True Love Ch. 05bydas4200©
The rest of the drive was uneventful, but I have to admit that my nerves were starting to get the better of me with each passing mile marker. Sam tried to comfort me by holding my hand through the drive, which helped a little admittedly. I meant it when I told her I would choose her over my parents. Sam had been in my life more than my parents had been. All the nights sleeping over at each other's houses and playing games together. We used to spend the nights at my house playing video games, and when we slept at her house I would help her dress up as a princess and I would be her prince and protect her. Sam and I shared every teacher growing up until we reached junior high and even then we shared several classes. When I felt bad or upset I would turn to Sam to comfort me before I would my own parents and Sam would do the same.
Our hometown was a small community that was tied to a huge metropolis. Driving through the familiar roads was like driving through a rural setting amidst a sea of concrete. The suburbs that we called home were in sight and I was filled with a warmth that only home could bring. 131 and 133 were houses on the corner of Blue Water Way and Bradly Drive. They were almost identical in appearance. Both homes were covered in a mixture of sandy brown and white colored bricks. They were both two stories tall with two car garages. Each house had a large 20 year old tree in the front yard. I pulled into the driveway of my parents' house and parked the car.
"This is it Sam, ready?" I think I was asking myself more than her.
"As ready as I'll ever be sweetie. Let's just go in and play to the mood. If the truth comes out then it's out there. We don't owe them a big announcement, let's just be us."
"I like that idea." We kissed before exiting the car to grab our things.
It was just a little after six and the sun was already nearly gone from the sky. After we had our bags we walked up together to my parents' house. The doorbell rang and I could hear multiple voices inside, meaning Sam's parents were there as well. I could see the shapes of my parents, as well as Sam's mother, approaching the door hurriedly. The door swung open and I was immediately embraced by my mom as Sam was by hers.
"Oh my god! You two are here so early! We didn't expect you for another hour or two! Steve! They're here!" My mom was excitable.
"Hey mom, dad, Steph, how are you all?" We tried our best to get past our parents to the inside of the house, but it was slow coming.
"Hey mom, DAD, Julia, Nathan. What's for dinner? We're both starving."
"We're all fine, you caught us in the middle of poker. As soon as you two get settled we're all gonna head out to eat. How does roadhouse sound?" Our dads both loved steak and so it was an obvious agreement between the two of them.
"Sounds perfect Nathan. I'm sure dad thinks so as well. We're just gonna set our things upstairs and we'll be ready to go if you guys are."
"Samantha sweetie, aren't you gonna sleep at home?"
"I will mom, don't worry. Alex and I are gonna switch between the two like in the old days." She moved to comfort her mother. "Now we gotta drop off our stuff, we'll meet you guys there if you wanna just take off."
"Just drop off your things babies. We haven't seen you in forever, we should each drive you. Does that sound good Steph?" Sam's mother agreed eagerly. "We need to catch up. Alex, baby, you can ride with your father and me."
Sam and I gave each other a concerned look and agreed reluctantly before rushing upstairs to drop off our luggage. My room was to the immediate right at the top of the stairs. It was kept the same as I left it and we both simply set our luggage on the top of the mattress.
"What the hell are we gonna do?" I whispered to Sam.
"I don't know, just answer their questions as they come and be honest. We have nothing to hide or be ashamed of, remember? We love each other, we can explain if they have their concerns." Her whispered words were comforting as was the hand stroking my cheek.
"Let's do this." We kissed and separated to head back downstairs.
"So sweetie, how is college? How are your classes coming along?" My mom was looking back at me while speaking. Dad was focused intensely on the road,
"College is fun, it's a really good atmosphere. Classes are good, I was struggling with math early in the semester, but Sam really helped me out with it."
Keep calm Alex, that was a good answer. They're your parents, they will understand and accept.
"You're looking a little bigger Alex, the team working you out pretty well?" My dad chimed in.
"Not really, I mean yeah we do a little, but it's actually Sam that has me working out more. I'm also on a new diet that we're doing together. It's really nice, I'm seeing a lot of results from it." My parents turned to look at each other after that answer.
