Kyle was cursed with two supportive, loving, grandmothers who also like playing matchmakers. Granma Ruby and Betty Lou are going to PrideFest, and Kyle is along for the ride, mostly because he’s the driver.
They are also bringing their live-in caregiver, Jesse, who happens to be Kyle’s childhood crush.
Will this weekend getaway help Kyle open up about his feelings for Jesse?
Note: This short story was originally published in the charity collection, Love Is Proud.
“Have you two been planning this?” I smirked and my gaze slid to Jesse, that wonderful kissable grin plastered across his face. He shrugged in response.
“Would I do such a thing?” Grandma Ruby asked incredulously.
“I let you have two glasses of Cabernet -- the one you call truth serum -- at dinner, Ruby.” Jesse rolled his eyes and mouthed sorry to me.
Grandma Betty Lou winked at me in the mirror.
“I’m still pissed with that bitch Amanda,” Grandma Ruby said.
“Tell us how you really feel, darling,” Betty Lou egged her on.
“Can we refrain from discussing my ex-wife? She’s on my shit-list right now,” I said, mentally steeling myself against the argument against Amanda that I was intimately familiar with.
Grandma Ruby’s voice pitched into a high falsetto, a caricature of primness, “I can’t bring Joshie to visit. I’m too busy bible-thumping and I don’t want your gay cooties.”
Betty Lou laughed at Ruby, Jesse frowned, and I rolled my eyes.
My ex-wife Amanda left me because she thought I was too “effeminate” and that would “negatively affect our son.” Her words, not mine. She filed for divorce while I was out at sea and moved back to Georgia to live with her cunt mother who hated me anyway. Amanda wore her Southern Baptist upbringing like armor, making it okay -- in her mind -- to make swinging judgements on other people’s lives. I couldn’t quite remember why I married her and I’m sure at one point she was lovable. The last time I saw her and my son, Josh, was the day I left for my first deployment. By now he’d be two or three years old. I sighed.
“It hurts when people do shit like that. So many of my friends have adopted the we don’t care attitude, but I think we do care. At least I do,” Jesse said.
“I know what you mean,” I said.
“Damn right.” Someone from the back seat said, but I couldn’t distinguish who while they were both giggling drunkenly. Ruby and Betty Lou were in their nineties, but they acted like teenagers. Annoying and endearing.
I took a right into the hotel parking lot and eased the car up to the curb to let off my three passengers.
The lot was full of cars, people probably like us, in town only for the fest. I circled around the lot twice before finding a large enough space for the Escalade in the rear of the lot.
“Kyle,” someone shouted my name as I was getting out of the Escalade. I looked up, Jesse was trotting toward me. “You have all the room keys,” he called as he jogged between cars.
I slammed the escalade’s door and tapped the lock button on my keychain twice, making the horn honk like I was arming an alarm. The escalade didn’t actually have an alarm, but I’d had enough cars broken into during my life time that pretending to have an alarm felt like it made a difference. I checked my back pocket, yep. All the keys for conjoined first floor handicapped accessible rooms were there. “Sorry.” I took a step forward.
My car is rolling down the hill.
Why is my car rolling down the hill?
Oh shit! MY CAR IS ROLLING DOWN THE HILL.