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    Ethan
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Noah and Jordan - 36. Chapter Thirty-Six

*** Please Note: There are multiple time changes in this chapter. Mature content below ***

*** JORDAN ***

It’s the small moments that stick with you.
Those unscripted, raw experiences,
Which create memories that last a lifetime.
Whether it’s a soft touch,
A stolen glance,
An infectious laugh,
Or a devilish smile
These are the moments we cherish.
The ones we replay over and over in our heads.
You never know what will create a lasting impression.
Life is unexpected that way.
It throws us curve balls,
Keeps us on our toes,
Plays with our emotions.
That may sound daunting,
It may even seem cruel.
But that’s what makes life interesting.
It’s what makes life worth living.

——— Present Day: NoJo’s Apartment ———

There’s nothing better than waking up next to someone you absolutely adore. Just lying in bed together, wasting away the minutes. I turn my head to the side. Of course, sprawled out beside me is my new love, Toby. He really is the best. I’m not surprised to see him here this morning. I’ve been waking up next to him for the last few days now.

Who is Toby? Our dog, of course. Who else would I be talking about?

“Okay, buddy, get up,” I say to the dog as I rub my hands into his fur. “Or our mean owner will start yelling at us.”

“I heard that,” Noah says sticking his head into the room.

“You were meant to,” I respond.

“It’s about time you got up. We have a lot to do today. We still have to get snacks and drinks for tonight’s party. Plus, remember when you go out you have to get Baxter some more food.”

“His name isn’t Baxter! It’s Toby!”

So, here’s a small problem. We’ve had the dog for almost a week now. He’s a yellow Labrador retriever and absolutely adorable. I just love him! But we can’t decide what to name him. We’ve gone through so many ideas. I like Toby. It just seems like the perfect dog name. Noah wanted to name him Gatsby after the novel, because he’s a nerd. I said no to that one. So, Noah said Baxter. I like Baxter, but I don’t know, he just doesn’t seem like a Baxter to me. I suggested Snoopy, but then Noah said he doesn’t look like Snoopy, so that was a no too. Come on, who can say no to Snoopy!? Hands down it’s the best name ever. Noah even said no to Dino! So yeah, we still can’t decide. We should soon or this dog is going to be super confused.

“What about Sherlock, after the greatest detective of all time?” Noah suggests.

“No.”

“Okay, Sammy after Samuel Beckett for his play ‘Waiting for Godot’. One of the best plays ever.”

“Waiting for who? And no. Sammy is so typical.”

“You really need to read a book!” he says throwing his hands in the air.

“And you need to stop being such a nerd,” I say light heartedly. He knows I’m joking. “If you want to go with great literature then we should call him Gandalf.” Who doesn’t like ‘The Lord of the Rings’?

“One, he’s not a wizard, and two, he’s not grey!”

True. “Honestly, if we’re having so much trouble naming a dog, what’s going to happen when we try to name our first child!?

“Oh, that’s easy. Boy it’s Logan. Girl it’s Arya. No debate there.”

“Wow, you had those ready to go. You’ve clearly given this some thought already,” I say.

“I like those names.”

“And I’m assuming that’s Arya from Game of Thrones?”

“Yep.”

“But no to Gandalf? Hypocrite.”

“That’s me!”

I actually like Logan and Arya. They’re nice names. But I’m not going to tell Noah that! As for the dog, we’ll figure it out eventually. We’ll find something that feels right to both of us. To be honest, we haven’t really given it too much thought. Both of us are a bit preoccupied at the moment. The last few days have been hectic. We just moved into our new digs a few days ago. There are still boxes and bags all over the place. Then we have to prepare for school. Classes start in just a few days. Sometimes it feels like a lot. Tip for anyone thinking of getting a dog: don’t do it while you’re in the middle of a move. What the heck was I thinking!? Here’s the thing though, it doesn’t matter. What this dog symbolizes is way more important than any inconvenience.

 

*** NOAH ***

——— Present Day: NoJo’s Apartment ———

I really need to retrain this dog! I was woken up suddenly this morning by Baxter licking my feet (I’m sticking with Baxter, I don’t care what Jordan says). He was hungry. Of course he comes straight to me and not Jordan. How did he know to do that? Why didn’t he lick Jordan’s feet? I’m going to have to teach him to bug Jordan first. After I give him some food, I decide to take him for a walk. It will be nice to get some air and give Jordan some time to rest. It’s been really hectic the last few days with the move, and I know Jordan is really tired. I’m just glad that it’s almost all over. Just a few more things to do and we will be all set. I want my life to go back to normal! Though, I’m not sure if I even know what ‘normal’ is anymore. This summer changed everything.

“Let’s go, buddy,” I say as I walk out the door with Baxter. It’s still early; the sun is just starting to come out. It actually reminds me of something that happened a few weeks ago. I was still living with Jordan at his home in Montreal …

——— August 1st: Montreal ———

“Keep your eyes closed!” Jordan says firmly.

“They’re closed, don’t worry.”

“Here, watch your step,” he says as he guides me along a rather bumpy path.

“Where in the world are you taking me?” I ask for the hundredth time.

“You’ll see.”

Jordan woke me up super early today. He threw clothes at me and told me to get ready quickly. He didn’t even let me grab any breakfast! I kept asking him where we were going, but he wouldn’t tell me. I have a feeling I know what this is all about. It was still dark outside by the time we left. I couldn’t really tell, but it felt like we were driving towards downtown. A few minutes into the drive he tells me to close my eyes. Of course, I challenge him, but then I reluctantly agree. Then, he tells me to put on a blindfold! I looked at him suspiciously. I was both intrigued and scared at the same time. Good thing I trust this guy with my life!

“Are we there yet?” I ask him again a few minutes later.

“Almost, dude, almost. Just another minute. Okay, just a few more steps,” he says leading me by the arm. “Almost there, almost. Okay. Here is good. Stop.”

“Can I take these off now?” I ask as I raise my hand towards my eyes.

“NO!” He grabs my hand rather suddenly. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to be so rough. Not just yet. Just wait another minute.”

What are we waiting for exactly?”

“The perfect moment, Jordan says.

“And when is that?” I ask.

“It is … now. Okay, close your eyes, I’m going to take off the blindfold. Are they closed?”

“Yes, Jordan.”

“Okay.” Just as he takes off the blindfold he puts a hand over my eyes. He stands behind me and turns my body slightly to the right. “Okay, you can open your eyes … now!”

There are moments in life when the beauty of this world leaves you utterly speechless. When nature displays its majestic elements in a spellbinding show of force. When you simply are just left in awe. This is one of those moments. It’s when you realize how magnificent this world really is.

We’re standing on a hill facing east. In the distance, just above the horizon the sun is starting to rise. Its rays illuminate the dark sky, turning it into a vibrant sea of orange, yellow, and blue. The light is seeping into the city, snaking through the buildings, waking up the cold concrete from its slumber. The dark shadows slowly fade away as life returns once again.

“Jordan, this is amazing.”

“I thought you’d like it.”

“I love it. This is beyond beautiful.”

“It makes you feel so alive,” he says as he throws his arm around my shoulder.

“It really does.”

“And gives you hope and optimism that the future will be just as bright and magnificent.”

“Absolutely. Thanks for bringing me here.”

“My pleasure. Happy Birthday, Noah.”

“Thanks, Jordan.”

——— Present Day: Outside NoJo’s Apartment ———

Seeing the sunrise today reminds me of that day in Montreal. Jordan went out of his way for my birthday. Afterwards, he surprised me with a picnic. I didn’t even know he packed anything. Not only did he pack, but he made breakfast, and it was delicious! He brought bagels, fruits, cereal, yogurt and milk in a cooler. He also made scrambled eggs and kept them in a hotpot. He came prepared. It was amazing.

After our early morning picnic, we rented bikes and rode them along a trail, which was tiring beyond belief, but incredible at the same time. I really am out of shape. We then went to a show, followed by a romantic dinner. He kept my mind occupied. He knew I was a bit upset, given I was away from my family, and all that had happened with my mom. So, he went out of his way to make sure I knew just how loved I am in this world.

That night we had dessert at home with his mom. They always get this chocolate cake from this one bakery. And just a side note here, OMG it was AMAZING! Hands down, one of the best cakes ever. Oh man, now I want some. Damn. Where was I? Oh right, my birthday. Right, cake. Yeah, so we went home and had cake with his mom. It was really nice. Both of them went out of their way to make me feel like family, to make me feel loved and wanted. I really felt like I belonged. And then to top it off, Jordan’s mom gave me an amazing gift. She reserved a hotel for us at this beautiful ski resort in Mont-Tremblant, just north of the city. That turned into an amazing trip, one that I’ll never forget. It was literally life changing.

The other unforgettable thing that happened on my birthday – I spoke to my mom. Yeah, she called me. It was the first time I had spoken with her since the night I came out. It was interesting ... to say the least.

 

*** JORDAN ***

——— Present Day: NoJo’s Apartment ———

“Jordan, can you pass me that box over there? Oh, and then can you help me put some of this stuff in the kitchen? And then, I totally forgot we have to —”

I cut Noah off. “Actually, I should probably go and get the stuff we need for the party, and Gandalf his food. I’ll be back in an hour!”

“Slacker. And his name’s not Gandalf!”

“Of course it is. I love you. Bye. See you in a bit!”

I love Noah, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes he drives me a bit crazy when it comes to cleaning. He turns into this machine. Again, I love him, I really do. But I also want to smack him with a pillow sometimes. Usually when he gets really bad the answer is sex, but something tells me if I try to get into his pants right now, all he’ll tell me to do is take them and iron them. So yeah, this is my plan B.

