Well, this chapter came in rather quickly! Honestly, this chapter (and the next) is the part of the story that I have had in my mind since the beginning. It's like I knew what I had planned to happen, I just needed to figure out how to get there.
I'm just so happy to finally get Greyson and Rafe back together for that make-up kiss! And yes--we finally get to THE talk between Greyson and his mother! Might be bit of a surprise there, too!
GOODNIGHT & GODSPEED
Going Home, Finding Home
The first call from Greyson Myers surprised the fuck out of me, to be honest. To some degree, he has been somewhere in my mind nearly every day since I fucked up royally and kissed him. I felt like a teenager, what with the way my heart was almost pounding out of my chest. I mean, fuck! Greyson Myers called and wanted to talk to me—to me!
I know I shouldn’t be getting my hopes up, but the rejected sixteen-year-old inside of me finally found a glimmer of hope—hope that Greyson had finally accepted what I had been pretty sure of all the way back then. My former best friend—and still the love of my life—tells me he’s gay and wants a redo on that fateful kiss.
I had to stroke off twice before I could calm down enough to even think about going to sleep—which totally sucked because Tuesday was a two-show day. I was running the matinee, too.
I was walking to the theatre for the matinee and stopped at my favorite coffee shop for my morning medicine. That’s when I saw it—that fucking gossip rag with Grey’s face stuck to another man’s. I leaned in closer for a better look since the picture was a little fuzzy. Yes, that was Grey, alright—and fuck! Could that other dude be any hotter? Oh well, I don’t stand a chance now.
With the time difference between New York and Hawaii, I’m pretty sure Grey had no idea about the latest headlines. I decided to wait until I got home to call him.
I didn’t have to wait. I was walking home when my phone buzzed with a call from Grey.
“Hi, G. Everything okay with you?”
“Yes? No? I don’t have a fucking clue?”
“I get it. I saw the Buzz cover. Fucking Pete Sanchez—someday Kharma's going to bite that fucker in the ass and never let go.”
“Too light of a sentence if you ask me. But hey—I don’t have a lot of time. I’m about to hop on a plane. I ended my retreat early and am on my way home. I’ll be there tomorrow afternoon at uhmmm—here it is—3:37. I’d like to call you when I get home if that’s okay.
“Of course, G. You can call me anytime you want. You don’t have to ask permission. Any special reason you’re coming home early?”
“Yeah. I’m going on the air tomorrow night and tell the world I like dick now. Peter Sanchez does not get to out me on his terms. Well—that’s not exactly true. He told me that if I didn’t announce to my viewers that I was gay, he was going to publish his story in next week’s issue.”
“Exactly. So—I get to talk to Mom before I go on air. Not looking forward to that, but she has to hear from me—face-to-face—before I tell the world. And then—because that’s just not enough excitement in my life—I’m going to fire my manager.”
“Wow. I have to say, though—for a man who’s world has been set on its end, you seem pretty calm and collected.”
“I know, right?! It kind of surprises me, too. I mean, who the fuck am I? I’m supposed to be all stressed out over this bullshit.”
“Maybe because it’s all bullshit, and once you get rid of it—the important things are there for you—you know—things like your family, your career, your long-lost best friend who is so fucking happy to be talking to you again—”
“You are such a goofball—always have been. Look, as much as I would like to talk with you for the next hour, I need to make another call or two before I get on the plane. Now that I don’t have management, I get to take care of all this myself—but I get to take care of it MY way!”
“Okay, G. Take care—and if there’s anything you find you need, please call me—anytime. Okay?”
“You got it. Thanks!”
Well, fuck! Note to self: Don’t talk to Greyson Myers while walking home from the theatre. I’ve now walked three blocks past my building.
I got home, and my mind was going crazy. If Grey was letting his manager go, then there wasn’t going to be anyone to help him get through all of the bullshit. I’m thinking that the fucking paparazzi were swarming the entrance to his building.
Wait a minute. I’m 99% sure one of the people in the cast has talked about how she sees him all the time in her neighborhood. I called Janine to see if I could get any information.
“Hey, Janine—sorry to call so late, but I need some help.”
