When Tim Whittaker’s best friend Jake Thorn announces he’s getting married to his girlfriend Jenna Riley, Tim tells him he’s making a mistake. Tim, who’s been in love with Jake for years, wants his best friend to be with him instead.
While Tim and Jake deal with their issues, Jake’s older brother Caleb is dealing with issues of his own as he enters into a secret relationship with Jenna’s newly-divorced father David, who wants to keep his homosexuality hidden from his daughter.
Thorns in My Side explores the secrets, lies, and love between brothers who grapple with friends, lovers, and each other while trying to keep their lives, and the lives of those around them, from spinning out of control.
Jake showed up at Caleb’s condo a little after seven that evening.
“Thanks for coming,” Caleb said after he welcomed Jake inside and closed the door behind him.
“Well you summoned me, so I’m here.” Jake flopped down on the sofa.
“Do you want a beer?”
Caleb got a bottle of Modelo for Jake and one for himself from the fridge. After opening the bottles, he handed one to Jake.
“Thanks,” Jake said before taking a huge swallow. “So, what’s up?”
Caleb briefly considered starting with some small talk, asking about the wedding plans, how Jenna was doing, stuff like that, but changed his mind and cut right to the chase.
“I talked to Tim. He told me he’s in love with you.”
Jake sighed, but said nothing.
“Why didn’t you tell me what was going on between you two?”
“Because it’s none of your business?”
Caleb hated that Jake’s response was not only a question, but one spoken in a snotty, up-speak tone. “I’m your brother!”
“And you should feel like you can confide in me.”
Jake stared up at the ceiling quietly for a few seconds before turning back to Caleb. “I didn’t tell you because I figured you’d take Tim’s side over mine.”
“Why? Because I’m gay?”
“No. Because you always assume I’m the bad guy.”
“I do not. Stop trying to deflect.”
“I’m not deflecting! You asked me why I didn’t confide in you and I told you why. Don’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer.”
Caleb shook his head. “God, you’re a little prick. If Tim had any sense, he’d run from you as fast as he could.”
Jake snickered. “See. I knew you’d take his side over mine.”
“I’m not taking anyone’s side. I think you and Tim both fucked up.”
“He came after me, Caleb. I didn’t pursue him.”
“Maybe not, but you certainly encouraged him.”
“I didn’t! I told him I wasn’t leaving Jenna.”
“Was that before or after you let him blow you?”
Jake’s face turned red and he jumped up from the sofa. “Fuck you, Caleb! You don’t know shit!”
“I know what Tim told me.”
“And you believe him?”
“Yes, I do. Besides, you’re not actually denying anything.”
Jake folded his arms defiantly across his chest. “Some brother you are. You’re supposed to have my back.”
“I do, but I’m not going to act like you’re an innocent victim in all of this because we both know you aren’t. You’re accustomed to getting what you want from other people. You did it with Mom and Dad and now you’re doing it with Tim and Jenna.”