I put Gandalf or Toby or whatever his name is on a leash and take him outside. Our new place is not that close to school; we had to move a bit out of the city, but we’re still in a good neighbourhood. You can still walk to the subway, grocery stores, the mall, shops, restaurants, bars, in five to ten minutes. As for the apartment, it is uber tiny! But it’s not too bad. Noah and I don’t really need that much space. What matters is that it is cheap, which is good because we are on a budget! Noah's father actually offered to pay for our place, and his tuition, as well as mine, because he felt bad for how he initially treated Noah. But Noah said no. He said we would do it on our own. Don’t get me wrong, the money would have been great, it would have helped a lot, but he was right to turn it down. He didn’t want to feel like we owe his parents. Besides, we're actually in better shape than expected. The last few weeks, Noah spent hours on the computer searching and applying for every possible scholarship, bursary or award he could find for both of us. A few of them actually came through! I actually have more money this year, than I did last year! We even could have afforded to live closer to school. But Noah was right. We need to think long term (I like that he's thinking about us long term!), be economical and save money wherever we can.

Another reason why I love our new place – it's not our old apartment. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great place, but it also had some bad memories attached to it too. It was his place. And I know this may sound immature, but sometimes I felt like a guest there. This time it’s different; the apartment is ours. It’s our home. And from now on, we will only make positive memories in it. Or, I hope. Unless Noah keeps telling me to unpack stuff … the first memories won’t be so positive or nice.

We did make some great memories over the summer though. I still vividly remember taking Noah to Mont-Royal on his birthday to see the sunrise. I felt it was absolutely fitting, given our situation. To me the sunrise symbolizes a new beginning. It’s a chance to start over, to start fresh. It’s a new day, and anything is possible. Even though Noah and I dated before for a few months, this time everything feels different. We’ve grown so much more comfortable in our own skin. The reason is simply because we are open about who we are. Everyone knows we are a couple and madly in love. Most people have accepted us, while some have been reserved, and a few have rejected us. We know not everyone will celebrate our love and we are okay with that. Rejection only makes us stronger.

Another reason why this time things feel different is because Noah is different. I thought I knew exactly who he was, down to every little habit of his. But I was wrong. He changed so much while we were apart. To this day he surprises me. His compassion, his ability to forgive and empathize with people amazes me. He’s not that shy, nervous guy I met all those months back in English class. He’s become so much more confident. He’s matured. And perhaps more importantly, he’s learned to love without fear.

Take the following examples. He actually went back home to see his dad. Noah stayed with me until the second last week of August, then he flew home for a few days, before returning to school. His father was a bit offended that we rejected his help to pay for school, so he was adamant that he pay for Noah’s plane ticket. Noah was reluctant, but I told him it’s okay to take help from your family once in a while. And in his father’s defence, he has been very supportive of Noah, I’ll give him that. Plus, he was going back for his dad! I was shocked Noah even agreed to go back home. I would never have stepped foot in that house again. But he said yes because, regardless of what happened, he still respects his father. And while he didn’t say it back then, I knew he was hoping that maybe his mom would come around. No matter how bad she’s been to him, I know a part of him still loves her and always will. That’s what I mean when I say his ability to forgive amazes me. Talk about having a big heart.

Then there was the night Noah met my high school friends in person. Before, he would have been extremely shy and quiet; that is just who he is. He doesn’t do well in large crowds. He gets really quiet, and basically melts into the background. This time, he was still shy, but he was different. I could see the cracks starting to appear in his shell. He wasn’t as inhibited. He tried to talk more, tried to involve himself. He openly spoke about our relationship. He held my hand, leaned up against my shoulder, kissed me in front of everyone! Those are all things Noah would never have done before. But now he actually seemed to enjoy the attention. He got a lot of it from Sophia, who wanted to meet the guy who ‘converted’ me. I kept telling everyone he didn’t convert me! That’s not how it works. Whatever. The whole point is that Noah didn’t flinch, he spoke openly and honestly. I was really proud of him, and later that night in bed I made sure I showed my appreciation.

While meeting my friends was a positive experience … it was the opposite when Noah met my dad’s family. It was a night to remember, and not in a good way. I was so angry I thought I would rip my own head off. But, again, Noah surprised me. His calm, cool demeanour, and his ability to love in the face of so much hatred, was amazing.

Here’s what happened: My eldest uncle (the one that also lives in Montreal), invited us over to his house. In my family we usually get together a few weeks after someone dies. In this case, it was for my dad. It’s meant to be a way to remember the person and just reconnect with family. Part of me didn’t want to go because I felt like I already said my peace. But then, on the other hand, I felt like I should go because he was my dad. I still do feel sad about his death. Sometimes it feels as if he is at his home just doing his own thing. Because I didn’t see him for long stretches of time it doesn’t feel weird that he is not here with me. In my mind he’s somewhere alive and well. But I know that isn’t the case. And so, as my dad’s only son, I felt it made sense for me to go. Noah thought so too.

——— August 10th: Jordan’s Uncle’s House in Montreal ———

“Mom, we’ll join you in a second, okay?” I say to her as we get out of the car outside my uncle’s house. I want a moment alone with Noah before we go in. “If anyone says anything hurtful to you, or makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, don’t hesitate to say something. You don’t have to be polite just for me. Or tell me, and I will talk to them. And if at any point you want to leave, we can. Just say the word.”

Now I figured just showing up with Noah wouldn’t be the best idea. My mom actually called my Aunt Beth and told her beforehand that I was bringing my boyfriend. I knew she wouldn’t say anything, and she didn’t. She was surprised, but supportive. But she did say she was concerned about how some family members, namely my annoying uncle (he’s the one I yelled at when I was at the hospital), would react. She said not to worry and that she would handle it. The next day she called back and said everything would be okay.

“Don’t worry, Jordan, everything will be fine tonight,” Noah says placing his hand on my shoulder.

“You don’t know some of them.”

“This won’t be my first time butting heads with bigoted people, and likely not the last. It’s okay. I can handle myself.”

“I love you.”

He smiles at me. “I love you, too.”

You know that feeling you get when you think everyone is looking at you? Well, that’s how I feel when Noah and I walk into the house. It feels like everyone has stopped what they’re doing and are just staring at us and judging us. The only person to approach us as we walk in is Aunt Beth. She greets us both warmly.

“How did everyone react to the news?” I ask her.

She bites her lips. That can’t be a good sign. “Everyone has their own opinions, and sometimes you just have to live with that. But don’t worry, no one will say anything to either of you.”

“Thank you,” I say to her.

She’s right, no one asks about our relationship. Some actually avoid us altogether! The really annoying uncle leaves the room when Noah and I enter to say hello (for the sake of identification, I’m just going to refer to him as Uncle Jackass from now on). His wife doesn’t say anything to us either. Overall though everyone is civil, but it does feel like there is this giant elephant in the room that no one is addressing.

After eight minutes (yes, I counted), Noah and I go into the family room to meet the kids. They are way more fun. Most of my cousins are quite young; I am the oldest one actually. A few of them are teenagers, but they are nowhere to be seen. They are all hanging out upstairs. The majority are much younger, in the single digits. They are running around and yelling. I don’t think they’ve ever seen a gay couple before, let alone know what one is. My plan is not to bring it up in front of them. I figure it’s a conversation their parents should have with them when they feel the time is right. But I guess kids these days are way more progressive than I realized.

“Hey everyone, this is my friend Noah, I say to the screaming children.

“Hey, kids,” he says to them.

“Jordan!” Before I can react, my aunt’s daughter lunges at me and gives me a big hug. Or well, hugs my legs. She is still quite short. She is really sweet. All of my aunt’s kids are well mannered. She grabs my hand and pulls me to the floor. “Come play with me!”

“Sure. What are you playing?”

“I’m making a necklace,” she says pointing to a table filled with crafts.

“Cool. You’re doing a great job!”

She quickly stands back up and grabs Noah’s hand. “You can join us too.”

“Thanks,” he says with a smile.

One by one the other girls introduce themselves. The young boys show us their cars and action figures. Not even five minutes in, one of my cousins is sitting in Noah’s lap asking him to read her a book. I sit there watching him interact with her. He is really good at this; much better than I am! He is sweet and calm. He reads the book, changing his voice for each character. He is playful and full of life. My cousin is laughing and having a great time. The minute he finishes the book she asks him to read it again. Of course, he’s also attracted the attention of the other children, and before you know it, he has a bit of a following. Watching him, I know he’ll make a great father one day.

After he’s done reading books, the girls ask Noah to join them for a tea party. He gets an invite but not me! Nice. It’s okay. I get asked to build Lego blocks with another cousin.

“This is for you,” she says passing Noah a pink plastic cup.

“Thank you,” he says. He sips some of the imaginary tea. “This is delicious. Did you make it?”

“Yes,” she says.

“Can I have some more?” he asks her.

“Yep.”

Noah turns my way and smiles. I smile back at him. From the corner of my eye I notice Uncle Jackass is there. I’m not sure how long he’s been staring at us. He mumbles something as he walks past me.

Friggin’ fairies …”

Noah hears him too. He can see my face twitch. I’m about to say something when Noah places his hand on my arm. He shakes his head.

“It’s not worth it. The kids will hear. Just let it go.”

Noah’s right. It isn’t worth it. “Sorry,” I say to him.

“It’s fine, Jordan. I’m just glad your cousins didn’t hear.”

“He’s such a —”

“I know,” he says cutting me off before I can swear. I wasn’t going to! There are children here. I just need to avoid my uncle for the rest of the night! But I know that won’t happen.

——— Present Day: Outside NoJo’s Apartment ———

A random woman standing beside me on the sidewalk snaps me back to reality.

Awe, he’s so cute!” She kneels down beside the dog and starts to pet him. “What’s his name?”

“His name? Um … Jacka o’lantern.”

“Oh … that’s an interesting name …”

The dog isn’t orange. Far from it. I was actually going to say Jackass! Phew, that was close.

