Brady set on his favorite rock reading his Bible sad to lose Clifford. He felt
Something in his heart, without turning around he simply stated quietly "I
Thought you went to Barcelona?"
A reply came in the same soft voice, "I thought you were in brainwashing camp?"
Brady stood up and turned around to face Clifford. A puzzled hurt look on his
Face. Clifford look into Brady's blue eyes feeling hurt also. His own brown eyes
Showed the same. In unison they both replied, "I changed my mind."
Within seconds they were in each other's arms in a tight embrace.
Brady whispered into Clifford's ear, "What changed your mind?"
He only said almost in tears "I was at the airport. I checked my baggage in. I was
Going through the metal detector and your cross set it off. I then knew I had to
Come back to you. And you?"
Brady replied "I was talking to Pastor after you left and he said something that
Made me think. He did not condemn me. He basically said if I was okay with who I
Was God still loves me."
"Wow", was all Clifford could say.
"What about you're Mom?"
"That was a little bit more tricky." he smiled.
"Come on give me the dirt."
"You always want the dirt." Brady elbowed him in the ribs. This set them both
Into a laughing fit. It felt so right.
"So you hungry?" Brady asked.
"Only if you tell me about your mom."
"Okay. What are you in the mood for?"
"Your Choice.", Clifford said.
"Yes my junk food junkie." , He smiled. He grabbed Brady by the arm. Brady leaned his head on Clifford's shoulder. They were content to be back together.
They ended up at a pizzeria on the shore. As they entered Clifford slipped his arm around Brady's waist. Brady flinched, but later relaxed into it. Brady boldly snuck a kiss to his lover's ear. It was Clifford's turn to flinch. They both chuckled.
They were seated in a booth near the back. Clifford reached over and took Brady's hand.
"I missed you so much. I was miserable without you." Clifford confessed.
" So did I." A waiter approached the table giving an approving smile.
" Hey fellas what can I do for you?"
"I want everything on my half." Brady replied .
"Well you've corrupted me make the whole thing the same." , Clifford smiled.
" Two Colas please." Clifford added.
"I'm on it." the waiter responded.
" So you gonna tell me about mommy dearest?" Clifford sneered.
"Yes," Brady replied.
"Well she said she would not accept me the way I was . Then she said I was still her son."
" What did you say?"
" She said I was making the biggest mistake of my life."
" I said I already made the biggest mistake."
" What did you mean by that ?" Clifford asked bewildered.
" I meant letting you go." Brady was a little flushed.
" Wow!" was all that Clifford could say. Tears were about to stream down his face.
Brady reached across the table to wipe the single tear on Clifford's cheek.
Clifford managed a weak smile; then leaned and gave Brady a kiss on the cheek.
Their " first" date" ?
“How’s Angie?” Brady asked.
“Still certifiable. But she really helped me words of wisdom."
“She told me not to get jaded and not to give up on real love.”
“Is that why you found me on the ‘rock’?”
“One could only hope and it worked.”
“Yeah, it did.” Brady said.
Clifford smiled back lovingly. He always found Brady’s smile Irresistible. “Hey Brady what do you want to do now. I’m stuffed again.” he chuckled
“How about a movie?”
“Sounds good any preferences?”
“Don’t get to the movies much. Mom doesn’t think there are any ‘Christian’ movies in town.” He said shyly.
“Well there is a classic gay teen movie playing. It’s one of my favorites.”
“What is it?”
“Okay I’ll give a try.”
Leaving the pizzeria and walking through town, Clifford reached for Brady’s hand. Brady started to draw his back but thought better of it then intertwined their fingers.
They didn’t talk much just walked in comfortable silence, enjoying being with each other once more. They reached the theater. Clifford paid for the tickets. Brady sprung for the popcorn and cokes. They settled into their seats. This time Brady took the lead a
placed an arm around Clifford’s shoulder. Clifford laid his head on Brady’s shoulder as the opening credits rolled.
After the film was over Brady’s eyes were glistened over. Clifford slid an arm around Brady’s waist, drew in in close and pecked him on the cheek lightly.
“What did you think?” Clifford asked.
