A Time When It All Went Wrong by Colin Kelly

They say everyone has a double, a doppelganger, someone who’s their mirror image. What if you just met your double? What if you were a thirteen-year-old kid who’s gay and you just met your double?

Chapter 25: The Talk     Story Index >>

‘Oh, shit!’ I thought. My folks’ reaction certainly wasn’t what I expected when I told them Scott and I were boyfriends. So, like Coach Kavanaugh says, ‘A good defense is having a good offense,’ I decided to make that kind of move.

“Uh… what do you mean, it’s a good time to talk about this? What’s the ‘this’ part mean?”

“Why don’t we go into the family room and sit down?” Dad asked.

They got up and headed for the family room, ignoring that I hadn’t moved. When they’d left the kitchen I took a deep breath and stood up. ‘I guess,’ I thought, ‘there’s nothing to do except follow them.’ So that’s what I did.

They were sitting on the sofa. Dad pointed to one of the chairs next to the fireplace.

“How about you move that chair so it’s across from us. We need to tell you something.”

Since it was too heavy and clumsy for me to lift, I dragged the chair so it was across from them. The coffee table sat like a divider between us. I sat down and didn’t say anything. Another thing Coach says is, ‘Sometimes you have to wait and see what kind of game plan the opponents are planning to use.’

After quite a long silence, Dad started. “Well, I guess it’s better if I come right out with what we have to tell you, Tony.”

It’s amazing what thoughts can go through your head when you hear something like that from your parents. Like, ‘Oh, shit, are Mom and Dad going to get divorced? It just couldn’t be that because there isn’t anything that I’ve ever seen that would make them want to get a divorce, like arguing or something like that.’

All that thinking had caused me to stop listening. As a result I missed the first part of what Dad said next.

“…so I have to be there by October 2nd.”

“Huh? What? I missed the beginning of what you said.”

“I said, I’ve taken a teaching position at The University of California at Davis. The semester starts the beginning of next month, so I have to be there by October 2nd.”

“Oh. Is it a better job than at Sand Hills College?”

“Yes, much better.”

“So the job’s in Davis?”

Dad chuckled. “Yes, it’s with The University of California at Davis, so it is in Davis.”

“So, what’s your commute going to be like?”

“It’s a reverse commute. That means I would be driving in the opposite direction of most of the traffic.”

“Oh. That’s good then. So, how long for you to get to work and to get home?”

“Between an hour and an hour and a half, depending on traffic.”

“Tony,” Mom said, “that’s the other thing we need to tell you about.”

I stared at them. ‘Oh, shit, shit, shit!’ I thought. ‘We’re gonna move. No fucking way! I absolutely can not move now!’

“We’re going to look for a home in or near Davis. Your dad’s commute is going to be too long. We can get a bigger home there for what we’ll get when we sell this house.”

I’d guessed right. “You gotta be kidding,” I said. “I’m going to be pulled out of school here when we move to Davis. I won’t be on the football team anymore. I just made friends at Wilson and I won’t know anyone at whatever school I go to in Davis. Scott and I have just become boyfriends and that’ll be over. Wilson is gay-friendly and whatever hick school I end up at in Davis probably won’t be. This is awful!”

I stood up. My folks had sort of shocked expressions. That was just fine. What did they expect, that I’d be all, ‘Yay, this is all so wonderful,’ about moving to Davis? I mean, it’s out in the middle of freakin’ nowhere between here and Sacramento!

“I gotta go to my room and think about this,” I said.

I turned and started to rush out of the family room. I heard Dad say, “Tony, we really need to talk about this.” I ignored him and ran upstairs to my room and shut the door. Well, actually I slammed the door shut. I would have locked the door, but my bedroom door doesn’t have a lock.

I flopped onto my bed. “Fuck, fuck, fuck!” I shouted, out loud. I felt like crying. What could I say to Scott? And to Todd? Coach Kavanaugh? My friends? My teachers? I didn’t know what I could say. I didn’t know when we’d be moving. I didn’t know anything about this stupid move. I didn’t want to know anything about this stupid move.

