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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.

Complications - 3. Chapter 3

Chapter Three

 

Josh returned home and hugged his wife hello.

Kim whacked his arm. “You feeling better, mister?”

“A little bit, still tired and my stomach is messed up.”

She caressed his hairy arm. “Want some more tea? The house is quiet for a little while longer while the kids are at school. I could serve it to you.” She kissed his earlobe and he shut his eyes. . He had an odd vision of Greg being the one kissing him. He pushed the thought out of his head.

“I need to make a quick phone call, but afterwards I want to be with you.”

“Sounds good to me, my handsome hubby.”

Kim and Josh lay back after trying to have sex. Josh couldn’t ‘rise’ to the occasion. It was the fifth time in three months this had happened. She smoothed his chest and straightened her top. “I wonder sometimes if it’s me.”

”No, no. It’s me. It’s all me, Kim. Don’t worry about that.” He took her hand and kissed it.

She tousled his hair. “Maybe once things calm down again. Baby…what happened last night?” she asked, biting at the edge of her lip.

Josh felt his pulse jump. “What do you mean? We went drinking. That was the end of it.”

She had said it with near conviction that she knew something was awry. Kim filtered her words in her head before speaking them. “Josh…we haven’t been able to get anything to happen in bed in months, and you say it’s you. Why haven’t you had it checked out? You know I’d love a third child with you. Yet, you’ll go off gallivanting with Greg at a moment’s notice. I know you two are best buds, but....” She hesitated as if she wanted to say more.

“It’s no secret I love that man…he’s my best friend on earth.”

Kim nodded solemnly. “Alright, well I knew that already. What else?”

“He was very upset. He has a patient that’s dying. He called me up and asked me to come over, I did.”

“Oh no, is this that Mrs. Fisher? Amber told me about her a while ago during her second round of treatments. Such a tragedy. I wish I could help,” she offered.

Josh rubbed his face a bit. “So do I.”

Kim floundered as she sat next to him, her hands worrying in her lap. “Why won’t you get yourself checked out?" she finally asked again. "Is there something going on that you won’t tell me? I’m your wife. You should be able to tell me anything."

Before Josh could reply, their teenage son, Ben called out. “Mom! I’m home!”

A higher voice followed. “Me too, mommy!” little Natalie announced.

Kim got out of bed and opened the door an inch. “I’m here, kids. I’ll be out in a minute.” She shut the door and put her outfit back in order.

Josh looked over at his wife. “Honey…I’ll get checked out.”

She shot him a look again. “I’m sure there’s a reason why you haven’t already, but you just won’t share it with me. I gotta go tend our children. Excuse me.”

Josh watched her leave and put his thumbs to his eyes. “Dammit, man. This is getting insane.”

 

A little while later, Josh left the room and hugged his kids hello.

“Dad! What’re you doing here?” Ben asked.

“Your father was sick last night, so he stayed home.”

“Daddy, you feeling better now?” Natalie asked.

He kissed his forehead. “Yes, Nati, Daddy is much better.”

Kim ushered the kids out of the room. “Go do your homework, kids. I’ll be there in a minute.”

Ben hugged his dad again. “Glad you’re doing better, dad.”

“Thanks, bud. Go tackle that algebra. Your mom’s a whiz with that stuff.” He turned to Kim and put his arm around her, which she backed away from.

"Just ... don't," she whispered, and Josh knew she was on the verge of tears again. It was the same argument they'd been having for weeks now. He just couldn't open up to her anymore. Especially now that his feelings for Greg were intensifying.

He withdrew his arm and stuffed his hand in his pocket to jangle his car keys. “I’m going out for a while. Be back in a bit.”

She looked at him sadly. “What a shock. Big guess on where you’ll be.”

“I’ll tell you everything later.”

“Sure you will. We’ll see you at dinner.” She walked off down the hallway and shut the bathroom door.

Josh shook his head and clasped his keys tightly. “Dammit.”

 

He got out to his car and called Greg’s cell phone. “Hey bud, how you feeling?”

“Good, how are you?”

“Alright. Hey, you free? I need to clear my head.”

“I’m free, let’s meet at the park.”

“Deal.”

 

The two side-hugged in greeting and sat down by the pond.

“How’s the family?” Josh started.

“They’re good. Got some great family time in. Love that.”

”Yeah, that’s good stuff. I love hanging out with my kids.”

Greg deciphered the sentence. “Uh, what about Kim? You know…your wife?”

“We’re arguing a lot lately. Let’s just say things aren’t happening in the bedroom like she wants. I told you she wants another child, didn’t I?”

“Yeah, long time ago. Holy crap. You guys aren’t pregnant yet? You had no problem with the first two. What’s changed?”

Josh shrugged. “I dunno. Maybe I’m too old or she is or whatever.”

“Well, what’d the doctor say?”

“I haven’t gone yet.”

Greg swatted his arm. “There’s a shock. You putting something off? What’s the problem? Unless you don’t want another kid?”

“No…that’s not it.”

“You’re being kinda mysterious, bud. What’s really going on?”

Josh looked into his friend’s brown eyes and saw the concern and friendship they’d shared for a decade. He bit his lip and looked over at the pond.

“Nothing.”

Greg groaned. “Criminy. Not this again. You are so…tight-lipped about anything you’re feeling.”

“Look who’s talking! You’ve cried what, twice in your life? Maybe? Then you’re on overflow about your patient? You accuse me of holding back my emotions while you’re the grand champion of it?”

