Tags: Young Adult/Gay/Anal/Modern
Word Count: 25461
Description: When confronted with his family’s bigotry, Reece is faced with the first of many choices. He can continue to tolerate the caustic atmosphere or he can walk away and finally focus on making himself happy. His cousin’s friend Dave unintentionally becomes the catalyst that forces Reece to make a choice. He can only hope it’s the right one.
I really hated coming to these family dinners. Once a month the entire family from my mother’s side met to catch up with each other and have dinner. Each month it rotated on who’s house would host, but everyone was included: aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. It hadn’t been so bad when I was younger, but ever since my coming out, the older relatives essentially ignored me, including my parents.
I don’t think it would have bothered me quite so bad if it wasn’t for the simple fact my favorite uncle had shown nothing but disdain for me since he found out I was gay. Not everything was unbearable though. The majority of my cousins, having grown up in a different generation, were at least accepting. The most accepting, and the one I knew had my back, was my cousin Josh. He was a few years older than me and the oldest of the cousins. Many of them, myself included, tended to follow his lead when it came to dealing with the family.
“Hey, man! Where you been hiding?”
I felt arms wrap around me from behind and suddenly I was lifted off my feet. Now, I’m not a small guy by any means. At twenty-three I was a respectable five foot ten, but my cousin Josh was bigger than me by about four inches and probably had a good forty pounds on me. I laughed at his greeting and elbowed backward. I grinned when I heard him grunt, and I was set back on my feet.
“Is that any way to great your favorite cousin?”
I turned around and chuckled at the sight of him gingerly rubbing his side. I hadn’t put much force behind it and knew he was just giving me hell. I shook my head as I watched his antics.
“Who said you were my favorite cousin?” I felt the sides of my lips twitch upwards as he mock glared at me.
“Damn Reece, I’m wounded, I really am. After I went to all the trouble of finding you the perfect guy!” Josh smirked, and I instantly knew I was in trouble.
“Please tell me you didn’t.” I really didn’t want to beg, but I could just imagine the kind of guy my straight cousin would think was perfect for me. He’d pestered me right after I came out about meeting a friend of his that had been out since just before college. I’d been putting him off and had been convinced he’d let the subject go. That is, I’d been convinced until he’d mentioned the perfect guy.
“Would I get your hopes up and then let you down?”
“My hope would be you not trying to set me up, so the only way you’d let me down is to try and set me up.” As much as I loved my cousin, sometimes I wish he wasn’t so accepting. Out of all of my family, he was the only one who even attempted to match me up with people. “I can find my own guy, you know.”
“Yeah, ‘cause you’ve done such a great job of it up to this point.” Josh gave me a friendly punch on the shoulder. “You can at least meet the guy. I mean, really, what do ya have to lose?”
“My dignity.” I thought I had muttered quietly enough Josh wouldn’t hear me, but my hopes were quickly dashed.
“You would have to have it to lose it.” Josh turned and started to walk away, and just to prove how much of a fool I am, I fell into step beside him. “I promise, if you and Dave don’t hit it off, I’ll quit trying to set you up.”
I grinned at the thought. I had no doubt my well-meaning cousin had no clue what I might look for in the guys I date, and once I met this friend of his, I was going to hold him to his promise. No more blind dates. No matter what.
“So, when and where do I get to meet this perfect guy of yours?” I stressed and finger quoted around those two words, perfect guy. I honestly didn’t believe any guy could be perfect. Maybe I’d eventually be proven wrong, but it was better to expect less and not be disappointed in the long run.
“How about here and now?”