This is the story of a young man coming home to family, food, and romance.
"Hello?" answers Mahogany as he steps toward the Southwest Airlines gate entrance.
"Moe, mom wants to make sure that you are coming?" says Alexander a tall light skin male pacing the sturdy oak floors.
"Alex, I am on the last leg of my trip leaving LAX in about fifteen minutes," replies Mahogany stepping back allowing passengers to enter the boarding terminal.
"She was really upset that you didn't show up for Christmas or New Year's like you said you would," Alexander continues, looking out the window at his father and their foreign exchange visitor.
"Alex, I am about to get on the plane. Just meet me at the airport. See you in an hour," replies Mahogany hanging up on his brother mid-sentence.
"Welcome to Southwest," says the gate clerk scanning Mahogany's ticket as he shoots her a smile while placing his large Bluetooth Bose headphones around his neck.
"Thank you," replies Mahogany placing his headphones over his ears so that he can listen to complete silence walking down the terminal to the doors of the airplane. A cool winter breeze hits his face as he stands before a nice looking male flight attendant. He smiles, and Mahogany smiles back, but he doesn't take off his headphones.
He finds his seat, places his backpack underneath the seat in front of him, and plops into the seat. He looks at his phone finding an album to play.
"Jade Novah, Zombie it is," he whispers to himself.
As he listens to Jade Novah he reminisces on Christmas, and New Years in Geneva, Switzerland.
Over both Holidays Mahogany checked himself into a villa on the outskirts of Geneva. After the year of drama, breaking up with a married man, and hard work; he felt that it was the least he could do for himself. Every day that he was there he took advantage of almost every leisure activity, from snowboarding to snowy horseback riding. He knew that his mother and father wanted to see him for the holidays, but he couldn't make himself show up. It had been about two years since they'd seen Mahogany, but he was afraid it would have been much of the same song and dance as if nothing ever took place. Asking why he doesn't have a lover, telling him that they love him, that he is a wonderful catch. Mahogany knows this to be true, but like all youngish people he continues to make the same bad choices.
As the plane begins taxi for take-off Mahogany places his head on his right shoulder, the force of take-off wafts him to sleep.
Meantime in Washington State at their parent's house Alexander walks downstairs. His mother Grace, a short Caucasian woman stands with her arms folded; she stares out of the window as Alexander wraps his arm around her kissing her on the side of the head.
"How's his mood?" she asks turning looking into Alexander's beautiful hazel eyes.
"Mom, its Moe. He hung up on me midsentence. At least he answered the phone," he replies as Grace smiles shaking her head.
A young light skin male with ombrred hair flowing to black tips and a thinly placed strip of red hair upon his lips walks down the stairs, "Mom is Moe coming?"
"Luka he is on his way; Alexander just spoke with him," she says looking at the beautiful young man scratching under his chin which lies a light dusting of red hair.
"Yes! I know he is gonna have some killer shit," he says running off.
"Watch your mouth boy!" screams Alexander chasing after him.
Grace looks back outside, there chopping wood is a tall dark skin male with a streak of gray hair on the left side of his head standing about 6 foot 6, and a slightly shorter Middle Eastern male with curly brown highlighted hair standing about 6 foot 5. They both look at Grace and wave. Grace raises her hand.
"Walter, why does she look so sad?" asks Matek as he stops chopping wood.
"Matek, we haven't seen our oldest child in almost two years. Grace feels guilty, because the last time she spoke with him she blamed him for being alone. Mahogany didn't take it well; with his high paced job, and fast paced life he often doesn't take much time for himself. That combined with being adopted, and never feeling wanted took him to a very dark place in a matter of seconds. Grace not realizing it, took it upon herself to let him know that he would die alone if he didn't get his head out of his ass," replies Walter as he places a piece of wood on the chopping block.
"So what did Mahogany say?"
"He didn't say a thing. He packed his bags, gave his brother's and sister a kiss, shook my hand, and walked out of the house without saying a thing to his mother. She cried for many days as a result of that argument wishing she could take it back."
Matek stops Walter from hitting the block of wood that he places on the chopping block. "Is he coming?"
