A Chace to Make Peace

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Gay and Lesbian  |  House: Abandoned

Returning home years after leaving a young man attempts to make peace with his father.


When the phone rang, Bill rolled over and saw it was a little after midnight before he answered the phone. The caller id said it was his mom, so he knew it wasn't good news.

“William, you have to come home.”

“What is it, mom?"

“It is your father.”

As soon as he heard those words, he was ready to hang up. He loved his mom, but he hadn't spoken to his father in twenty years. He remembered the last time he had seen that man like it was only yesterday.

 

His father wasn't due home for hours, so he had invited Roger over and they soon ended up sitting on his bed kissing. Neither of them was really out, but Bill was on the verge. It was his father who kept him from telling the world he was gay. As they kissed, Bill had let his hand wander, wanting to take their relationship further. As Bill got the nerve up to make his move, his bedroom door burst open, and in the doorway stood his father.

The two boys leaped to their feet and faced the red face man that glared at them as the veins in his neck bulged. His right hand shot up and he jabbed a finger at Roger like he wanted to ram it through the boy's chest. "Get out of my house and never come back you fucking faggot."

Roger dropped his head, unable to look at Bill as he ran. At the door, he squeezed by the older man, who refused to move out of the doorway. The two of them stood there facing each other in silence until they heard the front door slam. As Bill opened his mouth to speak, his father flew across the room and slammed his fist into the young man's jaw.

Bill stumbled back and shook his head before he stepped back up to face his father.

“Are you a fucking faggot, boy?”

“I’m gay, dad.”

“No son of mine is a fudge packing queer,” the old man said with a deep growl as he swung at the boy again.

Bill had seen the second punch coming and blocked it. Bill had seen his father angry many times in his eighteen years, but the man had never raised a hand to him, until now. The old man swung again and Bill again blocked the blow, but the power behind it made him stumble. His father raised his fist again but Bill wouldn't back down, leaving them glaring at each other.

“You may not like it but I'm gay dad," Bill finally said, breaking the stalemate.

“Then you are no son of mine. Get the fuck out of my house.”

Bill opened his mouth to protest, but the look on his father’s face silenced any protest he might have made. He grabbed a backpack and stuffed a bunch of clothes in it before he walked out of the house.

 

His mother had given him money and begged him to write to her. She wouldn’t stand up to his father so he had caught a bus out of town the next day. In the years that followed, he had built a life for himself and tried to think about his father as little as possible. He would talk to his mother once a week, but she never brought up his father until now.

“Are you there William?”

“Yeah, I'm here, mom."

“He was in a car accident and the doctors say it doesn’t look good. Please, you need to come home and make peace with him now.”

“He is the one that threw me out, disowned me. He should be the one coming to me, asking for my forgiveness.”

“He regrets what he did, but he is too proud to ask you to forgive him. I’m asking you to do this for me.”

Bill bit his lip as he held the phone to his ear. Finally, he said, "I'll be there as soon as I can, mom."

After hanging up with his mom, Bill first booted up his laptop. He sent an email to his boss explaining that he had to leave for a while due to a family emergency. Jumping on a site to find the quickest way to get home, he found that the train would get him there the fastest. He considered ordering a ticket online but decided he would buy it at the station and logged out.

Going through his closet looking for something to pack some clothes in, he found the backpack. He had left home with this same backpack twenty years ago and now he would return carrying it. He packed his clothes, taking more care than he did the last time he packed the backpack. 

Bill sat staring at his phone when he finished packing. He and Matt had only been dating a few months, so Bill had no clue where they were headed. Bill wanted more from their relationship, but Matt seemed happy where they were at. He dreaded calling Matt to tell him he was leaving town, but he knew he had no choice.

Finally, he snatched up the phone and dialed the number before he lost his nerve. It rang a couple of times before dumping the call into voice mail. Bill went to hang up and decided that would be bad. "Hey Matt, my dad was in a car accident and my mom asked me to come home. I'm catching the six o'clock train. I'll call you later. I love you."

Bill laid down to catch what little sleep he could before he had to head for the train station after hanging up. When the alarm went off, it felt like he had just laid his head down, but he quickly got ready and headed for the station. He knew he had to try to make peace with his father, but he also felt that it was his father who should make the first move. 

 

The Uber dropped him off in front of the station and he hurried inside to buy his ticket. He had only thirty minutes before the train would leave, so he hurried. There was a line at the ticket counter and he groaned as he stepped into it. Bill regretted not buying his ticket online as the line moved at a snail's pace.

He was almost at the front of the line when his phone rang. He considered ignoring but when he saw the call was from Matt, he quickly answered.

“Hey.”

"Hey, Willie."

Matt’s pet name for him brought a smile to his face. “I’m about to get my ticket, so can I call you back?”

“I called to tell you I’ll drive you.”

“You don’t have to.”

“I already called my boss and told him I won’t be in for a few days. I’ll be out front of the train station in twenty.”

“I love you.”

“I love you. Now I have to get a shower. See ya in twenty.”

 

Matt pulled up and leaned over to open the passenger door. “Need a ride, handsome.”

Bill threw his bag in the back and slid into the passenger seat. "Thank you for doing this."

Matt smiled as he pulled out into traffic. “I wanted an excuse to take some time off and besides, you will need someone with you.”

“I’ll have my mom.”

"I know you, Willie. You will keep all your emotions bottled up inside and try to be a rock for your mom. With me, you can let it out."

Bill curled up in the passenger seat and was soon asleep. Matt let him sleep as he drove, only waking him when he stopped for lunch. They had found a restaurant right off the highway.

 

“Tell me a good memory you have of your father.”

Bill sat back in the booth and thought about it. He realized that he had been so focused on his father throwing him out he forgot all the good times. "When I was just a kid, he would come home and play catch with me every night, no matter how tired he was."

