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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Pupuseria Mia - 1. Chapter 1

 

We should probably get a few things out in the open, so everyone understands what's going on, because at some point along the way someone will definitely wonder what the hell is going on. Like if you talk to my grandpa and he’s telling you a story – like the one he told me last week. We were looking at ads for cars, and he spotted a Volkswagen Type 4 Squareback (he had to tell me that's what it was; all I know about cars is they usually have four tires – but he told me there were some with three, and that's another story.)

So Gramp sees this car and tells me he was working for this fellow to take trees down and that the guy – George I think – had some climbing gear so you could go up, cut a bit, come down, cut more. Gramp says they got done with a job and it was the end of the day and George liked to talk, so I'm thinking he and my Gramp got along pretty well. So Gramp got in his 1974 Squareback, and apparently this thing had some oil dripping on the heater boxes. I wasn't going to ask, but Gramp said that because the car had no water in it, the hot air from the engine went through the heater boxes to generate heat for the passenger compartment.

I didn't ask what water had to do with that.

So then he says that the oil would cause a little smoke to come up through the air vents at the back of the car, but nothing too crazy. He had to stop for gas, and then he gets caught up for about five minutes trying to remember which station he was at – Mobil? No. Frank's – a local chain – no. Or was it an independent that Frank's bought? When did Frank's buy them out? Finally he decides that yes, it was a Frank's, and after getting gas he was headed home. Then one of his gauges started getting wonky, then it was the whole dashboard. Thinking that was funny he happened to look in one of the side mirrors – don't get me started on how long it took to remember which one – and he noticed smoke coming out of the back of the car.

So he pulled over, saying 'shit, shit, shit' as he did, and pulled the climbing gear out of the front trunk. Some guy stopped and said he'd called the fire department, and they showed up to handle things. Turns out the cold start valve – whatever that is – was sprinkling gas on the distributor – whatever that is – and started a fire, but because the compartment was sealed so well, it was oxygen starved and just smoking a lot.

So you can see that sometimes telling a story can get off track, and I am related to my Gramp, so I wanted to get a few things up front.

Number one: I'm gay as balls.

Number two: I am desperately in love with my straight best friend.

Number three: He has no idea because I am a ninja. Not literally, just all stealthy like. With my feelings; I'm not really athletic. I mean I am, but...Christ.

Bryson and I met in kindergarten. As we moved up in grade school, we weren't always in the same classroom, but we chose to hang out together a lot. Birthdays were naturally with each other, even if there were plenty of other people around. We sat together if we had the choice, same with working on projects and such. We've gotten into plenty of trouble together and covered each other more times than I can count. He loves basketball, and I go watch the games. He's adorable in every sense of that word – about five foot six, brown hair tending toward blonde that he parts down the middle, a wide genuine smile, and I just want to scoop him up.

But no one's perfect, and Bryson's big flaw...he's straight. He's into boobies and vaginas – and just to say, I've seen those things and, Dear God, why? Not a woman's best feature, but I'll stop there. So yes, I pine for him in silence, but I know I can't have him – so I substitute. I've been hooking up on an app for about a year, but it's always the same few things – either someone is much older, which is fine to talk to, but I'm not interested in something more, really. I don't have daddy issues; I have Bryson issues. Some guys are good to talk to, others are all just 'WYD' on a Friday night and that's it.

I admit there have been one or two guys that I've hoped would want to try for something a bit more substantial after a hookup – except for the guy I lost my V card to. He was just upset that I was upset and wanted me gone. I think he blocked me before my tender ass sat down in the ride share. Back on track – I hope for more, but it seems like the app is really only good for hookups. So I do it, and I think of Bryson, and that's just tragic, I know, and stupid, and I know that, too.

Sometimes it just seems some things are beyond your own control, like your feelings.

“What are you doing?” my mother asked from my doorway.

I looked up and frowned. “I thought I closed my door.”

“Locked it too,” she said with a sharp nod. “But my house, so I opened it.”

“What if I were naked?”

“Big deal. I gave birth to you. You know you broke my ribs while I was pregnant with you?”

“You've reminded me since birth,” I said with an eye roll.

“You roll your eyes, but try being pregnant with a head the size of yours trying to squeeze out of-”

“Na, na, na, na!”

She gave me a victory smile, and I rolled my eyes again.

“What are you doing?”

“Waiting for the disaster call,” I said, jutting my chin over at the duffle that I'd packed Tuesday. I'd found out Bryson's girlfriend was cheating, but after he and I'd had a fight two girlfriends ago, we have a rule that I don't get involved in his relationships. It had hurt, but to be fair, no one was good enough for him.

