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

Window Stories - 1. Chapter 1

When I opened my eyes, the room was dark. I turned onto my side and looked at the clock on the wall. It was only 5:36. “Damn,” I grumbled. I hate waking up so early. I can never go back to sleep, and it just makes the day longer.

I sat up and looked around the sparsely furnished room. I had been here at St. Joseph’s Elderly Care Center for almost eight months. And I hate it. It was hard giving up my home that I had lived in for twenty-eight years, but I had no choice. Now at seventy-eight, I can no longer take care of myself. I had a stroke two years ago that partially paralyzed me from my waist down. I have been making progress, and I have managed to get around in my wheelchair. Nine months ago, I tried to stand and get something out of the refrigerator freezer and fell. I lay for two days until a worried neighbor called the police and asked for them to do a safety check on me. If they hadn’t, I would probably be dead today. I had broken my hip in the fall, and I couldn’t crawl across the kitchen to the living room where my phone was. I drifted in and out of consciousness afraid that I was going to die. I was relieved when the police pounded on my door. I was able to faintly cry out, and they busted down the door. I was taken to the hospital and remained there for two days. My son, Roger, made the decision that I should not return home. Instead, I was transported here to St. Joseph’s. I have hated every day since then.

I now wish that I had died then. As I lay on the kitchen floor that day, I prayed that I would not die. However, if I had known what the remainder of my life would be like, I would not have cried out for the police to help me. Death would have been better than my current miserable existence. I refuse to let my son visit. I blame him for my current situation. I have begged him to let me return home. I have enough money to hire a caretaker. But he refuses. He says I am better off here. He doesn’t have to worry about me anymore. Selfish bastard. He enjoys his life while I wither away in here with nothing to do but lie in this bed. I’m moved around constantly so that I don’t develop bedsores.

I squinted when the overhead lights came on. “You’re awake,” smiled Mrs. Sullivan, my morning nurse. She walked over and plopped my pillow up. “How are you feeling this morning, Mr. Reid?”

“When are you going to start calling me Phil?” I asked harshly. “I feel like an object when you call me Mr. Reid.”

“I’m sorry,” apologized Mrs. Sullivan. “It’s just that the administrators prefer that we call you that. They say it shows respect.”

“I think it’s disrespectful when you won’t comply with my wishes,” I grumbled.

She leaned down and whispered softly in my ear, “Okay, Phil.” She stood back and smiled. “However,” she added. “If someone else is in the room, I’ll have to call my Mr. Reid. Is that okay with you?”

“Yes,” I replied. “I guess it will do.” I watched as she flitted around the room tidying things up. Mrs. Sullivan is in her mid-thirties, I would guess. She’s rather heavy, and she complains that her feet are always killing her. She has told me all about her family. I think she believes that it will make me feel better if she includes me in her family affairs. She has a girl who is twelve and a boy who is fifteen. The boy is beginning to cause her problems. He feels that he is at the age where he can make his own decisions. She says they argue constantly. Her husband is a plumber, and she says that he tries to stay uninvolved in raising their children. She spends most mornings complaining about what is happening in their home. There have been many times I just wanted to tell her that I really don’t give a damn, but she is so sweet that I don’t want to hurt her feelings. So, I just pretend that I listen, and I’ll nod if she looks over and asks me, “Don’t you think so?”

This morning, she was worried that her son might be smoking marijuana. She says he came in from school yesterday acting weird, and he had a funny smell on his clothing. “Have you ever smoked marijuana?” she asks.

I hesitated a few minutes before responding. Of course, I’ve smoked weed. I was around in the sixties when it was popular. Joints were passed around at every party I attended. When I went out to the clubs, several of us would sneak out back for a quick smoke. “Yeah,” I confessed. “I’ve smoked weed.”

“What does it smell like?”

I shrugged my shoulders. I was concerned that if I told her, it might be the smell she recognized on her son. If he is smoking, I didn’t want to be the one to confirm his mother’s suspicions. “I don’t know,” I replied. “I guess it has kind of an earthy smell. I don’t know how to describe it.”

“Does it smell like cigarette smoke?” she asked.

I replied, “No, nothing like cigarettes. It has a heavier smell.”

She walked into the bathroom complaining. “I still think he’s getting high,” she muttered from inside. “His eyes even looked funny when I confronted him.” I was fairly sure that her son was probably smoking the wacky tobacky, but I didn’t want to tell her.