Todd! Maybe I could move to Todd’s house. They have an extra bedroom. Maybe I could move there. Then I could keep going to Wilson. It would only last the rest of this year, probably, but at least I’d be able to finish my entire freshman year at Wilson.

If I stayed at Wilson I could play football. I realized that would be what I’d miss most if I had to move right away. I’d made the team, and our first game was this Friday afternoon. I’d never get to play on the freshman team at a different high school. The season would have started and I wouldn’t have time to learn a different playbook. Besides, their roster would be full. The coaches there wouldn’t know me so why would they move someone they knew just so I could join their team? Maybe they’d put me on as a member of their redshirt team. If they had room. If they had a redshirt team. Screw that. Redshirting with a bunch of guys and a team I wouldn’t even know sucked big time. I’d have to give up football. I didn’t want to give it up. I wouldn’t give it up.

I had to come up with a way to stay in Hillview. Staying at Todd’s made the most sense, at least to me. I’d have to find out if he agreed. If he did, and I was pretty sure he would, then we’d have to get his folks, my Aunt Nora and Uncle Dennis, to agree. No small thing, that. Then I’d have to convince my folks. That would be a really huge, huge, huge thing. I needed to work up a plan for my continuing at Wilson. That was a good word, ‘continuing.’ The more I thought about it the more I knew Todd would agree.

My folks would want to get me into the whole ‘buying a new house and moving to Davis’ thing. So I had to deflect that. I had to talk to Todd first, then to Aunt Nora and Uncle Dennis. Then Scott. Todd and Scott and I would have to work out a really good set of reasons for me to stay the rest of the school year, until June. I’d have to find out about the high schools in Davis, though I wouldn’t know which one I’d have to attend. I figured the best way to handle it would be to tell my folks that I needed time to think, and to talk to Todd, Scott, and my other close friends at school. And talk to Coach Kavanaugh. Yeah, that ought to work. Now to see if I could actually make it work.

I decided to employ the ‘wait and see what kind of game plan the opponents are planning to use’ tactic from one of the books I’d been given. That meant waiting for my folks, probably my Dad, to come up and ask to talk to me. I got up and walked to my desk. No point in lying around when I had homework that I needed to finish. I started with Spanish 3 and moved on from there. By the time I’d finished everything except the reading response I needed to write for English, I looked at the time on my PC. I blinked my eyes to make sure that I saw the correct time. It was almost six thirty. Neither Dad nor Mom had come upstairs to see me, or to say they wanted to talk some more.

That made me grin. They were working from the same playbook that Coach Kavanaugh had us work from. Knowing what they were doing worked as my own diversionary tactic.

I reread the story, Tell the Truth by Nicholasa Mohr. Her story is about a thirteen year old girl whose mother is arrested. She’s waiting in her mother’s lawyer’s office to find out when she can see her mother. It’s a very short story, only four and a half pages in our textbook. I decided the story was about the girl doing what her mother told her to do and that she’d see her mother. So the story’s about loyalty and trust.

I started writing my response and stopped. I reread what I’d written. The thing about loyalty, the girl remained loyal to her mother despite what the lawyer said about her, made me think. What is loyalty? I looked it up in the WordWeb online dictionary. The third definition fit my situation perfectly:

“The act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action.”

Should I be showing loyalty to the course of action my folks had decided to take? That’s something I’d have to think about.

Then I thought about trust, how the girl trusted her mother. That made me wonder, what is trust? I looked it up online, and the definition I liked the best was the beginning of the first one in the North American Oxford Dictionary:

“Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone.”

Should my folks have, right from the beginnning, trusted that I had the ability to accept Dad taking a new job in Davis? Did the fact that they didn’t tell me when he took the job show that they didn’t trust me? That’s something else I’d have to think about.

I got back to my reading response and finished the first draft. I’d read it later and do an editing pass so I’d have it ready to turn in.

I looked at the time. Two minutes to seven. Still no one had come up to talk to me. Or to tell me that dinner was ready. Usually we ate at six thirty. Well, I could wait them out. Strategy versus tactics, right?

