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Thank you again to those who gave this story a second chance. I hope it continues to satisfy you! If you missed the first three chapters, please go back and read them to understand how Jo and Micah got here. I read all your comments and reply to all your messages so please don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know how this story and the characters make you feel.
Chapter 4- You got family now
I agreed to go with Jo to his family’s Thanksgiving dinner for two reasons. One, I had already told my Abuelita that I had plans and I didn’t want to have her ask on Black Friday about plans that I didn’t have. And two, when he asked I kinda hurt his feelings with my initial reaction and I wanted him to know that I was all in about us.
“Come home with me on Thursday,” he said that Sunday before we left his house to drop me at home.
“Thursday is Thanksgiving.”
“Right. Come home with me for Thanksgiving.”
“Boy bye!” I scoffed then laughed.
He looked at me with a straight face. “What? You don’t want to meet my family?”
“It’s not that I don’t want to but that’s a little cray, don’t you think? We just got together literally like two weeks ago.”
He gave me a look. “Be real, we’ve been together longer than that. We just started sleeping together a few weeks ago, but we’ve been together, Micah.”
“Yeah and that’s not a reason to take me home Jo, because we’re fucking now. It’s too fast. Your mother is going to think you’re crazy for what we’re doing. The last time you saw her you were straight. And now you’re bringing home an obviously gay man for Thanksgiving?” I scoffed again. “She will disown you and kick me out of her house, so no thanks.”
He looked at me for a moment, then said,” Don’t put this on my mother. My mother is going to accept you because she accepts me, unconditionally. And we’re not moving fast, we’re moving at exactly the pace we should be moving. I want you there because I’m serious about you, about us, and I want them to know it too. If you don’t feel the same, just say so.”
I could tell my words really bothered him so I decided to be open about what I was feeling. “I’m sorry I didn’t mean it like that. I just meant… Meeting your family is a big deal for me. But I don’t have a family to introduce you to, so I’m a little intimidated. I haven’t been to a family Thanksgiving dinner in years. I used to go to either Janai or Devin’s house but then I stopped. So it will be new for me and I guess I’m just nervous about it, what it all means for us. But I’m just as serious about you as you are with me. I want to be with you for the holidays, so of course I’ll go.”
He sighed. “If you don’t want to go-“
I cut him off. “I want to go, I’m going.”
So here I am, in the car with Jo heading to Middletown PA, nervous as shit. I think I’m a likable person, but I’ve never been in a Meet the Parents situation before so I feel like I have to turn down my flame and become this reserved person to match Joseph’s personality. Even the way I’m dressed isn’t me, a white buttoned down shirt, gray loose fitting slacks and a dark gray tie. There is nothing sexier on a man than a suit and tie, but I hate ties on me. I absentmindedly started fidgeting with it again and he noticed.
He reached over and gently grabbed my wrist and put my hand in my lap again. “It will be fine, Micah. I promise you, it will be fine.” He took my hand and laced our fingers together.
I sighed deeply. “Tell me again what you told her.”
He sighed too. “I told her that I met someone that I really care about, and that his name is Micah. I told her that weeks ago.”
“And she didn’t react at all? You sure?”
“No, she didn’t. She just said, ‘Okay, I’ll meet him when you bring him here.'” I nodded. Then he hit me with the, “But…”
I turned to him wide eyed and fearful. “But!? What do you mean, but!? But what!?” I’ve asked him this three times already and it was never followed by a “but”. Now that we’re 73 minutes away from his parents’ home all of a sudden there’s a “but”? I’m going to kill him.
He squeezed my hand. “Relax, Angel. I found out a few days ago that she grilled Randy for information.”
“Well, what did he say? No, what did you say to him about me?”
“Randy knows everything about you and I from the very beginning. He and Jerry were the planets and mediums I consulted in my decision to move what we have forward.”
“Everything? Oh fuck.”
He chuckled and said, “But he knows to tailor his conversation to a need-to-know basis for my mother.” I was quiet, my anxiety reaching its highest level. He glanced at me then at the road. “You look nice.”
I didn’t like his tone. “Nice, but not good. Great. Attractive. Gorgeous.”
He chuckled again. “You’re always all of those things to me. You just look like you’re going for a job interview. As an office assistant. For a low-key small company.”
“Ugh. I was just trying to look presentable.”
“And you do. You look presentable. But I canlı bahis also want you to be you.”
I gave him a dirty look. “You don’t really want me to be me.”