Walter looks at window. Grace is still standing there. He holds up his hand gesturing a thumb up and thumb down motion. Grace gives him two thumbs up.
"Oh God is good. He is coming," replies Walter grabbing Matek spinning him around in the snow. Grace smiles from the window.
After the hour flight Mahogany's plane lands, and he inhales deeply, slowly releasing the breath forced into lung as he looks out upon the snowy airport. Shortly after the plane comes to a complete stop Mahogany stands takes his bag from under his seat and walks off the plane. As he makes his way to baggage claim he hears his name faintly being called in the distance. Running toward him is Luka. Mahogany smiles as Luka jumps into his arms.
"Hey baby bro. How you been?"
"I been good," he says looking around Mahogany.
"Get my bag your gifts are in there, but you can't have them until we get to the house," says Mahogany smiling at the eager young man.
Alexander takes his time getting to Mahogany; once he gets to him the two brother stand face to face just looking at one another. Luka looks at Alexander and Mahogany.
"We've missed you asshole," Alexander says pulling Mahogany in holding him in a tight embrace.
"I've missed you too bro," replies Mahogany taking a deep breath, as a single tear leaves his left eye.
"Well come on lets go. Samantha is on her way, she is the last person to get to the house as usual. Also you should know..."
"Who is he?" asks Mahogany cutting Alexander off midsentence.
"I was trying to tell you." Alexander replies.
"That's Matek. Since you've been gone these last two years mom has taken in foreign exchange students. Matek has been with us two years in a row finishing his Masters in English Lit," replies Luka as they walk within ear shot of the beautiful man.
"Hello," Matek says holding his hand out.
"Hello Matek," replies Mahogany as Matek takes his duffle bag allowing Mahogany into the car.
As he closes the door Matek looks at Luka and Alexander, "He seems like a very reasonable man."
"He is, he just don't put up with bullshit," replies Luka.
Alexander slaps Luka in the mouth. Luka covers his mouth with his hand, "What he don't."
"Get in the car! Mom is waiting," replies Alexander as he and Matek walk around to the driver side, and Luka gets in on the passenger side.
"I'm telling mom you hit me Alex."
As they ride home Mahogany sits with his sunglasses on although there isn't a bit of sun out. Matek looks at him. He has a calming disposition, his shoulder length jet black curly hair catches subtle breezes as they waft in through the window, his mahogany skin glows, and his full brown lips are captivating to the beautiful man looking at him.
"What's wrong Matek," asks Mahogany continuing to look upon the snow covered hills.
Alexander looks up at Matek through the rear-view mirror shaking his head left and right.
"I don't understand," Matek replies.
"You've been looking at me for the last 15 minutes straight. So is there something you want to ask me?" asks Mahogany as he takes off his glasses.
"Oh no, I was just taking in your beauty, you don't seem like the person that I thought you would be."
Mahogany looks into Matek's deep chestnut brown eyes. Matek looks into Mahogany's almond brown eyes, and Mahogany nods his head with his lip turned up in approval, placing his glasses back upon his face turning back to the window. At that very moment they turn down a road which leads to a long winding driveway. Standing at the end of the driveway are two women, Samantha and Grace accompanied by Walter. Grace stands in the middle holding Walters right hand. As the car pulls up Mahogany doesn't move a muscle. Matek touches his hand. Mahogany looks over at him.
"I know this isn't my place, but she really has missed you," says Matek as the car comes to a stop.
The boys and Matek get out of the car first. Luka grabs Mahogany's bag, and looks at his brother who hasn't moved. He just stares at their parents through the windshield.
"Moe, they've missed you. Get out of the car, and give them a chance to fix the fuck up."
Mahogany looks back at Luka with tears in his eyes, he then pulls the door handle slowly stepping out of the car. For about fifteen seconds he stands there, and then he slowly walks up. His sister can see the tears in his eyes and breaks down running over to him.
"Don't ever go away like that again," she says hitting him on his broad chest. "You completely iced us all out."
"Sam, I knew you would have tried to find out where I was, and you would have tried to convince me to come back. I needed time to get in a better headspace," replies Mahogany as they look each other, she hugs him again.