“No problem, Rafe. I was just chillin’ with some Netflix—alone. What’s up?”
“I’m pretty sure this is a long-shot, but didn’t you mention that you see Greyson Myers around your neighborhood a lot?”
“Yeah, he lives down the block from me.”
“Have you noticed anything unusual around his building?”
“Besides the twenty or so dudes with cameras? It’s just a typical day in the neighborhood.”
“Fuck. Okay—that’s really all I needed to know. Thanks for your help.”
“No worries, hon. I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“No—I think I’m going to have to take a personal day tomorrow. Too much shit coming down the pike.”
“Okay, then. Well—I hope everything works out.”
“Me too, Janine. Me too.”
I tried calling Grey to let him know that he might not want to go to his place when he got home, but the call went directly to voicemail. He was probably already on the plane.
I called the lead stage manager next. I told her that I had a family emergency come up and needed to take a personal day tomorrow. She was super chill about it—probably because in two years, I’ve never called out for a show.
The next step was to find out which flight from Honolulu Grey would be coming in on. As luck would have it, I decided to check with Laguardia first. There were only three flights from Honolulu tomorrow afternoon and only one—American—scheduled to arrive at 3:37. I’ll be there so he won’t end up going to Brooklyn. Grey doesn’t need to deal with all that bullshit.
I decided that I would help Grey get through the next couple of days. No one should have to deal with all the crap on their own, right?
For the second straight night, I had trouble sleeping. I was just so fucking excited that I was finally going to see Grey tomorrow afternoon!
I woke up the next morning and began to clean the shit out of my apartment. I changed the sheets on my bed and put a fresh set on the sleeper-sofa in the living room. Grey would be staying with me for the next night or two. We would figure out the sleeping arrangements later—although I was hoping…”
At 1:00, the apartment was clean. I had showered, spent way too much time on my hair, and then called for an Uber to take me to Laguardia. God, I hate Queens—just sayin’.
As he was dropping me off at the terminal, my driver said that I didn’t have to call for a car when I was ready to leave. There was an Uber lot on the second level of the Terminal B garage. They had a special pick-up zone for Uber X, so we wouldn’t have to wait long at all.
I got into the terminal and made my way to the baggage claim. I only had to wait around twenty minutes before I saw that Grey’s flight had arrived. I made my way over to the escalator and waited. He was one of the first off the plane.
Nope. I can’t shout out his name. That would cause way too much attention. Well, there’s only one option. “Gary! Gary Mackolvich!”
Ha! Grey turned to me and smiled. I had my own shit-eating grin plastered on my face.
Once he stepped off the escalator, I ran to Grey and wrapped my arms around him. “I got you, Grey. My car is outside. Let’s get your bags and get the fuck outta here before anyone discovers you’re here.”
“Oh my god! I can’t believe I’m holding on to you, Rafe! I want to kiss you right here, but—”
“Oh, hell-the-fuck-no! We are not having our make-up kiss in the middle of fucking Queens! Even I have standards.”
I gave Grey one more squeeze, and we made our way to the baggage claim. It took about thirty minutes before the bags finally started coming down the chute. God, I hate this airport! Probably because it’s in Queens.
We finally made it to the Uber lot and got into the next car. Grey gave them his address in Brooklyn.
“No, we’re going to my place. One of the cast members lives on your block and said that the paps were all over your place. You don’t need that bullshit right now. You’re coming to my house so you can get ready for your newscast. I’m going to be with you tonight. I got myself covered for the show.”
I held Grey’s hand while I was telling him about our plans. He didn’t seem to mind that I was handling all the details for him. Hey—it’s the stage manager in me. We take care of all the bullshit and situations that come up on a daily basis. Handling Grey’s stuff was totally in my wheelhouse.
When I told him that I would be with him tonight, he seemed to relax a bit. For whatever reason he’s firing his manager, the main thing is that we find him another manager as soon as possible.
Grey told me that he had so much to say, but I told him we needed to wait until we got home. The last thing we needed was the Uber driver—yet another stranger—blab to the press whatever he heard from his back seat.
