Monday, 23 January 2017

New Years Engagement

 You know those moments that you think would never happen to you, then when

you lest expect it something really big happens in a place that you know would be a

day that you would never forget. That's what happened to me on December 31st 2016.

For the longest time Hank and I had been hanging out a lot and on a regular basis

Hank would spend the night at my house, and I would do the same on weekends. I

never really thought of Hank and I as dating, but I guess one could say with all the

hanging out we had been doing and how often John and I where spending time with

each other it only made sense that people took us for boyfriends who where dating. I

had never given any thought to myself as being gay or anything like that, hell it wasn't

something I had remotely ever thought about come to think about it.

It only made sense one night when my mom came in to my room and sat down

on my bed beside my desk. She had this complex look on her face that she was

having trouble trying to ask me a question that deeply troubled her. In the back of my

mind I kind of knew what she was going to ask to me, but I didn't want to lead her on

to something that I knew I would never be able to back out of if the time came for me

to do that. Hell if I was going to get a leg up on what ever it was that my mom was

going to ask to me, then I had better ask her a question first that way I could break the

ice and maybe that way my mom would feel more comfortable.

“, Mom can I ask you something.”

“, sure you can Hank, my mom replied.”

“, what's troubling you, I asked.”

My mom just sat for second or two with out saying a word or taking a breath. I

knew this had to be something really bad, and she couldn't bare to even tell me about

it. I logged off of my Facebook and started shutting down my computer. That's when

my mom let out this really loud exhale.

“, Are you gay Hank, my mom asked.”

“, What the hell kind of a question is that, I replied.”

“, I'm just wandering, asked my mom.”

“, Why does that matter to you if I'm gay or not mom, I asked.”

“, It doesn't matter to me if your gay, I'm only asking because you and John have been

hanging out a lot that's all.”

I couldn't believe what I was hearing coming from my own mom. Questions

about my sexuality and to be honest it made really uncomfortable, with all these

question's. I mean I love my mom and everything this was something totally out of

right field that I was so not expecting her to ask me on New Years eve of all days. I

took a deep breath and ran my hand through my hair, as I looked out the window.

“, Okay mom, I'm only going to say this once and once only. I'm not ready to have this

kind of talk with you right now, I never want to here this question again from you or

dad, do I make myself clear, I said.”

“, loud and clear, I will never ask you again about your sexuality again.”

“, good, now if you will excuse me I have to get ready, John will be here soon.”

“, where are you boys heading tonight, mom asked.”

“, just over to Tony's dance club, I replied.”

“, oh nice.”

“, is that the gay bar on 93rd and queen, mom asked.”

“, For Christ sake's mom you just had to ask that, after I just told you how I felt about

you asking me those kinds of questions.”

“, Honey I was only asking if it was a gay bar, I wasn't applying anything with that


I got up and walked out of my bedroom and slammed the door behind me yelling


A GAY BAR OR NOT!. That was a bad move on my part because my dad had just

happen to walk in the door from work and heard me yelling and swearing at the top of

my lungs. MY dad was a tough cookie and one thing he couldn't stand was swearing

of any kind. Specially when it's directed at my mom.

“, Who the hell do you think you are talking to your mom like that,my dad asked.”

“, Mom pissed me off with her stupid ass questions dad, I replied angrily.”

“, There are better ways of handling it, you could just asked her to stop asking you

those questions if they bother you that much.”

“, I did ask her to stop and then she kept asking further.”

Man John couldn't get here fast enough, I needed to get the hell out of this

house, because now the environment inside my house was toxic beyond all repair. I

could only hope that John was going to ask me to spend the night at his house so that

way I wouldn't have to see my mom for the rest of the night.

My phone went off while I was in the kitchen getting something to eat, while my

dad was talking to my mom. I reached in to my pocket to grab my cell phone, it was

John asking if I wanted to spend the night at his house after the party. Of course I said

yes with out giving it any thought.

“, Hey dad, I called out.”

“, yes Buddy?”

“, Can spend the night over at John's think it would be better for all of us, I said.”

“, if that's what you think is better, for you then I suggest you do it.”