He stood up and walked away to the edge of the pond. The water was so calm it resembled a mirror. Josh looked at his reflection and scrutinized it. The gray in the beard, the wrinkles around his eyes, even the growing paunch of a beer gut around his middle.

Greg walked up and tapped him on the shoulder. “When are you gonna tell me what’s really going on? Not that I mind the park, but when it’s the same conversation over and over….”

Josh waved them over to the grass and they sat down again. “Fine."

Josh bowed his head. “I think I’ve hit my mid-life crisis.”

Greg shrugged. “Oh, well that’s not a huge deal. I’m there myself. I took a look at a hot rod ad and got a little excited! Is that what’s happening to you?”

Josh shook his head, and he clenched his fists. “No, that’s not what’s happening. Dammit. This isn’t easy for me.”

“Even talking to me? Your best friend? Josh…please. Tell me what’s up.”

Josh caught his breath and pinched the bridge of his nose. “You have to swear on your life you won’t tell anyone else what I’m going to tell you.”

“Done!”

“Greg, about the bedroom issue with Kim and me—well, that’s not the only thing that’s happening. I feel…different towards you, and towards men in general.”

“Towards me? How so?”

Josh shut his eyes. “I think... I'm attracted to you, sexually.”

Greg’s mouth gaped open. “W—What? When did all this start? I mean…have you felt like this before?”

“Yes, a long time ago. When I was thirteen, I kissed a boy for the first time, and he hit me for it. I wondered what I did wrong! He ignored me completely after that. In high school, I had another guy on the team kiss me too. He joked and said he was drunk. I just wanted…”His lower lip quivered as the painful memories surfaced. “I just wanted to have a boyfriend. Was that so wrong?” He grabbed at his hair and tucked his head into his knees and sobbed deeply.

“Shhh. It’s alright. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You don’t need to have any qualms around me. You know that, right?”

Josh raised his head and nodded. “Greg, I told myself for years I was sick and not normal, and I forced myself to see the good side of girls. I got lucky I found a female best friend right after that named Brianne who had a gay brother. He was so sweet and wonderful... I wanted him so bad. He did a little more than just kiss me, we almost slept together! Then he moved away, and I was so hurt that I didn’t date anyone at all in medical school. Then I met Kim and my parents told me I had to get married and carry on the family line. I didn’t want to!" he sighed, as he seemed resigned to admitting his feelings not only to himself but to Greg as well. "God, Greg, I’m gay. I know I am. I just wanted to deny it for my parents' sake, for Kim's sake.”

Greg held him about the shoulders. “Holy cow," he whispered. "Does Kim know?”

“No. She suspects, but I have to tell her before I do something drastic. I had to tell you first because you’re the one I’ve been dreaming about.”

Greg sat back, stunned. “Me? Dreams about you and me?”

“I’m sorry if this is disgusting to you….”

“No…Josh, I’m not grossed out by it, but I’m just not into that…I mean…it’s eye-opening to say the least, but…I don’t know what to say to that…this is such a shock!”

“Great. That tells me everything I needed to know. I’m outta here.” He stood up to leave but was held back by his friend.

“Wait a minute! I’m very flattered, Josh! You’re a gorgeous man, but as much as I love you, I’m not gay!”

“I wish you were…that’d make this so much easier. I dunno if you still even want to be friends with me, but I had to tell you the truth. It’s gotten to the point I can’t hide this anymore.” He got up and started to walk away again, but Greg stopped him.

“Why do you assume our friendship is over just because of what you told me? You must have a pretty piss-poor judgment of me then, Dr. Adams.”

“I thought you’d be sickened by me knowing I fantasize about you and me…” Josh defended himself weakly.

“Don’t assume. You should know me by now. Look, I’m your friend and always will be just that. I accept you for who you are and what’s in your heart. The only thing that irks me is that you didn’t tell me all of this years ago. Why did you wait so long? That doesn’t make any sense to me!”

Josh gritted his teeth and shot a look at the man. “It doesn’t have to if I say it doesn’t,” he growled.

Greg groaned aloud and shook his head. “Ah yes, the law according to the great Josh Adams, just like in the old days. Fine, whatever. Get outta here. Go home to your family. Forget everything that you just told me!”

“I’m certainly trying to!”

Josh got to his car and started the engine. He watched Greg clench his fists and hold them to his head for a moment, then pick up some rocks and launch them into the pond. Josh fought tears and punched the dashboard. He shut the engine off and walked back over to him.

Josh cautiously approached his friend and held out his hand. “I’m sorry.”

Greg was surprised. “You are? I’m sorry too. I accept you however you are. It’s just weird knowing I’m the subject of your dreams.”

Josh smoothed his hands down Greg’s arms. “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable or weird you out anymore than I already have. All I need to know is do you still love me? Am I still your friend?”

Greg brushed back his friend’s errant hair which had been disturbed by the light breeze. “Holy cow yes, Josh! I told you that already. You and I are friends, no matter what. Gay, straight, bi, whatever! You’re very special to me, you always will be.”

“Are we…alright again?”

“We’re alright.” They hugged lightly. “Come on, let’s go home.”

“Thanks.”

SLD 2018
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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.
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Chapter Comments

Really like this, the emotions were so honest.  It does seem that the wife suspects something; but with two kids have to wonder if she suspects this is what is going on in his head.  Can't wait to see where you take this next.

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