Okay. Chapter 15. Gosh, right now I am just so anxious. Tonight cannot come fast enough. I mean Jonnor is going to the freaking prom? From pinkie holding to this? I can’t handle it. Tonight is so far away.
By the way I’m letting you guys know that the next chapter will probaly be the last. It actually makes me really sad :( But I would still love to get feedback from everyone. Tell me what you think of the chapter, the story, everything. Tell me how you think it should end. I love all your messages, even the ones that pester for the next chapter. I love all of you for loving this story, “wipes tear.” You guys are the best. All chapters can be accessed below.
There comes moments in our lives when we have no choice but
to do some pretty terrifying things.
When faced with these challenges you get to choose one of either two
choices, which are(a) close your eyes and cover your ears and hope that it all
just goes away or (b) charge head on and
pray to the highest heavens it all somehow works out. These kinds of situations
tend to show us how much we can handle. It shows us how strong we can be in the
most terrifying moments. We find out whether we we are as strong as we thought
we were. It’s impossible to come out unscathed, but at the end of it we are
just a bit braver, a bit stronger and a
little bit happier. And sometimes, these moments define us.
Connor remembered his parents taking him to an amusement
park when he was ten. He remembered being as about excited as a ten year old
could be, surrounded by rides and endless cotton candy. He had wanted to do
nothing more than ride the infamous roller coaster of all his friends at school
had been bragging to him about. He had begged his parents for an entire week
until they had finally agreed to carry him (he thinks they probably just got
sick of his whining). When they had finally got there he had grabbed on to his
dad’s hand, yanking him towards the line. When they had finally made their way
to the front of the line, he had eagerly jumped into his seat and with his dad
next to him he was more ready than he had ever been in his ten year life…or so
he thought. As the roller coaster had begun its steep ascent, Connor, all of a
sudden, felt his heart speed up, and his forehead began to sweat. It was almost
as if his brain had just registered the insanity that was taking place. He
looked over at his dad who had given him a reassuring smile and he instantly began
regretting wanting to do this. He would be plunging to the ground in a few
seconds at who knows how many miles per hour and for all he knew he would fly
out of his seat or the roller coaster would come off of the track or…….
And they were descending, slowly at first and then all of a
sudden, he was falling, racing, plummeting to the earth and he screamed bloody
murder through it all….and he loved every second of it. He went on the ride
four more times after that and his dad puked once. It turned out to be one of
the best days of his life.
As Connor entered the kitchen with Jude, holding tightly to
his hand, he thought of the roller coaster and how similar his feelings were now.
The rate of his heart was unnatural.
As they walked into the kitchen, all three pairs of eyes
turned to them. Adam’s eyes fell to Jude and Connor’s interlocked hands but he
looked away quickly. Connor really did not know what else could be said to his
father and with his voice still heavy from crying a few minutes ago he refused
to say the first word. The ball was in Adam’s court now.
Adam cleared his throat uncomfortably as everyone stood
silent. It was all bordering awkward until Lena (God bless her soul) finally
“I think we should all go to the living so we can sit and talk about this.” She sighed, looking
around at everyone, “This is not something that can be danced around anymore.
And we are going to sit down like the mature adults we are, that includes the
two of you as well” she said, referring to Jude and Connor, “and we are going
to hash this out until we all see eye to eye, even if only just a little bit.”
Everyone knew that even though Lena was talking to everyone,
a lot of her speech was directed to Adam and Connor could not help feel a
little sorry for his dad. It seemed as if he was the enemy and the four of them
were the angry mob toting the pitchforks and torches. It felt…wrong.
Though they weren’t on good terms, it seemed as if Adam was
on the same wave length as his son as he sighed and said, “Steph, Lena, I
really appreciate your concern. And thank you for calling me to let me know
Connor was here, I was really worried when he left last night. But, I need to
talk to my son alone.”
He was worried? Connor thought. Why would he even care?
Didn’t he officially disown him?
Steph interjected, “Adam, I don’t think that’s a good…
“No. With all due respect, but I am not asking you to speak
to my son. I’m telling you that I
need to talk to him. Alone.” Adam said this all with a very tired expression,
almost pleading. He finally turned to Connor and they made eye contact for the
first time since he had gotten there. Connor had been trying to avoid it for as
long as possible but he finally looked at his dad, who asked him in a weary
“Connor, would you come for a drive with me?” Connor’s eyes
narrowed. What was his dad up to? He felt Jude’s fingers tighten on his own as
an assurance that he did not have to go anywhere that he did not want to.