Mahogany looks at Grace, tears streaming down her face. His father with red eyes. For about 15 seconds they just look at each other. Walter takes Grace and they both wrap their arms around him.
Grace whispers into his ear, "I'm sorry."
"No you were right," replies Mahogany.
"Come on in, I got all this food for you," replies Grace as she rubs his face. "You look like you haven't been eating much."
All of them laugh in unison.
As Mahogany walks into the house it's filled with all of the same smells that he remembers. Although it been about two years since he's been home, every year he sends gifts to everyone, even his parents. He just didn't answer phone calls or speak with anyone. The last time they saw him he had a short curly Afro, his hair now fall in tight curls upon his shoulder. His mother runs her hands through his hair.
"Your hair is beautiful," she says pulling him in hugging him.
"Has the lake frozen over?" Mahogany asks looking out of the same window Grace had peered from just an hour or so ago.
"Yes, but it's not solid enough for skating yet," she replies.
Mahogany's phone rings, he holds his hand up walking through the patio out the back door.
"Hey baby?" says a deep male voice on the other end of the phone.
"Mark, I asked you not to call my phone again. You said you wanted to work things out with your wife; so do that!" screams Mahogany.
"Moe, give me a chance I miss you," he continues.
"No... you don't miss me. You don't love me! You don't want shit from me!" replies Mahogany as he hangs up the phone.
"AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!" He screams at the phone throwing it at the lake. As it hits a soft patch of ice sinking.
He stands there with tears in his eyes looking out upon the frozen lake. Matek brings a blanket and rests it upon his shoulders, he grabs it with both hands. "I'll take you tomorrow to get a new phone."
"I don't want a new phone. I want a new life," replies Mahogany rolling his eyes as tears roll down his beautiful face.
"I think you have a pretty nice life. I've heard so much about you. Maybe we can get to know each other while you are here," replies Matek with a slight grin on his face.
"We can do that," replies Mahogany still staring at the lake not really paying attention to Matek.
"Cool...cool," Matek replies as he stands by Mahogany's side. Mahogany looks over at him and smiles. He looks back at the house and notices his mother standing in the doorway.
"Hey, head on back. I will be in soon," says Mahogany.
Matek wipes the last tear from Mahogany's eye, and walks in. Mahogany looks back at Matek watching him walk back toward his mother who gives him a tight hug. He takes a deep breath and walks back in.
As he enters the house, Luka runs up to him. "Can I open it? Can I open it?"
"Not until you give everyone else their gifts," replies Mahogany.
"Moe, everything okay?" asks Samantha as he takes a seat by her?
"Yes," he replies looking at his mother.
Luka begins handing out gifts, "Mom and Dad, Samantha, Alex, and Me."
"What about me?" smiles Matek.
"Matek, I didn't know you were here, but when you take me to get my phone tomorrow we can grab you something.
"I will hold you to that," he says smiling as he takes a seat on the love seat next to Alexander.
"Open your gifts," says Mahogany raising his hands.
"I don't need a ...OH MY GOD. An Alaskan cruise!" screams Grace as she holds the open card up to Walter's face.
"Son, you didn't have to do that," replies Walter walking over giving him a hug.
"It's nothing big, I get those kind of trips with my job all the time. I went last year you will love it," Mahogany replies standing placing his head on his Dad's shoulder.
"I guess I can go next," says Alexander opening his envelope. He looks at the gift and looks at his brother, his eyes turn red.
"What is it Alex?" asks Luka.
"He just gave me all of his frequent flyer miles, it's about 6-months' worth of flights," replies Alexander.
"Alex, I've spoken to the kids, and I know that times have been hard trying to see them and they really miss you. So from me to you, take all the flights you can to see those babies," replies Mahogany. Alexander stands giving him a hug.
"I don't know how I can repay you, but I will try."
"We are family. I love you, now you go see those babies. That's how you can repay me bro," replies Mahogany giving him a kiss on the cheek wiping away his tears.
Samantha with tears in her eyes opens her letter screaming, "OMG, MOE!!!"
Grace inquires, "What is it?"
She can't speak. She is bent over in tears. "He paid remainder of my student loan debt."
"Mahogany, how did you do that?" asks Walter looking across the room.
