We're off to the Big Apple. The video has gone insanely viral and the entire family is going to be on Good Morning America.
There are a few surprises in this chapter--and a surprise appearance from a character we've not heard much of since the early chapters!
THE PREACHER’S KID: HIGH SCHOOL
by Geoff Chassen
Good Morning Hamiltons!
Three days away from school! Dad called Mr. Wallace, the principal, first thing Monday morning and explained that Matty and I would be out for three days. Wallace was a royal pain in the ass about it until Dad told him that our family would be on GMA Tuesday morning.
Dad said Wallace asked him if the GMA thing had anything to do with that silly video from the mall. Dad explained that the producers at ABC News didn’t think it was so silly and that they wanted to make the story about our commitment to the message that anybody can be anything, and it’s really nobody else’s business.
Mr. Wallace finally thanked Dad for letting him know that we would be out of school for three days and made sure that we all understood that we were responsible for making up any homework or tests that would have taken place while we were out. “Yes, I understand, Mr. Wallace. It’s the same as if the boys were sick. Or when Eddie was in the hospital. The boys will be back on Thursday.”
Dad ended the call and shook his head. “How can that man be responsible for over 3,000 students.
“Mr. H., we ask that very same question almost every day!”
Dad sent everyone to finish packing their bags and make sure we included our Sunday best for the show. An hour later, everyone loaded into the car, and we were on our way to the airport.
When we arrived at the drop-off, we unloaded the luggage, and dad took the car to the parking garage. It was weird—or maybe I was paranoid—but it seemed Matty and I were getting a lot of not-so-discrete stares. Weirdness!
Mom got all of the bags checked in, and we made our way to the American counter to pick up our tickets. Just as we were about to make it to the head of the line, Dad made it in to meet us.
“Next, please!” We made our way up to the counter, and this totally cute older dude—probably in his 20’s or 30’s began punching our names in his computer. Before he said anything to us, he picked up his phone and punched in a few numbers. He spoke too softly for us to hear anything, but he finally looked up and smiled.
“We have instructions to make sure you get the VIP treatment. Our agent already has your tickets, and he will be here shortly to escort you through a private security line, then to a private waiting area. And on a personal note—I think I’ve watched your YouTube video twenty times. It brings me so much joy and happiness. The world sure needs a lot more of that right now! Thank you!”
Matty and I must’ve looked like idiots since we were just standing there with our mouths hanging open. Nate was grinning from ear-to-ear, and Mom was beaming with pride. Dad answered him with, “Thank you so much, Jason. We are very proud of our boys and appreciate all that you and the airline are doing for us.”
Jason stood up, reached over the counter, and shook Matty’s and my hand. I think I was still blushing. What an idiot! Just then, another hottie named Scott—American Airlines must be the place for them!—walked up and said he was going to take care of us. We followed him through a door marked for authorized personnel and into this small version of the TSA checkpoint. We were through in no time at all and boarded one of those golf cart things you see in airports all the time.
We rode to the gate area but passed our gate, coming to a stop at a pair of unmarked doors. Scott punched in a code, and we were in this cool-looking lounge. Scott pointed to a buffet and invited us to enjoy brunch, courtesy of the airline.
I just had to ask, “Why are we getting all this special treatment?”
“Oh, that’s simple, really. You and your boyfriend have become quite famous in a short time. You will be recognized pretty much everywhere you go and could lead to a disruption in the airport's operations. The network also instructed us to give you our special VIP treatment—so here you are! Now, help yourselves to some brunch, and we’ll get you to your plane when they are ready.”
The food was fucking amazing! They had a chef making omelets just the way we wanted them. There was also some of the best-tasting bacon I’ve ever had in my life. Nate told Mom she needed to start getting that kind of bacon, and she told him that maybe she would just stop making bacon since this was the best ever and nothing would ever come close. Ha! Go, Mom! Nate returned to his food and didn’t say another word.
I heard them call our flight, and Scott didn’t do anything. Matty looked at him, looking a little confused. “Oh, don’t worry. You will be the last on the plane, and when you get to New York, you’ll be the first off.”
Dad nudged me in the arm and said he was going to start taking me everywhere he had to fly so he could keep getting this kind of treatment. I just looked at him and quietly said, “Jeez, this is crazy!”
