'm struggling to put into words how I feel about this fantastic collaboration. You guys, my friends at AD, have become very important to me and this story, which just grew on its own without any planning or any advance motivation, has demonstrated beautifully how much in tune with each other we all are. As well as the ease and fluidity with which each of us were able to pick up the baton and run with it, I'm also en-heartened by the uplifting and life-affirming storyline. I love you guys. Group hug, indeed!

:boogie[1]::icon13::hug:

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Wow. Such a fantastic outpouring; I'm at a loss for words. We have all found a unique collaboration, writers and readers alike, and it demonstrates so effectively how the sum can be so much greater than its parts. Grateful thanks to all of you.

I have written an epilogue -- actually it was the first piece of this I had written, and it has been simmering underneath all of these wonderful embellishments as they filled in the blanks and completed the picture I had only dimly perceived at the outset. Now, with a bit of editing, I have refit it to suit the storyline we have all devised. With your permission, I will post it as a new thread and let all of you decide whether or not it should be included in this compilation.

("A Letter to Timothy" can be found at http://forums.awesomedude.com/index.php?showtopic=4348 )

James Merkin

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Of course it should be included. It's wonderful.

I'm hoping Des is at some point going to compile the whole saga into a single story, and present it either in the forum or at the AD story site, where I'm sure it will shine like a jewel. I love it to bits. The question is, is it drawing to its natural conclusion, or is it about to leap onwards, amazing us afresh with its sparkling vivacity?

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I think Des' job will be straightforward. Each of those who have contributed has titled their section, and those titles can be treated as chapter names. There could be a byline under each title, or instead there could be a section after The End that lists each chapter name with it's byline.

Colin :boogie[1]:

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I'm not going to rush the compilation. There may yet be further contributions, so lets just wait and see. (Exciting isn't it?) :boogie[1]:

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Des, I agree. There are characters who still need definition and involvement. And that may spawn more characters, etc. etc. I love it!

Also, note that I wrote "characters who" -- not "characters that" -- because these characters are becoming real people through this cooperative effort.

Colin :boogie[1]:

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In that spirit, Colin and Des, I'd also suggest that there be no hesitation if a writer wants to go back into the series and add a new episode for placement somewhere along the way.

James

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