Cal and Donnie
Vacation was over, we had to get ready for college and that required us to find a place to stay. Dad had a friend, actually a client, who lived close to the college we were going to attend. He told dad he had a spare bedroom we could use but I didn't really want that. You would be sharing with another family and that could be complicated.
Donnie and I drove over to the college and began to check places out. Most where only rentals for students for 9 months, we wanted something a little more permanent. We were sitting in a coffee shop one afternoon, looking through a paper for rentals. Our waiter asked us what we were looking for and maybe he could help us. We told him about starting school this fall but needed a place to rent.
I saw a smile on his face. "I'm assuming you two are a couple."
"Yes, we have been married a little over 3 months. We need a place to study and to have some privacy."
"The owner has a cottage on his property. As far as I know it's vacant. Let me check with him."
The waiter left, "I don't know Cal, it could be expensive."
"Let's see maybe we could get jobs to help."
The waiter came back, "Here's the address. He said you should stop by after 6 and he'll show you the property. I hear its pretty nice but I've never seen it."
We thanked the guy, paid our bill and left. "Donnie, let's drive around the campus and see what it looks like."
"I have a better idea, let's park the car and walk around. Maybe we can check out the book store and college's generally have a student union. We could check out the common areas and get a feel for the various buildings."
"Donnie this was a great idea. Look there is the library, we'll be using that a lot. What is that round building over there?"
"Let's take a look but my guess it's a sports arena."
"You're right. Are you going to try out for any sport programs? I'm not but I think I'll start running again."
"That's a good idea, I'll run with you."
We continued to explore the campus till Donnie suggested we get something to eat. There was a small diner close to the college, when we entered it became obvious that a lot of students ate here. The walls were plastered with photos of student activities and several trophies were displayed in a case by the front door.
The waitress took us to a seat and began to ask questions about us attending the college and what subjects we'd be taking. She was quite knowledgeable, later we found out she was a senior working the summer for college money.
We ordered, we ate and then we left. "Donnie its time to check out that cottage."
"I hope we can afford it?"
Driving to the address we were given, "This looks like a high cost residential area. These houses are enormous. I'm not sure we'll be able to afford this cottage."
"There's the address." We pulled into the drive way, before we could turn off the engine we were greeted by a beautiful dog. "That's a greyhound, they use them to race and when they can't race any longer, they give them away as a pet."
"What happens if they can't find a home for them?"
"You don't want to know." Donnie just looked at me and I could see the wheels turning in his head. I knew if we ended up on a farm, we'd be greyhound haven.
As we got out of the car, a man came out of the house and met us as we exited the car. "Are you the two guys Alec spoke to me about?"
"Yes, we'll be attending college here and needed a place to stay."
"Alex said you were a couple. Is that right?"
"Yes, we've been married for three months. Is that going to be a problem?"
The man laughed, inviting us inside the house and of course we were followed by the dog. I noticed Donnie scratching the dog behind the ears as we walked toward the house.
"My name is John and this is my partner Sam. We have been a couple for 20 years and still are as much in love as the day we met. And that little fellow is Flash."
I watched Donnie when John told us about him and Sam. I just smiled knowing what he was thinking. "If you follow me I'll show you the cottage. It's not much but I think it will be perfect for both of you. It will be nice to have another gay couple living here. As you can expect, there aren't that many in this section of town. Homes here are owned by people who have money and strong opinions. Don't let that bother you, they have come to accept us even though we don't get invited to their parties. Here's the cottage."
We followed John into the cottage along with Flash. I never had a dog, not because I don't like dogs it just never crossed my mind. The cottage was nice, a bedroom, a small sitting room and a small kitchen. It was perfect as far as I was concerned. I looked at Donnie and nodded, he nodded back. "John the cottage is perfect for us, but I'm not sure we can afford it."
"Well, let's see. Could you maintain the lawns and flower beds? Flash likes you already so maybe you could help take care of her. Occasionally I need help at the cafe, could you do that."
When John was finished, we felt a great sigh of relief. Doing the chores was nothing for us. Donnie jumped right in and said we could do that and any small repairs as well. Then he asked would it be possible to start a small garden.
There was no lease, John said our word was enough. We would have to pay for our utilities and any upkeep on the cottage. We could move in whenever we were ready. We shook hands and the deal was done. Now we had to head home and tell the folks.
Pulling into my home, Mom came out to greet us. Of course she had a big dinner planned with Donnie's parents as well. The dinner was fantastic, maybe so because we had finally settled the housing situation and of course Donnie was beside me.
A thousand questions later, Dad called us into his study. "Boys, I'm glad that you have found a place to live off campus. Even though there are many people who are not judgmental about two guys being married and living together, there are still some nuts out there. Cal, ever since you were born, your mom and I set up a trust fund for you which will pay for your college and a monthly allowance. If you manage your expenses, there'll be enough money for you to buy yourself a farm." That last comment was meant for Donnie. Dad and Mom loved Donnie and had accepted him as their son-in-law.
I knew that our family was one in a thousand. Not every family would accept a gay marriage and certainly not a gay son-in-law. Donnie and I were blessed with parents who not only accepted us but loved us.
That night would be the last night we'd sleep in my bed. Oh there would be the occasional trips home but then this room would be a guest room.
We saw Dave and Angie at the coffee shop, hugs all around. We told them of the cottage and how happy we were. Of course they wanted to come and see it, so we made plans at the next holiday they would stop on their way home and then we'd all come home together.
That evening we packed the car with towels, sheets, blankets and of course our clothes that we didn't take with us. Donnie packed his computer which reminded me to get mine as well. Then a kiss and hug goodbye we were on our way to our first home.
We finished school and had excelled in our classes. The Turners wanted to sell their farm and move closer to their children. Between what I had saved from my trust fund and what Donnie had received from the death of his mother, we had enough to put a substantial down payment on the farm. Donnie was delighted and spent a lot of time developing the farm. I spent my time at Dad's offices and he eventually changed the name to Father and Son Ad Agency. I asked him why didn't he used our names, he looked at me, Cal and Cal sounds a little too jovial for an ad agency. He was probably right.
I came home one Friday and was met by a beautiful greyhound. When I opened the door, the dog came over and I thought John and Sam were here . But I was wrong, this lovely animal was now a part of our home. When I went into the house, Donnie looked a little worried as to what I thought. At first I thought it was about the dog, soon I found out that we had three dogs. I just laughed and gave him hug. He relaxed and then told me when he went to pick up one there were three and they said the ones he didn't want would be put to sleep. So he took all three. When I asked what their names where, he said he named them Dave, Angie and Moe. I asked why Dave and Angie, he said that way they'd always be in our home and minds. Moe was just a name that popped in his head. I laughed as I sat on the sofa and soon I had three dogs around me, tongue kisses and head scratches was the call of the day.
That evening in bed, "Do you remember the first time you slept in this bed?"
"Yes, and it was just as comfy as it is now."
When we bought the farm house, I moved my bed to our bedroom. Call it sentimental but that bed had a lot of firsts and memories.
Our lives continued to be enriched with our love. Each time was like a first time and our love grew each day. The farm was a huge success, Donnie was growing plants that no one expected to be grown in that area. The best were the grapes that were made into a wine which he called Turner Reserve. The first 6 bottles were sent to the Turners and the next six were divided between our parents.
Angie and Dave got married. Donnie was best man and he looked sharp. When they returned from their honeymoon, we celebrated at the coffee shop. I was surprised to see Brian and Sammy there with their wives and children.
That is one thing that Donnie and I will miss, not having children. But who knows maybe adoption is possible. All I know is that life without Donnie wouldn't be a life for me. My love for him grows each day.
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