#45 I have a dick
“Damn,” Nathan says as he scrolls through my bank statement on the laptop I brought to the coffee shop. With Kian, I didn’t want to meet at Cup of Joy, and it was good that I didn’t. Nate won’t ruin my favorite place in the world for me, so of course we met up here, sipping Andre’s amazing cappuccinos and eating Liv’s dangerously addictive donuts.
“Damn what?” I ask, feeling a bit nervous.
“Damn, you have a lot of money saved up.” Nathan looks up from the laptop, shaking his head. “Why were you living in a one-bedroom apartment before moving in with your boyfriend?”
I shrug. “It was what I could afford after college, and I never really thought about moving once business picked up.”
“When did you finish college?”
“Eleven years ago.”
Nathan shakes his head again. “I already knew you and Thomas were doing well, but this is impressive. It’s insane for you to keep renting. That’s money down the drain.” He scrolls through the information about the business Thomas and I started all the way back in college, taking in a stat that shows the growth of our income. “It’s not always easy for someone who owns their own business to get a mortgage at a bank, but it won’t be a problem for you. You’ve got no debts, great savings, a steady income… You can definitely buy a place.”
I already knew I could buy a house if I wanted to, I’m not stupid. I know Thom and I make good money. There’s a reason it was easy for him to buy Tracy her dream house, help her build a new vet clinic, have three kids, and feed a gazillion animals. Money is not a problem for either of us. Hasn’t been in ages. Still, it’s nice to see a man of Nathan’s age and experience look over my financial statements and be impressed.
“So… now what? We go look at houses?”
Nathan laughs. “Yeah, but maybe we should talk about what you want first.”
“I have no idea,” I admit. “I used to think I wanted to live in the city center, close to all the bars and stuff, but then I moved into my ex’s house in the suburbs. I didn’t miss the hustle and bustle the way I thought I would. I’ve got my car, so I don’t really need to be close to anything. Plus, I’d love to have a yard, and space for animals. A cat, maybe a dog too. I’m not sure yet. I’d like the option of having pets, you know?”
He types away on the laptop, nodding along. “So that’s gonna be a house, not an apartment or a penthouse or something. I can find places in different parts of the city so you can compare them. Anything else I need to take into account?”
“I’d like plenty of bedrooms so my little brother Blaze can have his own room when he stays over. And a home office. I’m not sure if I’ll ever use it, since I usually work at Thom’s or here, but… I have my own business. I feel like I should have a home office.”
Nathan grins. “I used to have a home office. It’s a nursery now. Wait until you have kids.”
“Yeah… not sure if that’s ever going to happen.” I sip my cappuccino, wondering if that’s in the cards for me. Of course I’d love kids, but I don’t even know if Andre wants them. Nor do I know if I’ll even end up with Andre. Back when I was in love with Mila, I was ready to give up on the idea of having kids. Kian and I both wanted them, we told each other that after the first month of dating, but we never discussed it again. I never actually imagined having them with him, to be honest. That should have been a sign, right? Big fat red flag.
“So we won’t take kids into account?” Nathan checks, his voice kind.
“I don’t know. I guess not.”
Nathan tells me he’s going to make some calls, and set up viewings for me during the couple of days he’ll be in town this week. Of course, I insist on paying him, and he declines. What is it with this group of friends? No one ever wants anyone to pay for things they do as their actual jobs. Nathan and I aren’t even friends, just acquaintances. I’ll make sure to ask Caroline what I can get him as a thank-you. Scotch or something? He seems like a guy who drinks scotch.
We part ways – him going back to his wife and kids, me heading over to lean over the counter and kiss Andre. He’s in the middle of making a coffee, but he doesn’t mind at all. He presses his lips to mine immediately, his eyes twinkling when he pulls back.
“So, you’re buying a house?” he asks curiously, getting back to his coffee.
“Yeah, it looks that way. I don’t know. I just want a place that feels like home, and I’ve got the money, and according to Nate the economy is great, so…” I shrug. “Why not?”
“I think that’s great. You deserve a nice place that’s all yours. No bad memories.”