“Please Connor,” his dad begged. Connor sighed. This was his
Dad. Whether he was an ass or not, this
was his father and he knew that he should go with him, that he would go with him. This was the roller
coaster that now had to face. And not
with Jude, Lena or Steph, but by himself, with his dad.
“Okay,” he answered softly. Connor could see the relief wash
over his dad’s face. He must have thought that Connor would have most likely declined.
He turned to Jude, who looked at him questioningly and
with a bit of worry.
“I’ll be fine,” Connor assured, squeezing Jude’s hand one
last time before letting go. “I’ll call you,” he said before turning to his dad
a little coldly and saying, “Alright, let’s go then.”
He followed his dad out the door, followed by the worried
looks of Jude, Lena and Steph.
They remained in silence as they drove, Connor’s eyes focused
straight ahead. He was curious to where they were going but he refused to be
the first to speak. They exited the neighborhood and Connor’s curiosity
intensified when they left the town behind. He could no longer keep his question
“Where are we even going,” he asked, without looking at his
Adam glanced over at Connor, “You’ll see soon.”
Connor rolled his eyes, “I thought you wanted to talk,” he
“And we will,” Adam responded, “When we get there.”
So it was like this again. He had to do everything on his
Dad’s terms? He didn’t bother to complain, all he wanted to do was to get over
with this entire day in general.
They drove for approximately half an hour and the
surrounding area began to look vaguely familiar to Connor. He came to full
awareness of his location when his Dad finally drove into the exact amusement park
he had been thinking about earlier. He looked out his window at the roller
coaster dominating the sky. He recognized the ticket booth and and few other
stalls beyond it, though they looked a lot more rundown now than they had been
eight years ago. Connor felt a pang of nostalgia as his memories again wandered
back to that day, when his family was still family and unlike now, he didn’t
have so many burdens on his shoulders.
“What are we doing here?” he asked.
Adam shut off the car, looking through the windshield at the
weather beaten ticket booth, “Do you remember that day when we came here? And
you rode the roller coaster about a million times?”
Connor sighed, leaning his head against the window, “Yeah Dad, I remember. It was a fun day. You
Adam chuckled lightly, “I did didn’t I? But regardless, that
was probably one of the best days of my life.” Connor tried not to act surprised.
Adam continued, “You should have seen yourself. That day you were bursting at
the seams with excitement. You talked about nothing else for an entire week
until your mother and I finally agreed to carry you just too simply shut you
up. But when we got here your eyes lit up at the sight of that roller coaster
and I felt like I had accomplished something as a Dad. That even if it was just
once, I had made you happy.”
Connor looked out the window at the empty park as his dad
spoke, silently listening. There was a sign on the entrance gate that read , “Closed
for Renovations.” He wasn’t sure where his dad was going with this story.
Adam sighed, “ What I’m trying to say is, I just want you to
be happy Connor.”
Okay, now they were getting somewhere. He turned to his Dad,
“Really? Because honestly Dad? It sure doesn’t seem like it. In fact it seems
like you’re very much against my happiness as you cannot accept, what in fact
makes me happy.”
Connor leaned back
into his seat, folding his arms, feeling very much like a ten year old again,
but this time he was allowed to be stubborn and difficult. He learnt from the
His dad tapped an unsteady rhythm against the steering
wheel. He seemed to be contemplating something. Connor was just about ready to
ask him turn around and take him home until he said,
“I think I’ve known for a long time. Probably even before you
even knew. I ignored it at first. I turned to associate it with the fact that
it was just part of you growing up.”
Connor turned to his dad with a questioning look, “What are
you talking about?”
“When you were either eight or seven, back when you were in
little league, you had this friend. I think his name was probably Jesse?”
Connor remembered, “Justin.” They had been best friends back
in little league. He and his family had moved to California a short while after. Connor remembered being devastated.
Justin had been a pretty cool kid.