Wow I was so not expecting that answer from my dad. I was more expecting him

to tell me that I was grounded and couldn't go out tonight with John. John had sent

me another text saying that he was going to be leaving with in the hour, which was

cool with me. That gave me some time to pack my bag and get what I needed to

spend the night. I went in to my top drawer and grab a condom and a package of lube

just in case something happened, although I wasn't planning on having anything

happen. I just wanted to make sure I had all my grounds covered.

“, What time is John coming to pick you up buddy, asked my dad.”

“, he will be here in a hour or so, John time, I said.”

“, lets head down stairs and have a father son talk. I think we need to have one.”

“, sure dad, let me finish packing and I'll be right down.”

I headed down to the kitchen where my dad was waiting for me. I wasn't sure

what this father\son talk was going to be about, but I had a pretty good guess that it

was going to have something to do with that god awful question that mom had asked

earlier tonight before dad got home. I must admit that I miss our little father and son

talk's because it gives a chance to ask question that I could never in a million years

ask mom about.

“, What's up dad, I asked.”

“, take a seat please Hank, there's a a couple of things I want ask you about.”

“, sure dad anything you want, just ask away.”

Right then I knew this was not going to be a good, my dad had the same look on

his face that my mom had on her face just before asking me if I has gay. Knowing my

dad he just come right out with it. Boy he didn't let me down.

“, are you John by any chance dating,my dad asked me.”

“, maybe why.”

“, according to your mother you and John have spent a lot of time together, as well as

going out with each other a lot in the past 5 months.”

“, so is that crime or something, because if it is then I'm sorry, I replied.”

You know that moment when you catch someone off guard by your answer,

when they were counting on you to give them a totally different answer then the one

you gave them. For the first time my dad was speechless he didn't know how to

respond to my answer to his question. Weather it was the fact that I was trying to hide

the fact that I was gay, and that John and I had been dating on and off for the past 5

months, I was just not ready to come out of the closet just yet.

“, Have you and John ever fooled around with one another, when your mom and I

haven't been home, my dad asked.”

“, come on dad what kind of question is that, if John and I had done it when you and

mom were out you would have seen the condom in my trash can on garbage day.”

“, Get out of here, have fun tonight with John, my dad said as he left the kitchen.”
I quickly grabbed my cell phone out of my pocket and texted John to hurry the

fuck up and get here as fast as he could, I wanted out of my parents house. I was

being hunted down for reasons that where beyond my control and I was ready to

break down. My parents had succeed in confusing me about weather I was gay or not

and there tough line of questioning was doing the the trick in ways the could be very


John finally showed up at my front door and I could barely wait to get the fuck

out of there. I wasted little time and made a run for John's ford f-150 that his parents

had bought him for his 18th birthday. For the most part John handled all the roamers

that where going around at school, so that way I didn't have to deal with any of the

pressure that was being forced on to John and myself by members of the student

body. I was never good when I'm put on the spot. I tend to break down and crack

under pressure.

“, Whats the hurry Hank, asked John.”

“, just get me the fuck out of here, I'll explain in the car on the way to the bar, I said.”

“, Okay should I be worried about this or not, asked John.”

“, Trust me it's nothing for you to be worried about, I just need to bitch at you for 10

minutes of so.”

“, okay babe, is everything okay between you and your parents, John asked.”

“, Not exactly, just drive, I replied.”

once we were clear out of sight of my parents house, leaned in and gave John

one of the biggest kisses I had ever given anyone. Not that I had been with a lot guys.

“, what was that for.”

“, sorry I don't know what came over me, I said blushing.”

“, well don't stop, I liked what you where just doing, keep going, John said.”

“, Really.”

“, yes really now give me some sugar you hot hunk of a man you.”

That was the first time I had heard John call me a hunk of a man and to be

honest it made me feel really good about myself. We kissed for a bit longer and then

held each other tightly. I knew I had another question from John but with everything

that had just happened between us, I was left with some doubt about were John and I

stood as boyfriends. Either way I had ask my question because I wanted to know

where John stood and how he felt about everything that had been going on for the

past five months.
“, John I have a silly question to ask you, I said.”

“, okay what is your silly question ask away Hank.”

