The Bartender

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Chapter Sixteen

“Kyle, you’re freaking me out!” I shouted at him as he drove to his house. Who the hell leaves someone in suspense like that? Why would he do that to me?

I saw Kyle’s jaw tick which meant he was trying so hard to stay calm right now. I guess I shouldn’t be angry since it was his news and his choice to tell me or not. I couldn’t help it. I had always had this bit of suspicion that Kyle was keeping things from me. I mean, he came back from Vancouver with no news whatsoever, he didn’t live with his parents, and he hadn’t exactly told me why he was living with Brian aside from the fact that Brian was like a brother to him.

Then he suddenly drops a bomb like that on me?

Wow.

We got to his house in no time and Kyle hurriedly entered the house. What was going on with him? I asked myself. I took in a deep breath before following Kyle to the house.

Imagine my shock when I got there. Kyle was chugging a bottle of whiskey like it was holy water.

“Hey, stop that” I told him and took the bottle from him. “What’s going on?”

“Sorry. I just... I just wanted to brace myself I guess”.

“Against what?”

“Your reaction” Kyle shouted making me frown.

“What do you mean?”

“I’m just scared of what your reaction will be when I tell you I’m gay!” he shouted.

I blinked. “What?”

“Yeah, I said it. I am gay Adrian. Now give me the bottle so I don’t have to deal with you hating me”.

I looked at the bottle in my hand and then looked back at Kyle. He was glaring at me and I could see the turmoil and confusion in his eyes. I guess I’d feel that way too if I ever came out to my homophobic best friend.

All this time, I had been hurting Kyle without knowing. All my hateful slurs, my anger directed towards Niall and Brian and I guess all other gay people, Kyle had been hurt indirectly by that.

I really couldn’t believe it. I was angry. Yes. I was angry that it had taken him so long to tell him but I understood him too. Given my track record, I’m surprised he even decided to tell me.

I shook my head. “No” I said.

Kyle rolled his eyes. “Of course. You hate me now”.

“No, I don’t hate you. I’m not going to let you drown yourself in alcohol just because you think I’ll hate you because you’re gay” I stated.

“Um, did you forget the part where you’re homophobic?”

I sighed. “I’m not. Okay? I’ll change, I promise. You’re my best friend. I’ll kill myself before I even begin to think of hating you. I don’t care that you’re gay Kyle. It doesn’t change who you are, it doesn’t change who you are to me” I said and rushed over to hug him. I wasn’t even sure he was going to hug me back.

I sighed in relief when Kyle wrapped his arms around me tightly. “I am so sorry” I apologized, tears running down my cheeks. “I didn’t know... I wouldn’t have said all those things. You’re not like them. I’m sorry” I cried.

“It’s okay Aiden. I forgive you” Kyle said as he pulled back to look at me. I saw tears welling up in his eyes.

I don’t know how we both got to Kyle’s room but we were sitting down at the foot of his bed, Kyle’s head resting on my shoulder as he told me everything that happened.

From the time he met Brian who was a waiter at a local diner he used to frequent, when Brian helped him come to terms with his sexuality, when he started talking to Niall on Tumblr, how they had quickly hit it off, when he finally told his parents about himself and what they did

I honestly couldn’t his parents had been so heartless to kick their own out just because he was gay. What was so wrong about being gay that they could do this to him. It hurt me, it hurt me a million times over that all I had ever done to help Kyle out of it all was to remind him of what homophobic jerks his parents were.

I couldn’t apologize enough.

I kept on saying sorry to him even though he said he forgave me. It wasn’t until my phone rang that I actually stopped talking.

“Hello?”

“Aiden, where are you?” my dad answered. “I just got home. Need me to pick you up from school?”

“Um... I uh... Don’t worry. I’ll be there as soon as I can” I told him and looked back at Kyle.

I didn’t want to leave him, given his state and my hand in it. I wanted to be there for him but Kyle shook his head.

“Go, I’ll be fine”.

“No Kyle, I need to be there for you”.

“No, you need to figure out what’s going on with your family. I’ll call Niall”.

“Right, the boyfriend” I chuckled. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that”.

“Asshole”.

