We two boys together
"Andy! Can you come for a second?", Miguel yelled.
"Yeah.." Andy came into the room, seeing his boyfriend standing totally panicked in front of the closet.
"You've got to help me! This one or this?" Miguel pointed at two entical looking shirts.
"Uh.. Oh.. Hard choice.. Don't they look the same? Okay, ehm. Let's see, that one!
Miguel still looked skeptic. "Are you sure? You know, I want you parents to get a good first impression of me and maybe they won't like me because of what I wear."
Andy had to laugh.
"I'm sure they would even like you if you came wearing a sack. Don't worry. And hurry up a little, okay? We'll be late."
After 10mins they finally made it into the car.
"So, tell me something about them. I want to be prepared!"
"Miguel, relax calm down. Honestly."
Miguel closed his eyes. He was scared. Incredibly scared.
"I love you, no matter what they'll say. You know that, don't you?"
Miguel nodded. "I know, yes.."
It was silent for a second. Then he added:"And I love you, too."
Miguel looked out of the window, they had left the city behind and drove through the little suburbs to Andy's hometown Lower Merion. It was his mother's 61st birthday and his whole family would be there.
"But your parents know that you are gay, right?"
With that, Andy's thoughts were suddenly interrupted. That was the point. They had no idea.
"To be honest, Miguel.. No, they don't."
Miguel shook his head in disbelief. „What? I mean.. ARE YOU SERIOUS? No, come on: Stop joking. You throw me- me as an completely inncocent person- into that situation! That's not fair! How do you want to to it? 'Mum, Dad. That's my boyfriend. I'm gay.' Or what? I can't believe it! Get me out of that fucking car!"
Miguel was hysterical as hell.
"Miguel, okay... Relax, yes? I know it's an awkward situation. But not only for you. You have nothing to loose, so stop acting like a 5-year-old girl!"
Miguel opened his mouth to answer but the he realized that he actually didn't know whta to say.
"Oh, boy.." He ran his fingers through his black curly hair as he often did it when he was nervous.
"What do you think.. I mean- How do you think are they going to react?", he asked quietly.
"I don't know. I really don't know. I worry a bit about my father's reaction."
"And how about your brothers?"
"It's as clear as daylight that they have already considered that I'm gay."
Miguel nodded. "So, it won't be very suprising?"
"I guess not..."
They drove for about 10mins more untill they arrived.
"Here we are. It's showtime", said Andy.
He opened the door and was just about of getting out when Miguel grabbed his hand and pulled him back in.
"I just wanted.." He shook his haead, leaned against Andy's forehead and kissed him gently. Andy smiled, stroke Miguel's cheek.
"Come on.. Come on.."
They walked down the street. The neighborhood looked clean and civically. A typical American middle-class suburb.
Andy rang the bell and a few seconds later an old friendly looking lady appeared in the door.
"Oh, my sweet boy. Give me a hug!"
It seemed she didn't even realize Miguel who stood a bit hidden behind Andy's back.
"Mum, I want to introduce you to somebody.."
Now she looked over her son's shoulders and before she could say a word, Andy said:"That's Miguel, my boyfriend. Miguel, my mother Sarah."
Miguel tried to smile and Sarah tried to keep her countenance. Both failed piteously.
"Hello", Miguel finally said as he reached out his hand.
"Hello." She shook his hand and was astonished by his squeeze.
"Well, then.. Come on in." She turned around and stepped in and left a very confused Miguel in his place who looked helpless.
"Go in..", Andy whispered.
"Shall I take my shoes off?", Miguel asked insecure. His accent got very strong. That was his biggest problem: he always forgot words, grammar and pronunciation when he got excited.
Andy heard his brother's Matt laugher from out of the living room.
"Andy, have you got a new haircut? Why are you hiding?"
"Hey, guys. I want to introduce you to somebody..", he said again.
As Miguel stepped in, Andy's elder brother Matt was the first who understood what was going on.
"STRIKE!", he shouted and threw his hands up in the hair. Andy looked surprised at him.
"Sorry, Andy. But there's a bet between me and Randy and I'd say I just won! I mean, you know!" he laughed. Miguel still didn't feel comfortable although Andy's brother seemed to be very nice and open-minded.
"That's Miguel, my boyfriend", he said even though it was not necessary to mention that Miguel was his boyfriend.
"Hi", Miguel said carefully.
"So, this my brother Matt. And this is Randy. My sister, Jill. And my father Bud."
Miguel shook everybody's hand. The atmosphere was friendly and eased untill Bud interrupted it: "Andrew, we need to talk. Let's go into the kitchen."
Miguel looked panicked at Andy, without him he was lost!
Help me somebody, was the only thought on his mind right now. Andy's sister Jill looked at him and had to admit that he was pretty handsome.
"Hey! Sit down, Buddy!", Matt said loudly and pointed at the chair between him and his brother Randy. Miguel sat down, trying to look as self-confident as possible. Jill felt pure compassion for him and decided to start a conversation.
"Miguel, thats' Spanish, right?"
"So are you from Mexico?" Miguel had to smile. A lot of people thought that.
