The Final Thing
On our way to badminton tonight, an ominous, horror-movie-set fog had settled. My brother was driving and I was in the passenger seat. We seldom had quality one-on-one time and it was a great excuse to talk. So talk we did.
We talked about his girl problems. My girl problems. My bout with anxiety. Him smoking and trying to quit. Mom. Dad.
He brought up the question of when I wanted to come out to Dad. I consider myself pretty good at reading people… but my dad is a brick wall. He’s absolutely impossible to read. I knew at his very core, he’d love me no matter what… but his reaction to me being gay was unfathomable to me. My brother asked me again when I wanted to come out to him. I said I wasn’t sure, but it wasn’t anything urgent – not until I got me a gf anyway and was dying to show her off to my family. No rush, I said, it’s just something on my to-do list.
I was deeply irritated that my brother chose the rural route in the midst of this fog – our vision went no further than three metres and roads were icy. His rationale for not taking the highway made absolutely no sense and I won’t even bother repeating it. I forced him to pause conversation until we made it out of the fog.
Then we continued talking.
As we were pulling into our driveway from badminton, he asked again “so when do you plan on telling Dad?”. He usually never hangs on to something like this; something must’ve been bugging him.
I reiterated my answer earlier that evening (with patience of course), about how I wasn’t sure how he’d take it but he seemed okay with being on Church Street the few times I took him.
I did a double-take.
“Mom told him a week ago. He knows.”
I was still frozen, processing.
I’d been with my dad the entire week and he hadn’t brought up anything remotely close to the topic. I tried recalling every moment of the past week.
But I realized I had been quiet and was retreating into my head again, with my brother in the car. “How did she bring it up?”
He acknowledged my Mom had potentially over-stepped, but he reminded me her intentions were good. I couldn’t disagree – she wanted to make sure my Dad was okay with it, in case his reaction was less than desirable.
I was still processing. She must’ve told my brother for a reason – I suspect she knew he’d tell me, as a heads up. He wasn’t too sure about that, but I know how indirect her motives always are.
As for the news… it felt like… the last thing I needed to do had been suddenly checked off my list. What now?
It’s been two hours and I’m still in semi-disbelief. There’s an unfamiliar, almost eerie stillness and quiet somewhere inside me. What now?
Well, he’s leaving tomorrow and as my brother had mentioned, it would be nice to end this year with everything out and on the table. Secrets within the family only push us further away from one another. I might have to have “the talk” with him tomorrow… I don’t remember the last time dreading a conversation like this.
It’s a shame – I guess it was unrealistic to think I could carry on this “no-crying” streak forever. (It’s been over five months.)
Well, now I know why he took the foggy, slower route.