Who said you can't go home? When Peter promises his folks he’ll come back to Grosse Ile for his tenth high school reunion, he has second thoughts. Can he face his old bullies? He’s bigger and stronger now, true, but is his newfound confidence strong enough to overcome his old resentments?
Then Peter’s sister's boyfriend Ned turns out to be not as straight as he first seemed to be. Now Peter has a better reason to go back home -- to show off the new man in his life.
During a boat trip to Canadian waters, Peter rescues the pregnant wife of his high school nemesis at the same time his new love collapses with appendicitis. Can Peter surmount these crises and still make it to the reunion on time?
Well. At least someone knew he was gay. Dick did; Dick had figured it out before Peter himself had. It made him laugh, remembering. Laughing reminded him he hadn’t hit the bathroom yet and desperately needed to. He yawned as he stood up and excused himself. He ducked through the living room, trying not to catch people’s eyes, and made it halfway down the hall before coming upon his sister kissing her boyfriend Ned. He tried to pass them but they turned, so his hands ended up on Ned’s hips instead of his sister’s.
“Excuse me,” Peter said, embarrassed. Darcy opened one eye and glared at him. “Phoo!” she said, sticking out her tongue. She was twenty; Dick was twenty-four, so they were all four years apart. “I have to go to the little girl’s room,” she blurted, letting go of Ned and sliding down the hall.
Peter stood staring after her, wondering if it would be quicker to wait, or make his way upstairs and use one of the bathrooms up there. He realized he still had his hands on Ned’s hips. And he had a pee boner. And the hall was narrow and he was pressed up against Ned’s butt, which wasn’t a bad thing, except, you know, straight guys and having to pee and all that. “Oh hell no,” he said.
“Oh hell, yes,” said Ned. Ned turned around. “Is that for me?” he asked, reaching down and pressing his hand between them.
Peter thought he would faint. He could feel that, somehow, Darcy had not necessarily picked the straightest branch off the tree this time. Ned felt, oh I don’t know, Peter thought, maybe a bit conflicted? Being tired wasn’t helping this, neither was the gin he’d had. Nor the beer. He wanted to ask Ned if he was straight or what, but when he opened his mouth, his breath came out funny, and he realized that their faces were only inches apart.
“So, Darcy tells me you’re gay?” Ned asked.
The back door was closest. He’d pee outside. Ned followed him out. They found two rose bushes near the trellis and soon felt much better.
The lights from inside spilled out to the yard. Luckily the back porch light was off and right now nobody else was out here. Wait, someone was, a figure was crouching near the pool.
“Who’s that?” Ned asked.
Sounds of retching filled the peaceful night. “My brother, I think,” Peter said, taking Ned by the elbow and walking farther down the garden path. “So you’re dating my sister. Good luck with that, I mean, I hope for all the best for you.” Peter felt mixed loyalties to his young sister, who had, in his opinion, been spoiled rotten all her life. His politeness mixed with some other feeling he couldn’t readily identify, and fatigue, and booze, and just an all-around overwhelming sense of déjà vu. He also had a hint that he was emotionally about thirteen years old again, here in this house. The age he had been when he first realized he was gay. Different. An outsider. A possibly hated and unwelcome outsider. “Sometimes I feel like the last British citizen fleeing India,” he muttered, his minor in history coming to the fore.
Ned, who had been acting like the perfect guest up until the last few minutes, started to giggle. Not laugh, not make happy noise, but giggle, as if he found something hysterically and possibly disgustingly funny.