Adam nodded in affirmation, “Right, Justin. At first I was
glad you had made a new friend on the team and that you two could practice
together. But I started to notice little things. I thought it was just me being
over observant, but your mom had noticed it too. Both of you spent all your
time together, as any set of best friends would but somehow it was…different. I
would take you two the park and you would patiently push him on the swings or
give him first the first go on the slide.”
“Maybe I was just a nice kid dad? That isn’t exactly an
indicator to being gay.”
“Maybe not. Bur then there was a time he fell, and bruised
his knee pretty bad. The kid screamed bloody murder and I ran to the car to get
the first aid kit your mom always made me keep in the car. When I was walking
back you were kneeling next to him, smoothing your hand over his hair, whispering
in his ear.” Connor remembered telling him that it would be okay.
“ When his mother came to pick him up, you were staring at
him as he walked off like the kid freaking hung the moon. I told your mom, but
she said that you were just being a good friend. So I left it alone, but one
day after practice, you didn’t see me coming, I saw you take his hand, interlocking fingers.
I waited to see of you two would let go,
but you two just held on, for no reason, waiting to be picked up. And I knew. I
guess you were too young to be aware of it. Your mom told me to leave it alone
but I can’t tell you how relieved I was when that kid and his parents moved
away. But then Jude came along.”
Connor stared at his dad. He remembered holding Justin’s
hand. They remembered doing it more than once but it was the first time he had thought
anything of it. He waited for his dad to continue.
Adam sighed, “It’s hard for me to accept this.” No shit,
Connor thought. “You’re my only child, my only son.”
“Being gay does not make me any less of a son,” Connor
His dad ran his hand over his face, “I know that. I just, I
guess I’ve always thought of your life in comparison to mine. That you would
play some baseball, maybe even go pro, find a girlfriend, get married. I never
thought that you would be gay and I think by trying to deny it for so long, it
made me angry to see it slap me in my face when you yourself confirmed it to be
Connor bit his lip, not sure what to say, for the first time
his dad was having an open, honest conversation with him. “You told me I wasn’t’
your son anymore.” He said looking down at his hands.
Adam said firmly, “And that’s where I failed you. You will always be my son. All those things I
said yesterday were out of anger. I will never,
not be your dad. And honestly, though it may take some time, I have to accept
you for who you are. That’s my job, and if I don’t, then I’ve failed you as a
father. Though it may not always seem like it, I want you to be happy. I really
Connor felt his throat constrict. No, he would not cry again.
“You mean all of that?” he managed to get out.
“Every single word of it. I am proud of everything you’ve
done and I’m proud of who you are. If this is what makes you happy then that’s
all there is too it.”
Adam reached out to him and they embraced, Connor could
barely comprehend what had just happened but he returned the hug, his chin
resting on his father’s shoulder.
They pulled apart and Connor simple said in utter disbelief,
jokingly, “Are you feeling well?”
Adam laughed, “So now me supporting you is a problem?”
“No, no. Carry on.” Connor said. He looked at the park again
in all its loneliness, “When it reopens, we should come back and ride the
roller coaster again.”
“Sure thing. I can always remember that look of terror in
your eyes back then.”
“ And maybe we could bring Jude,” Adam added.
Connor smiled, “Yeah, I think he would like that.”
He looked over at his dad, still amazed at how things had
changed so quickly. Though his dad was not completely on board yet, he could
feel the heaviness between them lighten. He felt as if he had been granted some
kind of freedom. For the first time he
could be all of himself without the disappointment of his father plaguing him.
He shook his head smiling, “Thank you,” he said to Adam.
Adam started the car, “No. Don’t thank me. I want to thank
you for giving me a second chance.”
A thought occurred to Connor, and he instantly felt guilty, “Um,
Adam glanced over.
“Um, I’m sorry for smashing the window,” Connor said
“Yeah, about that. The good news? It’s good to know you
still have one hell of an arm. The bad news? You know you have to pay for it
“Ugh,” Connor groaned, “Oh c’mon Dad.”
“You break it, you pay for it.” They turned out of the
parking lot and headed back in the direction they came from.
“Where too now?” Connor asked.
“The Fosters. I have some apologizing to do. In case you
haven’t noticed I haven’t exactly been the kindest person to Jude.”
Connor rolled his eyes, “You think?”
They headed back to the neighborhood and Connor smiled to
People said that the
secret to happiness was freedom and in that moment, for the first time, Connor
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