"She asked me for help one time years ago and I kept the information," he replies.
Samantha gets up from her seat and kisses him on the cheek. "Thank you."
"Luka, last but not least," replies Mahogany.
"Hell, I feel like I should get a car," he replies sarcastically.
Luka starts to pull wrapping paper back and screams, "FUCK YEAH!" as he pulls a Nintendo Wii Switch from the box. As he pulls the paper back from the second box he shrieks again, pulling out a PS4 with games attached. Alexander walks over to him slowly and slaps him in the mouth
"Moe, why?" Grace asks.
"Luka is the only person I've been speaking too, and he said that you all wouldn't allow him to get a job, and he wanted these systems."
"You must be the reason that his grades have come up drastically." She continues looking at Mahogany.
"You know I am all about school," he replies. "He has been sending me his reports, and I have been sending him money for every A."
"Moe, this was so sweet, but you have to be starving?" Walter asks hungry himself.
"No dad, I'm actually really tired. I'm just getting back to the states from Switzerland, and I just want to take a long shower and a nap," replies Mahogany.
"Okay, well do you mind bunking with Matek?" asks Grace.
Matek replies, "I can sleep on the sofa here if you would like the room?"
"I don't have a problem bunking with him. Do you still have an air mattress?" asks Mahogany?
"Of course we do," replies Walter.
"I'll sleep on that," replies Matek standing.
"Okay," Mahogany replies "I won't fight you for it."
As Mahogany tries to grab his luggage Matek takes the bags from his hand, "I will take these for you."
As they walk upstairs, Grace looks at Walter and makes a face that reads look at that. Walter smiles at his wife and puts his hand up in her face. All of them share a light chuckle.
As they walk up the staircase Mahogany looks at the back of the tall Middle Eastern man, his strong working hands. His back broad, and straight. His hair short and curly. At that very moment Matek looks back at Mahogany. Mahogany looks down to avoid the beautiful straight white smile, and the piercing brown eyes. His beautiful pink lips, and dark mustache, beard, and eye brows. They walk down a short hallway to an end room, and Matek opens the door. Mahogany's room is exactly how he left it. Organized, shelves full of books, and a desk. Matek puts the bags down on the bed, and turns to Mahogany.
"Would you like me to place these on the floor?"
"No, I have to get some things out of there. Thank you though." He replies again trying to avoid the captivating stare of the beautiful man.
"Okay, then I will leave you," he says placing his hand upon Mahogany's muscular chest.
Mahogany places his hand on top of his, "Thank you."
For about fifteen seconds the two stand looking each other in the eyes. Mahogany can feel his heart beating a mile a minute, and hopes that Matek can't feel it through his shirt.
"You are very welcome," replies Matek. As he walks to the door he turns, "Any man who doesn't understand that you should be their all doesn't deserve you. Leave it in the past, and focus on what is in front of you."
Matek smiles walking out of the room closing the door behind himself. Mahogany sits on the edge of the bed, and looks at the door. Matek stands in the hallway with his back against the door. Luka walks up to his room and notices Matek standing there with his eyes closed.
"Matek, when were you going to tell us that you liked guys? You know that we are a super understanding family. You could have told us. By the way you just met him, you like him like that already?"
Matek surprised by Luka walks away from the door toward the teenager replying, "I try to keep my private life private. He is a very captivating individual. What does he do for work?"
Mahogany walks up to the door and places his ear against it. He can hear the entire conversation between the two.
"He is a fiction writer, and travel blogger. He is always somewhere writing about something. He's been that way as long as I can remember."
"Thanks for that information," replies Matek standing there for a moment. As they hear the shower start in the room, Matek walks away slightly embarrassed. Luka stops him at the top of the stairs.
"His blog is called a World of my Own. It has poetry on it, short stories, and his travel excursions. He is certified on twitter," Luka says looking him in the eyes.
"Well thank you," says Matek as he looks back at the room walking down the stairs. Luka looks at him and smiles shaking his head.
Matek walks downstairs and grabs his computer walking straight onto the heated patio. He opens the computer and types World of My Own, and there are multiple links to Mahogany's award winning travel blog. He spends almost the entire day reading. Not noticing that he's been outside for hours; Grace brings him a plate of food, and sits it by his computer taking a seat herself.