 

*** NOAH ***

——— Present Day: NoJo’s Apartment ———

He’s finally gone! Now I can actually get some work done. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jordan, but he is the biggest distraction in the world. I find I am way more productive when he is focused on something else. When I give him chores to do his answer is always sex. I know he thinks he is being clever, but I am totally on to him. While he did help with the move, I did most of the packing (as in all) and pretty much all the unpacking. He did unpack his own clothes. Though, now that he’s been dressing less like a slob, I’ve been stealing his clothes more and more. I never thought about this before, but being gay is awesome because you get two sets of clothes. Take that straight guys, you can’t wear your girlfriends’ clothes. Or, well, you could but … yeah, no one would want to see that. Also, from what I’ve seen, girlfriends usually steal their boyfriends clothes. So not only do you lose, you don’t get anything in return. Score one for my team!

Now that Jordan is gone I can also set up the surprise I have for him. The moment he leaves I run out of the house. I have to pick up something quickly and install it before he comes back. I blew up two pictures. The one he gave me on Valentine’s Day (the one my mom tore up), and the one we took the day we got back together on his deck. I figured we could hang both of them up, side by side, in our family room. I’m putting up both as a reminder that we can overcome any hardship. The first picture doesn’t bring me pain. It brings me joy. Joy that I was strong enough to follow my heart.

The second picture also holds a special place in my heart because its how I told the world Im gay. I thought it was only fitting, seeing how a picture is how my parents found out. I uploaded the second picture to Facebook and Instagram. In an instant, everyone I know, all of my family members and friends, people I grew up with, and people in my community, found out I’m gay. A lot of people liked the picture. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so many likes before. Many people also wrote supportive comments. But, as expected, there were people in my family, a few of my cousins, who sent me messages displaying their disgust and outrage. One commented directly on the picture. But before I could respond, Jenn got to him first. She ripped him apart. Trust me, never cross Jenn. I just blocked and deleted that cousin. His loss, not mine.

Jordan also posted the same picture. He got more likes than I did, not that it’s a competition or anything. Much to his relief, he got many messages of support from his volleyball teammates. Though, a few were oddly silent. Liam, Jordan’s closest friend on the team, asked around. Turns out, not everyone is thrilled to learn there is a gay guy on the team. I know Jordan is a bit concerned how they’ll react when he sees everyone again next week, but he isn’t overly worried. He knows he has friends who will support and defend him. And if there is an issue, he isn’t going to back down without a fight. I hope it doesn’t come to that though.

And speaking of people having an issue, I later found out my mom threw a fit when she realized I posted that picture online. Before that no one else in my family knew about my sexuality; she didn’t tell them because, well, who wants their dirty little secret out in the community? Well, I opened Pandora’s box. I put it out there for my family and the community to see. My sister told me my mom was seething the day my aunt called asking about the picture. My mom couldn’t deny it anymore; her son is gay and proud.

That’s why she ended up calling me on my birthday, because of the picture. I hadn’t spoken to my mom since the night I came out. She has this thing where when she is angry, she stops talking to you. It usually works. When I was a kid it would drive me crazy! I would try talking to her, but she would just ignore me. She did it to my siblings as well. We would always crack. We would apologize. This time though, I didn’t crack and I think she realized it wasn’t going to happen. So, she called me. I still remember it vividly. Jordan and I were in his room making out because, well, do I need to explain? Anyway, that’s when my dad called. I thought that was strange because I spoke to him earlier in the day. But when I answered the phone, he said my mom wanted to speak with me. I froze. I was shocked. Jordan asked if I wanted him to leave. But instead I grabbed onto his hand. I knew I would need his support …

——— August 1st: Jordan’s House in Montreal ———

“She wants to talk to me?” I ask my dad surprised.

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“Just talk to her. See what she has to say.”

“Okay. For you, I will.” I honestly don’t know what to expect. My gut tells me she hasn’t changed her mind.

“Hello, Noah,” she says. Her voice is steadfast. There is no weakness in it.

“Hi, Mom.”

“How are you?” she asks.

“I’m well. How are you?” I try to keep my voice flat and not show any emotion.

“I’m okay. Happy Birthday.”

“Thank you.” I’m not going to say anything. I think she needs to make the first move. An apology would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath.

“Your father tells me you’re coming home in a few weeks.”

“I am.”

“That’s good.”

“Are you okay with that?” I ask. She’s the one who kicked me out!

“Of course. I want you to come home,” she says.

Now that takes me by surprise. “Why? I thought I was dead to you?

You’re my son.”

“What about all the stuff you said before?” I ask. “That unless I change, I’m not welcome in that home?”

“I was surprised that night. I didn’t expect you to say what you did. But we can talk about that when you’re here.”

“We can talk about that now,” I say. “Are you willing to accept who I am?”

“As I said, we can talk more when you’re home.”

“There isn’t much to really talk about. You either accept who I am, or you don’t. It’s as simple as that,” I say.

“You’re my son, Noah. It’s not simple. As I said, let’s talk when you come home.”

I’m not going to get anywhere with her. “Fine,” I say. “Thank you for calling.”

“Take care, Noah.”

Bye, Mom.”

——— Present Day: Photo Store ———

My sister later told me that my aunt convinced my mom that she needed to get me back home. She said that was the only way my mom could ‘cure’ me, my aunt’s words, not mine. When my aunt found out I was living with my boyfriend (oh the horror!) she said my mom had to act fast to get me away from, again her words, the ‘clutches of evil’. It’s fine. None of this fazes me anymore. I’m honestly not surprised my aunt thinks that way. She’s as bigoted as my mom!

What’s helped me get through all of this, besides Jordan’s love and support, is the backing of my siblings. Unfortunately, they’ve had to deal with some of the nasty comments from my cousins. And every time they’ve defended me. My sister was adamant she won’t let anyone talk smack (her word) about her little brother. It makes me love her even more. What also helps is that both of them approve of Jordan. Literally, the moment I told my sister we were back together, she wanted to speak to him. She was curious. So was my brother. So, we managed to have a group FaceTime chat a few days later. Naturally, Jordan was amazing. He was surprised at how I interacted with my siblings. We make fun of each other a lot. My two siblings always gang up on me. Jordan joined them as well, but also defended me too. Afterwards, my sister and brother messaged to tell me they both think Jordan is a great guy, they like him more than they like me, (my sister joked that she’s surprised he was with someone as ugly as me (don’t you just love siblings?)) and not to screw it up a second time!

A few days later, Jordan got the chance to speak to my father. Their conversation was just over the phone. I could tell Jordan was super nervous! Seeing him sweat buckets, actually made me happy. I could tell he was trying his best to come across as the perfect gentleman. He kept saying, yes sir, of course sir, thank you sir. In Jordan’s defence, the conversation was super awkward (he had it on speakerphone). I don’t think my dad really knew what to say. He was still trying to come to terms with all of this, and there he was talking to the guy who was doing all sorts of naughty things to his son in bed. But as they talked, Jordan’s charm started to come through. After, my father told me he was really impressed by Jordan. Did I tell Jordan that? Of course not! At least not right away. I told him the exact opposite first. That seemed like more fun.

All right, enough thinking. Time to do some work! I grab my parcels from the photo shop. When I turn to leave I see this absolutely striking photo. It gives me an idea. I know the perfect name for our dog.

 

*** JORDAN ****

——— Present Day: NoJo’s Apartment Elevator ———

“Here, boy, sit,” I say to Gizmo in the elevator. Nah, he’s not a Gizmo either. Why is this so difficult!? The dog was getting close to this crusty old man. He just looked at Max (hmm … Max … maybe) and gave the dirtiest look and backed into a corner. Whatever, he can make all the looks he wants. My dog is awesome … whatever his name is.

Seeing that crusty old man reminds me of my stupid annoying uncle again. As I was saying before, he wasn’t done with us just yet that day

——— August 10th: Jordan’s Uncle’s House in Montreal ———

After my uncle’s little remark, we decide to go upstairs to see what my teenage cousins are doing. Two are brothers and live here. One girl and one boy are my Aunt Beth’s kids. Another boy and girl are a different uncle’s children. They are all in between the ages of 14 to 17. I introduce them all to Noah. I tell them he is my friend. The minute I say ‘friend’ I can see all of them look at each other. Two of them start whispering. I can hear one say ‘ask him’ and the other replying ‘no, you ask him’.

“What’s going on, guys?” I ask. I know these cousins, but not well; I didn’t see them much growing up.

“Um … I thought he was your boyfriend …” Aunt Beth’s daughter says.

“Ah, so you already know. Your mom told you?”

“I overheard her on the phone,” she says.

“Oh. Well, yes, he’s my boyfriend.”

“That is super cool!” she says. Wow someone is excited. “I’ve never met a real live gay person before.”

“Well, now you’ve met two,” Noah laughs.

“Don’t be weird,” her brother says to her.

“So, not to pry or anything … but I thought you were dating a girl before?” she asks nervously. I was still dating Kate when I visited my dad last summer. That was the last time I saw any of them before my father’s death.

“Mind your own business,” her brother says. He turns to us. “Just ignore her.”

I smile. “It’s okay. I was, yes.”

“Oh.” She looks confused.

“But then I met this guy, and we’ve been together ever since.”

“So you met him and realized you like guys more?” the other girl asks.

“Something like that, I reply.

“Wow, thats so cool!” That would be the eager one again.

“So, what exactly was your mom saying over the phone when you overheard her?” I ask.

The excitement washes off her face. “Oh … some people in the family didn’t want you to come. There was this big argument. But I’m really glad you did!”

I ask her who, even though I know the answer. She says Uncle Jackass. He fought with my aunt for a while, but she told him she was not backing down. So, in the end, he came but decided to leave his kids at home. He didn’t want me to ‘corrupt’ them.

“He’s a douche,” one of the boys says.

“He’s still your uncle,” Noah chimes in.

“Unfortunately,” another says.