“Thanks for not throwing in your favorite adjective, Eddie. Gives me hope!” Dad nudged my arm and laughed. How the fuck does he know that my favorite word is fuck??
Just then, Scott got up and told us it was time for us to head to the gate. We all gathered our carry-ons and went out to the golf cart. Only this time, there was someone else with us. What the fuck?? It was Michael Jordan! Oh—he lives in Charlotte now that he owns the Hornets basketball team.
Dad and Michael were talking on the way to the gate, and we found out he was going to be on the Strahan and Sarah show tomorrow. He then turned around and said to Matty and me, “Dudes, that video is playing all the time at my house. My kids love it. I’m a little tired of hearing it, though!” He flashed his big smile at us and turned back around just as we pulled up to the gate.
Scott handed our tickets to each of us, and we showed them to the lady at the door. Mr. Jordan was right behind us as we made our way into the plane. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised, but there were six empty seats in first-class. Matty and I were seated in the front row, while Dad and Nate were in the other two seats in the front. Mom’s seat was next to this woman, who immediately started talking and would stop! Poor Mom!
Dang! These seats are comfortable as shit! I’ve only flown a couple of times, but always in coach. There was a ton of room, and as soon as we were buckled in, the flight attendant—yes, another hottie, this one named Peter—gave each of us a blanket and pillow. He told us he would have something for us to drink as soon as we were in the air.
Well, fuck me! The next thing I knew, I was being nudged and told to get ready for landing. You see, there’s a thing about me and flying—once the plane takes off, I fall asleep. I guess it’s the constant background noise from the engines or something. Oh well, at least it makes the flight go by pretty fast!
Once we landed at JFK, the family was led off the plane to another waiting golf cart thing. We were taken to an elevator and then went down to the baggage claim area. They took us to the end of the baggage area and were met by another golf cart with all of our luggage! Damn! This sure was nice—not having to fight the crowds to get our bags!
A pretty lady walked up to us and said she was a producer for GMA. She led us out the doors, and there was this humongous stretch limo. This dude in a uniform opened the door for us, and we piled in with the lady while they loaded our luggage into the trunk.
“Hi, folks! Welcome to New York. My name is Mary Alice, and I’m a producer for GMA. We’re going to take you to your hotel so you can get settled in. We’ve arranged for you to have dinner at the hotel if you would like, and then you have the evening free. I strongly suggest that you not go out on the town tonight since you will need to be at the studio at 5:00 a.m.
“When you get to the studio, we’ll talk to you about your segment and do a few pre-interviews with you so we can get the questions to Michael and Robin—they’ll be doing the interview. Now, who owns the video?”
We all looked at each other and didn’t know how to answer the question. Dad told her that Nate filmed it on Matty’s phone and posted it on everyone’s accounts.
“Let’s just say the family owns the video. I need a release so we can edit it to a 45-second clip and show it before we introduce you to America.”
She handed Dad a clipboard, which he looked over and signed.
“Oh! Don’t worry, boys. Your dad just signed a release so we could edit and air the video.”
It didn’t take us too long to make it to the hotel. Nice! Hyatt! When the car pulled up to the entrance, I was expecting that we would go to the desk and register. Nope! Mary Alice handed Dad an envelope. “Here are your room keys. You are in Room 2124, which is a two-bedroom suite. The sofa in the living room is a very comfortable sleeper, so there is plenty of room for the five of you. We’ve arranged for breakfast to be delivered to your suite at 3:45 a.m. The car will be here at 5:00 tomorrow morning to take you to the studio. Any questions?”
Hell, I didn’t have any questions. I was still trying to wrap my head around this whole thing! When my thoughts went to the idea that Matty and I were basically going to come out to the entire fucking country, it surprised me that it didn’t throw me into a panic. Probably cuz I was totally comfortable in my own skin, and being with Matty was the icing on a pretty wonderful cake.
By the time we all unpacked and hung up our dress clothes, it was 4:00. Damn! I was fucking starving! We all got together and started to talk about places to eat dinner. Matty told us about a place some of his theatre friends had been to the last time they were in New York. He said it was called Ellen’s Stardust Diner, and the cool thing about it was that all the servers were actors and singers. They were known to just hop up on a chair or a table and belt out a Broadway tune.