He looked at me surprised. “Micah! What is this about?”
“It’s nothing, just forget it, it’s fine,” I mumbled.
But at the first chance he could he pulled over on the PA Turnpike and put the hazard lights on. He took off his seatbelt and looked at me. I tried to convey what I was feeling through my eyes. He seemed to understand. He reached over and touched my tie, his tie that I borrowed, and started taking it off me. Then he unbuttoned the first two buttons.
He looked at me and asked, “Do you have your eyeliner on you?”
I gave him a dirty look again. “I am not going into your mother’s house looking like some kind of freak.”
He touched my face softly and said, “You’re not a freak. Don’t ever say that about yourself again. You’re Micah. Mi Angelo. And my angel is perfect, no matter what you wear. I just want you to feel comfortable as you.”
He waited. I sighed and reached into my LV satchel and pulled out my black eyeliner. I pulled down the visor for the mirror, added it and for some reason I did feel better. I looked more like me. He smiled and got out of the car to go to the back. A blast of cold air hit me as he said, “You’re changing your pants. Do you want to wear jeans?”
I turned my body to look at him. “No, because you aren’t wearing jeans and I don’t want to stand out.”
He continued rummaging through my things. “I like these light blue khakis…oh! These!” He held up a pair of red-orange slim fit pants. “You haven’t worn them yet.”
I laughed. “I just told you I don’t want to stand out.”
“I want you to stand out, Micah,” he said exasperated. “It’s who you are. You stand out. It’s what I love about you.”
My heart melted. He has a way of doing that to me. “Okay,” I agreed. He closed the back door and came to his seat and handed me the pants, and started driving again.
I crawled into the backseat to change then slid my feet back into my dark brown boots. I did not tuck in my shirt, instead I put on the tie but I left it loose around my top opened buttons, added a smoky gray eyeshadow on my eyelids and lightly brushed a red on it, giving it a very subtle glow. I could feel how good I looked. I slid back into the front seat and put my seatbelt on. He looked at me and smiled widely, reached over and took my hand again.
“I love you, Joseph,” I sighed.
He glanced at me again then back at the road. “I love you too, Micah. You said that all weird, you know.”
“I didn’t say it all weird. It just sounded weird because it’s the first time we’ve said it to each other outside the bed,” I told him. He laughed out loud and squeezed my hand again.
Even from the outside, the home was less grandeur than his own home. He grabbed our two bags and I grabbed the food as we made our way to the house. Jo’s mother opened the door before we made it to her porch and smiled widely, first at her son, then at me. They were the same complexion but the similarities stopped there. Jo must look more like his father, wherever he is.
“Hey Ma,” he greeted her with a one armed hug and bent down to kiss her cheek as we came into the front room. The house was already full.
“Hey Joseph,” she mumbled then turned to me. “Micah.” She said my name like she had been practicing it all day.
I smiled a nervous smile. “Hello Mrs. Martin. It’s nice to finally meet you.”
She looked at me curiously, looked at Jo, narrowed her eyes at him, then looked back at me with a warm smile. “It’s Gaines now. But you can just call me Mary.” She hugged me tightly then took the two dishes from me, a deep foil pan and glass pan. “I know this is Jo’s candied yams but this glass dish smells good. What is it?” she asked.
“It’s Arroz con Gandules y Pollo. Yellow rice with chicken and peas. It’s my grandmother’s recipe but I made it.”
She hugged me again with one arm. “I can’t wait to try it. Come inside, meet everyone.”
I realized as I followed her that Jo had disappeared with the bags leaving me to the mercy of his mother. But his mother was so sweet and welcoming that it calmed me a bit. She didn’t look at me with disgust or wonder so my nerves were settling. She introduced me to her husband Francis, her sister Theresa and her brother-in-law Stewart. She was about to introduce me to a few more women that were in the kitchen when I was lifted off my feet from behind in a bear hug, making me yelp.
“MICAH!” my assailant yelled. He put me down, turned me around and hugged me before I got a chance to see his face. But I already knew who it was.
“Randy,” I said in his neck and held him back just as tight.
We were about the same height and he was only slightly bigger than me. The pictures Jo has of his cousin are of him much stockier. He pulled back and touched both my shoulders and I got a good look at him. Randall Blake was light brown skin, the color of milky bahis siteleri coffee, had brown eyes and a mop of curly hair that was brown at the roots, blond at the tips. He was beautiful in a different way than my lover.