“, have we been dating over the past 5 months or is this something different, I asked.”

“, Hank dude you know damn straight that we have been dating for the past 5 months

everything we have been doing together is all part of being in a relationship. Why are

you asking me this.”

“, no reason, I was just wandering how you felt about everything that has gone in the

past five months.”

After our little make season in Johns truck we headed to Tonys bar and I forgot

that I wanted to bitch for about 10 minutes. John must have forgotten as well because

he never asked me what I wanted to bitch about. What did I really have to bitch after

kissing John for the past 10 minutes I had no reason to bitch about what happened at

my house earlier tonight.

John drove around the block for a good 5 minutes just trying to find a parking

spot. Everyone in the city must have known that John and I where coming out for New

Years eve and wanted join to us for the party. We could here the music blasting away

and people where having a gay old time, Tony's was the place to be on New years

eve, because you never know who you are going to run in to.

“, I'm going to let you out right here, I wanna check out that parking lot down the street,

John said.”

“, will do babe, did you want any food, I asked.”

“, I'm good right now thanks, just get me a drink.”

I went inside Tony's bar, and there must have been over 200 people. The line up

at the bar wasn't too bad. Alex was running his butt off behind the bar making drinks

as quickly as possible. I found a clear spot where I could lean on the bar, while Alex

was serving other customers.

“, Hank hows it hanging man, the usual drinks for you and John tonight, Alex asked.”

“, I'll have my normal rum and coke, and John wanted you to make him a tight screw, I


“, one rum and coke and one hot tight screw coming right up, Alex said with a smile.”

“, Guess who, a voice said from behind me.”

“, Umm could this be Matt Damon by any chance, I replied.”

“, you only wish I was that sexy, replied John.”

While Alex was making our drinks, John went to the DJ booth to ask him about

something. John was acting vary strangely tonight like he was hiding something from

me. Oddly enough I had a gut feeling that John was up to something, I just couldn't

figure out what he was up to.

“, hey, did you ask the DJ, I asked.”

“, just asked him to play a song I like, is that okay, John replied.”

“, Hey John, where have you been all night long, asked Alex.”

“, trying to find a damn parking spot, and this is why I never go out on New years.”

“, That will be $ 7.50 please Hank, Alex asked.”

“, here's 10 bucks keep the change Alex, I replied.”

I walked to an empty table that was in the far corner of the bar and just off the

right side of the stage. The DJ that was on tonight knew what this packed house

wanted to listen to and he kept the hits coming all night long. I took a couple sips of

my drink and I was already feeling a buzz coming on. I had very little to eat over the

course of day but I did have a pretty big dinner just before John came to pick me up

from the personal hell I was going through with my parents.

What happened next caught me completely off guard. The DJ stooped playing

the music despite the crowds disappointment and asked John to join him on stage. It

was then I started getting butterfly's in my stomach. In my head I thought oh dear god

John is going to ask me to marry him in front of this packed bar. Before I could take

another sip of my drink, the DJ asked me to join them on stage.

The DJ started explaining to everyone how close John and I were. After he was

through explaining that to everyone, he then handed the microphone over to John to

say a couple words.

“, Hank we have known each other for nearly 5 years now. You hold a vary special

spot in my heart and ever since we started dating and going out my feeling's for you

have grown leaps and bounds. Hank you are the most amazing guy I have ever known

and to be able to call you my friend and my boyfriend there is just one question I would

like to ask you in front of this packed bar, John said.”

“, go ahead ask me anything you want, I replied.”

“, Hank Thomas would you marry me, John asked on one knee.”

Holly shit I couldn't believe my eyes, there in front of me was that same 14kg

ring with the blue s afire diamond in the middle staring at me. I nodded my head yes

several times before the DJ told the entire bar that I had just said yes. This was a night

either of us were soon going to forget.

“, Ladies and Gentlemen we have come to that time so everyone join me and our

newly engage couple as we count down to 2017, said the DJ.”

We counted down from 30 and then before I knew it John and I where in a tight

lip lock right at the stroke of midnight.

“, Happy new year honey.”

“, Happy new year to you to babe, John replied.”