I went online to see if I could find something interesting to read, maybe a science fiction story. I went to my Daily Science Fiction email folder to read one of the short stories. I found a title that amused me, Zugzwang. It was written by Curtis C. Chen. I read it and loved this story. It’s about people from Earth meeting aliens who decide wars by playing a complicated chess-like game.

Just as I finished reading the story I heard a knock on my bedroom door.

“Come in,” I said.

Mom opened the door and peeked in the room. She didn’t say anything.

“I don’t bite,” I said.

“I wasn’t sure about that,” she said. “Dinner’s ready.”

“Okay. I’ll wash my hands and be right down.”

I sat down at the table. Dad looked at me and sort of grinned. “I guess we pretty much blew it telling you about my new job and moving to Davis now instead of earlier,” he said.

“Yeah, that’s about right,” I replied. “You sort of dropped a stink bomb on me. What makes me mad is that you must have known about this new job a long time ago, for sure before today. You could have told me when it looked like it might happen. Then I could’ve been prepared for it.”

“I agree,” Dad said. “We’ll try to make it up to you.”

“One way of making it up to me is to give me time to think about it. I need to talk to Scott and Todd, Coach Kavanaugh, my teachers, and the rest of my friends. I don’t want to talk about it, or hear about it, until I’ve talked to them.”

“I think that’s impractical, Tony, and I don’t think you understand,” Mom said. “This is going to happen, you can’t change that, and you need to be involved in it. We want you to go with us when we’re looking for a house there.”

“I don’t think you understand. I’ve just started high school. I’ve started all of my classes. I like my classes and my teachers. I’m working hard to get straight A’s. I’ve made friends, a lot of friends, at Wilson. I met Todd and we found out that we’re double first cousins. He goes to Wilson so we’re able to get together every day. He and I are more like twin brothers and best friends than cousins. We stay overnight at the other’s house two nights a week. Todd and I are working on a Biology project that’ll be twenty percent of our grades, both his and mine. I’m running for Freshman Class Vice President. I’m in the starting lineup on the freshman football team, and our first game is Friday afternoon. I’m in the Wilson High chorus and we’re getting ready for our Christmas concert.

“Scott and I are officially boyfriends now. I planned to tell that to Coach Kavanaugh and the team tomorrow during our morning practice. Then Scott and I planned to announce it to our friends at lunch tomorrow.

“All of that is gone, useless, flushed down the toilet, when we move to Davis and I have to start in a different school there.”

“Tony, you’re just exaggerating,” Mom said. “Things won’t be that bad, and you’ll fit in at the high school in Davis just like you fit in at Wilson. You started high school at Wilson just two weeks ago. That was a new school with new classes and teachers and you met new friends just like it will be in Davis. It’s not like you’re changing schools in the middle of the semester.”

“It is exactly like changing schools in the middle of the semester. You don’t know when we’re moving, do you?”

Mom waited a few seconds as I stared at her, then finally she shook her head. “No, we don’t know when we’ll be moving.”

Dad just shrugged his shoulders. It was obvious that he didn’t know either.

“It could be weeks or even months from now. The most important thing is, no matter when it happens, I have to stay here and go to Wilson until we move. It’ll be like I’m a stand-in student at Wilson, not really part of everything because I know I’ll be leaving and everyone else will know I’m leaving. I’ll be like a ghost student.

“I’ll be starting at a new high school in the middle of the semester. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to get the same classes in Davis that I’m taking here. They might not offer them or if they do they could be full. The classes I get that are the same might not be the same because they could use different textbooks, and they might be ahead or behind where I was at Wilson.

“I won’t see Todd very often and he and I won’t be able to study together anymore. We won’t be able to work on our Biology project together. In fact, the project is sort of ruined without me to help write it. Todd and I are the only ones at school who know about our relationship and how to describe double first cousins. It’s critical that I work with him on the project. It’s a two-person project and Todd can’t find someone to replace me. He can’t finish it alone. It’s too late for him to start on a new project. And it’s supposed to be twenty percent of our grades. His grade as well as mine.

“My name is on the ballot for Freshman Vice President. Kids know me at Wilson. I’ve become an integral part of the freshman class. The ballots are printed so they can’t change them to remove my name. Even if they tell kids not to vote for me, what happens if they do and I get elected?