Dad said that as long as we were in New York, we should do something “New Yorky” that we couldn’t do back home. Mom thought the place sounded like a lot of fun. I had to agree. Yay! Matty to the rescue!
Dad called the front desk and asked if they could get us a car to drive us to Ellen’s, and they said they would have one waiting for us in 10 minutes.
Ten minutes later, we rode the elevator down to the lobby and went to the front door. Damn! There was another stretch limo waiting for us! Dad told the doorman that we hadn’t ordered a limo, and he was told that the studio sent the car. It was at our beck and call while we were in the city. Fuck me! We piled into the limo and were soon on our way to dinner.
Talk about traffic! We could have walked there twice and still made it sooner than we did in the car. But It was pretty damned cool being in a car and watching people try to see who was inside. Hehe. They probably thought we were celebrities or something!
When we got to the diner, Mom went to the host stand and asked how long the wait was. She was told it was about thirty minutes, and the host took our name. “Hamilton? Are you the Clay Hamilton family?”
“Yes, that would be us.”
“We have a table waiting for you.”
“What? How did that happen?”
“We got a call from ABC News telling us that you were on the way. They wanted us to make sure you got the VIP treatment. It’s something we do on occasion. Follow me, please!”
The place was really crowded, and I don’t think you could have squeezed another table in the restaurant. We were seated at a table smack-dab in the middle of the dining room. The host told us it was one of the best tables in the house and wished us a good time.
There were menus on the table already, and as soon as we got our seats, this totally hot boy came up and took our drink orders. He said he’d be back shortly and that we would have plenty of time to decide what we wanted.
The menu kinda freaked my shit. I mean—over twenty bucks for a fucking hamburger??? Really???
Mom got a Reuben sandwich while dad ordered the meatloaf. Matty got a burger with bleu cheese, and I ordered the spaghetti and meatballs. Nate saw they had mac and cheese made with Velveeta and couldn’t resist.
Zane, the hot boy, took our orders and left us to put them in. About fifteen seconds later, this chick climbed up on top of our table and started singing “Popular” from Wicked. That was a total trip and set the whole evening off on the right foot—which, along with her left, was walking all over the table! Hehe—sometimes I make myself laugh—can’t help it!
Dinner was pretty good—not the best food I’ve ever had, but we had a great time. The singing waiters were awesome. A couple of them came up to Matty and me and told us they loved the video. That was still a little hard to get used to, but hey. Like Matty said after one of them came up to us, “I think it’s gonna get kinda crazy after we’re on the show tomorrow. You ready for that?”
“Yeah, as long as I have you with me, I think I can handle pretty much anything.”
“Right there with you, Eddie. We can face whatever gets thrown at us as long as we have each other!”
Mom and Dad decided we should walk back to the hotel to sink in some of the city. The sidewalks were packed with people heading to all the Broadway shows, and just about everyone seemed to be excited. Nate started to freak out a bit with the number of people and decided he needed to walk between Matty and me, holding our hands. He calmed down after a few minutes.
It was cool seeing the marquees for the different shows Matty and I liked. I got pumped up when we saw the Richard Rogers Theatre, where Hamilton was playing. Mom decided she wanted to see Moulin Rouge at the Hirschfeld. Dad took special notice of To Kill a Mockingbird at the Schubert. Matty yelled out, “There it is!” when he looked down 45th Street and saw the Dear Evan Hansen marquee at the Music Box.
I sighed and replied, “So close—yet so far away. I wish we had known far enough in advance so we could’ve gotten tickets.”
Dad looked at me and said that a summer trip to New York might be in order so we could do just that. Go, Dad! That would be fucking cool! You can bet I’m not going to let him forget his idea anytime soon!
We made it back to the hotel by 8:30, and Mom sent Nate into the bathroom in our room so he could take a shower and get cleaned up. While he was in the shower, Matty and I watched some Monday night television.
As soon as Nate was finished and out of our room, Matty locked the door and began peeling off his clothes. Damn! My boyfriend is hot as fuck! “Last one in the shower bottoms tonight!”
Fuck yeah! I just stayed in bed and watched Matty. “I guess you want me inside you, huh?”
“More than you know, Matty! More than you know!”
“Okay, sweet boy—I’ll get the shower ready. C’mon! We need to get going!”