"He's spectacular isn't he?" she asks smiling at Matek.
Matek red out of shame and embarrassment replies, "He really is."
Matek attempts to close the computer, but Grace keeps him from walking away. As she places her hand upon his, "I'm not here to judge you love. You like who you want to like. If you like boys, girls, Trans, all of the above I love you."
"Grace, I would be killed in my country for being an out gay man. They prefer there gay men be straight in the streets, and freaks behind closed doors. Many women are there for procreation, not for love. I just want to know what love feels like," replies Matek.
"My dear, I fear that you and my son suffer from the same affliction, Hopeless Romantic Syndrome," she says smiling.
Mahogany then walks onto the patio; the front of his hair flipped and push back upon his forehead matted like he just woke up. He has a cup of coffee in his left hand, and a small plate with sweet potato pie in his right hand.
"That's all you're eating?"
"Mom, not now I just woke up and all I want is pie," replied Mahogany smiling as he takes a seat next to her. "Whatchu out here talking about?"
"Actually we were talking about you; I think Matek got caught up reading your blog and let the entire day pass by," she replies getting up.
Matek's face becomes flushed red. He tries to get up but Grace touches his shoulder, "Get to know one another."
Grace walks back into the house closing the door behind her, as Alexander is making his way toward the door. Grace places her hand on his chest.
"Let them talk," she says smiling.
Alexander looks at her with a weird face, "Matek is?"
"Yes just like Moe," she says looking back as the two smile at one another talking. Walter walks up.
"So, everyone knows now?"
Samantha walks up, "Knows what?"
"Matek is gay, and he likes Moe," says Luka walking past with a plate of pie.
"Huh! Never would have gotten that," she says walking away with Alexander chuckling.
"This is a good thing right?" Grace asks Walter?
"It is for right now hon," he says kissing her on the forehead ushering her away from the patio door.
Mahogany looks down at his pie and pulls a piece away with his fork, "So you been reading my blog while I been sleep?"
Matek looks him in the eyes with a red face and replies, "Yes, I just wanted to get to know you a little better. I wanted something that I would be able to talk to you about."
"Well I am right here what do you want to know? What do you want to talk about?" Mahogany asks looking up at him coyly.
"Who was the person on the phone is a good starting point? Because if you have a boyfriend I don't want to overstep," he replies.
Mahogany smiles, "You have absolutely nothing to worry about with him. He was a man I met a year ago, who told me a bunch of lies and I uncovered his lies. He has a wife, two kids, and a whole lot of drama. That, I want absolutely no part of whatsoever. When I am done. I am done. I normally take a cleansing trip to free my soul following those toxic ass situation-ships. So can I ask you a question?"
"Sure," replies Matek.
"I heard you and Luka outside the bedroom door. Why me?"
"I really can't answer that question for you. I just know how I feel when I look at you. The way you filled my heart, viewing your acts of kindness toward your family. And why not? I'm down with the swirl," he replies jokingly to break up the seriousness.
Mahogany chuckles, "You are a beautiful man too. I see how much my family likes you, and my brothers don't often take to other males so you must be doing something right."
"Yeah, the chores they don't like doing," replies Matek smiling.
"Yeah, that'll do it," replies Mahogany laughing.
Matek gets up, moving to the chair beside Mahogany. As he continues to eats he takes short glances at the man he is now sitting beside. "Would you like to go out with me?"
"Huh," Mahogany replies almost choking on the crust of the pie.
"May I take you on a proper date, and kiss you at the end of the night?" ask Matek looking Mahogany in his eyes with such intensity it shakes Mahogany to his core.
"Umm, sure we can go on a date. You know I am only planning on being here for a week," replies Mahogany.
Matek gets closer and closer to Mahogany's face, their lips almost touch. In the moment Mahogany can almost taste the cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce residue on the tongue of the beautiful man, the aroma wafts about Mahogany's nose. Mahogany prepares himself for a kiss, as Matek says moving in closer and closer, "Then I got a week to make you fall in love with me."