“It was amazing! I think I’ve lived parts of it.” He giggled. “The dance at the end made me think of dancing with you that night.”
“I’m looking forward to dancing with you again soon.” Clifford waggled his eyebrows.
The after date
They roamed the streets of Rock Haven till after midnight. They ended up at Brady’s house. Brady wasn’t tired, but he knew his mom would be worried. He never stayed out this late, especially without calling. At the door he kicked at the ground. Clifford placed a hand on his shoulder to turn him to face him.
“I had a really great time tonight Brady. I know I made the right decision not to go to Barcelona. I belong here with you.” He placed his hands on each side of Brady’s face and placed a chaste kiss on his lips. “ Well, goodnight Brady”
“Clifford, I’m so glad you’re back. I promise I will never freak-out on you ever again.” Clifford burst into a belly laugh.
Confused Brady asked “ What’s so funny?”
“You saying freak-out.”
“See how you’re corrupting me already.” He snorted they both broke into laughter. The porch light came on and the laughter abruptly stopped. The door opened and Marty stood crossed and annoyed.
“Where have you been?”
“Clifford and I went for pizza and a movie. Then we just wandered a round town talking and catching up.”
“Well get in this house and get to bed.”
“Mom I’m eighteen years old. I’m not a child anymore and I’d appreciate you stop treating me like one.” He turned to Clifford. “ I’m sorry Mom’s being overprotective again. I had a good time. I’ll call you in the morning. He hugged Clifford tightly in spite of Marty watching. Clifford hugged back.
“See you tomorrow. Goodnight Marty.” He turned and left.
Marty shut the door “And what was that about?”
“You and Clifford.” She snapped.
“ He’s my friend, no maybe he’s more than a friend. He’s back and now I don’t have to regret the biggest mistake of my life anymore.”
“ I don’t want to hear anymore.”
“Then stop asking questions if you don’t want to hear the truth. I’m trying my best to be respectful about this. I know this is hard on you, but I’m not about to lose Clifford again now that he’s back, even for you. Now I’m going to bed.” He kissed her on the cheek. “ Goodnight Mom.”
Clifford walked next door to his house. Angie was also waiting up. “Well you’re glowing.”
“Mom.” he whined
“Alright, how was your date?”
“So where have you been?”
“Okay, I was with Brady. We had pizza and went to a movie.”
“So that’s why you’re glowing.”
“I’m not glowing!”
“ I was walking on the rocks and there he was, just sitting there reading his Bible. Funny thing, he knew I was there before he turned around, before I was even close enough for him to hear me. Without stopping reading or turning around you know what he says? 'I thought you were in Barcelona?' “
Angie got a good laugh.
“I don’t think it’s funny.” Clifford said.
“Oh dear, it’s just fate taking its course. Brady is your destiny, but you already know that.”
“I guess you’re right Mom. I think I love him, no I know I love him. It was if we were never separated. Tonight was one of the best nights of my life.”
“Good.”, Angie says, “Now go get some rest.”
“Goodnight Mom.” He kisses her on the cheek.
“Goodnight my dear.”
The Next Day.
Brady woke to the sound of his phone buzzing. He stretched, yawned, then reached over to the bedside
table. Remembering the night before he smiled realizing who would be calling him, answered, “Hello
“Wow, now that’s a morning greeting I could get used to.” Clifford replied, “Good morning to you also.”
“What time is it?” Brady asked.
“You’re up early. Why so?”
“I want to take you to breakfast Brady
“Mm, I’ll be ready in 30 minutes.”
“Great I’ll see you then.”
Brady hung up. He took a quick shower, and got dressed. His mom was sitting at the kitchen table reading her scriptures for the morning. “Are you going to join me morning scriptures?”
“Of course Mom. What are you reading?”
“The book of Levt…”
“Stop right there!” Brady cut her off. “I know where you’re going with this and I don’t have time to argue with you first thing this morning. Now if you have a scripture that’s inspirational and not diminutive. I’ll stay “
“Well I thought if I showed you...”