“I won’t be able to play football. Whatever high school I end up going to in Davis has their freshman team all set. I know our playbook, I wouldn’t know theirs. Their teams are full. You can’t just add someone to your team without moving someone else off the team. That’s because the number of players is set by the CIF, the California Interscholastic Federation. Besides, why would they make room for me on their roster? They don’t know me. They know the guys they already selected. So that means no football for me. And if I don’t play this year, what chance do I have after that?

“The chorus can get along without me. I’m just one voice. They can find someone else to sing my solos. Wilson is lucky to have a chorus. A lot of high schools don’t offer chorus. Until I know which high school I’ll be going to I have no way to find out if they have a chorus class or not.

“I won’t know the kids there and they won’t know me. I’ll be the ‘new kid’ and everyone will be looking at me as a stranger. That’s the way it is in middle school and in high school. I know it’s that way because I go to high school now and that’s the way it was in middle school at Carver and the way it is at Wilson.

“Scott and I are boyfriends now. I don’t think I can explain how important that is for a gay kid, me, and for Scott. I don’t know whether the high school I go to in Davis will be gay friendly or not. Even if it is gay-friendly I’m not interested in finding a gay guy there to be my boyfriend. Scott is my boyfriend.

“So if you think I’m being impractical, that’s fine, but that’s your opinion and I think you’re wrong. I’m not enthusiastic about moving to Davis and changing schools. Nothing is going to make me enthusiastic about it. In fact, I hate having to change schools right now. I know if you say I have to go, I have to go. I’ll have to put up with it. But I won’t be happy about it, I’m going to hate it.”

I think my folks were stunned by my reaction, what I said and the way I said it. I sat there at the dinner table waiting for them to say something. Finally, Mom got up.

“I’m going to get our dinner out of the oven before it burns to a crisp.” She grinned so she probably tried to make a joke, but I wasn’t in the mood to laugh about anything.

We ate mostly in silence. After dinner Mom and Dad continued to sit at the table. As usual I cleared the table and put things in the dishwasher, then washed the pots and pans and put them away.

“I’ve got homework,” I announced. I went upstairs to my room, but I left my door open. I sat at my computer and reread Tell the Truth and my response to it. I found a couple places to make tiny tweaks and saved the file, then uploaded it to the school’s Blackboard system. I didn’t have anything else to do. I wanted to phone Todd, but decided not to. I remembered that he’d be coming home with me because the next day was Tuesday. That would be very interesting. I decided to remind my folks.

I went downstairs. Mom and Dad were in the family room watching TV. Well, Dad was watching TV, Monday Night Football, and Mom had her Kindle and was reading.

“Excuse me.” They both looked up at me. “I wanted to remind you that Todd’s coming home with me tomorrow, and is staying overnight. Todd will ride with us to school Wednesday morning so I can be there for practice by seven a.m.”

“Sure, that’ll be okay,” Dad said. He was driving me to school on his way to Sand Hills Community College each morning so I could be at school in time for morning practice.

“Tony, don’t you think it’s a good idea for you and Todd to drop the Tuesday and Thursday overnights?” Mom asked. “Things are changing and are going to get more complicated.”

“I think dropping the Tuesday and Thursday overnights is a terrible idea. Todd and I still have a lot of the same classes, and being able to do our homework and study together is maybe even more important for both of us right now. Depending on how long I’m here at Wilson we might even be able to complete our Biology Project.”

“Trish, I think it’s a good idea for these overnights to continue,” Dad told Mom. “It will provide some continuity and stability for Tony. It’s important for Todd as well.”

“Alright, I guess,” Mom responded. She sort of rolled her eyes and looked exasperated. I couldn’t understand why she was being so pro-Davis and so negative about the effect it was having on me.

“And Mom,” I said, “please don’t tell Aunt Nora about the move until sometime tomorrow. Or if you do tell her tonight, please ask her not to say anything to Todd. I want to be the one to tell him tomorrow morning. Okay?”

“Okay. I wasn’t planning on telling her, but if you’re going to tell Todd at school tomorrow morning, then I guess I will call Nora tomorrow afternoon.”