We locked lips one more time to the cheers of the crowd that had gathered at

Tony's bar that night. And let me tell you what a night it was for all who attended

Tony's gay bash new years party.  

Friday, 20 January 2017

Christmas Blaze

“, Tell me how did it start, asked the detective.”

“, I told you I don't know how it started I wasn't home, I replied.”

“, I find it funny that your house burns to the ground and yet you don't have a clue has

to how it might have started.”

“, Like I said already I went out around 7, to go pick up a few last minute gifts, I came

home to find my house in engulfed in flames.”

“, So explain this to me again, you claim that you left your house at 7 to head to get

some last minute gifts, yet we have other witness saying they saw your car parked in

your drive when your house caught fire, explain that to me, Detective said again.”

“, I told you I left my house at 7 to go shopping there is nothing to explain here, what

ever car was parked in my driveway was not mine, I said in anger.”

Here I was sitting in the interview room being held for questioning about a fire I

never started. My family and I where now homeless and our Christmas had been

destroyed by the fire. Everything we owned was inside that house. The only thing my

family had left was the clothing on our back's. All I could think about was our young

kids who had just lost their dog Buddy earlier tonight, Buddy had been with us for 3

years he had brought joy and happiness in to our lives.

I sat there at the table with my head down as tears poured down the sides of my

cheeks I was in shock and could barely believe that my house was gone. The police

where all over me and I could here my wife of nearly 5 years saying to the other

detectives why are you holding my husband, let him go.

“, Mam, we are doing everything we can right now to get you and your husband out of here. But right now we need to find out how this fire started, and what caused it.”

“, we told you everything we don't know how the fire started why are you keeping us

here, asked my wife.”

“, Like I said we are looking in to the cause of the fire, replied the Detective Moor.”

“, I told you my husband went out shopping for some last minute Christmas gifts, we

are telling you the truth, my wife said.”

My wife and I were finally let go from the police station around 2:30 in the

morning. We headed to the nearest hotel and checked in for a month until we could

figure out what are next move was going to be. My wife called her parents and let

them know where we were staying and how they could get a hold of us if they needed


“, honey are you going to call your parents and tell them where we are in case they

need to get a hold of you, my wife asked.”

“, I'll do that first thing in the morning when I get up.”

I sat on the end of the bed watching my kids sleep. I don't know how they could

sleep at a time like this, but they where laying ever so still and I found some comfort in

that. My wife always tell me that our kids are brave and some of the strongest kids

there is. I have to agree with my wife on that because when my dad died my sons told

me everything will be alright and time would heal all wounds.

“, honey you coming to bed.”

“, yea I'll be right there in a second, I just want to write a few thoughts down.”

“, well don't stay up to late honey, we have a lot of things to do in the morning.”

“, I won't be long sweet heart, I promise.”

I finished writing a few thoughts on a pad of paper that was sitting on the desk in

our hotel room. I laid down beside my wife and kissed her gently on the cheek, then

turned over and faced my kids bed. I could here my youngest son talking in his sleep,

but could barely make out what he was saying. At one point I thought he was saying

dad help our room is on fire. I wasn't sure if he was having a dream or if he was having

a flash back of the house fire.

I tossed and turned several time's. I couldn't get my mind to turn off, I was

worried about having to deal with our insurance company later that morning. I sat up in

bed trying to to disturb my wife and kids. I heard my oldest son Mike wake up, he laid

there for a second and rubbed his eyes and looked at his watch, before he turned and

looked at me.

“, dad are you okay, he asked.”

“, I'm fine buddy, go back to sleep.”

“, I can't sleep, all I see when I close my eyes is Buddy laying in the hall way, Mike


“, What is buddy doing son, I asked.”

For the first time I could see my son Mike having trouble trying to understand

what he saw in that moment. He looked at the floor and then at the wall. He could

barely speak more then a few words before his voice cracked as if he was about to


“, Mike, I said.”

“, Yea dad.”

“, what was Buddy doing, when you last saw him.”

“, Buddy was laying in his bed, he wasn't moving dad. I think he was dead.”

“, how does that make you feel son, I asked.”

“, hurt, sad, and royally pissed off, Mike replied.”

