Just Hit Send - Summerfire

by Grasshopper

Part IV

The drive back was insane. I kicked myself from the coast and back. I was too old. He was too young. I was in love with a ghost. He wanted his father. What was I thinking? Was I thinking at all?

I saw my porch light shining and knew my dads had walked over and turned it on to guide me home. My dads. I needed to talk to them. I'd never been so glad I had them in my life. What if I had no one to talk to, no one who cared? I carried my junk inside and opened all the windows to air the place out. I walked down to the shop and checked to see that Johnny had everything under control and then walked along the beach collecting every thought I could find.

I'd always been different. I'd always been proud of my family and sometimes proud of myself but I wanted this. I wanted this really badly. It felt right.

How could I, the world's most hesitant person, be so sure about this?

Finally, I turned my feet towards the big house. I could see them through the big picture window, dancing to a slow melody coming from the CD player. My Daddy always says he's making up dance time with Papa D for all the dances they missed. I want love like that. I want to dance like that.

"Hi Pops," I said as interrupted their dance. I knew they wouldn't mind; they had plenty more ahead. Papa D kissed Daddy and they opened their arms to hug me.

"Have a good time?"

"Yeah. I need to talk."

Daddy looked over my head at Papa D. "Both of you," I sighed.

"Uh oh.....BIG problem," Papa D smiled. "He needs two opinions."

"I kinda met someone."

"This week? At the lake?"

"Yeah ...... but it's like I've always known him or something."

We walked out to the beach to sit on the "talking log". Our most serious discussions always took place right here. "Okay, JD. Spill."

"Don't yell till you hear the whole thing," I cautioned.

"Do we ever yell?" Papa D laughed, as I gave him a dirty look.

"Well, start talking, son. I'll keep him quiet," Daddy crooked his eyebrow at Papa D.

"My roof leaked and someone came to fix it."

"And that someone would be........?"

"Deacon," I sighed.

"Ahhh. We have a name."

"But, it's not as simple as that," I cringed. "Deacon is Kenny's son." I waited for the angry words.

Instead, Daddy said softly, "Kenny's boy? How old is he now?"

"He's 18, gonna be 19 in two months. It's wrong, I know it's wrong. I don't know what to do.....what to think."

"Does he care about you?"

I hadn't put it into words in my head yet and it felt scary to say out loud but, "I think he might."

"Is this about Kenny, JD?"

"I thought so at first, when I first saw him but when Deacon smiles, when he laughs, the way he looks at everything, the way he makes me feel........" I stopped to catch my breath, "No, he's just Deacon."

"What do you want from him? What Kenny took from you?"

"What do you mean, Papa D?"

"Honey, Kenny stole your choices. He didn't have faith in himself, so he took the easy way out."

What was Papa D saying? "Explain please," I asked.

"Years ago, when we were all sitting on that dock and you were crying your eyes out because Kenny had married and had a child, he told us how he felt. He never said a word but it was all there on his face. You didn't see the way he hurt and we didn't tell you. It was better you never knew."

"Knew what, Daddy?"

"How much he cared for you. He would never have told you and you've spent years searching for what he promised but never gave you."

"But he wasn't gay!"

"Yes, he was. In his heart he was but he didn't have the strength to say it and you were too young to understand."

Too young.........there we are.

"So, I need to step back, right? I was too young, Deacon is too young." I felt the tears scalding my eyes.

"JD, you had just turned 16. Deacon is almost 19. That's a big difference. He's out of school and on his own. I think you've got a lot to talk about."

A lot to talk about ! We hadn't even said anything. He probably thinks I'm some kind of insane fool babbling about lights and fireworks and jasmine.

"You going back?"

"Should I?"

"Your decision. We raised you. You choose your life. We'll always support you."

"Talk to him, JD. Say what you think. Have you forgotten what goes on in a 19 year old head?" Papa D giggled, yeah at his age, the man still giggles, "Is he hot?"

I sighed and rolled my eyes. They'd never change.

I needed Prozac, Xanax....one of those pills that makes you all fuzzy where you don't think. But the more I fought not thinking, the more I thought. You know how that goes, right? By Wednesday, I was a wreck. Like he hadn't been right there for years but I had to take care of this in the next day or so.

A call to the realtor and I had the cabin for the weekend. I packed enough food for an army and waited till time to close up the shop and get one more reassuring hug from my dads.

"Just talk, JD. That's the only way it works. If you want something from this, don't jump in half cocked."

"Good Lord!" I rolled my eyes at the bad choice of words. "He may not even be on the same page, Daddy."

"That's why talking would be very wise, don't ya think?" he answered, his tongue in his cheek, giving me the "Don't be stupid" look.

As I drove away headed toward the lake, I could see them standing on the front porch, arms around each other. Like I had always known them...like they always would be.

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