A man loses his job and feels guilty about not telling his family.
|“What do you mean you’re firing me?” I asked.
“I mean exactly that Mr. Smith,” Stan, my boss, said to me one Friday morning “I don’t want a homosexual working for this company, especially one right under my own roof! I’ve been tolerating it for weeks now and I can’t deal with it anymore.”
“What does it matter that I’m gay? I’m one of the best lawyers in this firm,” I said.
“That doesn’t matter to me Mr. Smith. I don’t want a poof working for my law firm and that’s final! Clean out your desk and be gone by the end of the day,” Stan said.
That was three days ago.
Hello, my name is Max Smith. I live in Bristol, I am twenty-six years old, and I live with my boyfriend, Ox Fortier. I just got fired from the law firm that I have worked at for four years, J&J Law Associates. The main reason I got fired is because I came out of the closet about three weeks ago. No one at J&J’s was happy about it. I have known for a while that I was gay, and I have been living with Ox for about six months. We have been together for about two years now. I’ve never really been very open about my relationship with Ox because I’m afraid of how people will react to the news.
Like my boss did three days ago.
I haven’t had the heart to tell Ox that I got fired because Christmas is only two days away. I’m glad that Ox works away from home so he wasn’t there when I came home in the middle of the day last Friday. He has a hard enough job, so it would be better to just let him think that everything is alright here on my end of things. I haven’t told my family either because I’m afraid that they will worry too much, like they did when I went off to school. They thought that I would get picked on a lot because I was so young. Well, I was only 17 when I went off to study law at Cambridge. I did well, but that’s really because I never took the time to get to know people and I didn’t let their teasing get to me. Anyway, I was 23 when I started working for J&J’s. That’s how I met Ox. He was getting a divorce from his wife and he was the first case I took on. He made me realize that I was gay and I’m very happy that he did.
Now I have a wonderful boyfriend, a wonderful family, and no job.
I hear the door open and Ox comes into the apartment. The apartment has two bedrooms, one full bath, a full kitchen/ living room and a small dining room.
“Hey, babe,” Ox said, coming in the door. He put his things down on the counter and walked over to the couch, where I was sitting.
“Hello, sweetie,” I said. He sat down next to me and kissed my forehead.
“Anything good on?” He asked, gesturing to the TV.
“No, just another Doctor Who marathon on,” I said flipping through the channels. I landed on BBC network. “How was work?”
“Alright,” said Ox, “Just any other normal day really.”
“My parents called today,” I said, “They want to know if you want anything special for dinner on Christmas Eve.”
“As long as your there, I don’t need anything else,” He said as he got up from the couch.
I blushed and looked back at the TV screen.
“After all this time, you still blush at the smallest things,” Max said as he walked into the kitchen, smiling.
“So,” I said, “what time do you want to leave tomorrow?”
“Around noon,” Said Ox.
“Alright, then I have to go finish packing,” I said getting up from the couch.
“Why do you have to pack so much? We’re only going for four days, Max!” He yelled into the bedroom.
“I need options!” I said yelling back.
The Next Day
“We’ve been driving for four hours! Are you sure you know where you’re going?” I asked
“I’m not lost, that’s for sure! I know how to get to your parents house,” said Ox.
“Yeah, that was before they moved, remember?” I said.
“I know where I’m going!” Ox yelled.
“Well no need to yell about it” I said, looking out the window
“Sorry, we’re already late and I just want to get there as soon as possible,” Ox said, looking at me through the corner of his eye.
“Yeah, and look, we’re almost there,” I said, as Ox pulled off onto a side road.
Ox smiled and went farther down the road. We pulled into a drive way, connected to a country- style house. It had a small porch with a swing off to one side and a couple of rocking chairs on the other. We pulled up and the door opened with my mother standing inside holding Katie in her arms. Katie is my younger sister and she is only four years old. She was a miracle, by the doctor’s standards. My mother was eighteen when she had me. Fresh out of high school and right before my dad left to go to college in the states. He went to Penn State University. He was gone for about six years. I was little then so I don’t remember much about him being gone, but I can remember being extremely happy when he came back to visit. My dad was working to get his degree in business and management. When he came back he started working for The Western Daily Press. He was the business manager there. He worked there for about thirty-seven years after he graduated from college. My mother never went to college because she was at home taking care of me. I could never say we were a rich family, but we weren’t poor either. My dad always made sure that I got what I wanted for my birthday, but never in a spoiled kind of way. He made sure to teach me the value of a pound and I got my first job when I was only twelve years old. I started mowing lawns around the neighborhood. That was in the old neighborhood, though. My parents just moved into a bigger house because the old one was falling apart. Also they said that the wanted to make a playroom for Katie. I’m kind of sad that they moved, but at the same time I can see why they did. Anyway, Katie is only four years old and she is so much fun to be around and play with. She has light blue eyes, almost like the color of the sky on a clear summer day, and she has dark brown hair.
When we pulled up to the house and got out of the car, Katie came running up to us.
“Big Brother!” She screamed, as she ran up to hug me.
“Hello, sweetie!” I said as I spun her around.
I set her down just as Ox came around the back of the car.
“Uncle Ox, Uncle Ox!” She screamed, bouncing up and down, waiting for him to pick her up.
“Hey there, cutie!” He said as he picked her up and hugged her.
“Come give your dear old mother a hug now, would you?” My mother said as she came down the porch steps.
“Hey mom, Merry Christmas!” I said as I gave her a hug.
“Merry Christmas, Mrs. Smith!” said Ox, as he gave her a hug, while still holding Katie.
“Oh Ox, how many times have I told you, call me Mom!” Mom exclaimed after hugging Ox.