I sighed when she finally left. I picked up the television remote to find something to watch. It is difficult for me to find anything interesting. My life was always so busy that I seldom had time to sit idly on the sofa and watch television. I was one of the rare people who didn’t even have cable television in my home. I used a home antenna to get local programming. I did like to watch the evening news at eleven so that I would at least know what was going on in my community and the world. I received most of my other news on internet websites.

I briefly fell asleep while watching a morning talk show. I was awakened when Mrs. Sullivan entered the room. “Breakfast order,” she said with a smile as she handed me the menu for today’s meals.

I looked it over and told her I would have my usual two fried eggs, three slices of bacon, whole wheat toast and coffee. I also ordered my lunch and dinner meals. Lunch would be an egg salad sandwich, fries and a soda. The dinner options didn’t look appetizing. I finally decided on the meat loaf, mashed potatoes and peas. I hate the days they serve meat loaf. It is always bland, dry and tastes like shoe leather. Mrs. Sullivan told me she would be back in twenty minutes with my breakfast.

The rest of my morning was as boring as breakfast. I left half of it untouched. Mrs. Sullivan clicked her tongue when she picked up the tray and left the room. I hate it when she does that. It is so condescending. Sometimes I get the feeling that she hates attending to me. I know I don’t have the sweetest disposition. However, I have the right to be angry. Let her become old and disabled, and then spend the rest of her life lying in a bed with others waiting on her.

Does she really think I enjoy this? She knows nothing about me. I wasn’t always like this. I’ve been independent since I left home at eighteen. I fought and struggled hard all my life. It wasn’t easy- or pretty. However, against all odds, I survived. I think back at some of the mistakes I made and think that I should have died years ago. But I was a fighter. I was always smart, and I struggled financially to make it through college. I have forgotten more than what Mrs. Sullivan and some of my other attendants ever learned. Yet all they see is an old man lying in bed waiting to die.

The worst part of my day is my physical therapy sessions. Jason, a rather young black man in his mid-twenties helps me out of bed and takes me in a wheelchair to the therapy room. I usually spend about forty minutes doing exercises while lying on a mat. I lost the ability to walk when I had my stroke, so they don’t attempt to make me do any mobility exercises. When I finish, Jason picks me up, puts me in my wheelchair and then brings me back to the room. I’m usually so exhausted that I sleep for the next couple of hours. I spend the rest of my day watching television, eating dinner and after my evening pills, I fall restlessly asleep.

I awoke the next morning with a mild headache. I hadn’t slept well. Every time I closed my eyes, I had flashbacks of my life- the things that were. It is funny how you remember something so minor, yet at the time it seemed important. Last night I kept thinking about the time that my wife, Eloise, and I argued about which flowers we would plant in the flower bed. Like all our stupid arguments, it ended up in a huge fight. She stormed inside and didn’t talk to me for a day only because I wanted day lilies and she wanted to plant beds of roses.

Like clockwork, Mrs. Sullivan entered at seven to take my meal orders. She was a little more cheerful this morning. “You may have a visitor this morning,” she announced as she helped me sit up in bed.

I gave her a skeptical look and asked, “Who?” I figured she would tell me it was my ungrateful son. It had been about two months since his last visit. He only came then because he wanted me to cosign a car loan for him.

“I don’t know much,” she said as she looked at her clipboard. “It only says that a Colin Anderson will be here around nine.”

I tried to remember if I knew anyone by the name of Colin. He wasn’t a family member, and I couldn’t recall a student by that name. “I don’t know a Colin Anderson,” I said. “I’ve told you people before that I don’t want visitors.”

“I know, Phil,” remarked Mrs. Sullivan soothingly as she placed her hand gently on my arm. “This is coming from the home administrator. It appears that he is the one who authorized Mr. Anderson’s visit.”

“Well,” I complained. “Unless he is going to take me away from this unpleasant place, then I don’t care to see him.”

Mrs. Sullivan smiled down and patted my arm. “It isn’t that bad here, is it Phil?”

“It’s not all that great,” I grumbled as I turned my head and pretended to fall asleep.

I spent the rest of the morning trying to figure out who is Colin Anderson. My memory isn’t as good as it used to be, so he could be anyone. I’ve come across thousands of people over the years. He could be anyone. I was going to tell Mr. Maxwell, the home administrator, to cancel his visit. However, I was curious to see what he wanted. Besides, a visitor might be a distraction from my mundane life.