She leaned against the door frame. “He dating some skank again?”

“Nobody says skank anymore.”

“I do.”

I sighed. “Yeah. Kelsey cheated on him, and it's just taking longer to get to him than if he'd just listen to me. But I'm ready.”

She shook her head. “You have to stop. Bryson's never going to love you like that. It's heartbreaking.”

“Oh, right, why don't I just switch that off?”

“Hey, who do you think you're talking to?” she said, pushing off of the door frame and taking a step closer. “And what I'm saying is maybe you don't go running to hold him when he hurts. He's got parents. Give him space, you give yourself some distance to find someone.”

“I see other people,” I said defensively.

“If I find out you have that app on your phone again, I'll shut the damn thing off. Do you hear me? Off!” She stood there pointing at me with her Serious Face(tm) on.

“It's not. It's not!” I said defensively. Tidbit, you can delete the app, and if you reinstall it, it restores all your shit.

“I'm serious, Rion!”

Side note: yes, my name means Queen in Irish. Or has roots in it or something. Who knew my parents were planning for a gay kid? Actually, my mom claims there was a mistake interpreting the ultrasound, but they liked the name and went with it anyway.

“I know,” I said with a sigh. “It's not easy to find guys to date!”

“Well, Bry isn't going to,” she said in an insistent, annoying tone.

“So I shouldn't be his best friend, either?”

“No! I'm saying you need a few degrees of distance. How are you going to love someone when you're carrying a torch for him? God knows I love Bryson, and if he were into you, I'd be all for it. Figuratively.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Don't you roll your eyes at me. I'll roll your head across the floor,” she said, eyes narrowing. “But how are you going to see anyone else out there if your eyes are all over Bry's ass?”

I crossed my arms. “Okay. You make some sense.”

She snorted and shook her head. “Doesn't matter. You'll go running. Just...try to keep your eyes open, is all.”

I pressed my lips together briefly and nodded. She left, but her statements lingered. She wasn't wrong. Bryson wasn't a possibility. I think I'd accepted that. Tired of thinking about it, I killed time flipping through my phone, looking at one disposable hot guy after another. My mind spiraled back to Bryson and how our last year of high school was over – no more looking forward to days being more fun because I got to hang out with him in class or do projects together.

We mostly met outside of our houses, given my mom was such an incredible snoop and his dad didn't like me. Pretty sure the guy knows I'm fruity, and that was enough for him to be a dick to me, though Bry's mom is pretty cool. We have a pretty wide circle of people we know, but I'm not sure either of us would call any of them real friends. People are so...fake. They want online likes from strangers, and yeah, it feels good to see that stuff sometimes, but really? You want to build your life around what other people think?

As I toyed with my phone, I considered chatting with a few people, just to pass the time. I was off of work for now – okay I got fired – but I hadn't settled on a new direction just yet.

My notification bubble popped up: Bryson.

BB: wyd

What am I doing? Waiting for you, like, forever, I thought.

ME: nm, u?

It wouldn't matter what I was doing; I always said not much. I mean, if I told him everything in text, what would I have left to talk to him about?

BB: Kelsey cheated on me.

News finally got to him.

ME: shit

BB: yeah. Come over?

ME: omw

I popped up, went in and washed my face and then grabbed my duffle before heading downstairs.

“Where are you going?” my mother asked.

“Bry just found out. Heading to his place.”

“Jesus Christ,” she muttered.

“See you later,” I said, slipping into my shoes and heading out the door. I know what she means, and she's not wrong, but it’s not like I'm headed over for a booty call. I'm heading over to console my best friend. I tossed the bag on the passenger seat and started up my forgettable small wagon for the short drive to his house. As I pulled up I frowned, seeing his dad's pickup in the driveway. I grabbed the bag, reminded myself why I was there, and headed around the side to the back door that let into their kitchen – it's how we always go in. The only ones who used the front door were strangers.

“Hi, Rion,” his mom said from her spot at the dining room table.

“Hi,” I said with a smile. “What are you doing?”

“Having a cup of tea while I let my daughter realize it's better that I drink tea than kill her.”

“Yeah. My mom does the same thing, except she uses a shot glass and bourbon.”

She chuckled. “Liar. You boys were easy.”

