We Are Here For You

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(Trigger warning: homophobia)

Connor playfully kicked Kevin after he teased his brother about his grades. Kevin smiled and lightly hit Connor back, continuing his rant about how perfect his grades were back in high school. Darius rolled his eyes, listening to Kevin ramble about something he's been lectured on twenty times before. He was the star child of the family, beating the jock Jack, the math wiz Mary, and the average Darius. It also didn't help that he had gone on a "successful" mission and was often looked up to in the church, or well, used to be looked up to. Nothing Kevin could do would upset his parents, and he's only been grounded once in his life for lying.

I guess his parents appreciated his honesty and overall work ethic. Even converting Africans to a made-up religion and being a disgrace to the Latter Day Saints couldn't blemish his reputation. His parents obviously loved him to no end.

"How do you handle being so incredible?" Darius asked sarcastically.

"Because I'm simply fantastic and thanks to my loving Con's patience with me, I'm still becoming better!" Kevin laughed unaware of the secret he just let escape.

Connor watched as his parent's expressions changed from smiling to a soft look of concern. Mrs. Price turned to her husband and bared a "Told You So" face.

"What kind of best friend would I be if I didn't put up with you?" Connor awkwardly tried to cover up Kevin's mistake. "I mean, roommates are there for each other..."

"No," Kevin put his hand on Connor's knee, stopping him. "Mom, dad, I have something I've been hiding from you two for years now."

Mrs. Price grabbed Mr. Price's hand and smiled, signaling Kevin that whatever he was about to say would be alright.

"I'm bisexual and I've been dating Connor since three months into my mission," He quickly said, closing his eyes afterward.

"In Uganda?" Mrs. Price's eye widened with fear.

"Yes?"

"Oh!" She jumped up from her seat and hugged Kevin. "How did you even survive? It's illegal to be gay there, honey."

Kevin was a bit startled by her reaction. "We kept it very secret."

"Obviously," Darius quietly chuckled before getting whacked by his mom.

"I'm so happy you told us, sweetie," Mrs. Price embraced her son again before doing the same to Connor. "And you're just too adorable. Let me know if little Kev here gives you any trouble."

Connor nodded, tears starting to blur his vision. Kevin's parents were so accepting that it was making him uneasy. If his boyfriend's Super-Mormon family was okay with him being attracted to the same gender, why couldn't his own? The thought swarmed around in his head as Mrs. Price continued giving a speech about how much she loved the two boys for their bravery. Connor detached himself from the situation, almost as if he was never there. Every word someone spoke was muffled, blocked out from his own concerns. He silently excused himself and went into the bathroom, locking himself in there.

Truly, he was ecstatic for Kevin. Why wouldn't he be? Kevin deserved the positive response he received and it was also comforting that Connor would be welcomed into his family. However, it still stung that Connor's mother and father had reacted so harsh. He sat on the edge of the bathtub, smashing his head into his palms. Ringing in the back of his mind was the memory he tried so hard to repress. Without a warning, it suddenly flooded his imagination, clear as day.

"No you're not," Connor's mother stabbed her ham, anger tinting her voice. "You got rid of that a long time ago when we sent you to that camp."

"I was lying, mom," Connor quivered, looking down at his untouched plate of food. "I didn't want you to be upset."

"Upset?!" His father slammed his hands on the table and raised out of his chair. "We're enraged! No son of mine is a disappointment of our Heavenly Father."

"But I am," He choked out through tears.

"Then you're not my son," His mother sneered through closed teeth and a calm face.

"Get out."

"What?" Connor looked up, his face red and puffy from tears.

"You heard your father," She started to cry at the sight of her son, losing the facade she built. "You're not my son. My child was a good servant of the lord, not a sinner."

He glanced at his father, who's expression was radiating fury. Connor wiped his eyes as his father set a timer, giving him twenty minutes to gather his things and get a bus ticket.

"I'm sorry," Connor whispered as he exited the house.

"You should be," His father shut the front door, leaving Connor alone on the porch.

He collapsed to the ground, overcome by the feeling of hurt that wrenched at his heart. For the next hour, Connor laid outside of his family's house, sobbing until his father banged on the window forcing him to leave.

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