Chris - Erick's Boyfriend
“Erick, can you please hurry up? We’re going to be late,” Chris says impatiently as he waits by the door of Erick’s apartment. The creative marketing division of the PR firm he was promoted to help launch and run is having their 2012 kick-off reception. Erick is his plus one. Though they’ve each attended various gatherings with each other’s friends and some with their respective families, this is actually the first work gathering they’ve gone to as a couple.
“Can you hurry up?” Erick repeats mockingly to himself.
“What’s that?” Chris asks.
Erick chuckles. “Nothing dear. You know you sound like my dad when he and my mom would go out?”
“Only because you probably get ready like your mom used to.”
“Don’t talk about my mother like that.”
“Don’t talk about your father like that. What’s taking you so long?”
Erick stares in the bathroom mirror. “It’s this suit. I don’t like how it fits.”
Chris rolls his eyes, walks into the bathroom and stands in the doorway. “How does it fit?”
“It fits like it’s done all it can for me.”
“What’s wrong with it?”
Erick turns around to show Chris. “I look like a stuffed sausage. The neck is tight, the waist is tight and it’s no longer flattering to my continued bellyliciousness.”
Chris looks Erick up and down. “How old is this suit?”
“I bought it in 2005.”
“Why don’t you put on one of your newer suits?”
“Because I like how this charcoal gray looks. And because this is my newer suit.”
“You haven’t bought a suit since 2005?”
“Right. I went on a spree after I got promoted at CTA – two suits, four shirts, four ties and a really nice jacket.”
“But that was almost seven years ago. Why haven’t you bought one since then?”
“Why buy a new suit when the old ones still fit? At least they used to. Besides, I haven’t had a ‘suit’ job since I left CTA and I don’t go to a lot of places that require one.”
“It’s a shame. You actually look really good in a suit.”
“I used to look really good in a suit.”
Chris looks at his watch. “Can we finish this later?”
“Yes, but I just need to change this tie,” Erick replies as he takes off the tie he is wearing, walks out the bathroom past Chris and into his bedroom closet to retrieve a different one.
Chris leans against the bathroom doorway in exasperation. “Does it really matter?”
“Yes, I need a tie that will direct attention away from my bellyliciousness.”
“But I thought you were going to make it sexy for 2012?”
“It’s too early in 2012.”
“Can you tie it in the car at least?”
“Yes, but now I want to change into a darker shirt. It’ll look better with this tie.”
“You’re kidding me, right?”
“No, I’m not. But I’ll change in the car,” Erick says as he walks out of the bedroom closet with a new shirt and tie combination. “Do I have everything?"
“Yes,” Chris answers pointedly as he opens the door.
Erick feels around for his Blackberry, Chap Stick, vial of lotion, and a pack of gum. “Where are my keys?”
Chris holds them up. “You really need to find ONE place for these.”
Erick smiles and kisses Chris. “How about you hide them somewhere on you and I can play ‘The Finder’.”
Chris kisses Erick back. “How about we go to the reception and you can play ‘The Boyfriend’?” he jokes as he walks out the door.
Erick follows Chris out the door and locks it behind him. “It’s really strange to be going to a party tonight and then a funeral tomorrow,” he remarks as they walk down the hall toward the elevators.
“You’re right. We can’t stay out too late tonight.”
“I can catch a cab home. Stay as long as you want.”
“So I can fall asleep at the funeral tomorrow?”
Erick presses the down button. “You’re going?”
“Why wouldn’t I?”
“Because it’s just for my grandmother’s best friend. You don’t have to go.”
“But I want to go.”
“I liked Miss Emma, too. I want to pay my respects,” Chris responds. The elevator opens. Chris reads the incredulous look on Erick’s face as they get on. “Is there a reason you don’t want me to go?”
“No, I don’t have a reason. But some people there might think it inappropriate for me to bring my boyfriend to Miss Emma’s funeral.”
The elevator door closes. “Are you one of those people?” Chris asks.
“No,” Erick replies unconvincingly.
“Then it’s settled.”
The elevator descends from the fourth floor to the lower level of the underground parking garage. “What’s settled?” Erick asks as the elevator opens and they walk out.
“I’m thinking it may not be appropriate for me to bring you to a work function. So I’m going to go by myself and you can rest up to go to the funeral tomorrow.”
“Are you kidding me with this?”
“Are you ashamed of us or just ashamed of yourself?”
“That’s not fair. This has nothing to do with shame. There’s a big difference between you taking me to a work function and me taking you to a CHURCH funeral with CHURCH people who know my mother and my grandmother.”
“What’s the difference?”
“The difference is we’ll be a much bigger issue at Miss Emma’s funeral than at your reception.”
“Who’s going to make an issue? It’s not like we’re going to making out in the pews during the eulogy!”
“I know. I’m just worried about how my mother and grandmother are going to have to explain us to those church people.”
“What’s to explain? Your mother will say ‘this is my son and his friend.’ Your grandmother will say ‘this is my grandson and his friend.’ It’s as simple as that.”
“But I shouldn’t have to introduce you as my friend. I want to introduce you as my boyfriend.”
“Then do it.”
“So this all about your mother and your grandmother’s comfort.”
“Without me?” Erick asks as Chris walks toward his car.
“Yes. I’m worried about how to explain you to my co-workers. I don’t want them to be uncomfortable.”
Fuming, Erick presses the button for the elevator. It opens right away and he gets on. “Dammit....I wanted to borrow his car tomorrow.”
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