“Who says? They were lying,” I said with a grin as I passed her and headed up the back stairs. His dad was probably in the living room, and I didn't want to pass him to head up the front stairs. I could hear music coming from Bry's room, something with a lot of bass. Straight boy music, I thought, as if there really is such a thing. He was flopped on his bed, lying on his side and looking at his phone. He set it down as I entered the room.

“Sup?”

I deepened my voice. “Bro.”

He cracked a smile. “Can you believe that bitch?”

“Yep. Told you not to date her,” I said, putting my bag at the foot of his bed and launching myself to land half on him and half on his bed. We tussled before settling into mutually uncomfortable positions. Well, I say that like we just stopped on our own, but actually his father was yelling up from the living room – 'Shut the fuck up, up there,' and things like that. We didn't stay in our uncomfortable spots for long. Bry moved up so he was leaning back against his wall, as his bed had no headboard, and I moved to lie across the foot of the bed, propping my head up with my hand.

“How'd you find out she was cheating?”

He shook his head and rolled his eyes before adding a scoff. “Her friend Callie posted it to her 'gram.”

“Some friend. Is Callie after you? 'Cause she's a hoe, too.”

He laughed a little bit. “Nah. Callie just posted it. I don't think she was thinking about anything besides her friend was piss drunk and kissing up on some guy.”

I shook my head. “Well, just as a reminder, if you need a shoulder to rest your ankles on during this tough time.”

“Bro,” he said, shaking his head and smiling a little. “You're an asshole.”

I shrugged. “It's a gift.” In a serious tone I said, “But, you know...sorry, bro.”

He sighed. “Yeah. Play the cards you're dealt, right? Can't control it.”

“Well....I wouldn't say that,” I said, pulling the corner of my mouth up slyly.

“Bro,” he said in a serious tone. “If I let you pick my girlfriends, I'd never date.” He sighed. “I really liked her. She was, like, pretty sorry over the phone, but like, lying or cheating is a one and done with me. Can't ignore that red flag.”

Quietly I said, “Yeah. I know.” I leaned over and pulled my bag up next to me, struggling into a sitting position before opening it. I pulled out the weighted blanket and a bag of Starburst – the candy is probably more important to him than I am. Maybe.

“If you have a chick flick DVD in that bag, I'm going to kick you out,“ he said seriously. I threw the bag of candy at him.

“Where would I get a DVD?” I dragged the blanket up and covered us, but left it to him to open the candy – I'm not a nurse, after all. We lay side by side, eating the candy and sharing stupid things on our phone that had us either laughing, groaning or both.

“Jesus Christ.” I looked up at the doorway, where Bry's dad was turning away with a scowl. I glanced at Bry, and he rolled his eyes. His dad went down the hallway grumbling just low enough that we couldn't really understand him, but moments later Bry's brother, Jim poked his head in and looked at us. He snorted and grinned.

“What?” Bry asked.

“Dad. We should put rainbow stickers all over his truck just to troll him,” Jim said with a grin.

“Not worth it,” Bry said. “He'd probably bomb someone – you know, keep the punishment in line with the crime of touching his truck.” Bry looked at me and rolled his eyes, and we laughed.

“Not every dick-headed driver has a truck, but....” I looked at Bry and grinned.

“Easy,” Jim warned. “You may need me to tow your pile of shit one day.”

“Doesn't mean you're not a dickhead,” I said with a grin.

He picked a half-full soda bottle from the nearby dresser and flung it at me. I moved, but he still got my arm.

“Douche. Stop throwing shit in my room,” Bry said distractedly.

“Look at the room. Throw shit all you want – you'd never know,” Jim said with a laugh. “Well, at least you'll be bringing Kelsey on vacation with us, right? You asked – oh! Oh, yeah, right...she cheated.”

“You're such a smug cock bag,” Bry said, not looking up from his phone. Jim continued to be a dick for a few more minutes, but I was stuck on what he'd said about vacation.

This may be one of those...wandering thoughts, but it's kind of important. To me. So Bry's family isn't rich, but they do pretty well. His dad is high up in a construction company, and his mom manages a doctor's office. They're not hurting. Not that my family is, but we're not on their income level. One of the things they do every summer is take a three-week vacation to the cape. They rent this cottage, and it's right on the beach with its own little outdoor grill and Adirondack chairs around a fire pit plus a picnic table...you have everything you need. We used to sneak out at night, and Jim convinced us all to go skinny dipping in the ocean, which was just, like, this amazing physical experience where the water is moving over every part of you. It's not a sexual thing, but just this really unique, physical feeling.

