GENRE: Gay Young Adult Interracial Romance
LENGTH: 21,214 words
Joshy grew up watching his Bible-thumping dad and his ballet-loving brother Leon argue and shout at each other for years, but never really knew why. When new neighbors move in down the street, suddenly Leon spends time with their son, Kalil. Once again, Joshy is completely in the dark about his brother’s actions and is taken by surprise when both Leon and Kalil run away together. The rest of his childhood and adolescence are spent wondering what became of the pair, until one day ...
Leon was different from day one, and even though it caused friction with his dad’s narrow-minded views, he never gave up on what he truly was. Exploring his sexuality generates little more than confusion and frustration, until he meets Kalil. They find out they have more in common than people expect, and Leon helps Kalil come to terms with that. Both yearning for freedom from the oppression of their parents, they hatch a plan to escape to New York, where a new life and new opportunities await.
Somehow we wound up in the park on the trail that joggers used. It was a nice day, and occasionally a group of people or one guy and a dog would pass us. When I couldn’t see or hear anyone approaching, I mustered the courage to ask. “Kalil, do you like me?”
Kalil took his time chewing a piece of his ice cream cone. “Sure.”
I sighed. “I’m just gonna say this. I like you. A lot. Were circumstances different, I would have asked you on a date sooner, but ... well, you know ...” I bit my lip and looked at him expectantly.
Imagine my heartache when he looked back with despair and fear. “Don’t say that,” he said, slowly shaking his head. “Please don’t say that.”
“I - I’m sorry, but it’s the truth, and it would have come out sooner or later, I think. If things are going to be awkward now then I understand.”
“No, I do, I mean, you --” Kalil growled in self-frustration. “I do like you. I’ve liked you since we first met, but I knew I couldn’t act on it. Not now. Not while I live under my father’s roof.”
I checked our surroundings again. Still clear, I reached out to touch Kalil’s arm reassuringly. “I’m not saying we have to go public, but we could have something, right?”
Kalil shrugged me off reluctantly. “Leon ... I can’t. I really wish I could, I do, but I can’t.” He sniffled. “I’m okay with being gay, even more so since I’ve been able to confide in you, but you don’t know my father. You want to know his real opinion of homosexuals? He says if he ever sired one, he would disown them immediately and have them castrated, since apparently they have no intention to procreate anyway.” He winced, tears in his eyes. “He would do it too, no doubt in my mind.”
My legs reflexively clenched together. “Oh my God,” I whispered. I knew Kalil’s father was intense, but I never thought he would go to that extreme. Without thinking, I went to give Kalil a comforting hug.
I snapped back to my senses when Kalil forcibly shoved me away from him. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t want to hurt you, but if anyone saw ...” We both looked around, and as though on cue someone came running down the path not a moment later. Kalil tilted his head at me and whispered, “See what I mean? And in a town this small, and small-minded for that matter, if anyone ever saw us together, my father would be the first person to hear about it.”
“Okay then.” I took two big steps backwards and pulled out my phone. “Then we’ll do this like other teenage ...” I lowered my voice to a loud whisper. “Couples.” Kalil shifted uncomfortably. I quickly typed up, Ur cute :-P and sent it to him.
Kalil pulled his phone out of his pocket and read my message. The corner of his mouth twitched, but his eyes remained sad. His thumbs dragged over the keypad as he wrote his reply. Once he hit ‘send’ he put his phone away and walked off without even looking at me.
I wanted to cry out and tell him to stop. Before I could, my phone buzzed. I couldn’t read the message fast enough. My heart dropped to my feet.
Sorry, I just can’t.