Ch1. Starting from the end
December 11th, 2017.
Everything had started with a simple phone call when Radiant Digital Advertisers had ultimately found a head start for the upcoming year. So when the Christmas party started at the company, the youngest part-timer couldn’t help himself and approached a guy who met his ideal descriptions for a guy: Tall, lean and a smiling face. Alejandro sat on the chairs near the pool with this guy who was also his client and kept rambling about someone he admired in his office.
“So is it true Mr Miller is also someone like you?” Melvin didn’t seem dumbfounded but his tone was that of curiosity and amazement.
“Yeah, he is. I wouldn’t have answered you if Nathan wasn’t this nonchalant about his sexuality.”
“It’s not easy to be so nonchalant about it. There must be things that happened to him which made him stronger.” Melvin looked at Nathan frolicking among the crowd, greeting everyone with his head held high.
“I don’t know much about that part but I can tell you about how he came out to his people in the office. But then it’s a long story and it happened way before I entered this company.”
“Really? So I might come to know about young Alek new to the office! I guess I still have time.” Melvin crackled a little laughter edging Alejandro with his shoulder.
Alejandro blushed for a while and broadly smiled at Melvin’s smiling face. “But weren’t you about to leave to meet a client?”
“I can spare an hour or two.” Melvin bit his lips.
“Okay, so the previous year, the office had been shut for a while longer after the Christmas festivities for it was getting painted. Things had been quite hectic for the past few years when there were only small-time business firms associated with Radiant. But then things were on the run and the office was finally getting long-term contracts with bigger firms. After the incident with the intern Pamela being sexually discriminated against by Mrs Adams, there was a seat for one more intern. The case had taken the office by storm and Nathan made sure that everyone even the janitors knew about his sexual preference and stop sexual discrimination within the office premises at once. There was a big meeting where Nathan had preceded and declared his homosexuality. There were a little gossips since Nathan joined Radiant but things changed a little after the meeting. Few people in the office, especially older ladies and men avoided Nathan, but you can’t keep avoiding your Art Director forever, right! However, most of them were always very supportive but no one dared to talk or ask about Nathan’s private life. As expected, Pamela deeply adored Nathan for she found solace in another homosexual person and they often spoke about their private matters. But soon I joined in and we became a happy family. That’s the end of the story.”
“Haha, such a beautiful family with the prettiest youngest son. The older brother doesn’t look gay though.” Melvin stared at Nathan who was busy drinking with some ladies and looked quite handsome in his blue slim fit suit.
“Yeah, he has broad cheekbones, perky nose and lips, dark brown eyes. He is even tall, he had to be just straight to officially become a big band. He is a drummer at a band from his college days you know.”
“Wow, that’s like a total package. But what does being homosexual have to do with...”
“The band right! You can’t win the heart of the ladies if you are openly gay when you are getting a record label. Once you are established that’s a different issue. The other guys in his band were depending upon him because even the lead singer lacked good looks. So when he came out to everyone, the band thought he should have waited till they received a contract and done their first album at least.
Does he look handsome to you?” Alejandro crept up a smile and teasingly poked at Melvin’s shoulder.
“He does, he is devilishly handsome. But his hair, it’s so stylish and manly. Are gays supposed to look manly? I thought most gays would look sweet, honest and coquettish like you.”
“My my coquettish! Where on Earth you learned that word?” Alejandro touched Melvin’s hands.
Melvin slumped in his chair and looked around to see if anyone was staring at them. Understanding his discomfort and fear, Alejandro pulled out his hands. He didn’t want to loiter around the anxieties hidden in Melvin’s smiling face and pulled out a trick.
“But about Nathan, you are curious so I won’t judge you. We are on the same team right! So it’s time to educate you a bit. Now you see women look at you in a particular way, and judge your physical features by calculating how many muscles you got if you got a square face and a good beard. This is the same for gay men, but then there are men who like a bit effeminate men. But you know he even gets approached by women even if they know about his orientation. Oh, I am trying to be one, but it often feels like I look like a clown when I try.”
“Oh but you speak like women. Your voice is something.” Melvin looked at the sky trying to grab something with his fingers in the air.
“Trying to remember a word for my voice?”
Both the men started laughing at their flirting skills. One of them always won against the other and made fun of the other. There was a strong breeze in the evening’s winter air but Alejandro felt any time sooner he would melt away. Melvin was one of the men who liked to gaze at the wine before tasting it. It made him shiver and nothing felt more right than blushing and telling Melvin to stop gazing at him admirably. But time runs wild when you are enjoying it. Soon the party was over and Melvin had to go back to his brothers who were probably drunker than they should be at a formal party.
“Enjoyed your little snack, Alek?” Nathan bumped his shoulder with Alejandro’s.
“You devil, he was asking about you.”
“But you didn’t waste a second and showered him with all your charms. Didn’t even give me a chance!”
Alejandro flustered and rubbed his eyes while he saw Melvin quarrelling with his brothers near the car.
“But what’s the use. They won’t be renewing their contract right?”
“Huh, aren’t you underestimating the power of booze? The brothers looked happy, and that redshirt must have churned Melvin’s pure intentions wicked.”
“You’re just teasing me. But he’s still in the closet.”
“Better find someone openly gay. There are so many applications for that.”
Alejandro looked at Melvin smiling back at him as he tucked himself in the driver’s seat. Nothing seems more frustrating than looking at the perfect film end badly.
“Hell, I was interrupted. I didn’t meet a more perfect guy. Why does he have to be not-gay-yet? I wish we could just...”
“Sorry for interrupting your stream of thought but did you get a call from Spellz & Potionz? They did not turn up. Not even one representative.” Nathan was in his business mode and was infuriated that a client did not turn up for the party.
“Sorry bro I forgot to inform you. I received a call quite late. It seems something clashed, but I got better news. Sorry, I should have told you earlier, but guess what, we got called for Spellz & Potionz party. It seems it’s his late father’s birthday, and they still make it a point to celebrate the founder’s birthday. C’mon show some excitement at least! It will be a huge party! A multibillionaire one!”
“And what makes you so excited?”
“Well, parties as grand as theirs make me excited more than their CEO does.” Alejandro blinked with both his eyes and chuckled covering his face with his hands.
“You don’t need to act cute. Just because he is openly gay, don’t get your hopes high. He is engaged to some guy, something like a high school sweetheart. Don’t mess with our clients. That’s the rule!”
“But what about Melvin?”
“Melvin’s fine.” Nathan waved to a guest and tucked his hands in his pant pockets. “But don’t hit on Spellz and Potionz CEO. Not only are they ‘the most important client’ but the President is in a 10-year-old relationship. Teenage love! First gay experience! Still together forever and ever! Amen!”
“Amen! But say someone knows his stuff huh. So unusual for Nathan to know about a client’s private life!”
“Just shut up and wait for me. We are going back to Eleanoire’s place.”
“C’mon I can’t face the manager’s wife and that’s pie’s too sweet.”
Both men disappeared among the dismembering crowd that was returning back home from a sumptuous party to face the bleakness of their homes. Christmas holidays were around the corners and the folks found it difficult to wait for the festivities and their free time. Everyone was expecting something special, like a ”YOU’LL, BE LOVED” or ”YOU’LL WIN A LOTTERY” note in a fortune cookie, but you never know.
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