For some reason, Grey smiled and looked straight ahead. Only I noticed a single tear sliding down his face. I took my thumb and wiped it away before I leaned into his ear and whispered, “If that was a sad tear, I should let you know that I intend to make sure it’s the last sad tear you shed for a long, long time. If that’s a happy tear, then I guess I need to get ready for a lot more of those because I promise to make sure that this new Greyson Myers is the fucking happiest Greyson Myers the world has ever seen.”
Oh. My. Fucking. God. Greyson Myers placed his hands on either side of my face and pulled me in for a kiss that I will not forget for the rest of my life. I could feel a whimper rising out of my chest, but I had to stop the kiss before things went too far.
I leaned into Grey’s ear and whispered, “Nice job on waiting, newsboy. We’ll finish that kiss when we get home.”
Hey! Mr. Uber driver! Hurry the fuck up! I have a kiss to get back to!
We finally made it to the apartment. After unloading Grey’s bags from the trunk, we climbed the stairs to my second-floor walk-up and made it inside. Without saying a word, Grey dropped his bags, pushed me against the closed door, and finished that kiss!
Wow! Just wow! This time, I let that whimper escape—which only led to more whimpers that sounded like heaven with Grey’s moans. Now, I’ve kissed a lot of boys in my life—but there had never been a kiss that came anywhere close to this one!
Grey was the one to break the kiss. “Jesus, Rafe. You have got to be one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever laid eyes on—not that I have a lot of experience laying eyes on other men—but, damn!”
“Hey—I saw the picture from Hawaii. That dude was pretty amazing. I can’t even begin to compete with that.”
“Yeah, Lucas was pretty awesome. But—I don’t know—there’s no competition. Kissing you just now—I’ve never felt anything like that in my entire life.”
He kissed me again. It wasn’t quite as intense, but it was still one of the best kisses I’ve ever had.
“Look. If we don’t stop, I’m going to want to convince you to get into my bed—and then we would never make it to the studio. You have a big night ahead of you, Grey. You should start getting ready.”
“You’re right. But—when this is all done tonight—do you think you might want to try to convince me when we get back?”
“Anything you want, Grey—anything. I told you I’m here for you, didn’t I?”
“Yeah. Hey—I wrote my statement while I was flying home. Would you mind looking at it and letting me know what you think?”
“Of course. I would be honored.”
Grey pulled out his laptop and fired it up. “Is it okay if I take a shower? I’ll leave you alone to read it while I’m in the bathroom.”
“Yeah, sure. Let me get you a towel.”
Grey opened his suitcase and pulled out a small bag of toiletries. I grabbed a towel and showed him where everything was.
I returned to the living room and started reading. Jesus! Greyson Myers is a brilliant writer! His words brought tears to my eyes. He wrote with such honesty—so much clarity. I particularly loved the part about the press and Peter Sanchez.
When Grey walked out of the bathroom—wrapped only in a towel—I’m pretty sure I gasped out loud. This man is a walking god—in my fucking living room!
“What do you think?”
“Beautiful—fucking. Beautiful. I—I’m talking about your statement. I wouldn’t change a word.”
Did that make Grey blush? Whoa. My stupidity made me blush. So I changed the subject and asked him what the plan was.
He told me we needed to leave for the studio as soon as possible. He called for a driver and gave the address. They would be here in about fifteen minutes, so Grey went into the bedroom and got dressed.
He came out wearing jeans and a polo shirt. I looked at him funny, and he told me that his suits were in his office. He then told me that his mother was going to be there. He wanted to talk to her about everything before he went on air.
Okay, now I was getting nervous. I haven’t seen Judy Mackolvich in sixteen years. She always scared the hell out of me. While Grey and I had so much in common while growing up, our Jewish mothers were not one of those things. My mom was super-chill and progressive. Grey’s mother always seemed to be keyed up and tense. I remember Grey saying that she was always concerned about what others would think. This could be ugly.
Oh well, I promised Grey I would be there for him. He must have seen the look of concern on my face when he said, “Don’t worry. I don’t think my mother is going to make a scene at the studio. There might be hell to pay later, but she should be okay while we’re there.”