I hopped out of bed and tore out of my clothes. I went into the bathroom, and Matty was already in the shower waiting for me. I stepped in and was immediately pushed against the wall as Matty pressed up against me and began kissing me. Fuck! All I could do was groan.
“Shhhh!” Matty whispered to me, “Dude, we gotta be quiet. If we heard your little brother singing in the shower, I can promise you he can hear you moaning.”
Okay, Matty was right again. We went ahead and soaped each other up, making sure not to miss a thing—if you know what I mean! Of course, by the time we got to soaping up each other’s hard cocks, we just kept stroking and quietly nutted all over each other while kissing. At least our moans were muffled by our tongues!
We cleaned up the nut and made sure it all went down the drain before we shut off the water and dried each other off. Matty took my hand and led me to the bed.
We crawled under the sheets, and I’ll be damned if those weren’t the softest sheets I ever felt! We held each other closely with our noses touching.
Matty whispered, “Eddie?”
“Are we ready for tomorrow?”
“I guess so—what do you mean?”
“I just have this feeling that our lives are gonna change a lot—I mean even more than in the last couple of days.”
“Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that, too. But the more I think about it, the more I can’t help but believe that this is a lot more than the video and your amazing promposal.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you and I aren’t what most people think of when they think about gay boys. I mean, we’re both jocks—we’re not girly at all. I mean, I guess most people who look at us think we’re pretty normal—whatever that means.”
“Yeah, I get that, but I’m still not following you.”
“Well, when people see all of us on television, they’re going to see what everyone would guess is a pretty typical family. We’re going to show that a couple of boys can be athletic, pretty smart, articulate, and love each other.”
“Yeah, now I get it. It’s funny, you know—I never chose to love you. It was just something that happened. I’m guessing that most people who love each other so completely didn’t choose each other. I bet that kind of love just happens—out of the blue.”
“I know what you mean. I think God brings people together, and that special kind of love just happens—and I promise you this, Matthew David Jordan—my life is better—no, complete—with you in it. And I know I’m a better dude because you are with me.”
Matty tucked his head into my neck, and I could feel his tears as they fell out of his eyes.
“Babe, I didn’t mean to make you cry. I just wanted you to know how important you are to me—that’s all.”
“I’m not sad. No—I just wasn’t expecting that from you. You know—I could say the same thing to you—only I would add that you literally saved my life. You’re everything important to me, Eddie. Everything.”
For the next twenty minutes or so, we just talked, taking stock of our life together—of our love for each other and our love of us together. There we were, lying on our sides, facing and holding each other. Neither one of us even noticed that our cocks were hard and gently rubbing against each other’s, so imagine how surprised we were when out of the blue, our breathing became hard as we nutted all over each other.
The funny thing about that, what had just happened seemed like pure making love. I mean—we were just talking and sharing some pretty deep thoughts and got off without even trying. We didn’t even bother cleaning up. We kissed each other and soon fell asleep, holding on to each other.
At 3:00 in the morning, our phone rang and scared the shit out of me! It was Mom telling us to get up and start getting ready. Breakfast was going to be brought to the room in about forty-five minutes.
We were kinda stuck together from our dried cum, but we managed to drag our tired asses out of bed and into the shower. We washed each other and stroked each other off for a quick nut. Making sure all the boy juice was washed down the drain, we cut off the water and dried each other.
We both shaved the little bit of growth we had, dried and styled our hair, and while we were brushing our teeth, Nate came into the bathroom.
Nate got an eyeful as neither Matty nor I bothered to wrap towels around our waists. He just stood and stared at us through the mirrors. “Wow, I hope my dick gets that big when I get older.”
“Stop lookin’ at my dick, Nate. You need to get in the shower and get ready.”
“And dude, when you stroke off your nut, make sure it all goes down the drain.”
Nate’s little dick bounced as he turned around and stepped into the shower. I love my little brother more than ever, but giving him a hard time is my all-time favorite pastime.
We went into the bedroom and started to get dressed. We had to do each other’s ties since Nate was steaming up the bathroom mirror with his shower. At the last minute, we decided against wearing our suit coats. Instead, we would wear our letter jackets. Hell, if the entire fucking world was going to find out we were gay, they were going to find out we were a couple of jocks who happen to love each other. I hope Mom doesn’t have a cow!