I laughed and hugged Kyle again. “I love you Kyle. Thanks for telling me”

****

I got home as fast I could. Having left my car at Kyle’s place last night, I didn’t have the problem of being late to whatever agenda my father had planned.

When I entered the house, everything seemed in order, which was quite shocking to me. Honestly, I expected shouting and fighting but I wasn’t even sure if he had figured out that my mom was cheating on him.

Having that chat with Kyle earlier made me rethink a few things. Was my mom a lesbian? Had she been one all along? Or was she just lonely. Hell, if she was lonely, I wouldn’t blame her for seeking attention elsewhere. All I wanted was for her to stay faithful to dad.

I let out a long breath before walking to the living room. There were four people sitting there, my dad, my mom, her lover and a man I had never met before.

“Dad, what’s going on?” I asked.

He immediately turned to me. “Ah, Aiden, lovely to see you, son” he declared and walked up to me and embraced me tightly.

“How are you feeling? You hungry?” he asked.

“I’m okay dad” I said, frowning. Why was he acting all weird and fidgety? I knew my dad cared about me but I had never seen him like this before. He was pacing and sweating, and just nervous.

“Michael, I think you should sit” the strange man said, his voice very deep. This was when I actually looked at him and took in his features. He had dark brown hair but was greying at the sides, his eyes were a deep shade of blue. His lips were drawn in a thin line, if anything he looked to be a very grumpy and strict person. I couldn’t tell how tall he was since he was sitting but I reckon he wouldn’t be less than 6 feet at most.

“Yeah, yeah, I guess. Why don’t we all sit” Dad said as he went to sit beside the man.

“Maria!” my mom shouted, calling the maid into the living room. “Two bottles of champagne please, and five glasses”.

I guess this was going to be a serious talk.

“I don’t think we should be drinking right now” mom’s mistress stated as she looked at me worriedly. I glared back at her, making her squirm in her seat.

Good.

“Aiden” Dad growled.

“Sorry” I mumbled. “What’s going on?” I asked when I sat down on the arm chair, purposely away from all of them.

Dad took in a deep breath, as if he was deciding if this was a good idea. In fact, he was making me nervous. Were they getting a divorce?

“Aiden, this is Chance Richardson” Dad said, “My partner”.

I gulped, closed my eyes, opened them, looked at dad, to this Chance, to mom and back to dad again. “Business partner, right?” I asked, just to be sure because I wasn’t sure what I was hearing.

“No, he is my partner, my lover, has been for the past 20 years”.

I walked towards the champagne the maid had set out on the coffee table, poured myself a full glass and gulped it down in a go. Then I turned to them.

“WHAT?” I screamed. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“Your dad and I are in a relationship kid” Chance stated, with no hint of amusement in his eyes and tone. “We have been since before you were born. Given his line of work, as a very famous business man, he couldn’t really come out to world that was not accepting of his lifestyle. Therefore, he married your mother, his best friend who has always been a lesbian to get the paparazzi off his back. She became his surrogate whiles her lover, Klara became mine” he paused.

“What we are trying to say here is that, your parents have lied to you your whole life, and for that, we are sorry. But we are ready to make amends. Even though you’ve lived a lie for most of your life, we want to let you know the truth” Klara continued.

I stared at them in disbelief. I couldn’t believe it. First Kyle, then my parents? This was a load of bull, right?

“You’re joking” I seethed. “Please tell me you’re joking”.

“Aiden, please, I’m sorry. We didn’t mean for it to get this far. We planned on telling you and your brother but we...”

“Wait, what? My brother? I have a brother?” I asked, cutting dad off.

“Yes. After your mom gave birth to you, Chance and Karla tried having a baby but we lost that child due to some complications so Esther decided to help us out again and she had your brother with Chance. We didn’t want to overwhelm you, so he lived with us while you lived here”.

“So you mean, all the times when you weren’t home, you were living the life with your other family?”

“Aiden...” Both my mom and dad said but I raised my hand to cut them off.

“And you didn’t care to let me know for 18 years? 18 years! You kept my brother from me, lied to my face about what kind of family I have? And you expect me to forgive you?”

“Aiden I’m sorry” Dad apologized.

I bit my lip, trying to stop the tears from falling. There was so much a boy could take in a day. But this?

“What’s his name?” I asked.

“Niall. Niall Richardson”.

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