A few minutes later we are all called downstairs to eat. I just want to leave. I think I’ve put in enough time here. I’d rather not be somewhere I’m not wanted. Noah and I put some food on our plates and sit with the teenagers. They are cool kids. It’s a shame I didn’t really get to hang out with them more while we were growing up. Thanks for that Dad! After we’re done eating, we prepare to leave. My mom is saying goodbye to someone in the kitchen. Noah and I are in the living room with the other adults when one of my young cousins, the one who was having a tea party with Noah, walks up to me.

“Jordan … what does gay faggot mean?”

Everyone stops and turns towards us. Did she just say what I think she said?

“Where did you hear those words?” I ask her.

She points to Uncle Jackass. Of course. “Uncle said you’re a gay faggot. What’s a gay faggot?”

That stupid, stupid man. Control your anger, Jordan, this is not the time. My cousin is four years old. What am I supposed to say to her? Aunt Beth is about to say something when her other daughter, who is only eight, starts speaking.

“Gay is when a boy loves another boy, instead of a girl. My teacher says gay people are just like everyone else and that we’re not supposed to call them mean names. The other word is a bad word. My teacher says we are not supposed to use it, but instead love and respect everyone no matter our differences. Right, Mommy?”

Hearing her speak melts my heart. She is absolutely adorable. She’s so young, yet so smart. Clearly there is hope for the younger generation.

“Right, sweetie.”

“You’re going to let your children learn that crap,” Uncle Jackass says. “That’s why I didn’t bring my children tonight, to keep them away from such filth.”

“Jackass!” my aunt says sternly. She uses his real name, of course, but I’m sticking with Jackass. “Est-ce que vous …” My aunt switches to French to yell at him so the young kids don’t understand. She pretty much asks if he has gone crazy.

“Come, kids, let’s go play in the other room,” one of the teenagers says as she quickly takes them away.

“I’m just saying what’s on everyone’s mind. This is wrong, and I can’t believe you’re all okay with it. I’m glad your dad’s not alive to see this day. He would be ashamed of you!”

That stings. Who the fuck does he think he is? I’m about to say something, but my aunt beats me to it.

“You’re out of line,” she says to her brother. “You need to apologize to them right now.”

“I’d rather die,” Uncle Jackass says.

The yelling attracts everyone’s attention. My mom enters the room looking confused. I feel like a vein in my neck is about to burst. I’m just about to yell, when I feel a hand on my shoulder. I look to the side to see Noah. There is not even a hint of anger in his eyes. Rather, he’s smiling!

“We don’t need your apology,” Noah says to him in a calm voice. “Neither do we need your approval. We are who we are, and we’re never going change that for anyone. And —”

“It’s people like you that have brought the wrath of God onto this world,” he says cutting off Noah. “Being queer is a sin!”

I want to bash his head in. My mom is about to say something, but much to our surprise Noah laughs.

“What do you know about what’s right and wrong?” he asks. “I know your type. You cherry pick parts of the religion that suit your needs, while conveniently avoiding what doesn’t. But, if you want to talk about it, then let’s do that. But let’s start with you,” Noah says launching into this long theological rant. He makes numerous excellent points about religion.

“Furthermore, did you forget the importance God places in family, in being kind to others, and loving others? he continues. “In acceptance and in tolerance? You seem to not care about any of those. Earlier you said Jordan’s dad would be ashamed of him. I doubt that. Jordan is the most amazing man Ive ever met. His compassion, his generosity, his empathy know no bounds. He loves without limits, and he never asks for anything in return. He owed his father nothing, not his time, nor his love, but he gave it to him anyway. He embraced his father’s family, a family that barely had two seconds for him before all of this. And if you really want to talk about being ashamed, you should be ashamed. You should be ashamed for being such a lousy uncle. From what I hear, you were never around for Jordan when he was younger. Did you forget about your responsibility? It’s so easy to judge everyone else, yet you fail to look in the mirror and see the person you’ve become.”

“I’m not going to be lectured by a goddam fucking fag,” Uncle Jackass spits out.

Again I am about to boil over, and my mom is about to say something, but Noah just squeezes my hand.

“If it makes you feel any better call us whatever name comes to your mind. It doesn’t hurt. All it proves is that your heart is full of hatred. And unless you forgot, that too is a sin. You know, I actually feel rather sorry for you. All that hatred is blinding your heart from seeing what true love actually looks like.”

“Your love is disgusting. It sends the wrong message to kids that this is okay,” he says with disdain in his voice.

“The message we send is that of tolerance and love,” Noah says. It’s a message of accepting who you are, embracing differences, and being at peace with yourself. There is nothing wrong with that. And for the record, we didn’t say anything to the children, that was your smart mouth —”

“Well —” My uncle tries to cut Noah off, but Noah doesn’t let him. He waves him off.

“I know you don’t want to offer us an apology, and like I said, we don’t need one. But I do want to offer something to you. A prayer. I pray that God removes all the hate from your heart and opens your eyes to the wonderful world he created. Because I’ll tell you one thing, no one is ever removing me from Jordan.”

Uncle Jackass is about to respond, but my eldest uncle, the one who owns this house, cuts him off. He pretty much tells him to shut up. Uncle Jackass stomps off into the kitchen. We just all stand there in silence for a few moments.

“I’m really sorry,” my eldest uncle says. He apologizes to each of us individually, assures me my father would have been proud of me (this uncle is the nicest out of all of them), and that I am always welcome in his house. He tells Noah and my mom the same thing.

I’m also sorry,” Aunt Beth adds. She is clearly embarrassed. “He promised he wouldn’t say anything.”

“It’s okay,” I say to them. “It’s not your fault he’s like that. Thank you for the lovely evening. Shall we go, Mom?”

“Let’s, my mom responds.

“So you love boys?” The voice startles me. It’s the four year old. She popped out of nowhere.

Uh, I do. In fact, I love this guy right here,” I say taking Noah’s hand.

“Are you two going to get married?” she asks. You can see the excitement in her eyes.

“That’s enough questions,” my aunt says pulling her back.

That makes me smile. Kids are so funny. There have no filter. They ask whatever they want. “One day.”

“Can I be the flower girl? Please? I’m really good at it!” she says, her eyes going wide.

“Of course,” Noah says. “But, you’re going to have to wait a bit, okay?”

“Okay,” she says with a smile.

What a night! I can’t believe my family. When we are back at home, I ask Noah what got into him. He says it just came out. It was what he wanted to say to his mom and his family, but he felt he never got the chance. Tonight he did. And tonight Im going to reward him for it. This may sound weird, but I am super horny. Seeing Noah stand up for us was a major turn on. It’s going to be a long, sweaty night.

——— Present Day: NoJo’s Apartment ———

“Hey, I’m home,” I call out as I walk into our apartment.

“Stop right where you are!” Noah yells as he comes out of the bedroom. “Close your eyes. I have a surprise for you.”

Oooh, I like surprises. Is it hot, dirty sex?” I ask.

“How did you know? Look I even trust you enough not to put a blindfold on you.”

“Yeah, yeah, that day was awesome.”

“Okay, follow me over here …”

The space isn’t big. Basically when you walk in, you’re in the kitchen. It’s all along one wall. If you walk straight ahead there is a bit of room for a sofa and TV. That leads out to the balcony. The bedroom is off to one side, and the washroom the other. It’s small, but cozy.

“Oh, I’m so excited. Is it a new car? I’m guessing new car!” I say.

“Yeah. And a unicorn to go along with it. Okay, stop here. Open your eyes.”

I open my eyes to see a set of piercing dark eyes staring back at me. On the wall is a picture of a grey wolf playing in the snow. It’s hanging in our bedroom, just over our bed. Its absolutely beautiful. “Wow. That’s really cool. I like it.”

“And look in the family room,” he says.

I step outside to see two framed pictures on the wall. One is the picture I gave Noah on Valentine’s Day. The other is the one I took on my deck, the day we got back together. “You put both up?”

“Yep, one to remind us of our past, and the other our future.”

“I like it. Good job, man! But I have to say, I really like that wolf picture.”

“I thought it would be fitting.”

“A tribute to my carnal, animalistic, sexual prowess in the bedroom?” I ask.

“Absolutely,” he says rolling his eyes and shaking his head.

“How is it fitting?”

“It’s how we met,” he says.

“What? We didn’t meet through a wolf.” What is he talking about? I’m confused.

 

*** NOAH ***

——— Present Day: NoJo’s Apartment ———

Oh, Jordan. He doesn’t remember anything! Clearly I’m going to have to spell this out for him.

“English class. Presentation. Mrs. Dalloway’.” Still nothing. Okay, I’ll make it super obvious. Virginia …”

“Woolf! Of course. Ah, that’s clever of you.”

There it is! Also, I think I have an idea for a dog’s name too,” I say excited!

“Is it Woolfy?” Jordan asks.

“You know what, I thought of that, but no. He doesn’t look like a wolf.”

No, he doesn’t. So, what did you come up with?

“It’s not the most traditional name … so hear me out … but what do you think about Evan.”

“Evan? Why Evan?” he asks confused.

“Honestly, Jordan, do you ever remember anything!?”

“I do usually … sometimes … maybe … never …”

“In the book, Septimus was in love with his friend named …”

And there’s the light bulb. “Evans! Right. Gotcha.”

“Woolf describes their relationship like ‘two dogs playing on a hearth-rug’. And given how the book brought us together, and we have a dog, I thought the name makes sense. It sort of reflects us in a way. But we would drop the letter ’s’ and just say Evan. What do you think?”

“Not traditional … but, I guess we aren’t really traditional either. I like it. Evan it is.”

“See, I knew we would get there!”

“Side question, how in the world do you remember quotes from a book you read several months ago?”

“Because I’m awesome,” I say.

“Nerd.”

Evan. It feels right.