I was watching a movie on television when someone rapped softly on my door. “Come in,” I shouted out. When the door opened, Mr. Maxwell entered with a young man following behind him. He appeared to be about twenty-five years old. He was well-dressed, but he didn’t have on a suit. He appeared to be about six feet tall with blond hair and hazel-colored eyes. I found him to be very striking in his appearance.

“Phil,” smiled Mr. Maxwell as he extended his hand to me. “It is good to see you.” He tried to act like we were old friends, but I had only spoken to him a few times since coming here. He turned and put his hand on the young man’s back and pushed him to the side of my bed. “I want you to meet Colin Anderson.”

Colin meekly extended his hand to me. His grip was soft and gentle, unlike Mr. Sullivan’s strong grip. “Hello, Mr. Reid,” said the young man. “It is nice to meet you.”

His face reddened as I stared at him. “I’m sorry,” I finally spoke, “but I don’t seem to know you.”

Mr. Sullivan laughed slightly and said, “Of course you don’t, Phil.” He turned and looked at the young man before speaking. “Colin is on the staff of Brother Love.”

“Brother Love?” I asked skeptically. It seemed to be an odd name, and I wasn’t familiar with whatever organization he belonged to.

Colin stepped to the side of the bed, looked down and slightly smiled. “Brother Love is an elderly care provider. We go into facilities to administer social therapy and other services to elderly patients.”

I remarked sharply, “I get all the care I need here. I don’t see what good it will be to have you helping me.”

Mr. Sullivan walked up beside him. “Relax. Phil,” he said soothingly. “Hear Colin out before you decide.”

Colin’s face reddened as he cleared his throat. “Mr. Reid,” he said. “Brother Love is an organization that offers help to gay and lesbian patients.” He seemed extremely nervous. He looked over at Mr. Sullivan who nodded and told him to continue.

“Studies show that the needs of gay and lesbian patients are often overlooked. I’m here to ensure that you have a caretaker who understands you.” He turned to Mr. Sullivan and then continued. “I’m sure that St. Joseph doesn’t discriminate against patients, but there still may be other activities that I may be able to offer you.” He grinned and asked, “Do you play chess?”

“No,” I replied courteously. My mind was racing. I should be offended that Mr. Sullivan had called in a gay organization. I made it explicit when I entered that my sexuality should remain secret. I had been involved in many groups over the years that dealt with gay discrimination. I didn’t want it to become an issue now. I wanted to die with a peaceful mind.

However, I was intrigued by the idea of having someone who I could confide in. Even though Colin appeared to be fifty years my junior, my first impression was that he was a pleasant person. It would be nice to have someone to talk to rather than Mrs. Sullivan talking about her children all the time.

Colin reached down and touched my arm. “What do you think, Phil?” He smiled gently before asking, “Would you like me to stay?”

“Why?” I asked skeptically. “Why would a young man like you want to help an old gay fool like me?”

“You’re not an old gay fool,” he smiled warmly as he squeezed my arm. “You’re a gay brother, and we support each other.”

Tears began to well up in my eyes. I saw a younger me in Colin. It is one of the reasons I became a school counselor. I wanted to help those less fortunate who needed a strong shoulder to lean on when times were hard. Colin squeezed my arm again. “Well, Phil. Can I say?”

I heard myself mumble, “Yes.” I don’t know why, though. Colin could upset everything I had planned. I was going to end my final days alone in a cold and solitary life. I wasn’t sure what would happen with Colin’s unexpected appearance.

Mr. Sullivan shook Colin’s hand. “I’ll leave you two alone to talk,” he said as he turned and left the room. Colin pulled a chair up beside the bed.

“Thank you, Phil,” he said. He then asked, “Do you mind if I call you Phil? I like to be on a first name basis with people. And I would prefer that you call me Colin.”

“No,” I replied. “I have no problem with you calling me Phil.” I was becoming nervous. Colin was extremely attractive. I wished that I could turn back the clock to when I was a young man again. I would definitely be hitting on him. Suddenly, a sadness overwhelmed me. I was no longer a young man. I was an old man whose body lay withered and broken in a hospital bed. Beside me was a young man who was just starting out in life. What could he offer me that could help? His mere presence now saddened me. I turned my head as tears began to fall down my cheek.