"Are you seeing anyone now, any cute college girls caught my young man's heart?"
This was the moment of truth, it only took them three questions to get to my dating status. My head started to spin from my nerves.
"Well that's the thing...I've been meaning to tell you two..." Here goes nothing. "I'm going out with Sam."
You know those statements that come out of someone's mouth and seem to create a silence. With the final word even the radio seemed to know to shut-up. For a few seconds, that seemed like minutes, there was nothing. There were no emotions on my mother's face, there was only a blank stare as she processed the words. I knew what must be going through her head though. "My son's gay, has he always been, I knew we shouldn't have let them be friends, what are these two kids thinking, where did I go wrong as a parent..." I felt compelled to explain myself to them despite seeing nothing wrong with my relationship with Sam.
"I guess this silence means you aren't happy...?" I was stopped from rambling on by my mother.
"As far as I'm concerned baby..." She took a breath. "I can't speak for your father, but if she makes you happy then I am excited for you two." The words seemed to hurt her. "Nathan?"
"I never imagined a son of mine would turn out to be gay..." He stopped at a light and closed his eyes in pain. "but you are my son and I know you wouldn't do anything without thinking it through. So as far as that goes I'm with your mother, but we'll talk later. I don't want this to ruin the week, I'm happy for you both. Sam is a good kid with a bright future."
"Well thanks you guys, I'm sure Sam will be happy to hear about your acceptance." I tried to use as little sarcasm as possible.
"Oh Samantha darling, you look lovelier than ever. You must tell me your secret. How do you keep your waist so thin. Oh here I go rambling, you must have loads to tell me!"
Mom was sitting in the backseat with me and touching me all over and looking at how well I kept myself in-shape. Is this what I'll be like when I grow up? Is this how I am now?
"Okay mom, ugh, where do I begin? First off I'm dating Alex now! Oh mom, he is perfect! He treats me so well and takes care of me in every way. We do everything together now, like we didn't before, right, but now we workout together, diet the same, we study, we go to football games together, oh, that reminds me! Alex and I are the talk of the crowd, we have a cheer that we do and it gets the crowd so loud and excited, ugh, you should hear it mom! Let's see what else, hmmm, oh yeah I have perfect grades in each course I'm taking. Also, the dorm has come around to me and they don't give me any shit any more. What else am I missing?"
"Oh baby! Steve, do you hear that?! Our little Sammie is all grown up and dating little Alex. You two are using protection right?" Dad simply grunted his approval. He hated when mom and I got excited like this together.
"Mom! For your information we are taking things slow and haven't done that yet. Besides, we're both virgins and I can't get pregnant, what's the point?" I reflexively flinched at the thought of never being able to birth children.
"Well good, and still, protection is important." Even as she said the words she gave me that smile that said she knew I was right.
"So how long have you two been going out now? What's his body look like? I bet it looks sexy, he looked more buff back at the house."
"Mom! You're being dirty!" I couldn't resist talking to my mom like a little teenager. She was the only one I could be truly girly around. "We've been going out since the start of the semester, and if you must know he is F-I-N-E, fine! Ever since we started working out together his abs have gotten so cut, ugh, and he can lift me like I was a feather."
"I always liked little Alex, he was always so cute. Who did he look like again, little Harry Potter right, that Daniel Radcliffe kid?"
"No mom, it was a young Tom Hanks."
"No he doesn't, Alex has straight hair and he used to have that long shaggy hair for a few years before he cut it for baseball."
"Okay maybe you're right, maybe a mix of the two."
"Fair enough, okay okay." She took a deep calming breath to ease herself down. "Okay, serious now." She blew out a breath. "Alright, so how are your studies coming? Have you been reading up on your psychology lately?"
"Yes, I actually started a new book before we left, but I only got a chapter in before Alex finished his midterm and we headed out."
"Oh baby, in all seriousness, I'm so proud of you and Alex. You two are perfect for each other. Oh look sweetie, we're here!"
