Can I talk to you for a second?
“Jonathan, can I talk to you for a second?” Will asked, his voice wavering slightly. Jonathan shot up from the couch, worry written all over his face. “Of course buddy, what’s up?” He followed him into the younger boy’s bedroom and shut the door behind him. Their mother was in the kitchen making dinner, and they could hear the slight crackling of something on the stove.
It was Will’s sixteenth birthday, he’d spent the day out with his friends, and they were all gonna have dinner together at seven, which his mother was currently preparing. At least that’s what he’d told her, that all his friends were coming over, when in fact it was just Mike.
He was going to tell them. Tell them about how much he loved and cared for Mike, tell them they’d been together for almost three months now. Tell them he was gay.
The plan was to just say that everyone else got held up by something, and Mike was the only one who could come. That way if he changed his mind about coming out, it wasn’t weird that he was the only one there.
“I wanted to tell you something important,” Will said quietly, running his fingers through his hair. “But I don’t, uhhhh, don’t really know how.” Jonathan’s brows furrowed, and he said “what’s wrong? You know you can talk to me about anything.”
A smile spread across Will’s face, and he felt slightly less worried. “My friends aren’t coming over for dinner. It’s just Mike.” “Why? Is everything okay? Did you fight?” Will took another deep breath. “No, no… It’s just Mike because he’s not my friend.” Jonathan looked confused and waited for him to explain what he meant. “He’s not my friend, you know?”
They stared at each other in silence for a while, before a look of understanding suddenly swept over the older’s face. “You mean he’s more than a friend?” Jonathan smiled at his brother, feeling slightly relieved that it wasn’t something more serious he’d needed to tell him. Will nodded slowly, and before he had a chance to say anything more, Jonathan pulled him in for a hug. “I’m happy for you.”
Will whispered a thank you into his brother’s shirt, and they held on to each other for almost two minutes. When they finally pulled apart, Will beamed at his brother. “You know you’re always going to be the same weird little brother to me, no matter who you bring home for dinner.” Jonathan said seriously, and Will felt tears stinging at his eyes. “You’re the best, you know that?”
The doorbell rang, interrupting their moment, and Will ran to open it. Outside, Mike was stood in a knitted sweater, holding a bouquet of flowers, a nervous smile spread across his face. “Happy birthday again!” He said, holding the flowers toward him. Will giggled and pulled his boyfriend into a hug. The two boys walked inside and headed to the kitchen.
“Hey, Mike! How are you?” Joyce smiled, putting a plate of chicken on the table. “I’m great, Mrs. Byers. How are you?” He replied. “Wonderful, thank you. Are the others here as well?” Will and Mike exchanged a look, and Mike said “No, they, uhhhh, got held up. I don’t think they’ll make it.” Joyce furrowed her brows, but smiled none the less. “Oh well, more for us then!”
The four of them sat down around the dinner table, and Mike’s hand found Will’s under the tablecloth. “So, what’ve you done today?” Joyce asked, taking a bite of her chicken. “Nothing much, just been at the arcade.” Will replied. He looked up at his brother, who nodded encouragingly at him.
“There was actually something I wanted to talk to you about.” He muttered. Joyce looked at him, and waited for him to continue. “The others aren’t actually busy. I told them not to come.” “Oh, how come? Is everything alright?” Will sighed “Yes, everything’s better than alright, wonderful actually.”
He paused, scared to finish the sentence. He imagined all the ways his mother could react. What if she kicked him out? What if she sent him away? What if she stopped loving him? He closed his eyes, and Mike stroked his hand soothingly. She wouldn’t. She promised she’d always love him. No matter what.
He wasn’t worried, not really. He knew his mother was the best person in the world, and so he clutched Mike’s hand and said: “I’m seeing someone. Actually, not just someone..” “Me!” Mike interrupted, a wide smile on his face. Joyce looked at them both, narrowing her eyes, before letting out a slight giggle. “I know, honey,”
The two boys looked at each other with confused and surprised expressions. “What do you mean you know? We haven’t told anyone!” She laughed again and responded “Will, I’m your mother. Did you really think I wouldn’t notice?” Will shot her mother a confused look, but smiled. “But from now on, I’d appreciate if you came in through the front door, and not my son’s bedroom window, Mike.” She gave him a stern, but playful look.
Will had to admit, it had been a while since he felt this happy.