“Mom.” Once again interrupting her, “You realize this is the same scripture that tried to rip my life apart. I’m not going through that again. Anyway I’ve got to go. I’ll see you this afternoon.
“Where are you going?”
“If you must know I’m going to breakfast with Clifford.”
“Humph” was all Marty could muster.
“I love you Mom.”
Brady knocked on Clifford’s door. Angie answered. “Well hello Brady,” embracing him and giving him a kiss on the cheek.
“Good morning Angie. Is Clifford ready?”
“Oh Clifford!” she sang, “Have a seat.” She gestured to the couch.
“Coming Mom.” He yelled back.
“How did you enjoy the movie last night?”
Brady answered, “It was really good. I didn’t realize there were movies like that. Clifford said he had a whole collection. Can’t wait for movie night.” he winked.
“He really is corrupting you.” she smiled.
“Yes he is.” They laughed.
“What have I done now?” Clifford chimed in as he entered the living room.
“Oh nothing.” Brady giggled as he stood and crossed the room to kiss Clifford good morning.
“It is now.” He smiled, “You ready?”
“Sure. Goodbye Angie.”
“Bye bye you boys behave.”
“Yes ma’am.” They both said.
“C’mon.”, Clifford said as he grabbed Brady’s hand. They got into Clifford’s blue Nissan Altima.
“Where are we going?”
“A little diner I know.”
“Okay.” They rode about ten minutes when they pulled into the parking lot of a small Mom & Pop diner. They got out of the car, entered the diner. It wasn’t very crowded.
A tall dark haired man mid twenties with a full beard, shoulder length hair turned to them, “Cliffy!” he exclaimed as he picked Clifford up in a bear hug, twirled him around a couple of times before placing gently him back on the floor, and kiss him on the cheek.
Clifford seriously blushing, “Hi Grant. Good to see you.”
“I thought you’d be up to your neck in Spanish caballeros by now.”
“I didn’t go had one awesome reason to stay.” he grabbed Brady’s hand once again.
“Grant, meet my boyfriend Brady.” Grant stuck out his hand for Brady to shake.
“Ooh fierce.” Grant hissed as Brady took his hand. Now it was Brady’s turn to blush. They all laughed. “A table for two I presume?”
“Please.” Clifford answered. They followed Grant to a table near the back of the diner but by a window to the street.
“Thank you.” They both said. He gave them each a menu.
“I’ll be back to get your order. Would you like coffee or tea?”
“Earl Grey.” They spoke at the same time again. They looked at each other with their mouths hanging open, then broke into giggles like school girls.
“Earl grey it is.”, Grant rolled his eyes and walked off.
“What was that?” Clifford asked once he got himself under control.
“I have no idea.” Brady replied, “We never talked about what type of tea we like or that we don’t drink coffee for breakfast.”
“I know. Spooky.” Clifford whispered.
“Stop it.”, Brady elbowed him softly
“What do you want?”
“I think a Western omelet with wheat toast.” Brady answered.
“Okay sounds good.” Grant returned with two mugs of tea...
“You guys ready?”
“Yes, one veggie omelet with rye toast and one Western omelet both with wheat toast.”
“Very well. Just a few minutes. It’s not too busy.” turned and left toward the kitchen.
“What doing this weekend?” Clifford asked.
“Nothing really, school starts Wednesday for me.”
“Want to take a trip down the coast?”
“It’s a surprise. I have some friends that’s been bugging me to come down and see their new place. And I’d really like you to meet them.”
Their food came. Brady thought about what Clifford had asked him. He’d love to see some place new. “Sure why not.”
“Can we leave this afternoon?”
“Okay. How long are we going to be gone?”
“I’ll get you back in time for Sunday evening services.”
“At least that will ease some debating with Mom. Okay we’ll finish here and go back and pack.”
“Yep. Sounds like a good plan. I’ll call and tell them we’re coming.”
“They won’t be mad you didn’t give them any notice?”
“I am. I’m telling them we’ll be there tonight. We’re not just showing up on the door steps.”
“I meant more notice.”
“Naw, they told me to come anytime. They are so cool. I’m hoping we’ll be them in a few years.”
“Never mind you’ll see. Eat up.