#45-16: "Out with it, Jake"

posted Dec 31, 2014, 7:16 AM by Terrence Moss   [ updated May 1, 2015, 6:17 AM ]
Bradley, Giago, Jake and I were finishing up dinner when Jake leaned over to ask Bradley a question.

“Can I talk to you after dinner?” he whispered. 

I was suddenly really glad that my powers of hearing had increased when we took in Jake.

“Sure thing,” Bradley whispered back.

I cleared my throat and looked back and forth between Bradley and Jake.

“I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him,” Bradley said.

I turned my attention back to Jake.

Jake looked back and forth between Bradley and me until he figured out what I wanted to know. “Oh. Because he’s not as scary as you are,” Jake said with surprising candor and ease.

I stared at Jake for a moment before accepting this small, but unfortunate truth. Sometimes I can be scary with them. But it’s because they’re teenage boys. And I never want to have to bail my teenage boys out of jail. Or raise their children. Or identify their bodies. Fortunately for them, they have Bradley to be the “safe” and “easy” one to deal with. Little do they know that Bradley can be even scarier than I am because his anger will simmer for a very long time, then percolates and on the extremely rare occasion, erupts. So they’re actually better off with me being the scary one as my anger geysers out on a more consistent basis.

“Fine, but go someplace where I can eavesdrop.”

“As if there’s a place in this house where you couldn’t or wouldn’t,” Bradley teased.

A short time later, Bradley and Jake went off to the back room to talk. I sacked a none-too-happy Giago with dish duty while I found a strategic location in the bathtub of the adjoining bathroom from which to eavesdrop on their conversation.

Bradley and Jake sat down on the couch. Bradley turned the TV on. “What did you want to talk about?” he asked Jake.

“Turn the TV off!” I yelled from the bathroom. “And enunciate!”

“He really is eavesdropping on this conversation,” Bradley observed. I don’t know why he was surprised.

“Fine, Mr. M. Come on in.” Jake reluctantly acquiesced.

I stepped out of the bathtub and out of the bathroom into the back room. I kissed Jake on the top of his head. “He would have told me anyway. So this just cuts out the middle man,” I explained to Jake.

“What did you want to talk about?” Bradley asked.

“Louder!” Giago shouted from outside the window.

“Aren’t you supposed to be doing the dishes?” I shouted back.

“Weren’t you until you made me do them?” Giago shouted back.

“Fine, Giago. Come on in,” Jake reluctantly acquiesced again.

Bradley shook his head. “Like father, like son.”

Giago ran around the house, bounded through the front door, slammed it shut and burst through the door of the back room.

“You were going to tell me anyway,” Giago explained to Jake.

“About this? I’m not so sure,” Jake replied nervously.

“Are you sure you want them in here instead of in the bathroom or standing outside the window?” Bradley asked Jake.

“No. It’s fine. I guess. I think.”

“Are you okay?” I asked, suddenly sorry that I forced my way into what now looked to be a difficult conversation.

“Yeah, I know I’m gay and I’m not sure what my mother is going to say about it.”

Bradley and I sat in stunned silence – well, we weren’t exactly stunned but we didn’t want to let Jake know that. Bradley, Jake’s mother and I had long since discussed this with each other. It’s partly why he moved in with us.

“And you weren’t worried about telling us?” Bradley asked.

“No, not really. I was more nervous about now having to tell all of you at the same time than about telling you all at all. Besides, you guys are gay so it’s not like either of you could be upset with me over this.”

“So you would have eventually told them as well,” Bradley surmised in mine and Giago’s directions.

“Yeah, I guess.”

“I’m sorry, Jake,” I said, walking over and pulling him up into a hug. “I was just being nosy. If I had known it was about this, I would have just done the dishes and waited for you to tell me in your own time.”

Bradley looked at me knowingly with a raised eyebrow. “Terrence.”

“Or I would have just sat more quietly in the bathtub.”

“It’s okay, Mr. M.”

Bradley stood up and placed his hand on Jake’s shoulder. I released Jake and he turned around to wrap his arms tightly around Bradley. 

“Obviously you know this doesn’t matter to us,” Bradley said. “We love you as is. Just be sure you love yourself the same way.”

Giago slowly stood up and walked out of the room. I followed after him.

“Where do you think you’re going, young man?” I asked as we walked through the living room.

“Back to the dishes,” he replied as he led me into the kitchen.

“You wash and I’ll dry,” I said as we reached the sink.

“Why don’t we just leave them in the dish rack?”

“Because then I'll have no excuse to ask you why you walked out on Jake like that.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Too bad. Talk.”

“Can you please just leave me alone right now?”

“Eventually. As soon as you tell me what happened back there, I will.”

“You promise?”

“No, but trust me. What’s going on?”

“He’s gay.”

“Right. And so am I. And so is your other dad.”

“But I’m not.”

“Oh…I see. And what’s wrong with that?”

“I don’t know. I just now feel outnumbered.”

“Well, we’re all still men.”

“I know, but now we’re all gay men except for me.”

I tilted my head. “Are you sure?” I teased.

“I’m sure.”

“Then think about it this way. Your future girlfriend is going to feel the exact same way you do now when you and Jake start double-dating.”

Giago managed a chuckle off of that one. I was relieved, because that was about all I had in my arsenal to make him feel better about this shift in our household dynamic.

I gave Giago a side hug. “As promised, I’ll leave you alone about this, but promise me you aren’t going to abandon Jake. You’re going to have your own process to work through, but backing away from him at this time is not the way to go about it. Talk it out with him. You’re best friends and brothers. You two can help each other work through whatever you two need to work through. And your father and I are always here to talk to as well. We’re pretty good resources on most things gay."

Without looking up from the dish he was scrubbing, Giago smiled. “You can go now.”

I kissed him on the left temple and returned to the back room. 

“What happened?” Bradley asked.

“He’ll be fine. He was just caught off-guard and needed some air.”

“Maybe I should have told him first,” Jake said.

“Honey, you did nothing wrong here,” I replied. “How you come out is how you come out – even if in ways you hadn’t anticipated because of a nosy guardian and an equally nosy best friend.”

“Just keep in mind that he’s also going to have his own process of coming to terms with you being gay. It’s not a one-sided process,” Bradley admonished.

“What do you think my mom’s going to say?” Jake asked.

“Mothers tend to know these things,” Bradley answered. “She may be disappointed, but she may surprise you and be completely supportive.”

“And if she’s anything like my mother, she’ll just love her son more than the fact that he’s gay,” I added.

“When do you want to tell your mother?” Bradley asked.

“I don’t know. I guess…whenever. I don’t really want to plan it.”

“However you want to do it is up to you,” Bradley said. “Just let us know what you want us to do.”

“And to not do,” I added with a smile.

“I should go talk to Giago,” Jake said as he started toward the door.

“Absolutely not,” I responded by wrapping my arm around his stomach and pulling him back. “He walked out on you so he can just walk back in on you.”