“I can’t believe I’m thinking of moving to the suburbs,” I groan, a little disappointed in myself. “16-year-old Dylan would shoot me in the face. Moving to the suburbs without a partner, kids, or pets. That’s insane, right?”
“So you get a pet,” Andre says like it’s no big deal. “Eventually, you’ll have a partner who will move in with you, right? And kids. You will definitely have kids one day.”
I love how certain he sounds. “You think so?”
“I know so. You’re so great with kids. Of course you’ll be a father eventually.”
Here’s my chance to ask. I’m a little nervous, but I’ll always wonder if I don’t speak up now. “Do you want them? Kids, I mean?”
Andre’s eyes meet mine, and there’s a vulnerability in his gaze that I’ve never seen before. A quiet hope, almost. “Yes,” he breathes. “I’d love to have kids.”
“And would you ever… move to the suburbs?”
A small smile pulls at his lips. “Depends… do you know anyone living in the suburbs who would be able to convince me that I’d feel at home there?”
“By the end of the week I just might.”
“Then yeah, I could be persuaded.” His expression turns serious again. “You need to find a place that feels like you, though. Don’t think of anyone but yourself when Nathan shows you these places.”
“I’m very good at thinking of no one but myself.”
Andre laughs. “You’re terrible at thinking only about yourself. Please try this time, Dylan.”
“I will.” I give him another kiss before heading out. I’ve got a client meeting today to talk about new logos, and I need to change first.
The next three days, I see ten different houses within my price range, as well as two penthouses and five apartments. Nathan is making sure we cover all our bases, since I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of buying a house yet. Nothing feels quite right, though. At the end of the third day, I am ready to give up and just rent another one-bedroom apartment.
“One more,” Nathan tells me. “I got a call this morning about another house being for sale. It’s not officially on the market yet, but it will be tomorrow. The couple already moved out with their kids. One of the moms got a new job abroad and they had to relocate within a week, so they’re looking to sell as soon as possible.”
“Okay, so let’s go see it.” I get into the passenger seat of his car again, and let him drive me around my own town for the millionth time this week. I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up when he said he would help me find a place. Nothing feels right to me, no matter how nice all the houses are.
“This is the neighborhood,” Nate tells me when he makes a right turn. “It’s pretty new still, built a couple of years ago.”
I actually don’t even know this part of town. “The houses look cool.”
“Queen Anne style,” he explains. “All houses in this block are. It’s a nineteenth century style, but these houses were only built five to ten years ago. It’s one of those hip neighborhoods with lots of young couples with kids.”
The houses are something different indeed. All sorts of colors, large L-shaped porches wrapped around the houses, some even have towers, and the whole façade of each house is completely asymmetrical. They look wonky, just like me. I love this neighborhood already.
When we get out of the car and Nate gestures to the house that’s for sale, I feel my heart do a little flip. The house is painted light yellow and dark gray, with a bright red front door. There’s a round porch with a balcony right above it, also rounded. It’s got a tower on the right side, and bay windows.
“Wanna look inside?” Nathan asks with a smirk, noticing my awestruck expression.
“Yes please!” I all but skip inside when he opens the door with the key he got from a realtor he knows. I’m the first person to view this house since it’s not on the market yet, and I can’t help but feel special.
Nathan is talking about all the structural stuff and architecture and God knows what else. I barely even listen. The living room feels like a living, breathing creature in the best way. It’s light and spacy, and the adjacent kitchen has the happiest red and yellow tiles, with matching cabinets. The place oozes character. My character.
“What do you want to see first?” Nathan asks. “Upstairs or the garden?”
“Upstairs,” I decide. I already peeked into the garden, seeing lots of flowers and small trees, so I’m more curious about the upstairs right now.
The family didn’t move all their stuff out yet. There are a few boxes left, and the house hasn’t been cleaned properly, but I don’t care. The master bedroom isn’t as big as I expected, but a wardrobe and a king size bed will fit just fine, so it’s all good. There are three more small bedrooms, and an attic that could be converted into one if need be. There’s a laundry room, and every single room has built-in closets.
“You like it, don’t you?” Nathan asks, slapping me on the back. “I knew you would. There’s one more room downstairs to show you. It’s an annex, sort of. The couple that used to live here added it about two years ago.”
