The comment about his family wasn't a mere evasion. He was close to his parents and sisters. They would go out of town to visit one set of grandparents or the other on most holidays, which meant he usually wasn't home on the rare occasions I returned to Dallas over the next few years, on vacation from my college in Oklahoma.
I'd landed a great internship and a part-time job, so I couldn't get away as often as my parents wanted. Mom and Dad were both grammar Nazis, health nuts, and neat freaks, but they were also two of the most loving, accepting people I've ever met. They took in foster kids, volunteered with local charities, and had no problem with me being gay.
Mom inundated me with study tips and with questions about my college love life. The first worked out fine. My attempts at the latter always faltered. The guys would get tired of competing with a romance I never had. I tried to quit talking about Gavin so much and to quit checking his Facebook page and Twitter feed. It never worked.
Gavin texted out of the blue during my junior year. He'd been dating a guy he met in a wheelchair dancing competition. Gavin won, of course, over-achiever in everything. The relationship continued a few months, but they had just broken up when Gavin and I managed to take in a spring break lunch together at a fast-food joint near his family's house.
"I owed you a burger," he said. He didn't say much else but seemed happy. That should have satisfied me. It didn't. I wanted to ask if he regretted making love with me or even knowing me.
We both finished college on schedule, just over a year later. Even though I enjoyed campus life, I looked forward to moving back home, to seeing Gavin again. I missed him more and more, and he even sent me messages saying the same. It gave me hope that we weren't over, at least not as friends.
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Now That We're Grown: A Gay Romance Short StoryShort Story
Gavin Hernandez and Peter Montoya meet before high school. Gavin admires how Peter never complains about being gay or using a wheelchair. During their senior year, Gavin takes profile pictures of Peter in that chair, but the gesture of good will lea...