Texas Roadhouse, for those of you that don't know, is an amazing steakhouse that derives its name from the wonderful state, and has branched out to become a popular franchise across the United States. The place is full of a hearty country atmosphere complete with waitresses doing dances when certain songs come on. There is a bucket of peanuts on every table that are free to eat and when you do you are free to throw the shells on the floor. If that isn't enough to draw you in, the steak is simply the best with perfect marbling and no excess fat.
When we pulled up to the bright neon glowing building the mood in the car had bottomed out. It was clear that my parents were distraught over the news. My dad was determined to not let it ruin his mood and started to talk about baseball with me. I had to admit that it was a welcome distraction from the quiet contemplation that held my mother in a trance towards the road. We found a parking spot with a free spot next to it that was quickly filled with Steve's Escalade. I couldn't get out of the car quick enough to find comfort in Sam's arms. Sam ran around to find me and she jumped into my arms smiling. Her smile was quickly replaced with worry when she saw my face.
"What's wrong?" She kissed me and held my head in her hands as she whispered to me.
"They "accept" it for what it is, but I still have a talk coming my way. They're going to pretend to be happy to save the mood. We just have to be our normal happy selves and hope they can see how much we love each other." I spoke slow, trying to cope with the words as I spoke them.
"Okay baby. I understand." She kissed me deeper this time and her smile came back to full brightness and the worry fell off me once again.
"Awwww, see that Steve, don't they look so cute together? Don't they look just precious Julia?" Steve just smiled and gave his agreement. My mother was less hospitable with her response.
"Why don't we just see if there is a wait for a table."
She was being dismissive and I saw a whole new side of my once open minded parents. My parents used to praise Sam for having such conviction in her self as a person. They loved how cute she was as a girl and I even believed they saw her as one after a while. Now that she was a sexual being, she was nothing more than a man with a penis pretending to be a woman. She was now a man who corrupted their son and turned him into a homosexual. I could feel it ooze off of them. They once had a son that played a sport well enough to earn a full scholarship who, albeit awkward, had a girlfriend, and now their son was nothing more than a "faggot." The word didn't need to be said out loud. It was on their faces and in their every movement, and despite the calming words from Sam I couldn't look at them with a smile. It was painful to look at my own parents with such an ugly emotion. The same parents that raised me and cared for me through my life were now looked upon by me with the same feelings as the people on my baseball team, ignorant, close minded, and prejudiced individuals.
The attractive hostess showed us to our table. The table had three chairs on each side and Sam took the middle seat beside me on one side. Sam's mother took the other seat beside her daughter. My father took the seat across from me with mom next to him, across from Sam. Everyone sat in silence looking over the menu before our waitress arrived. I already knew what I wanted and sat staring at my father with angry contemplation. Sam noticed before he did and held my hand to snap me out of my gaze. She brought my attention to her face where she was mouthing for me to smile.
"Sugar is better than vinegar." She whispered into my ear.
"Something to share Sam?" My father said her name as if she was still a boy.
"Oh, just letting Alex know what I wanted, in case the waitress comes before I get back from the little girl's room. Julia, you care to join me? We haven't gotten to talk in so long." My mother agreed, letting dad know to get her usual. Sam's mom took the conversation opening in full and scooted next to me.
"Speaking of catching up, Alex, sweetie, I'm so glad that you and Sam finally decided to get together. I've been telling Steve that you two are perfect for each other for years now. Haven't I Steve?" All he did was grunt a yes while looking through his menu. I liked that about her father. He was a man of little to no words, yet so much emotion.
"Well it's funny that you've been saying that, because I've wanted to date Sam for years as well. May I say that you have raised the best daughter a parent could raise?" Every word was a stab at my father who was pretending not to listen while looking over what to get.
"Aren't you the sweetest little man? Nathan, your son is so charming. I remember when he was too shy, he wouldn't even say hello to anyone he met. Would you look at him now?"
Something told me Sam's mother knew exactly what was going on. I believe everyone did. Every parent was skilled in the art of perception. Steph, being a lawyer had to know how to read people for a living, as did my father as a police officer. Steve had to know how to read situations and business people for his job in stocks. My mother had to know emotions in order to handle a person better as a nurse. The tension was building and the only question was who was going to be the first one to break it.