It’s interesting how much we struggle to find the right word to call someone. You want a name to be perfect. It’s how you identify yourself; how the world sees you. Yet, in the end, often we don’t even use a person’s name. We call them by a nickname, or use words of endearment or a title. What we call someone isn’t insignificant. It can signal what our relationship is to them. I’m still getting used to the new title I have for Jordan. I must say I do like it. But, figuring out what to call someone can be a minefield at times. Trust me, I know. It led to a rather interesting conversation with Jordan’s mom the morning I left Montreal to go back home …

——— August 20th: Jordan’s House in Montreal ———

I can’t sleep. I keep tossing and turning in bed and waking up Jordan. He doesn’t say anything, but I’m sure he is getting annoyed. I’m just nervous. I’m so comfortable here, in Jordan’s bed, in his house, in his city … I’ve built this mini-life that is perfect. Now I’m going to leave it and enter an abyss. I don’t know what to expect when I visit my parents place. I figure my mom won’t be hostile like she was before, but I also know she won’t have an epiphany either and see the light. I’m okay if she doesn’t change her mind. But it would make life so much easier if she does.

At about five in the morning I give up and get out of bed. I go downstairs to make myself some tea. His mom is already there. She is back on her early shifts.

“Morning,” I say to her.

“Good morning. Couldn’t sleep?”

“No.”

“Would you like some tea?”

“That’s okay, I can grab it.”

She smiles. “It’s your last day here; it’s the least I can do.”

“Thank you.” She really is sweet. Since Jordan’s mom works, and Jordan went back to work too, I usually was the only one at home. I tried to find a job, but no one wanted to hire someone for just a month. So, I had a lot of free time. I would clean and cook dinner almost every day. His mom was mortified at first. She felt I was a guest and should relax. But I argued that if she really sees me as a member of the family, then she would let me help. She didn’t say anything again after that.

“Are you all ready to go?”

“Yeah, I packed last night, I reply.

“You know you don’t have to leave. You’re more than welcome to stay.”

“I know … I just … I need to go.”

“You’re a strong man, Noah. You’ll be okay.”

“Thank you.”

“And it doesn’t matter what your mom or anyone else says, you always have us.”

“I know,” I say with a smile.

“Can I ask you something?” she says as she puts her mug down on the table.

“Of course.”

“I’ve noticed something these past few weeks. I wasn’t going to bring it up … but given everything that happened a few days ago … I thought I would. You don’t ever say my name. You usually say ma’am, or Jordan’s mom, or you refer to me indirectly.”

It’s true, I don’t use her name. She told me I could call her by her first name, but I felt that was too impolite. My parents always taught us not to call our elders by their first name. They said call them Aunt or Uncle. But those options seem weird to me as well. I honestly don’t know what to call her. Even Jordan picked up on it. We argued about it too.

“I was hoping you wouldn’t notice. I don’t mean any disrespect … I just am not sure what to call you.”

She smiles. “I know you didn’t mean anything by it. If I could be so bold … you could call me mom. I’m not trying to replace your mom of course,” she says quickly, “she will always have her own place, but you’ve become like a son to me … or well, you are a son to me … and ma’am just doesn’t feel right.”

I never thought about calling another woman ‘mom’. I’ve only ever used the term for one person. The idea feels weird to me. But maybe it’s time for a change. We often take titles for granted. Just because you have them, doesn’t mean you’ve earned them. Take the word mother, for instance. A woman gets that title the moment she gives birth to a child. It makes sense, she does become a mother. But being a mom is more than just giving birth. It comes with certain responsibilities. And if you don’t carry them out, do you still have the right to be called mom? Biology isn’t enough; you have to act like a mom too. Jordan’s mom isn’t my biological mom. She never will be. But she treated me like a mom is supposed to treat her son. She went out of her way to make me feel like I am part of her family. So, doesn’t she have the right to be called mom?

“I’d be honoured to call you mom.”

She gives me a big hug. “You’re a good man, Noah. Your mom will see it. Don’t worry.”

I hope so.

——— Present Day: NoJo’s Apartment ———

JORDAN! You ate all the cheese again!” I yell as I close the fridge door.

“What? No I didn’t.” He looks as if I just caught him stealing a cookie from the cookie jar.

“Yes, you did! I bought some to add to the lasagna, but there isn’t any here. I didn’t eat it, I’m sure the dog didn’t eat it … so by process of elimination …”

“It was Jenn.”

“Right, she used her invisibility cloak to sneak into the house, eat all the cheese, and leave.”

“Exactly,” he says nodding his head. “She borrowed Harry’s.”

I just stare at him shaking my head. He tries to smile and act all innocent. “What am I going to do with you, Jordan?”

“Love and feed me?” he asks smiling.

“Yeah, sure. I’m just going to go grab some more from the store. Try not to eat the lasagna sheets while I’m gone.”

He makes a face at me. “You’re funny.”

Ah, Jordan. He’s lucky I love him, otherwise I’d so throw something at him. Actually, I’m still going to throw something at him later tonight. The good thing is the grocery store is not even five minutes away. I can easily run out and grab what I need.

As I step outside, I notice the sun is just starting to set. The clear blue sky is starting to show streaks of pink and purple. As much as I love the sunrise, sunset is my favourite time of the day. There is just something about twilight that is so enchanting. It will always remind me of one of the best days of my life.

 

*** JORDAN ***

——— Present Day: NoJo’s Apartment ———

“Jenn!” I say opening the door. “Glad you could make it.”

“Would I ever miss a chance to have free food?” she asks.

“No.”

“Hey, there’s my favourite nameless dog,” she says petting Evan.

“He has a name!”

“What? You two finally agreed on something! I thought you were just going to have to settle on ‘Dog’.”

“That was a strong possibility, I say laughing.

“So, what ingenious name did you two come up with?”

“Evan.”

“Evan … not your typical dog name, but it’s nice,” she says.

“We’re not typical people.”

“Touché. Why Evan?”

“Evan was one of the characters in the book Noah and I read in English class, the one we presented on. It sort of reflects our past.”

“Oh, that’s cool. Let me guess, Noah came up with it?”

“Yup.”

“And where is your better half anyway?”

“Gone to grab some more cheese for the lasagna. The dog ate all of it …”

“Ha! Sure he did. So how many people are coming tonight?”

“Not many, just a few. We really can’t fit many people in here! A few volleyball friends, some other people I know from school, Caleb might come, and Noah invited a few other people as well.”

“Oh, cool. Is John coming?” she asks.

“No … I figured Noah told you.

“He didn’t say anything. What’s wrong?”

“Oh, well, yeah, you actually won’t be seeing him around anymore. Turns out, he is a giant homophobe. So, we’re no longer friends.”

What? Really? That’s too bad. I’m sorry, Jordan. He seemed like a cool guy. But his loss.

Exactly. I texted him a week ago to see how he was. He pretty much said he couldn’t believe I’m a ‘fucking fag’ and to keep away.” That is the stripped down version of what happened. He said a lot more. I can’t believe I was ever his friend.

He’s the fucking idiot,” Jenn says. “Do you want me to beat him up?”

I smile. “No, I’m okay. If someone doesn’t want to hang out with me then that’s fine. Besides, I have enough crazy friends to keep me company. And speaking of crazy, looks like Noah’s home.”

——— 

Slowly over the next hour the rest of the group arrives. It’s a small, intimate gathering. We didn’t want to invite too many people because it’s a bit hard to manage, and our place isn’t that big! I actually haven’t seen most of these people since last semester. Most of them didn’t know I was dating Noah; they only found out through the picture I posted on social media. So, as one can imagine, I get quite a few questions. Everyone though is super chill and easygoing.

Man, I can’t believe you won’t be the captain this year,” one of my teammates, Liam, says to me at one point in time. He wanted me to run and was disappointed when I dropped out.

“Chris will be fine,” I say. Chris is of course Sebastian’s friend. Sebastian. I haven’t thought about him in a long time.

He just stares at me. “Sure. And pigs can fly.”

“So, do you want to know the real reason I pulled out?” I ask my teammates. “It wasn’t because of schoolwork.”

“I knew it! I didn’t believe that for a second,” Liam says. “What happened?”

“Sebastian threatened to out us if I didn’t back down. At that time Noah’s parents didn’t know about us or that he’s gay … so I dropped out.”

They all just stare at me, shocked. “What the fuck!” one of them says. “I knew Sebastian was a douche.”

“That he was,” I say.

“That is totally messed up! How did he know about you two?” Liam asks.

“He saw us together one night at a gay club, and he made a video.”

“That’s like out of a soap opera or something,” another says.

“Yeah, it is, I reply.

“You need to tell the coach that,” Liam says. “We should re-vote, it’s not too late.”

“Yeah, Chris should be kicked off the team!” another says.

“It wasn’t Chris’s fault,” I say. I don’t know why I’m defending him. “I don’t even know if he knew. I think it was just Sebastian’s idea. As you all know, he didn’t really like me. And besides, it’s done now. Sebastian’s gone and I’m over it, and I think it’s time we just move on. I’m sure this year will be great.”

“I’m still going to throw the ball at Chris when he’s not looking,” Liam says.

“If that makes you feel better, go right ahead,” I say laughing.

“So … were you ever checking us out in the locker room?” Liam asks jokingly. I knew this was going to come up at some point in time. “I am pretty irresistible.”

“I only had eyes for you, Liam. Don’t you know I have a huge man-crush on you?” I try to keep a straight face, but I can’t. I guess nothing about me is straight anymore.

“Well, obviously you do, come on, look at me!” he says laughing. “But you’re a committed man now - you keep your eyes on Noah.”

“Don’t worry, I will.”

“He’s a good guy, I like him,” Liam says referring to Noah.

“He is.”

“And a fucking good cook! That lasagna was amazing,” another chimes in. “You got lucky, dude.”

“I really did!”

