A small act of kindness, a road less traveled, and a new adventure for two longing souls.
A tall dark skin male with jet black shoulder length hair pulled into a beanie, with almond brown eyes sits on a park bench with a box in his lap, crying. As he looks out upon the city, flashes of unwanted touches, unwanted kisses, a slap across the face scatter his mind, and are clouded in a magnetic, metallic sound. The silhouette of a tall person stands before him blocking the oppressive brightness, and heat of the setting sun. The gentleman in his late fifties kneels looking up at Asher. Asher snaps out of his fog.
"I'm sorry?" he asks shaking his head, clearly missing what was said.
"Do you mind if I sit here? If you would like to be alone, I understand," the man asks.
"Sure, it's a public park. I should probably be going anyways," Asher responds.
The older man holds out his hand, "I'm Chris. Christopher Peters, please don't leave. You look like you've had a rotten day, and I've had a rotten past couple of months."
Asher looks at him, as Chris wipes a rouge tear from his eye. He extends his hand, "My name is Asher Winters."
"Mr..." Asher says placing his box on the floor.
Asher smiles, "Chris, you know you are old enough to be my dad. If I ever knew a dad."
"Asher, how old are you?"
"33," he says wiping the last tear from his face smiling through his laughter.
In this moment, Asher looks at Chris, he is a very attractive man for his age. Chiseled facial features, his chin and upper lip covered in salt and pepper hair, mostly salt, green eyes, quaffed salt and pepper hair, in a tailored business suite. Asher looks at himself, his distressed jeans, and vintage hoodie.
"I'm only 54." Chris says with a smile on his face.
"Chris, your age doesn't bother me. However, since you have decided to take a seat and interrupt my self-piety, you can talk to me about what has you down?" Asher asks, turning his body told Chris placing his right knee on the bench.
"Well to be completely honest, I broke up with this pretty young Spanish guy. More like he broke up with me. I gave him everything he wanted, sex whenever he asked, a bank account as long as my arm, and even an open relationship, as he requested. We invited a guy over, and I should have known something was wrong after the sexual transaction; however, I ignored my intuition. He left me for that younger guy, and took everything in that bank account," says Chris as he places his hand on the bench.
"I'm sorry about that. I haven't been in a relationship in years. For the last seven years I've been working at the Winchester Publishing house downtown. Today I got fired," Asher starts to cry. Chris wraps his muscular arm around his waist, as Asher shakes trying to stop himself.
"Why are you crying?" Chris asks as Asher pulls the beanie from his head covering his face, causing his long curly hair to fall upon his shoulders and face.
"I didn't deserve to get fired," Asher replied looking up into Chris's eyes with his pink tinted sclera.
"Why did you get fired?" Chris asks with a concerned looked upon his face.
"Well, after working at the publishing house for over seven years, I went from the mailroom to assistant editor to the editor-in-chief. He allowed me to pick out new, up and coming authors, read their novels, and decipher the greats from the not so great. So of course, after working for him for over two years I knew what he liked and what he hated, and I wrote a novel that would knock his socks off. However, he wanted something in return for my submission. Something that I couldn't give him. Because I wasn't willing to sell my soul for a novel. He pushed me up against a desk when I told him no. He pushed his body up against mine, he kissed my neck, and I closed my eyes, and grit my teeth, and pushed him as hard as I could. He slapped me so hard, I hit the floor. He told me to leave, clear out my desk, and had me escorted out by security. They threw my things out behind me. I was embarrassed," Asher said as a single tear leaves his eyes.
"Asher, you know you can sue him."
"With what money?"
"Asher, I work for a firm in the financial district. However, I have a partner that is looking to take up a pro bono client to fulfill his obligation to the bar. He is a great lawyer, and one hell of a beast up against a juggernaut of a publishing house with a legal team like Winchester," Chris explains looking into Asher's eyes.
"But then you won't be able to date me, because I will be a client," Asher smiles, through a sob.
"You won't be my client, and who said I wanted to date you?" Chris smiles.
"Chris if you would indulge me. Your lips say it now, longing to touch mine, your eyes say it, never leaving my face, your body language says it, as you pull me closer to comfort me. You can say that you don't want to date me, but you do. Because you want to save me. However, I don't need to be saved. I need to be loved," Asher says looking into Chris's eyes.
"I don't want to save you, but I can stand a date if you would like that," replies Chris releasing Asher's waist.
"Of course. A small act of kindness. Turned a chance encounter into another road, that one may never have traveled," replies Asher as they stand, and he interlocks his arms with Chris's. They walk into the San Francisco sunset. Asher places his head on Chris's shoulder. "Is this weird?"