“My dad never played catch with me. He would lock himself in his study most nights.”

“I thought you and your parents got along great. You told me they were supportive of you when you came out.”

Matt laughed. "They accepted me, but for their own reasons. My dad uses me as a shield when he is accused of discrimination. Pointing out the fact that I'm gay. For my mom, I'm a fashion accessory like her Gucci purse, only her rich country club friends can’t run out and buy one themselves.”

Bill reached over the table and took his lover’s hands. “I had no idea.”

“I'm such a fake, telling everyone my parents accept me when they are just using me. You stood up to your father and you are going to show him you are the bigger man by forgiving him. I wish I could tell my dad that having a gay son doesn’t make him any less a bigot.”

Bill got up and moved over to put his arm around Matt’s shoulders. “We both have screwed up fathers, but we have each other and that is all that matters.”

Matt leaned in and their lips met.

 

As soon as they checked into a hotel, Bill called his mother while Matt grabbed a shower.

“Hey mom, how is dad?”

“He is doing better. He woke up and the doctors say that is a good sign.”

“That’s good. We just got in and as soon as we get cleaned up we will come by the hospital.”

“We who William?”

“A friend, my boyfriend Matt.”

“William, I would rather it was just you.”

“I’m not asking my boyfriend to sit around a hotel room just because you or dad don’t like the fact that I’m gay.”

“He just woke up William and getting upset is not going to be good for him.”

“I'm bringing Matt, mom so unless you don't want me to come, you and my father best just accept it." He hung up and turned to throw his phone, as Matt stepped out of the bathroom and grabbed his arm.

Matt pulled him around and kissed him. "I guess that didn't go well."

"She asked me not to bring you, and I refused."

“I don’t m…”

Bill put a finger against Matt’s lips. “I love you, so if they won’t accept that, it is their problem.”

 

Bill sat in the chair in his father's room while the old man slept. Matt was in the waiting room with his mother. It had only been there for a second when she saw him and Matt walk in, but he hadn't missed it. She wasn't happy about him bringing Matt, but he wouldn't allow her or his father to control him. He wonder how his mother and Matt were getting along as he sat there waiting for his father to wake up. He wasn't sure how his dad would react to him being there, but he felt good about coming. It was the right thing to do and even if his dad told him to leave, he knew he had made the effort.

 

***

 

Matt looked over the top of the magazine at Bill’s mother. She had her head down, but he had seen her red-rimmed eyes when they came in. He got up and moved over beside her and put his arm around her shoulders. “It is ok.”

 

She hesitated for a moment then leaned into him as she began to cry again. Matt patted her back letting her cry. When she had finally stopped he let her sit back up.

 

“I shouldn’t have asked Billie to come back. His father is just going to get upset again.”

 

“You did the right thing. Bill would have been devastated if his father died and he hadn’t come. Now that he is here they can settle their differences and hopefully they can.”

 

“Calvin tries to be a good man, but part of it is how he was raised. His father was a real bastard.”

 

Matt grabbed a tissue from the box on the end table and wiped the tears from the cheeks of Bill’s mom. “Mrs. Finley I love your son and I know he would never admit it but what Mr. Finley did hurt him a lot. It has affected every relationship he has had. At this point, they have to work things out or Bill needs to move on and you don’t want that.”

 

No I don’t but what can I do?” Mrs. Finley’s eyes began to fill with tears again.

 

“It isn’t really my place to tell you what to do. I love Bill and don’t want to see him suffer, but he isn’t the one in the wrong here. It is his father and somebody needs to make him see it.”

 

Mrs. Finley began to cry again and Matt put his arm around her shoulders again. He held her as she cried biting his lip. He wasn’t sure if he should have interfered, but he had only spoken the truth.

 

***

 

Bill sat up as he saw his dad’s eyelids flutter. The old man groaned softly and open his eyes and looked around until his eyes fell on Bill. “What are you doing here?”

 

“Mom called and said you were in a car accident.”

 

“I’m fine now so you can leave.”

 

“Can’t we just talk about this dad?”

 

“Are you still gay?”

 

“It isn’t something I can change.” Bill looked away not wanting his father to see the tears in his eyes.

 

“Then we don’t have anything to talk about.”

 

Bill got up and turned towards the door just as it opened. “Sit down Billie,” his mother told him as she walked in.

 

“Let the little faggot leave Ruth.”

 

Mrs. Finley turned to her husband. “You sound like your father Calvin.”

 

Calvin glared at his wife and then his attention shifted to his son and the man that had followed his wife in. He saw how they held hands and looked at each other, the same way he looked at his wife. He swallowed and open his mouth but the words wouldn’t come. He fumbled for the cup of water beside his bed and Ruth got it for him.

 

He looked down and fought back the tears that had started to form in his eyes. “Bill I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said the things I did, not now or back then. There really is no excuse for it I just hope you can forgive me.”

 

When Bill started crying as he nodded to his father, it was like a dam burst and his parents began crying also.



Submitted: April 27, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Alex S. Foley. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Damon Nomad

That is nicely done it conveys the real and complex emotions that can exist between parents and their children.

Wed, April 27th, 2022 11:17am

charlamaye

NICE

Wed, April 27th, 2022 6:56pm

charlamaye

NICE

Wed, April 27th, 2022 8:52pm

niah

It was good that the father admit that he was in the wrong, not many people can do that.

Sat, June 4th, 2022 9:58pm

Ian D. Mooby

This is a well-written story that I really enjoyed reading. I did put some suggestions into the I-comments on it about possible fixes and changes to improve it. It is great as it is, but in my opinion, you could make it even better.

Ian D. Mooby.

Sun, July 31st, 2022 6:33pm

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