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by beetle
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Family · #1997032
Written for the prompt(s): A serious discussion between a parent and child.
Word count: 946
Notes/Warnings: None.


“Yeah, Dad?”

“You busy, kiddo?”

“Nah. I was just killing some orcs. But luckily there’s a pause button.”


“So, what’s up?”

“Nothing, just . . . wanted to check in with you before dinner . . . see how you’re doing. . . .”

“I’m okay. Still kinda thrashed from soccer practice. Coach is really riding us for this next game against Dalemont Prep.”

“Not riding you too hard, is he? ‘Cause I can have a talk with him—”

NO! Dad, do not talk to Coach Burdock! I’m not five years old and in little league, anymore!”

“Okay, okay . . . I guess you’re not. Got it, loud and clear.”


“Hey, how’s your mom doing?”

“Mom’s okay. She’s happy at her new job.”

“That’s good. I’m glad she’s doing well.”

“For real?”

“Of course, for real, Tim! Just because we’re divorced doesn’t mean we don’t still care deeply about each other.”

“Oh. Well. She’s doing really good.”

“That’s great. I’m happy for her.”

“When Reggie Mattola’s parents got divorced, they hated each other. Now, Mrs. Mattola won’t even let Reggie’s dad in the house!”

“Well . . . that’s sad. But I want you to know that no matter what, that isn’t your mom and me.”

“Okay . . . I was kinda scared that it would be when you guys first told me you were getting divorced.”

“Your mom and I will always care about each other because we have you, and we love you more than anything.”

“And I love you guys, too . . . so . . . what’s up? I know there must be something.”

“Oh? And why must there be something?”

“Because I can just . . . tell. When you’ve got something on your mind.”

“Huh. You get that from your mother.”

“That, and my good looks and awesome personality.”

“Haha, smartass.”

“I get that from you.”

“Says you. Scoot on over so I can have a seat.”

“Sure thing—whoa, watch out for my controller!”

“It’s neon green, Tim. I could hardly miss it. Here.”

“Thanks. So, out with it: What’s the big, important thing you wanna tell me?

“Who says it’s big and important?”

“C’mon, Dad!”

“Alright, alright. Okay. You remember that friend I introduced you to a few weeks ago, Lyle Davis?”

“Yeah, I remember Mr. Davis. The guy with the Harley.”

“That’d be Lyle, yes.”

“I didn’t even know you knew anyone that cool.”

“Well, I do Because I’m cool, too.”

“Uh-huh. Sure, you are.”

“I am. That’s why Lyle likes me. Among other things. And he does like me. A lot.”

“Well, that’s good, I guess. I mean, your friends should like you.”

“Yeah, they should. And that’s the thing I wanted to talk to you about. See, Lyle doesn’t just like me, he—he and I are . . . more than friends.”

“Uh . . . what?”

“Lyle Davis and I have been . . . seeing each other for a few months. And before you say anything, the only reason I didn’t tell you sooner was because I didn’t want to possibly turn your world upside-down if he and I weren’t going anyplace serious. But . . . we are.”

“But. . . .”

“Yeah, Tim?”

“He’s a guy.”

“Yes, he is.”

“And you’re dating him?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Heavy . . . I mean . . . how long have you been gay?”

“All my life, despite my efforts to suppress it.”

“Does Mom know? Is . . . is that why you guys got divorced?”

“One of the reasons, yes.”

“So . . . you’ve been . . . dating Mr. Davis since after you and Mom broke up, right?”

“Of course, Timothy! I’d never have cheated on your mother!”

“Well . . . good. Okay.”

“I want you to know I took my vows to your mom very seriously and never broke them. But I couldn’t live a lie, anymore. Neither could your mother.”

“Did she . . . know you were gay when she married you?”

I barely knew. But I thought it was just a phase I’d grow out of. That if I loved your mother enough . . . I could be straight for her. I was wrong. I did love her, though, and still do . . . but not the way she deserves or wants.”

“Jesus, Dad . . . this is . . . Jesus. . . .”

“I know you must have a lot of questions. . . .”

“I’m totally drawing blank, right n—wait . . . actually, I do have one question?”

“Hit me, Tim.”

“Are you . . . does he . . . Mr. Davis . . . does he make you happy?”

“Yes . . . yes, he does.”

“Okay. Then . . . I guess . . . I’m glad for you.”

“You . . . you are?”

“Yeah. Of course, I am.”

“Wow, I . . . wow. How’d I end up with a kid as wonderful as you?”


“Must be.”

“And Mr. Davis seemed . . . really cool. Even for a guy with a Harley. Way too cool for you.”

“What makes you think I’m not too cool for him?”

“Because I’ve met you.”

“Remind me why I feed and shelter you, again?”

“Because I’m so wonderful.”

“That must be it . . . alright, I’ll let you get back to . . . slaying orcs. Dinner’s in half an hour.”

“Plenty of time to do some righteous damage against the forces of Mordor.”

“Good to know. Have fun, kiddo.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

“Thank you, Tim.”

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