“Hey,” Noah says walking over to us, “we’re just going to have dessert if you guys want to grab some.”

“What do you have?” one of them asks.

“Ice cream cake.”

“Awesome!” Liam says getting up. “What are we celebrating?”

“Our new place, a new school year, and us,” I say putting my arm around Noah’s waist. I can’t wait to tell them. This is going to be fun.

 

*** NOAH ***

——— Present Day: NoJo’s Apartment ———

So, have you heard from her again?” Jenn asks as I’m cutting slices of cake.

“No, I haven’t.”

She’s talking about my mom. I saw her last week when I was back at home in Vancouver. I flew to my brother’s place from Montreal. I spent a few days with them, then we all drove down together to my parents’ house. We got there on Saturday evening. My sister and her family were there too. We stayed all of Sunday. I flew out the next day. I haven’t spoken to her since.

“Do you think she’ll call?” she asks.

Will she? I don’t know. I can’t tell. I keep telling myself to stop thinking about it. The ball is in her court, and there is nothing I can do. But that is easier said than done.

——— August 24th: Noah’s Parents’ House in Vancouver ———

The entire way here I felt strong. I kept telling myself I could do this. And I believed it. I thought I could. But when my parents’ house comes into view my stomach starts to churn. Seeing this place reminds me of the night I came out and the hatred I got from my own mother. I’m not sure I will ever forget that night, no matter what happens. This house will never be the same again. I hope I’m wrong. I hope one day it can become my home again, a place where I feel loved and respected. I’m doubtful, but maybe.

I say a little prayer before I walk in. I’m not super religious like my parents are, but I figure there is no harm trying. Maybe a higher power out there will listen to me. When I walk in, I notice my dad. He gives me a hug and welcomes me back. My mom is standing beside him.

“Hi, Mom,” I say.

“Hi, Noah,” she says. She doesn’t give me a hug. In the past she would have. Clearly we still have a lot of work to do.

That night I barely talk to her. We say a few lines here and there but not much. She is busy cooking, and the kids are running around. I haven’t seen my sister in a while, so I spend time with her and her children. At dinner my mom and I sit at opposite ends of the table. Everyone can feel there is tension in the air, but we don’t bring it up. I want to, but I also don’t want to. Who knows, this very well could be the last time we all sit down together and eat as one family. The thought depresses me. I hope it doesn’t come to that. But I’m prepared to walk away if I have to. I know my siblings will understand. My dad though won’t.

After dinner my siblings take their kids upstairs to put them to bed. I stay downstairs in the kitchen. I want to get this over with. I don’t want to drag this out over the next two days. My mom doesn’t say anything at first. She just tidies up the kitchen. My dad sits silently at the table. I guess I’ll have to get the ball rolling.

“So …” I say. My mom continues to do her work. My dad looks at me. He’s not sure what to say. “I’m here now … we should talk.” Silence. “I’m willing to give this another shot, but it can’t just come from me … I need to know you’re also willing to give this a shot too.”

My mom turns to look at me. “I want you to move back home.”

“Why?” I already know why.

“So that you’re close to your family. There are good schools here, you can study whatever you want, we won’t stop you. We will pay for everything. Just come back home, Noah.”

“That’s not going to change anything,” I say.

“It might.”

“The only way I’m ever coming back here is if Jordan is with me,” I say.

She closes her eyes. Clearly that’s not the answer she wanted to hear. “I only want what’s best for you.”

Jordan is what’s best for me.”

She starts to cry. It’s not hysterical crying, but slow and quiet. I can tell she is deeply hurt. “Think about your future, the afterlife.”

“I am thinking about my future. I know you’re scared, Mom, but this is the right choice. I can’t change who I am. I love Jordan. And Jordan loves me.”

“Don’t turn your back on your family, is how she responds.

“I’m not turning my back on anyone, you are. I want to be a part of this family, but I can only do that if I am true to myself. Don’t you want me to be happy?”

“I’m your mother, of course I do.”

Well, Jordan makes me happy. When we’re together it’s … I don’t even know how to describe it … but when I see his face, I feel this warmth inside my soul. When he smiles, it melts my heart. When I’m with him my life is full of joy. I’ve never felt this way about anyone, and I never will.”

“But you can try. We can work together.”

“It won’t change anything.

“You don’t know that,” she says in between tears. “You don’t know how difficult these past few weeks have been. I can’t eat properly, my blood pressure is high …”

The guilt trip. And this has been easy on me?

“I know this is hard on you, Mom. But have you thought about how hard this is on me? My mom rejected me. My own mom. I thought you loved me more than that. In the past, whenever you asked me for anything, I did it. I always listened to you. I’ve been a good son. I’ve lived up to all my responsibilities. Yet when I needed you the most, you threw me out. You said I was dead to you. How do you think that made me feel?”

“I did it so you would see the right path.”

The right path? I'm on the right path! You’re on the wrong one. Do you know what Jordan’s mom said when she saw the picture of us together? She said we look perfect together. She threw her arms open and accepted her son. She accepted me. THAT is what a mom does. You … you didn’t do that.”

“You say you always listen to me, listen to me now.”

“I would do anything for you, Mom, and you know that. But not this time. I’m not giving up Jordan for you. Not now, not ever.”

“So you pick him over me.”

“It’s not like that. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It can be both.”

“Ever since you put that picture up online people in the family have been calling me. It’s all my friends ask me about. You don’t know the things people are saying. I go to church and people tell me you’ll burn in hell. It’s …” she trails off.

“Look, I understand this isn’t easy for you. I know people will be judgmental. And I am sorry for that. I never wanted to hurt you or cause you pain. Honestly, you have to believe me. I tried to change, Mom, I really did. But this is who I am.” I pause for a moment. “Even if I moved back, and tried to date girls, I would be miserable. I would ruin my life and someone else’s life. Do you really want that? Is that fair to another girl, that I only marry her to appease you, even though I don’t love her? It’s not. And I’m not going to do that to anyone. It’s not right.”

My mom doesn’t say anything. She knows I am right. She just sighs. “I have to throw in the laundry.”

The laundry. Clearly that’s more important. She doesn’t know what to say. She’s backed into a corner and is looking to find a way to get out. “Fine. Do your laundry … whatever.”

I walk out of the kitchen before she can say anything else.

——— 

I spend the next day mostly with my siblings out of the house. I have a bunch of errands I need to run. There is a good chance I may never come back to this city again. Plus, I’m avoiding my mom. I don’t want to have part two of that conversation. But it’s one house and people talk. My brother and sister both asked her how our conversation went. All she would say is that they need to persuade me to come back home. So, it seems like she hasn’t changed her mind.

After dinner my brother-in-law and sister-in-law take all the children upstairs. My brother and sister asked them to give us some time to talk as a family. I told my siblings not to bother, but they won’t listen. They say they aren’t going to let the family split up. I have nothing to lose, I guess.

“Did you think about what Noah said last night?” my brother asks my mom.

“I did,” she says.

“And?” he asks her.

“My friend Linda has a really nice daughter, you’d —”

Surprisingly, my dad is the one to cut her off. “Enough! We’ve talked about that. He’s not going to marry a girl.”

“But if he tried —”

“I told you this is pointless,” I say.

My brother and sister both start arguing with our mom. It’s pretty much the same conversation we had last night. She basically just repeats herself.

“Look, Mom,” I say interrupting everyone. “I don’t want to argue with you. This is simple. I’m never going to leave Jordan, so there is no point in you trying to convince me otherwise. It’s already too late for that as it is. What I need to know from you is if I can count on you. Can you accept me for who I am? Can you open this house and welcome Jordan into it? I understand it will take time. I’m not asking you to change today, or tomorrow, or even next week. But eventually you will have to learn to accept me for who I am. You will need to accept you have a gay son. If you promise me that you will try, I will keep the doors of communication open, and I will try my best to make this easier for you. But if you tell me that you can’t accept me, not today, not tomorrow, not ever … then there is no point in any of this. Then I will walk out of this house tomorrow morning and I will never return, and the only person you have to blame for that is you.” She doesn’t say anything. No one says anything.

“If Noah leaves, I’m leaving too and never coming back,” my brother says.

“Same with me,” my sister adds in.

Both my parents look shocked. Dread overtakes them. It’s sweet of my siblings to say that, but it’s not right.

“No you won’t,” I say. “You’ll stay.”

“If there isn’t room for you in this house, there isn’t room for me or my family either,” my brother says.

“Look, I appreciate you saying that, but that’s not the answer. The kids deserve to know their grandparents. I don’t want to be the reason they grow up not knowing or spending time with them. Plus, Dad has done nothing wrong. He shouldn’t be punished. And I don’t want to force anyone into loving me. I don’t want Mom to say she will just because of you. I want her to do it because she wants to. You guys will stay.”

“The ball is in your court, Mom,” my sister says.

She doesn’t say anything.

“Look, I understand this is a lot to take in. But this is the reality. Either you accept me, or lose me forever. Think about it. You have until tomorrow morning to give me an answer. I leave the house at nine for the airport.”

I’m about to leave the room when my dad says something. “Wait. What did you mean when you said earlier its too late for you to leave Jordan? What have you done?”

I didn’t want to bring that up. The line just slipped out of my mouth. But I guess I have no choice now. This is going to be interesting.

——— Present Day: NoJo’s Apartment ———

I would love to say my mom came around the next day, but she didn’t. All she would say to my siblings was to give her time. Give her time for what, I don’t know.

“Can you pass those cups from over there?” I ask Jordan.

“Sure, here,” he says handing them over.

Cleaning up after you spent all day cleaning is so annoying. I wish people would throw their stupid napkins away at least! So gross.

“It was a good party,” I say to him.

“Yeah. It was a lot of fun.”

“Did you notice the flirtation going on?”

“Between whom?” he asks. I can see he is curious.

“You didn’t notice? It was so obvious!”

