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Chapter 11

“Holy shit,” I nervously ran my fingers through my hair as I sat in front of my house in my car, “What the fuck am I even going to do in there?”

I wanted to give myself a pep talk, but I ended up panicking because of all the endless possibilities of outcomes.

My dad’s car was in the drive way and my mom had already left for work. It would just be me and him. He wouldn’t hurt me, would he?

No. My dad can be a scary asshole, but he’d never hit me.

I took a few deep breaths and opened the car door. I got out of my car, shut the door, and went inside my house. I found my dad in the office, looking at some paperwork.

He looked at me when he saw me and raised an eyebrow. “Shouldn’t you be in school?,” he said in a cold tone.

“Why would you call Atlas’s family this morning and tell them those terrible things? He’s my friend. You had no right doing what you did,” I said angrily.

“No right? I am your father. I did what I had to to keep you on the right path. You will no longer be friends with that faggot and will stay away from him.”

“You can’t tell me who I can and can’t be friends with. Yeah, you’re my dad, but that doesn’t give you the right to make those decisions,” I spat, “Being gay isn’t some disease that can just be spread. It’s not something that someone just chooses. It’s a part of who he is, and there is nothing wrong with that!”

My dad stood up then and I felt my heart rate increase in fear. The look of rage on his face was terrifying and I had to remind myself to stay strong and appear unaffected by his intimidating glare.

“Homosexuality is a sickness. You will stay away from that boy. This is your last warning.”

“He is my friend and will continue being my friend,” I stated firmly.

“Tell me, why is his friendship so valuable to you?,” he questioned.

“You will not run my life like I am just a puppet. I’m done with your homophobia and will not let you control my life. Atlas matters to me. I don’t care that he’s gay. He’s my friend and I care about him.”

He stared at me for awhile, rage still burning in his eyes, and finally said, “I see. He’s already infected you. Be honest, is that faggot your boyfriend?” He was seething once he got to the last sentence.

“His name is Atlas. Stop using those derogatory terms. Use his fucking name. I am not gay. He’s not my boyfriend. Even if he was, it shouldn’t matter. I am your son. My sexuality shouldn’t make you question your love for me,” I practically yelled.

He chuckled darkly, “I refuse to have a son who isn’t straight.” I felt tears stinging my eyes. “Be honestly with me, are you still my son, or not?”

This was it. As much as I wanted to lie and tell him I am straight, I couldn’t. The phrase wouldn’t even come out. Besides, my hesitation proved that I wasn’t straight. If I was, I would have answered immediately.

“Dad, I am still your son. I am pansexual, not straight. I’m still your son though. My sexuality doesn’t change that,” I said in a calmer tone, hoping that it would calm him down.

It didn’t. He seemed to only get angrier.

“It changes everything. I’m going to give you one chance to take what you just said back. Otherwise, you can pack your things and get the fuck out of my house,” he growled.

I paled. He was going to kick me out. I love my parents, but I couldn’t lie any longer. I couldn’t keep lying to myself about my sexuality. I couldn’t keep hiding it. I wouldn’t.

“Dad, I love you and mom. I hope that one day you can see the mistake you are making right now,” I said with tears falling down my cheeks and walked up the stairs to my bedroom.

I grabbed all the bags I could find and packed all my things. Lucky I didn’t have a ton of things, but I did end up using three large bags. One had all my clothes in it, one had all my shoes and bathroom supplies, and the last had my jackets and everything else. I grabbed the bags and left. The tears never stopped. I wanted to break down and sob but I needed to get the fuck out of there before it got worse.

I put the bags in the trunk of my car and got inside. I drove to the old park that nobody ever goes to and called Remmy. I hated that he was away at college. I wanted to just drive to his college but I was in no condition to make that long of a drive.

He answered on the fourth ring and we talked for a couple hours. I told him everything that’s happened and he didn’t say a word until I was finished. I had started sobbing half way through the call and it took awhile for me to calm down, but I managed to tell him the rest.

“Holy fuck, dude. That’s really messed up that he would do that to you. Do you have somewhere to stay until I can come this weekend?,” Remmy asked me in a sympathetic tone. I heard him sniffle a few times and knew he had cried as well. He was a brother to me and I knew he could feel the pain I was feeling.

“No, but I have some friends I can ask,” I answered, immediately thinking of Caleb. I didn’t want to ask anyone for a place to stay, but I didn’t want to be homeless. “You don’t have to come this weekend if you are too busy, Remmy.”

“Too busy? I’m never too busy for you, man. I’m leaving here Friday after classes and we will come up with a plan once I get there. Everything is going to be okay, I promise,” he said.

We talked a little bit longer and said goodbye when he had to go to his next class. I felt much better by the end of the call and knew that even though this was going to be difficult and even painful, I had people who loved me for who I am and could count on them to help me through this.

After awhile, I looked at the clock on my radio and saw that school would be over in half an hour. I sighed and drove to the school.

I parked in my usual parking spot, grabbed a hoodie and slipped it over my head. I grabbed some sunglasses to hide my red eyes and put the hood up. I got out of my car and sat on the hood while I waited.

I groaned when I realized that Caleb would probably freak out. I didn’t want him to get upset.

The school bell rang, signaling the end of the school day, and I watched the doors, waiting for Caleb.

I saw him looking around almost frantically as soon as he exited the building a few moments later and noticed Atlas and Matt following him.

He spotted me and dodged cars as he tried running to me. I saw Atlas and Matt following him quickly.

I slid down to lean against the front of the car and he stopped once he was a few feet in front of me. He noticed my hoodie and sunglasses and looked confused.

“I haven’t heard from you all day. How did it go?,” he asked nervously. I wasn’t sure how to say it to him.

“Look in my trunk,” I simply said and he looked even more confused as he went to the back of my car. Atlas and Matt walked closer to me and I could hear Caleb opening the trunk.

I heard him gasp and Atlas and Matt went to look. I heard them gasp as well and not a moment later they were standing in front of me again.

“H-he kicked you out?,” Atlas asked in a strained voice. I nodded.

Caleb was biting his lip with tears in his eyes and he slowly approached me. He slowly reached up and took off my sunglasses.

He saw the redness of my eyes and frowned but I could see relief in his eyes.

“He didn’t hurt you, did he?,” he asked and touched the redness under my eyes gently, caressing my cheek afterwards.

“No. We had a huge argument and I ended up telling him. He told me to pack my things and leave afterwards,” I told him and quietly told them the rest of the argument.

“Atlas, I’m really sorry for everything. You don’t deserve what he did. I hope we can still be friends,” I said and he immediately pulled me into a hug.

“Of course, we are still friends. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I know how hard this must be, but know we are always here for you. Alright?,” he said to me and I nodded with a smile.

Caleb stepped closer to me then and I smiled at the determined look in his eyes.

“You are going to stay with me. No objections. My mom loves you and would definitely be okay with you staying with us. Understand?,” he told me and I nodded.

“Alright. My friend Remmy is coming this weekend to help me figure some things out, though. I won’t be in your hair for too long,” I said and saw a small frown on his face.

Before I could ask what was wrong, he pulled me off my car and pushed me towards the drivers side. I got in and he instructed me to drive to his house.

He was texting on his phone the entire ride and I could see the mess of emotions in his eyes when we met eyes.

He looked angry, determined, and sad. In that moment, all I wanted was to pull him into a hug and hold him for hours.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there was a possibility I had a crush on Caleb.

When did that happen?

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