Much as Bry's dad and I don't get along, he used to like me, and he used to make the best stuff on the grill – burgers and hot dogs were basic, but one night we'd do ribs – halfway night they called it! Really

just an excuse to celebrate being on the beach. Somewhere along the line his dad started making statements, basically calling out my sexuality without really calling me names or anything, and the vacation invitations stopped. The reason I was given was that they were just going to be family vacations going forward, but Jim had his girlfriend go the last few years, ever since he graduated high school. That I knew of, Bry had never taken anyone, and I can't say it exactly hurt to not be invited when that cheating skank – will never tell my mother I thought the word – was.

I guess I could say I was a little surprised, but given how much his dad had turned on me, I never expected to be invited again. Bry and I never really talked about it. I can imagine he puts on a swimsuit and basically doesn't take it off for three weeks, only putting on a shirt and flip flops if they are going out to eat.

Well, back to the shit show.

“Maybe if you still want to get laid you could ask Dad if Rion can come,” Jim laughed at his joke.

“Why do straight guys always make cum jokes?” I asked aloud without looking up from my phone screen. “It's just weird. Straight guys think about cock more than gay guys.”

“Yeah, uh huh,” Jim said, still looking smug, though the expression slid off his face and he looked a bit contrite. “Yeah, sorry, Rion. We all know Dad won't invite you because you're in love with Bry. Kind of fucked up.”

“Especially since he's not in love with me,” Bry said in a bored tone. He glanced at me. “It is fucked up, though, that he does that. I've asked a few times, but I never told you, because he said no. Mom even got into it a little with him.” He shook his head and looked back at his phone. “It's not like it should matter. We're not dating – we're best friends no matter who we date.”

I swallowed a lump in my throat. “Right. So we're agreed then – your dad's a douche.”

“Seconded,” Jim said.

“Passed,” Bry muttered. He looked up at Jim. “Kel's won't stop freaking texting me. I think I just need to block her.”

“Nope,” I said firmly. “Let her see you move on, so she gets a clue about how much she missed out.” I cleared my throat and looked at Jim. “Like, she won't have a boyfriend that farts in bed; we won't even talk about what happens when he eats spicy food.”

“That shit was good, but damn – my stomach didn't like it. I thought I should just unhook my ass and leave it in the bathroom,” Bry said with a little laugh.

“That's nothing,” Jim said. “How about when Dad gets into drinking OV splits?”

“Ugh, smell gets stuck in the sheet rock,” Bry said with a grunt. He glanced back up to Jim. “Anna Beth coming?”

“Every night,” Jim said, grinning.

“So...you take her out, and someone else bangs her every night? We all know you can't spell clitoris, much less find it and make a girl cum,” I said.

“Look at you, acting like you know a woman, “ Jim said with a laugh.

I snorted. “You think they pee from their vagina.”

“I was fourteen,” he said with a laugh. “Besides, Bry thought babies came out of a girl's ass!”

Bry chuckled, grinning at the exchange. “Just seemed like the asshole was more likely – I've seen some of the dumps you leave when you don't flush.” Bry looked at me. “Which is every time. Seems like you take dumps bigger than a baby's head.”

“What kind of premature, alien headed babies you think can fit out of an asshole?” Jim asked, laughing hard. Bry was grinning and laughing along with him, and I couldn't help but join them. The stupidity was strong with them!

Bry's mom poked her head in. “What's going on?” she asked, her gaze passing over Bry and I under the blanket.

“Talking about where babies come from. Want to join?” Jim asked flippantly.

I swear, his mom looked him dead in the eye and said, “I have a video of you being born – right until your dad fell over because he passed out. You want to know where babies come from? I'm game.”

There was a whole lot of laughing, 'no, no, no,' and some retching noises.

She looked back to Bry. “Kelsey's mom called, so I just got done with all that drama. You'd think telling her nicely that it's no longer appropriate would be enough, but no! She made plans while her daughter was going to be gone, and now we ruined them because her daughter can't keep it in her pants? Give me a fucking break.” She shifted her gaze to me. “When are you going to date?”

I shrugged. “Bry keeps saying Jim wants me, but Anna Beth isn't having it.”

She chuckled as her son protested. Then her eyes narrowed. “Bryson Bethune – there better not be a single GD candy wrapper in here come tomorrow morning.”

“There won't,” he said, throwing his head back against his pillow.

She looked back to me and pointed. “I want to meet him.”

“When I find him,” I said with a little nod. She gave me a satisfied nod and headed out of the room.

“How much you want to bet she was here because Dad said Rion was making a move?” Jim asked with a snicker.