For the first time in a long time, I watch my son Mike break down in to tears over

our family dog buddy's passing it hit Mike really hard. Buddy was Mike's best friend

since he was 12. The bound between them was something out of a fairy tail. I got up

and walked over to Mike's side of the bed. I sat down and warped my arms around

him as sat there crying in to my chest, his heart had been broken.

“, What time is it, my wife asked in a wispy voice.”

“, It's almost 5,honey go back to sleep.”

“, is everything okay, she asked.”

“, everything's fine Mike just had a bad dream that's all.”

I headed back to bed, my wife rolled over and wrapped her arms around me,

holding me close to her warm body. Admittedly I found myself thinking about our

beloved dog Buddy as I laid there quietly with the blankets pulled over us. I laid with

tears pouring down the sides of my face. This day was not going to be easy on any of

us. Including our eldest son Mike who became attach to Buddy in ways my wife and I

couldn't explain if we had tried too.

At some point I drifted off to sleep. My wife Nancy took our boys out for

breakfast and left me at the hotel to get a couple more hours of sleep. I woke up

around 1pm that afternoon. I headed down to the lobby to see if there was any

messages for me. The desk agent told me that someone had called looking for me and

wanted me to call them back as soon I got the message.

“, Sir is everything alright, asked the desk clerk.”

“, Everything is fine, can you please send a western and coffee to room 414 please.”

“, yes sir right away. Is that being charge to the room.”

“, please just charge it to the room, I replied.”

I headed back to my room, and sat on the edge of the bed and cried as I looked

at my wallet with the picture of our late dog Buddy and my son Mike. Something had

come over me, something I couldn't explain. For the first time I now realize just how

much Buddy met to me, god I miss him so much.


I had just finished my Western when my wife and kids walked in to the room. I

was slowly drinking my coffee and staring blankly out the window that over looked the

hotel parking lot. Just block and half away from our hotel window was a dog park. I

never told Mike about it because I did not want to trigger any memories of our late dog

Buddy. No matter what dog would by our hotel window or the breed of dog, everyone

remained me of Buddy big or small they all looked like our dog.

“, honey what are you looking at, my wife asked.”

“, nothing, I replied.”

“, Ron honey are you okay sweetie.”

“, sorry what were you saying honey, I blankly replied.”

“, forget it honey I answered my own question.”

My head was spinning with all kinds of different thoughts and questions of what

if we had done something different our dog Buddy would still be with us at this moment

right now. For what ever reason I just stood at the window looking at the dog park

across the street and scores of people having fun playing fetch with there dogs. It

brought a tear to my eye as I watched a number of dogs chase after one another and

then go after the dog that got the ball. God I miss Buddy so much I said to myself.

“, Did you say something dad, asked Mike.”

“. sorry son, what was that you said.”

“, What did you just say a few seconds ago.”

“, I don't know about you guys but I really miss Buddy right now.”

I took comfort in the fact that my kids where some of the strongest kids I ever

had the honor of raising. It made proud to call myself their dad. I don't know what I

would have done if my boys didn't make it out of the house that night I would have

died a thousands times over. My wife was the rock in our little family, she held

everything together and honestly I could never do the thing's my wife does on a daily


It was at the moment that a flood of tears came pouring down and there was

little I could do to hold them back. My wife wrapped her arms around me and kissed

my shoulder, as if to say everything is going to be alright.

“, Sweetheart why don't you take the boys down to the pool for a little bit, so I can talk

with your father okay.”

“, sure mom, is dad okay, our youngest asked.”

“, dad is going to be alright Pete, don't you worry.”

“, hey guys don't forget your towels, and your sandals you need something on your feet. I don't want you walking the halls bare foot, My wife said.”

Regardless my kids took off out the door and down the hall before they even

had their sandals on their feet. If there was one thing that could keep my kids

distracted from everything that was going on, it would be a swimming pool. Yes my

wife and I raised four human fish's. Once our boys were in the water forget trying to

get them out.

I sat down on the edge of the bed while my wife was in the washroom fixing her

hair. I mean my wife looks good all the time. My wife came out of the washroom and

sat next to me. She did not say a word but her body language said everything I

needed to know. My wife looked at me,

“, Ron I know your mourning Buddy.”