"No, I'm from Spain. I just moved here last fall. You know, they offered me a postion at the art college in Philadelphia and since I wanted to have a change, I said por que no? Why not?"
Jill seemed interested. "Ah, really? So what do you do there, at the art college?"
"I'm a teacher."
Miguel wondered what Bud was saying to Andy. Just in that moment he heard his muted but understandable voice from out of the kitchen.
"It's my business. I don't even expect you to like it but I do expect you to accept it. That's the least you could do as my father, right?"
Miguel felt so guilty, he didn't want to be the reason why Andy split up with his parents. Even Andy's brothers exchanged worried glances with each other.
"I'll go and have a look", Sarah said finally.
"No, mom. It's okay."
It was the most awkward situation in Miguel's whole life.
Hours seemed to have passed untill Andy opened the door. He looked at Miguel, at his siblings, at his mother. Then he finally said:"Guys, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to ruin mum's birthday. I'm sorry. Really."
Miguel's face expression got concerned.
"No, Andy. You didn't-", Jill started.
"No, no. It's okay, I'm fine. Since dad's reaction, I think we are no longer welcome at this party. Too bad."
He turned around and said:"Come on, Miguel. Party's over."
Everybody looked at Andy. Bud was still in the kitchen. Miguel stood up, he was relieved that it was over but on the other hand he knew that something just had went very wrong.
"Well.. Bye then." They stepped outside.
"What the hell is going on here?"
"It's.. I can't speak right now." His voice cracked.
They walked down the street, none of them said a word.
"Andrew, Andrew!" They turned around. Andys' mother was standing in the door and waving. She ran towards them as fast as an old lady was able to run.
"I just.. Your dad.. Don't take it too serious. You know him, he didn't mean it that way."
"Well, I think this time he did. I'm sorry."
She sighed, looking like she was preparing to disabuse him.
"Andrew Jeffery Beckett", she said calmly, „you will not run away from that situation so easily. I want and need to talk to you, you are my son. And I'm going to do it right here if there's no other possibility."
"Ehm.. I think I better get into the car..", Miguel said embarassed. But Andy grabbed his hand.
"No, it's okay. You can stay. Right, mom?", he asked challenging.
"Well.. Yes. Sure."
For a moment it was quiet.
"See, Andy. You are our son and we love you the way you are. It'sjust surprising.."
Andy shook his head. „Oh come on, you can't tell me that it was surprising to you."
"Yes, it was. Your father needs time, that's all. We won't give you up because of.. you know."
Because of me, Miguel thought.
"We love you." Sarah looked him deeply in th eyes as a loving mother did when she was about to persuade her child to do the right thing, to not mess it up too soon.
"In all situations", she added.
Miguel looked at his feet. Andy hugged her. She shookMiguel's hand.
"Good bye, Miguel."
As they finally made it into the car, Miguel switched the radio on. He looked at his boyfriend who stared at the road.
Miguel was sure he saw a tear in Andy's eye but he didn't say a word. The atmosphere was cold. It felt like beeing in an empty room.
PHILADELPHIA, the sign said.
"Do you still love me?" With that, Miguel brooke the silence.
Andy faced Miguel then turned his head away again. Tears were now running down his cheeks. But silently, he was not weeping.
"You said, you will love me no matter what they say, remember?"
"Of course, I do. I love you."
"I love you, too. More than you could ever know."
Andy smiled through his tears. "I know."
That night Andy just didn't fell asleep. City lights were shining into the room and made it possible to see a little bit in the darkness. Miguel was looking like a teddy bear while he was sleeping, so peacefull and inncocent. He mumbled something. Andy got up, walked towards the big window that was reaching down to the floor and looked out. Everything was illuminated. It was too beautiful.
"Andrew.. Baby.. Are you okay?"
He didn't answer, he didn't turn around. He heard Miguel's feet padding on the floor.
Miguel cowered next to him.
"I can't sleep.. It looks so beautiful, so amazingly beauftiful."
"Yes, it does.."
Then he suddenly started crying.
"Hey, hey, hey, hey... It's okay. It's okay." Miguel wrapped his arms around him, stroke his cheek and brushed Andy's tears away.
"It feels so shitty. So incredibly shitty, Miguel. You were right, I never should have done this.."
"No, no, no.. I'm so proud of you. It's not you fault. You have nothing to reproach yourself for doing that. So, what did he say?"
"You dont't want to know."
"Yes, I do."
He took a deep breath. "He said, that he is dissapointed, he didn't work so hard to get a gay son. I'll have to decide what's more important to me. My family or you. And then.." His voice cracked again.
"And then..?", Miguel asked gently.
"He said, I won't be his son any longer.. If I didn't change."
Miguel held him tighter.
"No, come on.."
Miguel stroke Andy's hair and kissed his head. „No.. He didn't mean it. I can't imagine he did.."
"Yes.. Don't leave me alone, Miguel.."
And so they sat there.
We two boys together clinging,
One the other never leaving,
Up and down the roads going, North and South excursions making,
Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching,
Arm'd and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving.
No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering, thieving,
Misers, menials, priests alarming, air breathing, water drinking, on
the turf or the sea-beach dancing,
Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness
Fulfilling our foray.