“Well, clearly I didn’t. Whom were you flirting with?” he jokes.

“Liam was flirting with Jenn. I think he likes her.”

“Oh, hmm.” He’s clearly thinking about something.

“What?”

“Nothing. My gaydar is really bad … but I kind of thought Liam was on our team.”

“Really? I don’t know. He could be. I never really paid close attention. But from what I could tell tonight, he was into Jenn.”

“You’re probably right. The two would actually make a good pair.”

“They would. He’s a really quirky guy, and that is saying a lot coming from me!

 

*** JORDAN ***

——— Present Day: NoJo’s Apartment ——

“Are you coming to bed?” I yell at Noah.

“In a minute,” he yells from the other room.

“We can finish cleaning tomorrow,” I say. It’s close to midnight, and I am exhausted. I was hoping for some loving tonight, but I have a feeling that isn’t going to happen. Poor, poor, pitiful me.

“I’m done, I’m done,” he says coming into the room. He plops down onto the bed beside me. “I’m beat.”

“It’s been a long day. Tonight was fun. I’m glad we had everyone over.”

“Yeah, it was nice. I’m just glad that were finally settled in.”

“We should celebrate,” I say as I extend my hand out to find his dick. I start to rub his crotch through his pyjamas. A guy has to try! Much to my surprise he doesn’t say anything. Instead he puts his hand on my dick too! I’m gonna score tonight! Yes!

My dream though is cut short when Evan decides to jump onto the bed and lie down right between us! AH! Silly dog!

“I guess you’re out of luck tonight,” Noah says to me.

“It’s okay, I have a lifetime to bug you.”

——— August 17th: Mont-Tremblant, Quebec ———

Tranquil, serene, peaceful. There is no one word that encapsulates how to describe the beauty radiating before us. The sunlight shimmers on the lake as the sun slowly sinks in between two lush mountains. The dying light unleashes streaks of pink and purple into the sky. They melt into the soft hues of blue. Below us, night is falling over the European-styled village in Mont-Tremblant. I couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop.

“You really know how to impress a guy,” Noah says to me. “This is just amazing.”

“I know. I brought you here because I have something I want to ask you,” I say to him. I didn’t think I would be this nervous.

“I think I know what you want to ask.”

He does? How could he know? I’ll humour him. “You do? Please share.”

“You were going to ask: voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?”

“I don’t need to ask you that, je sais que votre réponse est oui.” Noah doesn’t really speak much French, but he is trying to pick it up. He asked me if I wanted to sleep with him tonight. I responded I know his answer is yes. The only reason he knows that line is because of the famous song. I think it’s the only full sentence he knows! He has a long way to go.

Having no idea what I just said, Noah changes track. “So, what did you want to ask?”

“Let me show you something first.” I take out a picture and hand it to him.

“He’s cute. Who is he?”

“It’s a dog.”

“I know that. Whose dog is it?”

“He can be ours.”

“Ours? Is that what you’re so nervous about asking me, about getting a dog together?” He smiles.

“No, that’s not what I want to ask you at all.”

“Okay?” he says looking confused.

“Do you remember what I said to you on your birthday, when we were watching the sunrise on Mont-Royal in Montreal?”

“Uh, vaguely. I think you mentioned how it made you feel alive, or something like that.”

“I did. I also said that it gives you hope and optimism that the future will be just as bright and magnificent.”

Right. I remember you saying that.”

“The sunset is the opposite in many ways, the light is fading away. Darkness will soon surround us.”

“There are lights for that, Mr. Philosophical,” he says trying to make a joke. He is really confused. Good.

“There are, yes. But I don’t need a light. All I need is you to brighten up my life. I want our future to be bright and magnificent. I want it to be full of optimism, hope, and above all, happiness and love. And there’s only one way I see that happening … with you by my side.”

He smiles. I can see the wheels are starting to turn in his head. I know he thinks he knows where I’m going with this. He’s wrong. “I’m not planning on going anywhere. If this is about me seeing my mom next week and leaving you again, don’t worry, that’s not going to happen.”

I smile. “I know, and that’s not what this is about. I trust you, and I know you’re not going anywhere.” I pause. “I love you, Noah. I want you by my side when we’re at school, when we graduate, when we travel the world, when we grow old together. I want you there for everything. The good and the bad. I want the world to know we’re one, and I can’t think of a better way. I know this is a big step for us, and that we’re still really young, but I’ve never been this sure of anything in my life. I’m not trying to pressure you; you can say no and that’s fine, I won’t get angry or be upset. I’ll love you regardless of whatever you say.” Though I hope he says yes! Okay. This is it. I take his hand in mine. “That leads me to my real question. Noah Quinn Watson, will you marry me?”

His eyes go wide. His mouth opens, but no words come out. It takes a few seconds, but his lips start to curl. “Are you sure?”

Absolutely. I’ve never been this sure about anything in my entire life,” I respond. “I want to marry you!”

He still hasn’t said yes! Come on man, what are you waiting for? You’re killing me here!

“Yes!” he finally screams.

“Yes, what?” I say to bug him.

“Yes, Jordan Young, yes, I will marry you.”

——— Present Day: NoJo’s Apartment ———

I smile at Noah as he gently pets Evan. I’m glad we got him. I didn’t want to get engagement rings because I didn’t want to be traditional. Noah and I are far from traditional. We may get rings one day, maybe when we marry. But we can worry about that later. We talked about it, and we both feel that we should wait. We’re not in any rush. Don’t get me wrong, I would marry Noah tomorrow, I have no doubts about him, but I think we both feel we should build up our lives together. We should finish school, save up, buy a place, travel, and then when we have the money, go off to an exotic location and get hitched.

Noah rolls off the bed and grabs something from the table. “Here, boy, look what I have. I got you a present,” he says showing Evan a new bone. “Who’s a good boy? Come, come here.” He takes him out of the room and puts the bone somewhere. “That’s a good boy. I’ll come back for you in a bit.”

“The dog gets a gift, but not me, I see how it is,” I say as Noah closes the door behind him.

“Don’t be jealous. I didn’t forget about you. Your gift is right here,” he says as he loses his shirt, pyjamas, and underwear. Clothes are so overrated.

I like my present way better. Noah climbs back into bed, bringing his face to mine. As he leans in to kiss me, I wrap my arms around him, pressing his body against mine. With one swift motion, I flip him onto his back and roll on top of him. I’m still much stronger than he is. My lips are back on his almost instantly. I spend the next few minutes worshipping his body and feeling every inch of his soft skin with my tongue and hands. Even after all these months, tasting his skin excites me. Eventually I make my way down to my prize - his beautiful dick. I start at the bottom, moving my tongue up until I reach the top. I’m greeted by a pool of precum. Salty, like usual. I envelop his dick with my mouth, taking it all in. I’ve become good at this. No more gagging or using teeth like the first time. Noah moans my name softly. There is no better sound.

When I break it off Noah thinks it is his turn to have his fun with me. But not yet. Instead I reach into the nightstand and grab a bottle of lube. I spread some over his dick and my hole. Noah just looks at me a bit surprised. I’m not on the receiving end that much, but the way he is looking at me its like this is the first time. It’s not because I don’t like to, I do. I love having Noah inside me. But it’s usually because Noah loves it when I fuck him even more. The compromises we make for love, right?

I place one hand behind me on the bed, while with the other I position his dick again my hole. I slowly lower my body onto his erect penis. It pushes in, returning to a familiar place. I throw my head back and bite my lower lip as I start to pick up pace. I bring my body up, and eagerly back down, letting his manhood fill me. I’m going to ride this dick all night long! Soon Noah starts to thrust upwards as well, hitting me deep inside.

“Oh fuck!” I say as his dick sends waves of pleasure through my body.

When my legs get tired I flip onto my back and bring my legs up to my chest. Noah is there guiding his cock back into me. Now that he is in control he is going faster, and harder. He knows just how I like it. Our eyes lock as he makes love to me. Each thrust makes me moan. Each thrust makes my toes curl. Each thrust makes me want him even more.

Have your fun Noah. My turn is next.

——— 

I know it’s a bit creepy but I can’t help it. I watch Noah as he sleeps beside me, his head resting on his arm. A few strands of hair have fallen across his forehead. He’s been growing his hair these past few weeks. I like it. It’s different for him. His bare chest slowly moves up and down. He looks so peaceful.

This is the man I am going to wake up beside every single day. The only man I will ever share a bed with. The only man I will ever sleep with. I know the old Jordan would have freaked out by that thought. Commitment is a scary word. But, the present Jordan, the man I have become, he’s not afraid to commit. Not even remotely. I’m excited. I’m excited to wake up next to him every day, excited to have him in my bed. Excited to have someone to love. I’m just sometimes afraid I won’t live up to his expectation, or be the man he deserves.

It’s crazy how much your life can change in just one year. If someone had told me at this time last year that in a few months I would be lying in bed next to my fiancé, I would have thought they were on crack. Yet, here I am. I remember this time last year, school was just about to begin. I had come back to university after spending part of the summer with my dad. I was settling into my small dorm room and was still dating Kate. Fast forward one year: my dad is gone, Kate, and all the other girls, are no longer in the picture, and neither is that dorm room. It feels like I’ve done a 180-degree turn. While there have been many bumps along the way, I couldn’t be happier.

I often think back to that night in the gym; the night I saw Noah sitting on the bleachers. The night my world changed. I remember how scared I was. Scared that I had lost him, that I would never see him again. I also remember kissing him for the first time. How it felt when our lips finally met. It felt right. It felt like that is where I was supposed to be. That was the biggest risk I ever took in my life. It changed everything. Not all risks are worth taking. Some can lead you down dark and dangerous paths. But not that one. That one was the best decision I’ve ever made. Sometimes taking the uncharted road can lead to the best outcome. Kissing Noah led me down a path of self-awareness. I’ve learned more about myself in these past few months than I have in the past few years. I’ve matured. I’ve grown. I’ve learned that love knows no limits, no gender or form. It can present itself in any shape, or manifest itself in any person, male or female. We just have to be brave enough to embrace it when we see it.

