Life Lessons Can Come in Small Packages

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: November 09, 2017

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Submitted: November 09, 2017

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One summer on a weekend, my parents and I were on a road trip to North Dakota to visit my aunt and uncle.  We had stopped at a gas station in Minnesota, where the weather was 40 below and it was starting to snow. 

“Mom, Dad, we better get going before we get stuck in a snowstorm,” I told my parents. 

“Don’t worry, Ziggy, we’ll be outta here in plenty of time,” my dad replied.  Just in case you’re wondering, my name isn’t really Ziggy; it’s Zachary, or Zack.

My dad calls me Ziggy because I used to use to Zig Zag across the house when I was young.  The first time it happened my dad said “Whoa, slow down Ziggy,” and the nickname stuck.

My dad is a little skinny, but he’s not anorexic; he has brown hair that is slowly turning gray, he is dark skinned, has brown eyes and always wears a hat and glasses.  My mom is a little heavyset, but she’s not fat; she also has brown hair with some gray in it, she has brown eyes, wears glasses and loves the color purple.  Me, I’m average weight, but shorter than most kids my age; I too wear glasses, have brown hair and brown eyes, and you can always find me wearing jeans, a button up shirt, and boots. 

After we got the jeep filled up, we left the gas station and continued on our journey.  We were on the road for an hour when the snow got heavier.  My dad was having a hard time seeing where he was going.  I saw something up ahead – it was deer!

“Dad, watch out!”

He didn’t have time to react, he hit the deer and we swerved off the road; the tires

were screeching, we were yelling, and we were rolling down a hill for what seemed like forever until we finally slammed into a tree and then everything went black.

When we came to, it was morning and the clouds were overcast.  My head hurt like it was used as a drum set.  My dad awoke with only a few scrapes, but my mom’s leg was pinned under the dashboard. 

“Leslie, we need to get you out of here,” my dad said to my mom. 

He got out and rushed to the passenger’s side where my mom was and tried to get her out. 

“Cole, it’s no use, I’m stuck.  Take Zack and go get help,” my mom told my dad.  “Mom, I’m not leaving you,” I replied. 

“Don’t worry Zack, you stay here while I go get help,” my dad told me. 

After he left I crawled in the driver’s seat and held onto my mom and kept her

warm as best as I could.

All of a sudden, my mom and I heard a rumbling sound and an engine rev.  I looked out the back window and saw two guys get out of a truck, along with my dad.  These guys looked to be about 5'7, well built, and one looked like he worked out.  The one with muscles had sandy blonde hair with baby blue eyes; he was wearing a t-shirt and jeans with snow boots, and the other had brownish/black hair with leafy green eyes and was wearing a long sleeve shirt with a hoodie, black pants and tennis shoes.  My dad and the two guys managed to get my mom out of the jeep and onto a blanket they had on the ground.  

"Oh, thank you so much, gentlemen," my mom said to my dad and the two guys in a grateful tone.  

"You're very welcome, ma'am," said Blondie.  

Thankfully, my mom's leg was only sprained, but the guy with the brownish/black hair was a doctor so he was able to make a splint out of tree branches and his shoelaces.  

"Why don't you guys come stay with us until your wife's leg heals.  We're due for another storm tonight anyway," Blondie said to my mom and dad.  

"That's very generous of you, but we can just stay in a motel," my mom replied.  

"Nonsense, stay with us, we will take care of you all," the guy with brownish/black hair said.

“What do you think guys?”  My dad asked my mom and me. 

“Well, you both seem very nice.  We’ll take you up on your offer,” my mom said.  So, the guys and my dad and I loaded my mom and us in the guys’ truck and

headed to their house.

During the ride to their house, we all introduced ourselves.  It turns out that the guy with the brownish/black hair, his name is Jesse and Blondie’s real name is Jeff and they both have the same last name, Javison.  As we were pulling into their driveway, I noticed a rainbow flag waving on top of their house.  I wondered what kind of religion they had to be to have a rainbow flag.  As we were getting out of the truck, this boy who had spiked brownish/black hair, hazel eyes, was dressed in all snow clothing, looked to be about 4’10 (a few inches taller than me) and was my age, which is 12, came running up to us. 

“Dad, who are these people?”  The boy asked Jesse. 

“Well Asher, this is Leslie, this is Cole, and this is their son Zachary,” Jesse said while pointing at all of us. 

“They crashed their jeep in the snowstorm and Leslie sprained her leg so, they’re going to stay with us until her leg heals and the storm passes,” Jesse said to Asher. 

“Oh, well, welcome to our home,” Asher said to us in friendly tone. 

“Thank you,” we all said in unison.

“What a sweet gentleman you have,” my mom told Jeff and Jesse.

