David’s life is very fulfilling. He has a great career, good friends, and now he has a son. David had thought that as a gay man he would not be able to have a family. But now he has Trey, and Trey is his life. When David takes Trey on a much deserved vacation, David meets someone who he thinks may be the one for him. This someone is also a gay father. The two of them have no idea if or how they can possibly be together. They each have their children to think about now. Combining families is one thing, but combining families of more than one race may be an obstacle that is too great to overcome.
As the plane reached its cruising altitude and there wasn’t much to see outside his window, Trey settled back in his seat just as they were being served breakfast. He thought this was paradise. He loved eating breakfast on the plane, and hadn’t felt sick during any part of the trip so far. David had brought along motion sickness tablets just in case, but so far Trey was fine. David had hoped for a smooth flight, without turbulence, so that this would be an enjoyable one for Trey.
Surprised that Trey hadn’t become at least a little bored on the long flight to Atlanta, David was happy to color with him in his coloring books, and he was even happier when Trey offered to read a book to him. Trey was in the first grade this year and loved to learn. Every night they would read at least one book. Watching Trey progress in his schoolwork was more satisfying to David than it was to Trey, David was pretty sure of that.
When the pilot announced their descent into Atlanta, David helped Trey adjust his seat, and buckled his seatbelt for him. The plane flew downward through the clouds this time, which fascinated Trey, and once they had emerged through the clouds, they could see the city of Atlanta below them awaiting their visit. “Are we here, Daddy?” Trey was wide-eyed with anticipatory excitement. “Not yet, buddy. We change planes here, and board another one to Miami.”
They packed their carry-on bags and made their way into the airport. They had just enough time to use the restroom, get something to drink, and relax for about twenty minutes. When they heard their flight number called once again, they picked up their bags and boarded the plane. “We’re big time travelers now, aren’t we Dad?” “We sure are.” David marveled at everything Trey said. He couldn’t get enough of him. They were in first class once again, and Trey made himself at home. He knew the drill now, and felt proud to be with his Daddy. Trey loved David more than David could possibly know. David was Trey’s dream come true.
As the ship reached the open water, Trey, still holding tightly to David’s hand, looked up and gasped. “Daddy,” he exclaimed, as he pointed. David looked up to see what had claimed Trey’s attention. David could not believe his eyes. There above them was the water coaster David had seen pictures of in the brochure. Trey and David both loved the water. David had an indoor pool installed in the sunroom of his house when he adopted Trey. “Look,” Trey exclaimed again, as he continued to point and watch one of the water tubes as it carried two passengers along their amazing journey through the enclosed slide.
One of the crew members noticed the excited look on Trey’s face, and stopped to tell them about this magnificent adventure ride. He stooped down until he was at Trey’s eye level, and began to describe the ride as if he were telling him a story. “This elevated water coaster is the first of its kind at sea and travels seven hundred sixty-five feet, with a four deck drop. Its name is the AquaDuck, and it is an extraordinary elevated coaster that circles the entirety of the ship.” Trey was so engrossed in this man’s story and watching the two travelers making their way through it that he didn’t notice that David was impressed with this man also. The man, about David’s age, had his arm loosely around Trey’s waist. David thought that the man’s legs must be killing him, but he still continued to remain at eye level of Trey to tell him the rest of the story. “The guests enter this amazing journey on Deck 12, Aft from where they are propelled at high speeds through an acrylic tube, journeying up, down, around, and at one point they circle off the side of the ship over the ocean.” The man pointed to where the half circle was at the other end of the ship. “Wow,” was Trey’s response. “Then this fantastic journey through this amazing ride takes the guests through the Forward Funnel, then makes a four deck drop into a lazy river.” The man placed extra emphasis on just the right words so that Trey could almost feel the ride even though he wasn’t on it, yet. “When you’re way up there, you can see the ocean, and also the ship right here where we’re standing, but it will be below you. Does that sound like fun?” “Oh, yes. Daddy, can we go?” “You bet, buddy, let’s go right now,” David replied, looking forward to the ride himself.
When the man stood up, David said, “Thank you for that. I’m David.” The man shook David’s hand and introduced himself. “I’m Kurt.” For a moment the two men stared at each other, neither wanting the moment to end. David wondered if he saw something in Kurt’s eyes, other than kindness. David felt a tingle that he hadn’t felt in a long time. Very impressed with his taking the time to tell Trey this amazing story, David wanted to know more about Kurt. “Would you like to go on the ride with my daughter and me?” Kurt asked. Neither man saw a ring on the other’s finger, and each more than a little curious about the other. “Can you get away from your work, Kurt?” “Oh, I’m not a crew member, just a passenger. I’m here with my daughter, Cheyenne.” David felt embarrassed, and even more impressed that a fellow passenger would take the time to share as much as he had with a boy he didn’t know. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were a crew member because you took the time to describe this fabulous ride so vividly.” “Well, thank you very much. I’ve learned to tell stories because of Cheyenne. She loves to hear them.”
David stood up and looked out across the verandah at the ocean. It stretched as far as he could see, an open entity, hiding no secrets. Was this a living photograph of the way he should be, and wanted to be, open, with no secrets? Lost in his own thoughts, David hadn’t heard Kurt’s voice. Kurt hoped he hadn’t offended David. Kurt stood up and walked toward David. David’s arms were folded. Kurt surprised him when he stood in front of him and placed his arms on David’s arms. He looked David directly in the eyes, and asked, “Or is it difficult to adopt as a gay man?” David had no idea how to respond. Was Kurt mocking him, or was Kurt disclosing something to him? By the stunned look on David’s face, Kurt could see clearly now what he had thought he had seen, and definitely what he had wanted to see. Holding David’s arms which were still folded, Kurt leaned in and lightly brushed David’s lips with his own. Then he backed up and looked at David. David’s eyes were closed and his mouth was open slightly, expecting and desiring more. Kurt unfolded David’s arms and held them in his own. Then he leaned in again and kissed David again. David didn’t hesitate to kiss him back, and soon they were embracing each other, enjoying the taste and feel of the other’s lips. It was David who finally broke the kiss. He held Kurt tightly, and answered his question. “Yes, Kurt, I meant that it is difficult to adopt as a gay man, but it was worth all that I had to go through to adopt Trey. He’s my life.”
Kurt knew exactly how it felt to be a gay father. He was one. He also knew how lonely it could be, with very little social support. Kurt kissed David on the cheek, and then leaned back to look into David’s eyes. “Do you think there might be a little room in your life for two more?” David’s heart was beating just as fast as Kurt’s at these words. David embraced Kurt as he answered, “Definitely, yes.” David’s mouth found Kurt’s, forcing it open, and kissed his open mouth eagerly, forcefully, as Kurt was kissing him, too. Neither had been kissed like this in a very long time, and neither wanted to stop.