We went out to the sitting room, and there were a couple of carts loaded with breakfast shit. Mom and Dad were already at the table, enjoying their coffee and eggs. Matty and I loaded up our plates and poured some coffee.
When we sat down, Mom looked at us and smiled. “You boys look wonderful. I like the letter jackets. It’s a nice touch.”
“I agree—a good decision, boys. I think what makes this whole thing interesting to everyone is the fact that you are athletes. You’ll be showing the entire country that it’s quite possible that any boy, with any interests, could very well be gay.”
Nate came out of the bedroom dressed in his Sunday suit. He had his tie hanging loose around his neck and asked Dad to help him with it. Dad suggested he go ahead and eat his breakfast, and he would take care of the tie before we left.
Nate finished his breakfast, Dad did his tie, and the phone rang—scaring the shit out of me. Why the fuck are hotel phones so fucking loud? I mean, is that really necessary?
Dad hung up the phone and said our car was waiting in front of the hotel. We were soon walking through the lobby, and as we neared the hotel entrance, we saw the black stretch limo waiting for us.
It sure is nice driving through New York City at 5:00 in the morning! We were at the studio in no time at all and were met at the front door by some girl named Celia. She said she was a production assistant—whatever that is!
We were led down a hallway, and she sent Mom and Dad into one room and had Nate, Matty, and me go into a room across the hall from them. Celia told us to sit in a chair in front of the mirrors, and someone would be in shortly to take care of our makeup.
“We have to wear makeup??” Nate was not amused. Hehe.
“Yes, if we didn’t put some makeup on you with the bright studio lights, you’d look like a ghost on camera! Don’t worry—no one will ever know you have makeup on unless you tell them!”
“I’m not telling anyone!”
Matty and I had to hold back our laughing. I mean, I’ve never worn makeup before but figured it was gonna happen. Matty’s worn makeup for the theatre shit he does, so he was totally prepared and chill.
The makeup people came in and told us to take off our jackets before they started working on us. It didn’t take long at all. As they were finishing up, Michael Strahan and Robin Roberts came into the room and leaned against the table in front of us.
“Hey guys! Welcome to GMA!” Michael Strahan seemed like he was really happy to have us there! That was pretty fucking cool!
“Everyone here is so excited to have you with us this morning! We can’t stop watching your video!” Robin looked at Nate and asked him if he was the one who filmed it. Ha! Nate was pretty star-struck and just nodded his head. “Well—thank you for giving us permission to show it on the air. We’ve edited it down to about 45 seconds.”
Michael told us he was going to talk to us about our sports at school and our everyday lives. Robin said she was going to talk with us about the promposal and how quickly it went viral. She also told Matty and me that she was both honored and proud to interview us. She said that when people see that two handsome, athletic high school boys can be fearlessly in love with each other—well, it will inspire and give hope to thousands of kids all over the country.
Wow! I mean, I kinda knew that already—but it just hit me how important this interview might be. Whoa! That was a little daunting!
Michael and Robin told us we would be brought up to the studio at 7:55, while the broadcast was sent to the local stations. Celia came back in and took the three of us to another room where we could wait. They call it a green room—but there was nothing green in there! The room had this beige color on the walls, and the furniture was all brown and gold. Weirdness!
We sat in the green room and watched the first hour of Good Morning America. There was a big chunk of news about Trump and people calling for his impeachment. Same old news that’s been going on for the last year or so. Nothing really exciting was happening until about ten minutes before we were supposed to go into the studio.
What the fuck? Matty must be seeing things. He swore he saw Andrew Barth Feldman walking down the hall. That’s the guy who’s starring in Dear Evan Hansen right now.
“I wonder if he came here because of the video. I mean—he was the one who caused it to go viral.”
“Matty, I think you’re seeing things. It was probably a cute production assistant walking by.”
Celia came into the green room before Matty could say anything else. “Okay, Hamiltons—you’re going to open the 8:00 hour. There will be a brief news segment from the other studio. While that’s going on, Matty and Eddie will stand behind the entrance wall while we air the video. Michael will introduce the two of you, the wall will slide open, and you guys sit on the sofa next to Robin. Robin will welcome you, say a few things, and then Michael will talk to you about your sports. Robin will talk about your family support, and the rest of the family will join you on the sofa. Nate, we would like you to sit next to the boys, and the parents will sit at the end.