“Yeah. I don’t think Judy would like to give a poor impression of herself to the people you work with.”
“Exactly. Let’s head downstairs. The car should be here any minute.”
Sure enough, as soon as we walked out the door, Grey’s car pulled up. When we got to the studio, paps were surrounding the main entrance. It didn’t matter—the driver went around the corner and drove into a garage. He took us to the lower level and dropped us off at a secure entrance. Nice!
We went up to the main lobby, and Grey signed me in. He left his mother’s name at the front desk and told them to send her up to his dressing room when she arrived.
When Grey walked into the newsroom, he was greeted with applause and a standing ovation from everyone in their cubicles. Grey raised his hands to quiet the group.
“Folks—thanks for your support. It means more to me than you’ll ever know. Bob told me that he was going to fill you in on what was going to happen tonight. It’s a strangely bizarre world we live in these days—a world where celebrity and journalism cross over into each other’s realms.
“I apologize for the distraction this mess has caused you. But if all goes well, we should be back to doing our regular—and excellent—work in the next day or so. I’ve sent my statement to Bob, and he assures me that he will share it with the entire team tomorrow morning. Thanks again, guys—you all rock my world.”
Grey led me through the newsroom and down a hall. We went into his office-slash-dressing room and shut the door.
“Jesus, Grey—when did you become so great with words? Did you have that speech memorized or something?”
“No. It’s funny. I’ve never made a statement like that before. Beverly always did that sort of thing. Today—I just spoke from my heart. I told my truth. It feels fucking amazing, too!”
I walked over to Grey and wrapped my arms around him. I kissed him on the cheek and said to him, “You fucking blow me away, Gary Macholvich. Fucking. Blow. Me. Away.”
Our intimate moment was interrupted by a knock on the door. It was wardrobe—bringing a beautiful suit for Grey to wear on camera. He hugged her, thanked her, and told her she could send in make-up.
He told me to have a seat and relax as he pulled the dress shirt off the hanger. He took off the polo and put on the dress shirt before sitting in the make-up chair. A few seconds later, there was a light tap on the door. A cute young man came in and set his case on the table in front of Grey. His name was Justin. He was almost in tears as he told Grey how proud he was to be a part of this night.
“We need more people like you, Grey. Whenever someone famous comes out, it makes the world a little better for the rest of us. Someday—maybe in my lifetime—maybe not—but someday there will be a time when nobody needs to come out. They will just be who the fuck they are, and nobody else will give a shit.”
“Wow, Justin. That was actually kind of beautiful. Do you mind if I share that tonight?”
“You might want to drop the shits and the f-bombs. It’ll be better for your image.”
“Fuck the image, Justin. You’re looking at the new Greyson Myers. Oh! I should introduce you—this is my oldest and dearest friend, Rafe Milner. He’s an assistant stage manager for Hamilton. Rafe—Justin—Justin—Rafe.”
“It’s so nice to meet you, Rafe. How long have you two known each other?”
“We met in the sixth grade—middle school. We uhm—drifted apart our sophomore year, but have just found each other again.”
“Sounds like there’s some time to make up, then.”
I looked over toward Grey and caught his eye in the lighted mirror. “Yes, Justin. Greyson and I have a lot of catching up to do.”
As Justin was finishing with Greyson, there was another knock at the door.
And there she was—Judy Macholvich.
“Mother. Thank you for coming.”
“Thank you for having me. I didn’t realize you had company. Should I wait outside?”
“No, Mom. Do you remember Rafe?”
“Rafe Miller? Is this really you?” I stood and met Mrs. M in the middle of the room. She gave me a light hug and kissed me on the cheek. “The years have been good to you, Rafe—very good. How are your mother and father?”
“Mom is great—Dad’s no longer in the picture. They divorced about ten years ago, and Dad lives in Atlanta now.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that, dear. Please give my best to your mother. I haven’t seen her in temple in such a long time.”
“She doesn’t go anymore, but I’ll tell her you said hello.”
“Now—Greyson—you said you wanted to talk. Do you want to do that with Rafe here?”
“Most definitely, Mother. He’s a huge part of this.”