“I told your mom. Just talk to Anna Beth, Jim – I'll make all your dreams come true.” I sat up and pretended to leer. “All. Cum. True.”

“Now who's making cum jokes?” Jim asked before leaving the room.

“I love this sound,” Bry said, letting me hear part of some song. After listening for a bit and seeing a few other people try to put some dance moves to it, we got off the bed and worked for about an hour getting a little dance routine down and then recorded it. Honestly, trying to learn a thirty second dance routine and get it all so you're in sync with the person you're dancing with is frustratingly funny. That's before you intentionally throw the other person off by questioning what the fuck move it was they just tried, pushing and shoving, stepping on feet...yeah, he wasn't thinking about Kelsey cheating, so I was doing an effective best friend job. We uploaded, took turns in the bathroom, then got settled under the blanket while he turned on a streaming service, and we tried to pick a movie.

“People are already calling that vid zesty,” I said.

“They do every time we post together,” he replied absently. “I took a look at my DMs the other day – there was some funky shit. People asking for feet pics and nudes and shit.” He turned and said, “Some dude offered me cash for my used underwear.”

“I could use a few bucks; what's the address?” I joked.

“Perv,” he grunted. “Could get some nice rims on my car for some feet pics though. I'm thinking about it.”

“I get that people like things, but what is it with feet being all over lately? People see your feet, and some weirdo has to say 'for free?' like they get paid to say it.”

“Yeah. They're just feet.”

Eventually we settled in to watch something, still checking our phones periodically. His mom raised her voice somewhere, and Bry left the room to get us drinks, but I know he was really going to see how much shit his sister was in. My mom says it's the age, but Bry's sister is like a waking, hormonal nightmare. She and her mom fight about makeup, boys, bras. What color the sky is – you name it, they fight about it. When his sister has gotten to the end of whatever passes for patience, she just makes this high pitched screaming/whining noise. It's sort of like an airplane engine in reverse.

Curious, I headed down the hall toward the back stairs, but I stopped before going down as voices suddenly got louder.

“He's in your bed! You just broke up, and then he's in your bed!

“Yeah? It's where we sleep when he stays over,” Bry said, but then his voice suddenly got louder. “But you know what, Dad? Maybe you're confused – he's gay. Not a rapist. Not a pedo. He's my gay best friend. He shows up. You saying all this shit about him is the part you should be worried about, asshole.”

“Don't swear at your father,” his mother snapped. “Charles, you're being an asshole! You've known Rion since he was a little kid, but he comes out, and all of a sudden you act like you don't know him? You're a jerk to a kid – your son's best friend, a kid we took on vacation and who our son stayed with on plenty of overnights and backyard camping? Rion, that you took tubing with Bryson, and now you want to say all these nasty things about him?”

“Something happened!” I heard a hand slap down. “Somewhere along the line he turned into this thing, and now he's up in Bry's bed! Bry is too old to have other people in his bed!”

“You want his friend should sleep on the floor? How about if we put him out on the back porch, will that make you feel safer? Because open doors and separate rooms are pretty simple to solve for two horny kids, if that's what they wanted.”

“I'm straight. He's not in love with me, and even if he was, he's my best friend. Why don't we talk shit about your buddy Gary? The one chasing high school girls around?” Bry demanded.

“At least he's after girls, not that he should be going that young,” his dad said defensively.

“Sure, until it's your daughter, then you care,” his mom snapped. “Grow up, Charles! Gay people exist, and so help me God, if you say anything else about Rion, you'll be sorry.”

“Why do you care so much about a kid that's not even yours?” his dad said in this strained voice that made me think he was kind of frustratedly begging.

“He's my best friend, you moron.”

“Don't call your father names,” his mom snapped. “You moron, he's a human being, a good human being, and I love that kid like one of my own. He's the best friend Bry could ask for – he's been there for everything for him. They're like brothers. Every time you open up your stupid mouth, to Bry it's like you're insulting his brother.”

“How come you can call him names and I can't?”

“I have to sleep with him; I get special privileges.”

“Hey, damn it!”

“See? You don't like it either!”

“That's disgusting.” I heard the fridge door close. “Just leave him alone, Dad.”

“Well you-”

“Stop! Just shut up, Charles! Just stop!”

I stood for a moment, then turned to head back to Bry's room before he saw me. I was nearly scared out of my own skin by his sister, Liz, who was standing about a foot behind me.

“Listen to them fight,” she said with her lip curled. “And they wonder where I get it from.”

Bry took the stairs two at a time and was suddenly next to me. “Next time, you get the sodas.”