“, honey I'm doing alright, yes I miss our dog but who in this family doesn't.”

“, All I want you to know is your family is here for you and we love you vary much.”

“, I know you and the boys do honey, thanks I needed to here that.”


My wife and I head over to our house to check out the damage for our self's.

When pulled up to our street, my wife stopped the car and looked at me. I could barely

bring myself to look at her, I was in disbelieve that this could happen at a time like this.

“, honey look at me for a second, my wife said.”

I turned to look at my wife, she was there stroking the back of my neck, as tears

were running down the sides of my checks. I turned to my wife, she smiled.

“, Honey are you sure want to do this, I mean we can always just head right to the

bank in stead.”
I did not utter one word for a second or too, I just sat there in the front seat next

to my wife as she continued to rub the back of my head. I rubbed the tears from my

eyes before giving her my answer. I knew we had to do this not just for our self's but

for our kids who where back at the hotel. I shook my head then turned to my wife and

looked her dead in the eyes.

“, No let's do this and get it over with, I replied.”

“, okay honey, are you sure you want to do this right now, my asked again.”

“, yes honey, I'm sure.”

“, okay, my wife replied.”

I hugged my wife just to hold her in my arms before we headed down our street

to where our house once stood. I was not looking forward this moment, but I know I

had to do it for our kids. My wife then turned down our street all I could see was a

empty lot with yellow tape around it and a fire truck in the drive away, along with the

fire marshal car parked in front of our burnt down house. My wife parked the car in

front of the Parker's house, as we were getting out Mrs. Parker told my wife that she

was welcome to park in her driveway if she wanted to.

“, That's vary kind of you Mrs. Parker, but my husband and I won't be too long, but

thanks for the offer, my wife replied.”

“, Ron come here and give me a hug, you look like you could use one right now, Mrs

Parks said.”

I have admit I was not much of a huger, but these past few days and human

contact I could get I took with out much fuss.

“, I'm sorry to hear about your beloved pet dog, Mrs. Parks said.”
“, thank you that means a lot to us, I replied.”

“, If you need anything you just come and ask me, replied Mrs. Parker.”
I walked a few steps behind my wife Brooke, as we got closer to where our

house once stood. Brooke stopped and turned and looked at me. I kept my head down

as not to show that I was crying. My wife warped her arms around me tightly and we

hugged for another minute or two.

“, Awe honey it's okay, everything is going to be alright, my wife said.”

“, I can't do this honey, I don't want to see Buddy's burnt body,”

“, wait here, I'll go ask where our dog is, April replied.”

I stood watching as April was talking to a couple of the firefighter's who handed

her a small cardboard box that held Buddy's remains. I dropped down to one knee as

April came walking down the street with the box. I could barely hold my emotions

back as my wife April walked down our street with our dog Buddy's remains. April

placed the box in the middle of us, and we both knelled and cried for several minutes.

We got got back up and headed for our car. I carried Buddy the last 2 blocks and

placed him in the back seat.

A short time later we arrived back at our hotel room with Buddy. My asked our

boys if they would go in to the other bedroom and wait while I brought Buddy's

remains in to the room. Our sons came in one at time to pay the final respects to their

dear friend. Finally our oldest son came in to the room and stopped a few feet from our

bed where I had placed Buddy's box.

“, Mom, dad, can I have some time a lone with Buddy, he asked.”

“, sure honey, we will be out in the hall, April said.”

As we walked out in to the hallway, I turned back to see our son kneel down on

one knee with his head down. It was at that point I watched him place one hand on top

of the box, not a single word was said. Then I closed the door behind me, and left our

eldest son in the room by him self.

“, I'm so sorry Buddy, I'm so sorry my son cried out.”

“, god please just give me Buddy back please.”

The next afternoon our local church held a small funeral for Buddy, with our

son's each carrying Buddy down the aisle to the alter. There was not a dry eye in the

church that afternoon.

Buddy was later laid to rest at our town's pet cemetery, where our son visits

every weekend. The investigation found that the fire had started in the basement of

our home. The cause of the fire is still unknown to this day.