There will be a few more questions, and Robin would like to take three questions from the audience. Is that okay with you all?”
“Sure, now that we know about it, I guess we can be ready for just about anything—right Matty?”
“Yeah, it’s all good!”
“Wonderful!” Celia checked her watch and told us it was time to go upstairs. We went into an elevator that took us up to the next floor. She had Mom, Dad, and Nate sit on a bench that was placed in front of a television that was showing what was going on with the show.
Celia then led Matty and Me down a narrow passage and had us stand on either side of a big red “X” on the floor. We could hear a shortened version of our video playing. Matty and I looked at each other and smiled. “Here we go, Eddie! I love you, man.”
“I love you so much, Matty!”
Celia backed up, and about ten seconds later, the wall in front of us was sliding to the side. Fuck me! We were on TV! There were a hundred or so people in the room, all standing and cheering! Matty and I smiled as we walked out and took our seats on the sofa.
Robin started with, “Welcome to GMA, boys! Who is who?”
“We’re so glad you’re here with us this morning!” She turned to the studio audience and added, “I told the guys while they were in makeup that the entire staff couldn’t stop watching the video once they learned we were going to do this segment.”
Michael added, “Guys, did you know that in just three days, you’ve had over 1.2 million views on YouTube and Instagram?”
“Yeah, Eddie’s little brother keeps up with the numbers every hour or so.”
“We’ll meet little brother Nate shortly, but first—I wanted to talk to you about your athletic career at Ardrey Kell High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. Matty, you’re set to be the starting quarterback for the football team?”
“Yeah. That’s pretty exciting. I started on the JV team my Freshman year and was the backup on the varsity team last year. It’s pretty exciting to be leading the team next year.”
“What has the reaction been from your teammates and coaches?”
“I was surprised how accepting the whole team was when they found out. I wasn’t too surprised about the ribbing I got online from the guys when the video came out, but even that was all in good fun. Everyone—including the coaches—have been super supportive. It was pretty cool when Coach Huffman said that as long as I gave everything I got on the field, he didn’t care so much about my private life off the field—except it’s not so private anymore, is it?”
“Nope! I think you might be right there! Now—Eddie, you are a conference-leading shortstop for the Ardrey Kell baseball team. But I understand your experience was a little different than Matty’s.”
“Well, let me say first that everyone on the team was great. I mean, the guys all kidded around with me, but they were super cool. Except for one guy, who took things pretty negatively and attacked me after a game with a baseball bat.”
Robin spoke next, “You suffered some pretty serious injuries and ended up in a coma for several days. But you look fantastic now. Everything okay?”
“I’m very fortunate. Yes—everything is great, and there are no lingering effects from the attack.”
Michael spoke up again. “You know, when we were doing our research on this amazing story, we spoke with some of your coaches and teammates. The one thing almost all of them had in common was that they weren’t really surprised that the two of you ended up together like this.”
“Well, I guess no one was. Eddie and I were born just one day apart. We also have lived next-door to each other our entire lives. We basically grew up together and have spent pretty much every day together from the beginning. We have always been as close as two people can be.”
“Matty and I had these feelings about each other for a couple of years before we finally got the nerve to say something. I was shocked when he told me he had the same feelings I’d been having.”
Robin looked out to the audience again and spoke. “While many people across the country—or even the world—seemed to be surprised that two so-called jocks were a couple, even more surprising is the story of Eddie’s family and their acceptance. We’ll meet them when we come back.”
They went to commercials, and Robin leaned over to us. “You boys are doing a great job! We’re going to bring your family out as soon as we get back. Would you like some water?”
We told her we were fine and settled back into the sofa. A couple of minutes later, we heard a countdown, and they were showing another piece of the video. It was the part where the whole group was singing. Pretty fucking awesome!
Michael welcomed everyone back, and Robin introduced Mom, Dad, and Nate. “Eddie Hamilton and Matty Jordan are two very lucky boys. They have the support of their classmates and teammates regarding their relationship with each other. But even more important is the incredible support they have received from their family. Please welcome Pastor Clay Hamilton, Maggie Hamilton, and little brother Nate!”
The wall opened, and out walked my family. I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud in my life. I mean, where the fuck did that come from?!?
Dad sat next to Robin, followed by Mom, and Nate squeezed in between Matty and me. Robin talked to Dad first.