It’s been a long journey for the two of us. We’ve had our ups and down, our good and bad moments. But it’s been worth it. I wouldn’t change anything. The obstacles we faced made us who we are today. They made us stronger. I would do it all again in a heartbeat. This was the right choice. This is the right path. It led us to where we belong.

Noah and I are finally home.

 😃😏🙃😐😕🤨🤔🤪

These emojis basically sum up all of the emotions I'm feeling at the moment -- as I post the last major chapter of this story.

It's almost all over! Just the Epilogue to go!
This chapter covered A LOT of ground (sorry it was so long - and that it jumped a bit - I hope I didn't confuse anyone).
So, please let me know what you think. Leave a comment below!

 

Also -- a few questions.
1. There are some loose ends I'll tie up in the Epilogue (Jordan's middle name, his team's reaction), etc. Anything else you think I've missed? Anything you want to know?
2. At the end of this chapter I leave it vague if Noah's mom calls him. I know which way I think I should go in the Epilogue. But I want to hear from you guys. Should Noah's mom call him and accept him, or not? There is the happy ending option, of course, but I want to know what FEELS right to you, given all we know about his mom.

Copyright © 2018 Ethan; All Rights Reserved.
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I feel Noah’s mom should, it’s already been some time since he came out to her. I feel if she truly loves her son, she should. I love how Jordan is ready to spend his life with Noah. It honestly made me cry when he proposed. Their love has grown strong now even through all the obstacles they went through to get there. 

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I really like the whole story and i would like to read more about it. i want to read more about noah's mom and how she'll react to the fact that the two are getting married. I think you should at least write something abaut that. Maybe one or two chapters about Noah's mom and the wedding. I also really wanna know what his father really thinks about Noah and Jordan. But to say it at all: Really really great story. Sry for my bad english btw..:D 

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1 hour ago, everett Weedin jr said:

And if there is room for some subplots' likely future to be included in the Epilogue, I make a plea for Adrien's to be one of them..  He is a wholly admirable character in his friendship for Jordan and his ready and warm acceptance of Noah as his own friend.  You have him even play a thoughtful and caring role in NoJo's reconciliation.  Yay, Adrien!

Aiden will indeed return. His twin brother Adrien though, I don't know ... 🤨

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41 minutes ago, TimmY92 said:

I really like the whole story and i would like to read more about it. i want to read more about noah's mom and how she'll react to the fact that the two are getting married. I think you should at least write something abaut that. Maybe one or two chapters about Noah's mom and the wedding. I also really wanna know what his father really thinks about Noah and Jordan. But to say it at all: Really really great story. Sry for my bad english btw..:D 

 

Thank you! Some of your questions will be answered in the Epilogue. Though, the next chapter will indeed be the last. I feel like the story has run its course. And it's been a good ride. Your English is absolutely fine, no need to apologize. 🙂

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While both Noah and Jordan went through major changes in this story, Noah’s was the most transformative.  He went through a painful chrysalis, one he had to to become the best man he could be and he has truly lived up to that potential.

Along the way, he got support he didn’t even know he would have;  His siblings and father surprised him by showing they loved him, not who they thought he should be.  

Mommy Dearest proved true to form in the way she’s been portrayed in the story.  She has been controlling and judgmental.  I want to believe she would accept Noah in the end but I feel at best, she would tolerate him only to not lose the rest of her family.  The impression I get of her is that she is too close minded and dictated by her religion and society to truly accept Noah.  I do not see a true reconciliation between them at first.  It is possible that exposure to Noah would show her he is still the loving, dutiful son she raised and might “love the sinner and not the sin” but idk;  I’ll be interested to see which way you let that wind blow, Ethan.

I enjoyed reading about the journey these two have taken to their HEA and I’ll be sorry for it to end but you’ve left them at a good place;  The only thing you need to fix is Aiden and Jenn getting together.  😉

 

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Yeah that was worth to be mentioned Aiden! "The" best friend evet has to brought back and have a happy ending. He really is the best. 

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2 hours ago, FanLit said:

 I’ll be interested to see which way you let that wind blow, Ethan.

I enjoyed reading about the journey these two have taken to their HEA and I’ll be sorry for it to end but you’ve left them at a good place;  The only thing you need to fix is Aiden and Jenn getting together.  😉

 

 

I'm interested too! Ha. I've partially written both. I thought I knew which one I was going to pick -- now I'm not as sure.

There are pros and cons on each side. So, we will all find out in a few days. 

 

Don't worry, Aiden and Jenn will both find a satisfying conclusion. 😏 

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A very, very lovely chapter. I’d have been shocked if Noah said ‘no.’ This is the first time we learn where the boys come from. Noah is a long way from home to go to university. And this is the first time the French language truly makes an important appearance. Interesting. 

 

Since you asked:

 

To my mind, Noah’s mom is going to need much more development and evolution before real acceptance. Of course, she could have some kind of epiphany, some kind of amazing road-to-Damascus experience, but I’m not very sanguine about that. Any change in her position I’d likely to be incremental at best. 

 

As for loose ends, every story has them. It’s okay to let us imagine our own resolutions to minor bits and pieces, if you like. 

 

Thank you for a wonderful story. 

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Wonderful chapter. Smart, well written, good dialogue. FWIW, I think having Noah's mother come around would be the easy way out. Think how interesting a story line would be if they had to navigate family relationships and interactions with mom staying true to her convictions. Not easy but certainly rich.

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I'm surprised Noah's parents are still living in Vancouver, what I consider a gay friendly city.

 

I've forgotten, where does Jordan's mom live and where do Noah and Jordan go to school?

 

Quote

Also -- a few questions. 
1. There are some loose ends I'll tie up in the Epilogue (Jordan's middle name, his team's reaction), etc. Anything else you think I've missed? Anything you want to know? 

 

Haha, I was going to ask about this when Jordan proposed. Jordan said Noah's middle name, but Noah didn't say Jordan's even though he knows Jordan's full name.

 

27 minutes ago, Parker Owens said:

This is the first time we learn where the boys come from. Noah is a long way from home to go to university.

 

I think Ethan mentioned where they came from, but I think it might have been in the comments and not in the story (but I may be wrong and missed it)

Edited by Geoffrey257
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@Geoffrey257 I did mention it in the comments, but this is the first time I mention it in the actual story. 

Noah is from Vancouver, Jordan is from Montreal, and Jenn is from Halifax. Where they go to school I have not mentioned in this story yet. That I'll say in the Epilogue.  😎

 

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Lovely,

I know it is hard for Noah's mom to accept but truly hope her love for Noah wins over all the belief that she has been raised up with

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3 hours ago, Geoffrey257 said:

I'm surprised Noah's parents are still living in Vancouver, what I consider a gay friendly city.

 

Depends on what you call "Vancouver". The West End is (obviously) very gay friendly, but go up the valley a bit to say, Port Coquitlam or Pitt Medows and the culture changes drastically.

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2 hours ago, Ethan said:

@Geoffrey257

Noah is from Vancouver, Jordan is from Montreal, and Jenn is from Halifax. Where they go to school I have not mentioned in this story yet. That I'll say in the Epilogue.  😎

 

My guess is Toronto.

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I'd be seriously surprised if Noah's mother came to accept him and Jordan; accepting Noah is remote, but for her to extend any welcome to Jordan is just out of the question.  It boils down to religious intolerance so ingrained as to be irrevocable, and the fear of what her 'friends' will say.  I'm surprised Noah's father is allowed to differ with her as she seems to thoroughly dominate her family.  From personal experience of my father's reaction to my sexuality--and it wasn't religious so far as I know because he never said anything beyond not accepting me--once he found out, he never spoke to me until he died thirteen years later. 

 

Aidan...well, I'd like to see him marry Jenn, but if Liam's the end result, that would be okay too.  Perhaps Aidan will find a nice Aussie to settle down with?

 

For any more, I'd love to see a sequel that might cover them establishing a home and careers, perhaps having children...maybe Jenn would be a surrogate?  I'd believe she'd go for that when the time came, and if she marries the right guy, he might agree if it's via artificial insemination...  So often the option is to adopt a child, but the way you've set these characters up, I think the usual method is what would feel right.  Seeing Jenn as a mom would be a whole drama in itself because there's no way she'd not be part of the child's life.  :)

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Perfect.

 

As to Vancouver Mom, I get the feeling she'll compromise, but no further than that.  Their relationship will never be as warm again as it was or should be.  Which is a pretty awful thing, when you think about it.

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7 hours ago, Ethan said:

@Geoffrey257 I did mention it in the comments, but this is the first time I mention it in the actual story. 

Noah is from Vancouver, Jordan is from Montreal, and Jenn is from Halifax. Where they go to school I have not mentioned in this story yet. That I'll say in the Epilogue.  😎

 

 

Why didn't Jordan go to Mcgill? It's so much cheaper there.

 

4 hours ago, jagboi said:

Depends on what you call "Vancouver". The West End is (obviously) very gay friendly, but go up the valley a bit to say, Port Coquitlam or Pitt Medows and the culture changes drastically.

 

Hmm, that's true.

 

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4 hours ago, Geoffrey257 said:

 

Why didn't Jordan go to Mcgill? It's so much cheaper there.

 

 

Hmm, that's true.

 

 

4 hours ago, Geoffrey257 said:

 

Why didn't Jordan go to Mcgill? It's so much cheaper there.

 

 

Hmm, that's true.

 

Since they are all over Canada, my bet is that they go to school in Toronto.

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I'm not at all into forgiveness. Noah should maintain a very distant 'handshake' relationship with his mother.

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