As we were walking through the house to our rooms, my parents and I noticed a lot of pictures of Jeff and Jesse together dressed up in groom outfits.  I thought to myself, Why are they in pictures together instead of with their wives?  After we all got settled Asher asked me to come outside with him so he could show me something.  When we got outside he showed me his huge tree house! 

“Wow, this awesome!”  I exclaimed. 

“Isn’t it?  My dads and I built it together.” 

“I’m sorry, did you say dads?”  I asked Asher. 

“Yeah, Jeff and Jesse are both my dads.”  I looked at him in a confusing way.  “What, you didn’t know that my dads are gay?”  Asher asked. 

“I didn’t even know they were both your dads.  I just thought that Jesse was your

dad and Jeff was your uncle or something,” I replied to Asher. 

He chuckled at me like I had made a joke.  I then asked him, “You’re not gay

either are you?”  He replied with a no so, I relaxed a little bit. 

As you can tell, I don’t like gay people.  I just find it unconstitutional for two people of the same sex to be together.  I started hating gay people ever since my friend showed me a passage in his Bible that said it was a sin to be gay and that God punishes those who are gay.  I also had a bad experience with a gay person; he was a major bully to my friend and me and another gay guy tried to kiss my friend, so I punched him and got suspended from school.  My parents have tried to educate me on gay people, but they gave up as they felt it was no use and that one day I would come to my senses.

Anyways, later that night, I told my parents these people we were staying with were gay.  They laughed at me and told me they already knew; Jeff and Jesse told them when Asher and I were outside. 

“You guys know and you still want to stay here?”  I asked them. 

“Zack, they’re not bad people just because they are gay.  They are humans just like us,” my mom told me. 

“Well, I don’t like it, but I’ll stick it out for you guys.  After all, Asher seems cool so I’ll just hang out with him until we leave,” I told my parents. 

“Thank you, Ziggy,” said my dad. 

After doing some research online I learned that the Javison’s rainbow flag was a symbol of LGBT Pride.  I also learned that it is now legal for gay couples to get married.  That would explain the wedding pictures hanging all over the house.  I was starting to fall asleep after awhile so I decided to go to bed.

I woke up in the middle of the night freezing; it was snowing again.  I took my stuffed wolf that I have had since I was a baby out of my duffel bag and curled up with it under my blanket and fell back asleep.  The next morning, I awoke to the smell of blueberry pancakes.  When I came downstairs everyone was already sitting at the table ready to eat. 

“Thank you all for waiting,” I said to everyone. 

They all said you’re welcome as I sat down to eat.  After breakfast, Asher and I

helped clean up and went outside to play.  Asher and I shared a lot of interests; we both liked horror movies, we both liked playing video games, especially the ones where we blow stuff up, we both liked hiking and riding our bikes, we both enjoyed expeditioning, and we both loved blueberry pancakes, which explained our breakfast.  We spent the entire day together expeditioning and playing video games.  By 8 pm we were bushed. 

“Man, we found a ton of col stuff,” I told Asher. 

“I know, right?  We should make a time capsule and bury all our findings in it,” Asher said to me.

“If that’s what you really want to do, that’s fine with me,” I replied. 

After Asher went to go get his money out of his piggy bank, we headed to the store to go buy the time capsule.  When we got back to the house, we put our stuff in it and buried it all in a secret hiding place where no one would ever find it but us.  We both pinky swore to never tell anyone about the secret hiding place and where it is.  We were both so tired from playing all day; we could barely keep our eyes open while eating dinner. 

“You boys must have had a rough day today,” Jeff said to Asher and me. 

“Why don’t you guys go on up to bed.  We’ll help Jeff and Jesse clean up,” my mom told us. 

So, as we were heading up the stairs and we got to our rooms, Asher said to me, “Zack, this has been the best day of my life.  I don’t have that many friends, and

the ones I do have don’t like to hang out with me as much anymore.  So, I just want to say thanks for this day and thanks for being my friend even though you know my parents are gay.” 

“You’re more than welcome, Asher, good night,” I told Asher as I went into my room.

Asher and I were so exhausted that we didn’t wake up until noon.  When I woke up, I turned around and Asher was standing in my doorway. 

“How long have you been standing there?”  I asked him. 

“About 20 seconds.  Why do you still sleep with a stuffed animal?”  He asked me. 

“Because, I’ve had Wolfie since I was a baby.  My aunt gave him to me and she’s dying, so he’s very special to me,” I told Asher. 

“Oh, I’m sorry.  You and your aunt must have been very close.” 

“Yes, we were, I would always spend weekends with her when I was younger.  That’s why we came on this trip, to go visit her for the last time,” I said to Asher as I was starting to cry. 

Asher noticed I was starting to cry so he changed the subject. 