I went upstairs to my bedroom and shut the door. I decided to call Scott and tell him. I grabbed my cell and flopped onto my bed. Calling Scott was going to be tough. I stared at my cell for a few minutes. ‘Shit!’ I thought. ‘I have to do this in person, not on the phone.’ I checked the time. Seven forty-five. I pressed his speed-dial icon.

“Hey, Tony. How’re you, boyfriend?” he said when he answered.

“Okay. There’s something I need to talk about, in private. Is it okay if I come over now?”

“Uh, sure. What’s the ‘private’ part all about?”

“Something important. I’ll tell you when I get there.”

“Okay. See you in a few.”

“See ya.”

I put on a hoodie, grabbed my phone, keys, and wallet, and went downstairs.

“I’m going to Scott’s house to talk to him about our moving to Davis.”

“Don’t you think it’s a bit late for you to be going out to see him?” Mom asked. “Tomorrow’s a school day and you have to leave early for your football practice.”

“I know all that. It’s not eight o’clock yet, and what we have to talk about can’t wait until tomorrow. It’s very important that I talk to him now, tonight. To tell him about Davis. We have a lot of things to decide.”

“Be home by ten. Okay?” Dad said.

I grinned. “Okay. Thanks, Dad.”

I saw Mom give him a look that showed that she didn’t want me to go to see Scott tonight. But I was going, even if  she didn’t want me to go. I left the house and walked the three blocks to Scott’s house. He was sitting on the front porch waiting for me.

“Hey, Tony. What’s up?”

“Hi, Scott. Can we sit out here and talk?”

“Sure. You want something to drink? A Coke? A root beer float?” He grinned.

“A root beer float? With ice cream?”

“You got it. I’ll be right back.”

Scott got up and rushed into his house. A few minutes later he returned with two root beer floats in big, tall, glasses. Each had one of those oversize straws and a long spoon. He handed me my glass.

“This is too cool,” I said.

“Actually, they are cold, not just cool,” Scott replied. “But I don’t think they’re too cold.” He grinned.

I took a long sip of my root beer float.

“Oh, man! This is perfect. You mixed some of the vanilla ice cream into the root beer, then added another scoop of ice cream.”

“I’ll have you know I added two scoops of ice cream.” Scott grinned. “My uncle taught me how to make the perfect root beer float.”

“I’ll have to meet your uncle someday to thank him.’

We finished our root beer floats, eating the ice cream with our spoons, then slurping the little bit of root beer and melted ice cream left at the bottom of the glass through our straws. I set my glass on the floor next to my chair.

“That, Scott Sanderson, was fantastic. It’s just what I needed.”

“You said that you have something important to tell me. I figured it would be a good idea to soften you up with something cold and sweet first. So, what’s the big deal?”

“We’re moving to Davis.”

“What?” Scott shouted.

“My dad has a new job at the University of California in Davis. We’re supposed to be moving there. Soon. My mom’s giving me all kinds of grief about how I have to be involved in looking for a new house there.”

Scott looked like he was about to cry, and that’s exactly how I felt. We both jumped up and hugged and kissed and cried.

“This is awful, Tony. What are you going to do about being on the freshman football team? What about your classes? Do you know where you’ll be going to school? What about us? I love you, man, I don’t want to lose you by having you move away. Where is Davis, anyway?”

“I love you too, Scott. I’m sort of working on an idea that might let me stay here for my freshman year. I don’t want to say anything until I either get it worked out or find out it’s impossible. And Davis isn’t that far; it’s between here and Sacramento. My dad said it’s a little over an hour from here. I have no idea where I’d go to school. I don’t know how many high schools there are in Davis. I guess I’d have to drop out of football. Any freshman football team there would be all set by the time I move there, and I’d be coming without a reputation so there’s no reason for me to be of any interest to the coaches of a different freshman team.”

“Shit, that really sucks.”

“You can say that again!” I said.

“Shit, that really, really sucks.” Scott hugged me, tight and long. “I don’t want to let you go, Tony. You’re my first boyfriend. I’ve been thinking how we’ll be boyfriends all through high school and then in college.”