“What sort of annex?”
Instead of answering, Nate leads me back downstairs and to a door on the side of the living room, behind a couple of boxes. That’s why I didn’t notice it before. When he swings it open, my jaw drops. It’s a library. A small yet beautiful library, with built-in bookcases and one of those ladders that’s attached to a rail. I slide it a little further along the bookcase and imagine climbing all the way up to get a book from the top shelf.
“Andre would love this,” I mutter more to myself than to Nate. “He could put all his romance novels in here, and that window sill there is the perfect reading nook.”
“Andre?” Nathan repeats.
“Yeah, he’s my…” I shrug, not sure what to call him. “Andre is more than a friend, but not quite a boyfriend, I guess.”
“Ah.” He nods knowingly. “One of those.”
It’s stupid to imagine Andre living here with me when we’re not even official yet, but I can’t help it. This room screams his name, and I want the house even more now.
“Garden?” Nate gently steers me to the sliding doors in the living room so he can show me the last selling point of the place. “I know you said not to take kids into account, and we can definitely have the swing set taken out before you move in, but just take a look at how big the garden is!”
There is indeed a swing set, in the middle of a large patch of grass. Around it are small trees and lots of flowers that kept it out of sight from me before. Just like that, it feels like I am stepping into my future. Kids playing in the yard, Andre reading a book, me dancing in the kitchen while I make lunch for all of them. I actually tear up a little, finally feeling what I’ve been looking for these past days. The sense that I’m coming home.
“Don’t take it out,” I tell Nate. “The swing set. Don’t take it out.”
“Whatever you want,” he assures me. “Do you want me to put in a bid for you?”
I can’t even answer, still too awestruck by the images flashing before my eyes. This place is my future home for sure, but it’s so much more than that. It’s my whole entire future in one wonky and colorful package. I want that future more than anything. Andre, of course, but more than that… the kids. Playing with them in the yard. Turning the rooms upstairs into their bedrooms.
Just like that, an idea hits me. The perfect way to make this vision a reality. Why the fuck didn’t I think of this sooner?
“I have a dick,” I say out loud, my heart racing.
“Erm… yeah, me too,” Nathan replies, his voice incredulous. “What did I ask? I thought I asked if you wanted to put in a bid?”
“Do it,” I order him. “I just… I realized that I have a dick.”
Nate is definitely not following me, but that’s okay. While he walks back into the house to make a phone call, I pull out my phone as well. I call Liv, cursing when she doesn’t pick up. Then I realize I already have the number I need, since the girls are both in the karaoke group app. I hastily find it, and press call.
“Hey,” Deidra says when she picks up.
“I have a dick,” I rush out, feeling like I’m flying.
“Who’s this?” she asks, sounding annoyed.
“It’s Dylan,” I hastily add. “Dylan Dyer. I am here at this wonderful house I want to buy, and Nathan is putting in a bid, and there’s this swing set in the yard, and I really want to be a dad, and I have a dick, Deidra. I have a dick.”
“Holy shit,” she breathes. “Don’t fuck with me, Dylan.”
“I have a dick, and sperm comes out of it – well, not right now, but you know, it can come out when I need it to – and you need sperm, and I have it, like I said, and…” Fuck, I’m rambling. “It could be me, Deidra. I’m 33, I’m stable, have a great job, and soon I will own an amazing house, and it has room for kids. I’ve always wanted to be a dad. Always. I’m bi, and I’m crazy about another man right now, so chances are having kids won’t come easy for me either, just like for you and Imani. I have a dick, and I’d be perfectly willing to finally put it to good use.”
“You have a dick,” she repeats. “And you want to be a dad.”
“I do, I really do.” This all makes so much sense. “Give me your address. I’m coming over.”
“I’ll call Imani to get home right fucking now. I’ll see you soon.” She sounds like she’s on the verge of tears.
When she hangs up and texts me the address a few seconds later, my heart does another backflip. The street they live on is on this very block, in another one of the Queen Anne houses. If that’s not a sign from the freaking universe, I don’t know what is.