“Pastor Clay, what do you think of these two remarkable boys?”
“Well, to say that I’m proud of them doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings. I’ve always been proud of both boys—their accomplishments, the way they live their lives—there’s not a parent alive who could ask for anything more.”
“I understand that the subject of gay acceptance and tolerance is nothing new to you. Can you explain?”
“Certainly. I was ordained in the Southern Baptist Convention, which is one of the most conservative churches in the country. Almost twenty years ago, the church began to be quite outspoken in its opposition to gays and lesbians. They began calling for national boycotts of companies and organizations that supported the LGBT community. I just couldn’t abide with that kind of thinking and left the church and started my own.”
“Take a look.” Robin nodded her head, and a short video about Dad’s church started. Whoa! How did they get the video of the sermon when he talked about Matty and me? Oh well! No more secrets, eh?
When the video ended, Michael asked Nate, “So Nate—you’ve made your brother and his boyfriend pretty famous. Did you think your video would go viral like this?”
“No. But when Matty asked me if I wanted to go to the mall with him and Eddie, I was pretty excited—I mean, they never let me do stuff with them! Then Matty told me what he was going to do, and that he wanted me to film it so their friends who couldn’t be there might get to see it. On the way home, I uploaded it to Instagram and YouTube and didn’t really think very much about it.”
Robin asked Mom what she thought about the crazy world of viral videos. “That’s a good question. At first, I was more than a little concerned about the way people would react. But then I saw how the boys saw this as an opportunity to make a difference in the world. They wanted to show that even jocks can fall in love with each other. They wanted to show that it doesn’t matter so much what you are, but rather it’s who you are and how you treat others that really matters.”
Go Mom! She got a fucking standing ovation for that! Hell, Matty and I stood up, too!
Robin got everyone to sit down and continued. “Now, before we go, Michael has something he’d like to share with Matty.”
“That’s right, Robin. Matty, although you are just a junior, I have been informed that a Division I FBS school in North Carolina has informed us that they are officially recruiting you for their football team. They have won the SunBelt Conference for the last four years and are well on their way to national recognition.” Michael handed Matty a letter. “You’re now an official recruit of Appalachian State University’s football program!”
Ha! Matty was in shock! I’m just proud as fuck of my boy!
Robin continued, “One of the reasons this delightful video has gone so viral so quickly is a young man who is the eighteen-year-old star of Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen. Andrew? Come on out and join us!”
The magic wall opened again, and I guess Matty was right—he did see Andrew Barth Feldman walking down the hall! Andrew walked up to Matty and gave him a huge hug. I got one for myself before he backed up and stood next to Matty.
“Guys, I just want to say that your video just made my entire day! I found it when I was in my dressing room getting ready for a show and shared it like I do with a lot of posts I find—things just kind of went crazy from that point.”
Andrew pulled an envelope from his pocket and handed it to Matty. These are house seats for tonight’s performance of Dear Evan Hansen, and all of us with the show would like you and the family to be our guests. After the show, someone will bring you backstage, and you’ll get a full tour of the theatre.”
Whoah! All I could do was mouth the words “thank you” to Andrew as tears were coming into my eyes. No! I will NOT cry on national television! Andrew gave me another hug and whispered, “I love you guys to death. We’ll see you tonight!”
Andrew gave Mom, Dad, Robin, and Michael hugs and then moved to Nate. He started to give Nate a fist-bump, but Nate moved right in for a hug. The look on Andrew’s face was fucking adorable!
* * * * *
George Jordan was walking to the dining hall at Positive Perspectives. When he passed the television lounge, he stopped in his tracks. Could that be Matthew’s voice? He took a few steps into the lounge and was shocked to see his son on Good Morning America. He watched the entire interview, missing only the video at the beginning.
George was stunned. Instead of breakfast, he turned back and went to the nurses’ station. “I need to make a phone call. I need to talk to my son.”
Hmmmmm. I wonder what George needs to say to Matty? He he recovered enough to allow his son to live life as his true self?
What's Matty going to do about his offer from an out-of-town school? Will Eddie be willing to go to school there? Does Eddie even have a clue what he wants to do with his life?
A lot of questions coming up... and only a few chapters to go before we bring this story to an end!
Thanks again for you patience and your incredible support! I love hearing from you!