“Ditto all that for me, too.”

“Wait a minute! I have a clever idea,” Scott said, grinning. “You and Todd trade off every week or so. Then when he’s in Davis pretending to be you, you’re here pretending to be him and I can see you.”

I laughed. “Ain’t gonna work. My mom and Todd’s mom would figure it out right away. We have enough little differences that our moms would see we’d switched the first time we tried it. But thanks, it was a cool idea.”

“You said you have a plan for staying here?”

“Not a plan yet, just a sort of crazy idea. I need to talk to Todd tomorrow morning before school. My dad’s gonna drop me off for my period zero practice. I’m going to tell Coach Kavanaugh and the team that you and I are boyfriends. Then….” But Scott interrupted what I was about to say.

“You’re going to tell the freshman football team that you and I are boyfriends before telling any of our friends at lunch? Don’t you think that they’ll spread it around?”

“I’ll ask them not to. I don’t think any… well, since I don’t know for sure, let’s say I don’t think any of the guys on the team will talk it up.”

“You think any of them are homophobes, Tony? Everything I hear is that guys who play football aren’t very gay friendly.”

“I think they’ll be cool with it. There are already a couple guys who are gay and who are on the team.”

“We’re still on for telling people at lunch?” Scott asked.

“Yup. That okay with you?”

“Of course.” He just stood looking at me, then said, “Why does life have to get so fucked up, Tony?”

“I sure don’t know why, but I do know that it does get fucked up. My life has turned into a fucking mess. Everything is starting to be all wrong for me.”

“When does your dad start his new job in Davis?”

“October second.”

“Oh, crap! That’s really soon. Are they going to be able to find a new house by then?”

“No. So I’ll continue going to Wilson until we find the house and the papers are signed. Then we have to move all of our stuff out of our house here and schlep it to Davis.

“Scott, when I move we’ve gotta find a way so we can get together like every other week.”

“I agree, but maybe it should be every week. Except that’s too tough to do. How can we get together? We don’t drive and that won’t happen for a bunch of years in the future. Josh could drive me but there’s no way he’d do it every week or even every other week. Maybe once a month or every other month he might do it. This is terrible, Tony.

“What about your folks? If your dad’s starting the new job on October second, then they had to know weeks ago. So why did they wait until now to tell you?”

“Hell of a good question. I don’t know. He apologized and said they’d messed up and once they knew he had the job, then they should have told me right away. My mom’s eager to talk to me about moving to Davis. I told them I didn’t want to talk about it until after I’ve talked to you and Todd, Coach Kavanaugh, my teachers, and my friends. I told them I absolutely hate the idea of moving to Davis. I told them all the reasons it’s going to ruin my life. I think they figured out that I was really pissed about it and with them.”

“So you’re acting like a brat, then?”

“I never thought about it that way, but I guess you’re right. And right now I’m glad I’m acting like a brat. And I’m going to continue acting like a brat.”

“What was Todd’s reaction when you told him?”

“I haven’t told him. I decided that I needed to talk to him face to face, like I decided to talk to you face to face. Doing it on the phone or by email is like, really impersonal. So I’ll talk to him in the morning first thing after practice. And, besides that, I needed to tell you first because you’re my boyfriend and you’re the most important person in my life.”

“Are you going to be able to play in the game on Friday?”

“I don’t see why not. It’s up to Coach Kavanaugh and I’m going to talk to him in the morning before our practice starts. Why wouldn’t he let me play? It might take a month or maybe even more for my folks to find a house and buy it and have it ready for us to move in. Hell, football season might be over before we move.”

“This really sucks,” Scott said. “It really, really sucks.”

“I totally agree.”

“Is it okay if I tell my folks?”

“Sure, why not? Uh… is Josh home?”

“No. He and Lane went somewhere to buy stuff for PE. I’ll tell Josh next time I see him. So, let’s go in and tell my folks.”

“Uh… you want to do it now? With me?”

“Yes, now, and I want you to be the one to tell them, Tony.”

I put my hands up and covered my face. “Oh, jeez. They’re gonna get all sorry and your mom’s going to hug me and I might start crying.”