Colin stood over my bed when he noticed my sudden mood change. “Are you okay, Phil.”

I muttered softly as my body was turned from his, “Perhaps it would be better if you left.”

Colin rubbed my back gently and replied, “I understand, Phil.” He continued to rub my back. “I was a little boy when I watched my grandfather die. He often told me how he felt growing old. That’s why I do what I do now.” I could tell that he was crying. “I promised him that I would help others as they faced the depression he was going though.”

“You have no idea,” I remarked sadly as I wiped tears from my eyes.

“No,” Colin replied. “I have an idea. I just haven’t personally experienced it yet. But I was able to see things through my grandfather’s eyes, and he was able to see things through my eyes.”

I turned and asked, “What do you mean?”

He smiled as his eyes glistened with tears. “Without him, I would never have been strong enough to make it.”

I smiled and replied, “He sounds like he was a wonderful man.”

“The best,” replied Colin as he wiped his eyes dry. He smiled and said, “I think we are going to get along great. You remind me of him.”

I laughed and said, “Wait until you get to know me better.”

“Tell me about you then,” he suggested.

“No,” I replied. “I want you to go first. Tell me about Colin Anderson.”

“What do you want to know?”

My face reddened as I responded, “You’re an extremely handsome young man. I’m sure you have a boyfriend somewhere waiting at home for you.”

“No,” he replied. “I’m not out yet.”

“Not out yet?” I asked unbelievably. “You work for a gay senior care provider. How can they not know you’re out?”

He replied, “Brother Love is just one of the services we provide. Not all our patients are gay. Most are straight. In fact, I volunteered to help you when I found out you were gay.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Our company had a meeting two weeks ago. A gay center approached with the idea of Brother Love and asked if we could provide our services for gay patients. My boss, Mr. Zimmers, was going to deny helping when no one would volunteer. I felt bad knowing that I was gay, and I couldn’t help another gay person. I went to Mr. Zimmers later that day and told him I would volunteer. He didn’t ask me if I’m gay, but I think he suspects.” He smiled and added, “So, that’s how I came to be here.”

“Very brave of you,” I said. I asked, “How old are you?”

“Twenty-four,” he replied.

“Don’t you feel you’re going to jeopardize yourself by being here?”

“I don’t care anymore,” he said. “I’ve been wanting to come out for a long time.” He smiled and added, “Maybe you can help me do that.”

“I thought you were here to help me?” I laughed.

He smiled and said, “We can help each other. Now tell me, when did you first know you were gay?”

I shook my head and asked, “You sure you want to hear this?”

“Yes, please,” he replied. “I want you to tell me all about your life. I read a little about you. You’ve lived an interesting life. You went to college and became a school counselor. You married and had a son. Then, you got a divorce and lived a gay life. I want to hear all about it.”

I sat back and sighed. Did I really want to do this? If I told Colin everything, then old deep wounds would be opened. The scabs had hardened, and it had been years since I faced them. I survived it all, and I didn’t forget. Only during sleepless nights do I revisit them. And then I wake up sad and depressed.

“Are you okay, Phil?” asked Colin.

“Yes,” I assured him. “I’m fine.” I lay back and looked at the ceiling. Finally, I spoke, “I’m an old man now. My life has flashed by much faster than I expected it to.” I looked over at him and continued, “I was a young buck like you. I thought I owned the world. There was nothing I couldn’t do. Then one day, I woke up, and it was all gone. Now, I’m a shell of a man lying in this bed. I remember my life now as if I’m looking out of a window. Streaks of my life flash by me. I try to open the window and catch them, but the window won’t open. So, I sit and watch them, and I wonder did it really happen, or was it just a dream.”

I turned and asked, “So, you want to know when I first knew I was gay?” Colin nodded his head.

I turned and looked out the window. A cute young Black boy smiled and waved at me.

I'm back with a new story. I hope you enjoy it. As some readers have requested, it is a departure from my other stories. It is written from the POV of a mature adult, but it will cover many scenarios that I hope will satisfy everyone. Please leave a comment to share with others. :thankyou:
Copyright © 2024 Ronyx; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Late to this story but glad to be here with the rest of your interested readers. Being gay and the last member of my immediate

family still alive and kicking, I have a bit of experience in the issues being discussed.  I cheated and read the comments before

reading the chapter. I was hooked. Will be caught up soon.

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