“And just what is the ‘this’ you speak of?”
“Rafe. Mom. Have a seat, please.”
Mrs. M. and I sat on the sofa while Grey pulled his desk chair in front of us. He took a deep breath and sat.
“Rafe—I would like to start at the beginning of this journey. Would you like to tell Mom what happened sixteen years ago?”
“Sure. I don’t mind.” I turned to Mrs. M. and smiled. “I don’t know if you remember the weekend Greyson—or Gary back then—took me to your cabin for my sixteenth birthday.”
“Yes, I remember. Something happened, and we never saw you again.”
“That’s right. You see—that first night, I kissed Gary and told him that I was in love with him. I had been in love with your son since I realized two people could share those feelings. Well, that turned out to be the dumbest thing I have ever done in my life.”
“It wasn’t dumb, Rafe. But—I broke off the kiss and told my best friend that I wasn’t gay. I hurt him so much. We hardly spoke the rest of the weekend—and came back a day early.”
“I never tried to talk to your son because I was so ashamed of what I had done. I insisted that Mom and Dad put me in a different school. We drifted so far apart.”
“And I never tried to talk to Rafe because I was scared. I was so scared, Mom.”
“How on earth could you be scared of this lovely boy? I don’t understand.”
“Mom—I was scared because I really liked the kiss. I wanted more. I was in love with Rafe, too. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t let myself be gay.”
“Mom, your oldest son—my brother—drove you crazy with his antics. You were always embarrassed by the crap he pulled. You were mortified every time one of the women at the temple would say something about his stuff. The last thing you needed was to deal with your other son being gay. So I buried those feelings. I decided then and there that you were never going to be embarrassed by me.”
“Greyson. What—I don’t—are you telling me you’ve lived a lie for the past sixteen years to protect me? How could you do that to Rafe? To Elizabeth—to yourself?”
“Can you honestly tell me you wouldn’t have been mortified to have a gay son?”
“Greyson. Sam is my first-born son. He might make me crazy at times—okay, a lot of the time—but he’s my boy. There’s absolutely nothing he could do that would make me love him less.”
“But all of your friends at temple would say things, and it would upset you.”
“I was never upset because of what they would say—and I have never considered those old biddies my friends. Did you ever see any of them in our home? Of course not—because those women were not my friends. They are nothing but judgemental, gossiping bitches. Yes, they would anger me. But I was angry because of what they were doing—not because of what they were saying.”
“Wow—Mom, I never knew.”
“Mrs. M. May I say something?”
“Yes, Rafe. And please—call me Judy. We’re all adults here.”
“Okay. I just wanted to say those women are the main reason my mother stopped going to temple.”
“I can’t say that I blame her. I would have stopped going years ago, but—before he died—I promised my husband that I would keep going. I’m sorry, Greyson. We got off-track. Did you have more to tell me?”
“Yes, actually. I never told you that it was Beverly, my manager, who insisted that Elizabeth and I got married. She said it would be the spark that would set off our careers. 90% of the stories you would read about the two of us were set up by Beverly. Now—you should know that Elizabeth and I have always loved each other—we were just never in love with each other. Don’t worry—I’ve had this conversation with her already. We’re both in good places and still love each other. And she’s very happy now. That makes me happy.”
“Beverly—I never liked that woman. I always felt she was guiding your careers for her benefit—never for yours.”
“I couldn’t agree more, Mom. That’s why I’m letting her go tomorrow. But I do have to say the best thing she ever did was book me on the retreat to Hawaii. It changed my life—it changed my life forever.”
“It made me realize that I need to stop living my life to make everyone around me happy. I get to live my life—and make my choices—so I’m happy for a change. The retreat also made me realize that it was never too late to fix the stupid mistakes you’ve made in your life. The first person I called was Rafe. Like he said when he called me back—‘it took you long enough!’
“I called Elizabeth and apologized to her for seven years of a sham marriage. It was so nice to let down all my defenses and talk with Elizabeth the way we used to talk so long ago.”
“Why didn’t you call me?”
“Because this is the talk I need to have with you. It had to be face-to-face.”