“Me too, the crying part. Let’s do it.”

Scott grabbed my hand and pulled me into the house. His folks were sitting in the living room reading.

“Mom, Dad, Tony’s got something to tell you.”

So I told them. What I’d said about his mom hugging me and then I’d start crying happened exactly that way. And Scott was crying, too.

Dr. Sanderson hugged me too, and said, “It isn’t the end of the world. Davis isn’t that far from here. You’ll be able to visit, and you can video chat every day so you’ll see each other that way.”

“When are you moving?” Mrs. Sanderson asked.

“I don’t know. It’s going to be a while because my folks have to find a house and actually buy it. Unless it’s a brand new house they’ll want to clean everything and paint and maybe change carpets or the kitchen appliances before we move in. Maybe even remodel it. So it’s going to be a while. But they want me to go along on the house hunt, and that means every weekend.”

“Hey, I can go house hunting with you,” Scott said.

We started joking about what sorts of things I should be looking for in a new house.

“You have to have your own bathroom,” Scott suggested. “With a urinal!”

“And a three car garage for when I get my own car,” I said.

“You’ll need room for a golf cart too.”

“Why do I need a golf cart?”

“Because if your folks get a house next to a golf course you’ll want to go out and play golf with your dad.”

“My dad doesn’t play golf. I don’t play golf.”

“You’ll learn.”

“You play golf?” I asked him.

“No. I could learn, too.”

Mr. Sanderson interrupted. “Tony, since your father is going to work for the university, you should be able to take classes there.”

“I didn’t think about that. I’ll have to ask my dad about that.”

I noticed their grandfather clock. It was quarter to ten.

“Hey, my dad said he wanted me to be home by ten. I have to get up early for my period zero football practice.”

“What’s period zero?” Mrs. Sanderson asked. So I explained it to her.

“And it starts at seven o’clock. My dad drops me off at school on his way to Sand Hills Community College.” I stopped for a second. “I just realized, once he starts his job in Davis he won’t be able to take me to school. I guess I’ll have to find a way to get there until we move. I might have to ride my bike, but that means leaving home at around six thirty in the morning. Or maybe I can get a ride with Parker; his brother drives him and he lives near me. And, he’s on the freshman football team, too.

“Anyway, I have to head home. I’ll see you at school tomorrow, Scott.”

“Yeah.” He grabbed me and hugged me. then kissed me on the lips. His folks smiled. Maybe they thought it was cute.

When I got home I stuck my head in the family room. “I’m back,” I said. “I’m going to bed now. I’ll see you in the morning.”

They said good night, and I went upstairs. I thought about when I’d be able to talk to Todd. We wouldn’t be able to see each other until lunch unless I skipped half of my football practice session. Tomorrow was Tuesday so we’d be doing weight training. I’d talk to Coach Kavanaugh, and I was sure he’d let me bail out early. In fact, I’d ask him if I could leave after I tell the guys that I’m gay and Scott and I are boyfriends. I think he’d understand that I’d need to talk to Todd when I explained it to him.

I pulled my cell out of my pocked and called Todd.

He answered, “Hi Tony. What’s up?”

“Can we meet at school at seven thirty? I have couple important things to tell you. Can you meet me in front of the gym, near the entrance to the locker room?”

“Sure. What, you have a boyfriend now? Just kidding.”

I laughed. “I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow morning.”

“Ooo… that’s it but it’s still a big secret, ‘eh?”

“Yeah, you could say that. So, I gotta get to bed since I’m getting up at six thirty. I’ll see you at seven thirty, then.”

“Okay. See you at the locker room entrance tomorrow at seven thirty. Can’t wait to find out who it is. Bye.”

“Bye, Todd. See you tomorrow.”

I ended the call. I had lots to tell him. About Scott and moving to Davis and all the rest.  But what was mostly on my mind was the possibility of moving in with Todd and Aunt Nora and Uncle Dennis, and getting them to agree with it. I had to convince them that it would be the right thing to do.

I just had to.


Thanks to Cole Parker for editing A Time When It All Went Wrong

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