“You want him in the same room as Dad? I thought he was your friend?” Liz asked.

Bry handed me the cold can of Coke. “Rion likes fighting with Dad. Builds character.”

“I don't know – you sound so manly when you yell at him,” I said, smiling. “But I don't want him at our wedding.”

“We're doing a double wedding? I need a wife,” Bry asked, dodging my clumsy flirting. He turned suddenly. “But if we do that and you shove cake in my face, I will kick your ass.”

I followed him down the hall. “Wow. I feel like a Chihuahua just threatened my ankle.”

“Jerk,” Bry grunted.

My emotions were running high as we laid back down and restarted the show. I was thinking about telling Bry that I really was in love with him, but...why? What do I expect from him? He's not gay. He’s not bi. Would I really want to fool around with him, if he were open to that, knowing I couldn't keep him? I can have him as my friend – and he wants that – so what if it's not romantic? I still get him in my life. An important part of both our lives.

Suddenly I don't feel the need to tell him about my feelings for him anymore. Well, not suddenly, but I can kind of feel it like a pressure that's letting off. I can breathe again, knowing I'm emotionally on the way to agreeing with what my head is telling me – Bry and I are good. We're going to stay good. We have each other's backs, and that's...a lot. A whole lot. Eventually I'll have Bry and I'll have a boyfriend – maybe a husband someday. I'll have a family, and we'll do cookouts together with our spouses and maybe our own kids.

I turned my head at the sound of a small snore. Bry's head was turned slightly away from me, his eyes closed and his mouth slightly open. He was still cute, and if we were dating I'd probably like to kiss him right now. I mean I still would like to kiss him, but you know...if he were awake. And wanted to. Okay, maybe my feelings would take a little longer to catch up with my brain, but that was okay.

Bry's eyebrows went up a little, and his eyes opened, brown eyes I've looked into many times. “Shit. Dropped off for a second. I'm tired,” he said, stretching.

“Yeah. You were snoring.”

“Was not.” He let out a small breath. “You good?”

“With?”

“You heard my dad being an asshole,” he said.

“Yeah. Doesn't seem fair all your mom gets for sleeping with your dad is to call him names.”

“Valid.” He shifted and looked at me. “To be clear, though, you're my bro. I promise that's not going to change.”

For a moment, I wished it could change, though. “Yeah,” I said instead. “I got your back, too.”

He looked like he might say something else but then just got up to hit the light. He flopped back onto the mattress, and we settled in.

“I'm going to cuddle you,” I stated.

“Perv.”

*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^

I was awake earlier than I wanted to be, but it was because Bry kicked me in his sleep. He does that sometimes. Instead of pulling his leg hair or kicking him back, I got up and hit the bathroom and decided I'd better get home and get a few things done; it'd keep Mom off my back a little. I honestly don't know what she's going to do when I go to college. Well, she'll probably stalk me.

I headed down the front stairs, since that was the shortest way to the street, but regretted my choice when I ran into his dad coming in the front door. He was all sweaty and gross – probably out for a run. I'd heard talk about how he had to lose some weight due to health stuff.

“Oh,” he said, kind of a surprised grunt.

“Bye,” I said, sliding past him and to the door.

“Uh, hang on,” he said, and I paused. “Listen...we're leaving Saturday for vacation. Why don't we...surprise Bry and you come with us this year?”

I stared for a moment. “For real?”

He lifted his chin and pushed his lower lip up, a lot like pictures I've seen of Donald Trump. “Yeah. But, uh, let's surprise him, okay? We'll come pick you up early – seven sharp. We're leaving on Monday. Think you can swing it? Keep it to yourself that long?”

Feeling strange, I replied, “Yeah, Definitely. Um, thank you – I can't wait to go.”

“Yeah. Be a blast.”



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Copyright © 2023 Dabeagle; All Rights Reserved.
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43 minutes ago, travlbug said:

Bry's dad is a bigot, plain and simple. So why would he suddenly invite Rion to vacation with the family--especially after refusing him that privilege for the last several years? I just hope that the father isn't planning a "setup" to discredit Rion in the family's eyes.

Welcome back 🙂

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Great start, Dabegal :D 

I’m a little late to the show but will see if I can catch up. 
 

I’m am as well curious of Bry’s dad. Not sure I’m willing to call him anything after his first impressions to us readers. I have a feeling we might have the real reason for his abrupt change of mind of the summer vacation in the next chapter or two. Hoping it isn’t as bad as our first impressions though. 

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