“And that young man you were photographed kissing? How does he fit into all of this?”
“The first thing we did on the very first day was to get a partner for the retreat. Lucas was an amazing partner. He helped me through all of my questioning. He showed me what was possible. And I helped him just as much with his issues.
“You see, on that particular day, Lucas had an extremely emotional and challenging session with the leader of the retreat. He had so many breakthroughs. After dinner, we decided that we needed a walk on the beach. When we got to the edge of the lagoon, he had another emotional episode. I helped him through the ordeal, and when things were calm again—I kissed him. But the paparazzi were the last thing on my mind. No one knew we were there. I didn’t even tell you all the details of my trip, if you remember.”
“Is this Lucas your boyfriend now?”
“No. I will always love Lucas for everything he has done for me. Lucas will always love me for helping him see things. But we aren’t in love with each other. And yes—Mom, I’m gay. I’m good with that. For the first time in my life, I’m comfortable in my own skin.”
“You know, Greyson—before your father died, we had a lot of conversations. A lot of them were about our children. He told me back then he thought there might be a chance you would be gay. He made me promise that I would love you regardless of who you loved. And, just so you know, that was the easiest promise I gave your father—and there were a lot of them.”
There was another knock on the door. The voice on the other side said, “Places in ten, Greyson.”
He called out, “Thank you, ten.”
“I love you, Mom. I’m so ashamed that I have misjudged you all these years. I can’t believe how much I have fucked up over the last sixteen years.”
“I’m still your mother, Greyson—watch your mouth.”
“Let me wrap this up while I finish dressing.” Greyson put on his tie and then his jacket while he kept talking. “The reason I’m making a statement tonight is that I want the public to know the real Greyson Myers—and I want them to know on my terms. Pete Sanchez—the man who wrote yesterday’s article—is planning to out me in next week’s issue. Most likely, his story is filled with lies and assumptions. Tonight—everything changes for Greyson Myers—and the story planned for next week will be killed.”
“Peter Sanchez is a total asshole. He’s even worse than the temple biddies.”
I don’t know why, but that struck me as one of the funniest things I’ve heard in a long, long time. I just started laughing out loud. “God! I’ve so missed this family!”
“Then, don’t wait sixteen years to talk to my son again.”
“I promise that’s not going to happen, Mom. I’m never letting Rafe go again.”
“Time to go, Greyson. You’re on in five.”
“Thank you, five!”
“Let’s go then!”
Greyson walked to the door and opened it.
“Greyson—aren’t you forgetting your pants?”
“No, Mom. I never wear suit pants under the desk. This is what I wear every night.”
“Dear God,—I had no idea!”
We stood outside the studio door until the red light turned off. Greyson took us inside and pointed to a couple of director’s chairs that had been placed behind the cameras.
“Well—here goes nothing, I guess!”
“I’m proud of you, Greyson. I love you.”
Mrs. M.—ermm, Judy—hugged her son and then took her seat. It was my turn, dammit! I hugged Greyson and said, “I love you, G. You got this!”
Greyson took his place behind the desk and smiled out at his mother and me. God, I love that smile—pretty sure I have entirely fallen—no, refallen—in love the man behind it, too. And then…
“Cue music in.”
Just one chapter left, boys and girls! That means I'll soon be starting my next story, "The Barnstable Cowboy." Yes, get ready for Hunter's story as we go from the plains of Texas to the progressive city of Austin and back to the Cape! Can't wait for that! (And could it be possible that Nate Hamilton is running around with a story in my brain for a PK3 book?)
Apparently, the next chapter will be the resolution to Greyson's journey. We'll have his on air statement, his return to Rafe, and my favorite part--the firing of Beverly! So. Much. Fun!
Thanks for your support in this story! I love your comments and reviews! Please keep them coming so I can keep going!
By the way--I was not asked to say this, but I wanted to let you know that one of my comments was removed by GA because it contained political commentary. These are divisive times and people both sides of the political race can be quite passionate about their leanings. I appreciate everyone's opinions and passion, but please refrain from politics on this forum. There are plenty of other sites on the interwebs for that type of commentary.