“Where’s dad?” I asked, pulling my bag from the car.
“He just had to run to the store to get me some more eggs and milk for tomorrow morning,” she said, walking into the house.
“Oh, Ok” I said grabbing the bag with all the presents in it from the backseat of the car.
“Big brother, what’s in the pretty bag?” Katie asked.
“Clothes all for you!” said Ox, smiling.
“Eww!” said Katie as she ran into the house, right behind mom.
“Your bedroom is up the stairs and to the right, sweetheart,” mom said, after Ox came in the door.
“Ok, thanks mom!” I yelled down the stairs.
I opened the door to see a bright yellow room with a blue and white bed on the opposite side of the door, under the window. A desk sat next to the bed on the right side and a set of drawers on the left. The room wasn’t very big to begin with, and when you put the furniture into it, it made it look even smaller. I moved into the room and Ox came in right after me.
“Wow, could it be any brighter in here?” he asked, trying to shield his eyes with his arm.
“Nope, I don’t think so, but just be glad it’s not snowing outside,” I said
“Yeah, then we would really be in trouble,” He laughed.
I put the bag of presents under the desk. Ox started putting our clothes into the dresser and I took our coats and hung them in the closet.
“Hello boys, Merry Christmas!” my dad said as he walked into the room.
“Hey Dad, Merry Christmas!” I said as I went over to give him a hug.
“Hello, sir,” Ox said as he shook my dad’s hand.
“Now I told you before, call me Chris,” said my dad.
“Oh, alright Chris,” said Ox
“That’s better,” Dad said.
Just then Katie appeared in the doorway.
“Mummy says dinner’s ready,” she said.
“Ok, we’ll be down in a minute,” I said “I have to finish putting away my clothes.”
After Ox and I finished unpacking, the three of us headed downstairs. Mom was setting the table and Katie was helping.
“Ok everyone sit down, and start filling your plates,” Mom said after she was done setting the table. Everyone sat down and started putting food on their plates.
A little while later
“This is nice,” I said to Ox as we were sitting outside on the front porch.
“Yeah,” said Ox, gazing up at the stars.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to have this? Like, all the time? Never having to leave, just being together and being happy,” He said as he looked up at the stars.
“When we get married and are old and gray, we’ll have a house like this. We’ll be happy and have ten kids,” I joked, smiling over at Ox.
“Would you say yes? If I asked you, would you marry me?” he said.
“Well, yeah I mean…” I turned to look at Ox and I see him down on one knee, holding a ring.
“Ox?” I asked, breathless.
“Will you be mine, and stay with me? Be under the stars together, till they day we die?” Ox asked.
“Oh my… Yeah, definitely!” I giggled and tackled him into a hug.
He landed on the pavement with me his lap. I smiled and grabbed his face, kissing his. He kissed back as passionately as I kissed him.
“But I have something to tell you first.” I said. He motioned me to go on. “I’ve lost my job…” I trailed off, looking at the ground.
“That’s fine!” I look up at him bewildered.
“What do you mean by “That’s fine?”” I furrowed my eyebrows.
“We’re in love, babe!” He wiggled his eyebrows at me.
“How am I going to tell my family…?” I trailed off.
“With words,” He smiled.
“You’re such a…” I trailed off, grumbling at the end.
“But I’m yours so,” He grinned a cheeky grin. “C’mon love,”
We walked inside and sat down in the living room.
“But I don’t want to tell them, what if they think I’m a failure in life because I couldn’t hold this job? I said, my voice wobbling a bit.
“What’s the worst case scenario?” Ox asked
“Well… My little sister could get worried and start a tantrum and then the tantrum could lead into a fire and the fire could burn the house down and I get blamed and then I’m more of a failure and the cops come and find drugs from a long time ago but they think the drugs are ours and then we all go to jail and then someone convinces us to get really bad mum tattoos!” I ranted. “Really bad mum tattoos can ruin our lives Ox! Ruin our future careers!” I screamed.
“What about mum things?” My mom asked from the front door.
“I lost my job, okay!?” I snapped. I turned to look at my mom with tears in my eyes.
My dad chose to come into the room at that moment. He stared at me and said,
“What do you mean you lost your job, son?”
“I got fired from the firm because my boss didn’t want a poof working for him,” I said, as I stared at the ground.
Ox took my hand and patted my shoulder.
“It’s not Max’s fault, it’s the fault of the homophobes,” Ox said, smiling at me.
“I’m really sorry, you guys,” I said, looking up at them.
“No, honey, it’s not your fault. We know how hard you worked for that job and we know what you went through to get it,” Mom said, sitting down opposite of me.
Dad came and sat down on the other side of me.
“Don’t feel bad, son. These things happen to the best of us,” he said
“You’re not mad at me?” I asked, trying not to let tears fall.
“Honey, why in the world would you think we would be mad?” Mom asked.
“Well, I’m out of a job and we’re getting married,” I said, smiling at Ox.
Mom and Dad looked at Ox and I, shocked.
“My little boy is getting married?” Mom whispered.
“Congratulations!” My mom yelled after a minute of silence.
She got up to hug Ox and I. My dad was still in shock, I guess, because he was still sitting down staring at the other side of the couch. He came out of his shock a moment later because he got up and threw his arms around me, trying not to tear up.
“Dad, are you alright?” I asked as I hugged him back.
“I’m just so happy for you!” he said, pulling away and hugging Ox.
“But, I’m still worried though. What if I can’t find a job or something?” I said
“Don’t worry ‘bout it, babe. I think everything’s going to turn out just fine,” Ox said, as he looked at mom and dad.