“Hey, let’s go play with my Nerf guns outside.” 

“Awesome, I love those,” I told him. 

We spent a few hours playing with the Nerf guns; we came up with different games as we went along.  We decided to take a break and have a late lunch.  While we were eating, Asher confessed his biggest secret to me. 

“Zack, I’m gay.”  I looked at him in anger. 

“What, but you told me it was just your dads who are gay!  You told flat out lied that you weren’t gay,” I yelled at him in anger. 

“I know, I’m sorry I lied to you, but I knew that you didn’t like gays because of

your reaction when I told you my dads were gay so, I told you I wasn’t gay so you would

still hang out with me.”  He went on to tell me more. 

“This is why my friends don’t hang out with me anymore because, I told them I am gay and that my dads are gay.” 

“Asher, I can’t believe you!  Don’t ever speak to me again,” I exclaimed to him.  “I can’t wait to leave this nut house,” I yelled as I stormed off into the house.

After I got to my room, I lied down on my bed and started crying.  I couldn’t believe that all that time, the kid whom I thought was cool and was my new friend, was gay!  I could feel my cell phone vibrating in my pocket.  When I pulled it out, I saw that it was my aunt calling.  I answered it and we started talking.  She told me that my parents called her when we got settled here and told her what had happened.  I asked her if they told her that Jeff and Jesse were gay.  She said yes, so I then told her that their son, Asher whom I was cool and my friend was also gay.  She told me she knew that too and that’s why she called.

“Zachary, I’m going to let you in on a little secret,” my aunt told me.  “I’m gay as well.”  She said. 

“What, how… why are you telling me this,” I asked her. 

“Because, you’re my buddy and I could always tell you my secrets,” she told me.  “Then why did you wait until now to tell me your biggest secret of all,” I asked

her. 

She told me because she felt that now was the right time.  She told me how her life was growing up, how kids use to bully her and call her rude names because she was gay.  She told me how her own father disowned her after he found out she was gay.  I

couldn’t believe that my aunt was so strong to have gone through all this.  I started crying

for her. 

“Please don’t cry Zack,” my aunt reassured me. 

“Everything is going to be ok now,” she said. 

“This is why I finally told you, because I know you’re upset with Asher, but you mustn’t be.  I’m sure he has been through all that too for being gay.” 

“But, what about all that stuff in the Bible about how being gay is a sin and that God punishes those who are gay,” I asked my aunt.

“Oh Zachary, that is so not true.  Please don’t tell me you let that “friend” of yours put that kind of nonsense in your brain.”

“You know darn well that God loves his children and would never punish or judge anybody based on their race, gender, ethnic background, and certainly not their sexual orientation,” my aunt said.

“I know that Aunt B. I guess I was just peer influenced,” I replied.

 “That’s ok, son.  It happens to everyone.  Now, you know what you need to do now, don’t you,” said my aunt.

“Yes, I do,” I replied in an apologetic tone. 

After about 10 more minutes, I got off the phone with my aunt and went back outside to apologize to Asher.

“Ash, I’m so sorry I was mean to you,” I told Asher. 

“I was just shocked to find out you were gay.  I never understood why or how two people of the same sex could be together the same ways as opposite sex couples,” I told him. 

“It’s ok, I forgive you,” Asher said to me. 

I then told him about my aunt calling me and telling me she was gay and what she went through as a kid.  Asher completely understood because he went through the same torment as a kid and is still going through it. 

“Honestly, if you had never told me you were gay, I never would have known the difference,” I told him in honesty. 

“I realize now that gay people are just people; they aren’t aliens or sickos, or retards.  They’re just regular people, except they just happen to be attracted to the same sex,” I told Asher in a reassuring tone.

I also told him about my friend back home and what he showed me in his Bible.

“That was very rude and sneaky of your friend to trick you like that.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that.  In fact, it says just the opposite,” Asher said.

“Yeah, I know, I guess I’m going to find a new friend when I get back home,” I told him.

After we made up, we made a pact to stay friends forever and to always be there whenever one of us needs each other.  After we pinky swore and hugged to this, it was time for my parents and I to leave.  We all said our goodbyes and my parents and I hopped in our rental car and drove off to finally visit my aunt. 

This whole experience taught me a life lesson and that is, just because people are gay doesn’t mean they are broken, retards, or aliens.  They are still human beings who have feelings and the same rights as straight people do.  They should not be discriminated against just because they are attracted to the same sex.  I also learned that love is love, no matter if it’s between a man and a woman, two men or two women, love is still love and it shouldn’t be judged or hated upon.  It is not unconstitutional or immoral to be LGBT, it just means that LGBT people are unique and that’s how God wanted them to be.  I’ll never forget that my best friend, Asher Javison taught me that life lesson 20 years ago.


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