"Well..." My father began to speak, but stopped as Sam and my mother got back and sat in their seats.
"Alright everyone." Steph began. "I'm tired of trying to tip-toe around this. It's obvious that you two have a problem with your son dating my daughter, and yes I mean daughter. Nathan...Julia...We have been friends for over twenty years now." The waitress finally made it to the table, but was quickly dismissed with a simple wave. "I'm not about to let this situation break-up our friendship, or this to cause tension in our children's relationship. When Sam made her decision all those years ago you two were so open minded about it that you convinced us to be as well. Yes, I am sorry Sam, you're father and I were not as accepting as we let on when you first told us. Now, I want to enjoy this night, so order your food and order whatever spirit you need because we're gonna air our thoughts right here." She spoke with such authority that even my father sat back and didn't object.
With a wave Sam's mom brought the waitress back in an instant. We all ordered our food. Sam and I ordered the same thing, a protein rich 16 oz. medium-rare steak with baked beans and mixed vegetables. My mother ordered ribs and Steph ordered a salad. My dad ordered a steak with fries as did Steve. My dad ordered a double Crown and coke and my mother got a margarita. Steph ordered a martini and Steve just got a Bud-Light. Sam and I got two waters. With the orders done, Steph waited until the drinks were dropped off to start her trial.
"Alright, since I started this shit, I'll begin." It was obvious that the tension was starting to piss her off. "Sorry to air your business you two, but you have to be here for this. Sam, you're a wonderfully smart woman with a bright future ahead of you. Alex, you are talented, you picked up a game that you'd never played and got a scholarship out of it, that shows commitment and drive. You two have been together for 18 years and I don't think I've ever seen you two fight and so there is no doubt in my mind that you could stay together forever. That said, Sam you know how I feel, but the law will not permit you two to ever officially marry and as you said in the car Sammie, you will never have kids of your own. In my eyes those are the only two problems with your relationship, two problems that could go away easily and aren't truly problems then. Laws change and there are always surrogate parents or adoption. I know you two dating doesn't mean for sure that you will decide to stay together forever, but I want to make this a long-term discussion so that we don't have it again when you two get engaged or something along those lines. That is my peace and for the record you obviously have my blessing."
"What she said." Truly a remarkable man that Steve. He spoke quick and buried his head back into his phone which was probably filled with stock news or something like that.
"I wanted to talk with you in private about this, but Steph has left me little choice. Son, I love you, and when presented with the point-of-view that Steph just laid before us it would be hard of me to object. I'm not going to pretend that I am okay with you dating another man. That is nothing against you Sam, but in all reality you are still a guy. I will air that I was raised Catholic and despite not following the religion anymore I have to say that I still don't and won't approve of any homosexual acts. Sam you are a wonderful woman, yet still a man, and so If you two continue to date I have to withdrawal my allowance from you Alex. I still love you and wish you two the best. I wish I didn't feel the way I did son, but I do and I hate myself for it." Even though I hated that he felt that way, I respected him for his honesty and his conviction.
"I love you both, Sam you were always the daughter I never had. As far as I'm concerned you are already family. Alex sweetie, I meant what I said in the car, as long as you are happy then I am too, but I know your father's feelings and knew how he would feel. I support my husband as I expect you two to support each other through your relationship. If you two stay together and eventually marry or become domesticated partners or whatever I would still like to see grandchildren someday." She finished with a long sip of her drink.
"I can't speak for Sam, but I value your honesty. I especially value yours dad. I still love you and I understand. I'll find a way to make it through, hopefully with the help of my partner and roomie." I smiled and a firm grip from Sam told me she was with me. "That was very nice of you all to air your thoughts and I'm glad we can move past this and enjoy our week long break."
"I still love you Nathan, and Julia you were always my second mother. We appreciate all that you do for us, all of you. Now that we got all that out can we go back to enjoying ourselves?" I leaned in to kiss Sam, but she turned her cheek and stopped me with a finger. "Alex, respect your father and save those kisses for later." My father mouthed a "thank you" towards Sam.