He was obviously gay like me, but not femme. The type that can blend in all spaces and you can tell he commands a room when he’s in it. Randy smiled widely at me and said, “God, I feel like I already know you. Crazy!”
“I know, me too. Jo talks about you all the time.”
“And obviously he can’t get enough of you. And I see why. You’re adorable. Super cute.” He looked behind him and said, “Honey, come look at this very young man that Jojo has decided on. Isn’t he super cute?”
Jerod Perchinsky, called Jerry, walked over with a toddler in his arms. He looked at me and said, “Super cute.”
I giggled at their assessment of me. Jerry was White and really handsome, with a head full of dark brown hair, alluring green eyes, a square jaw with a perpetual five o’clock shadow, and just about as tall as Jo, who still had not made an appearance. He was also the more masculine of the two, and I would have never picked him out as gay at first glance.
He put his son down who immediately took off running, and held his hand out for a shake. “I’m Jerry, Randall’s husband.”
His handshake was firm and manly. “Nice to meet you, Jerry.”
Before I could say another word, Randy took my arm. “We’re going to carpe the hell out of this diem. Come on, let me finish the introductions. I got it, Aunt Mary,” he called out to her then turned back to me. “And you’re going to sit next to me, got it?”
I giggled at his alteration to carpe diem. “Got it.”
He stared at me again and said, “Super fucking cute.” He kissed me on my cheek. I giggled again and blushed.
It was 13 of us in total. Besides Jo’s parents and Randy’s parents, I met Randy’s sister Tiffany, Jerry’s older sister Cassandra called Cassie, her husband Eric and their three kids, Erica, age 12, Matthew, age 10, and Brian age 7. By the time Jo reappeared I was sandwiched on the couch in the living room between Randy and Cassandra discussing the latest social media trends.
He looked at me and smiled, then went to help his mother in the kitchen. When they called for dinner, I was seated between Randy and Jo. I turned to my lover and said quietly, “You did that on purpose.”
“Did what?” he said slyly. Then he said, “I told you it would be fine.” He leaned over and kissed my cheek.
I blushed again and looked around. No one noticed except his mother who had a look of surprise on her face, but quickly turned her head. Francis sat at the head of the table and said grace, then we dug in. I noticed that Jo barely spoke to his stepfather and I thought that was curious. I made a mental note to ask him later.
Oliver, who had refused to sit in his high chair, climbed right out and over Jerry to get to Randy. “Come on Ollie,” he said and hoisted him in his lap and fed him. Ollie had regular hotdogs and french fries for dinner, but he kept dipping his hands in Randy’s plate. He really liked my rice dish.
Randy saw me watching them and asked, “Do you want to have a little one someday?”
“Yes,” I said happily. “Two at least.”
He nodded then looked beyond me at Jo and said, “Did you hear that, Jojo? He wants kids.”
I smiled and Jo laughed. “I know he wants kids.”
“Good,” Randy said and turned back at me. “It took awhile to get him there. You have to talk to him in terms of investments. Having children is an investment for your future, ain’t that right, Ollie?”
“Yeah!” the small boy yelled with glee. He was the same complexion as Randall, down to the curly brown hair, shape of his face and nose. But I noticed his eyes for the first time.
“He has green eyes,” I stated out loud.
“Thanks Captain Obvious,” Randy joked.
I laughed then said, “I just meant, I thought he was of your DNA, but I guess you choose someone who matches Jerry?”
“Oh, we choose the best person to match Jerry,” Randy said like he was hiding a secret.
“The best!” Cassie said from across the table, listening to our conversation. “She’s beautiful, she’s kind, she’s perfect in every single way.” She smiled proudly and I quickly caught on.
“Oh, you gave them a donation? That’s so cool, so now Ollie has both Randy and Jerry’s genetics.”
“I did more than that. I gave them my egg, my body and delivered that baby like a stork!” she declared.
I gasped in awe. “You were their surrogate? You’re amazing!!”
“I know,” she said smugly, and her brother threw one of Ollie’s uneaten french fries at her from across the table making her laugh.
“It was pretty cool of her to do that,” Randy agreed.
“Are you planning on having any more children?” I asked.
“Not from this 35 year old body,” Cassandra quipped, making Jerry throw another french fry at her. This time Mary saw and gave him a stern look. He immediately dropped his eyes in faux shame.
“We bahis şirketleri do have plans, we made arrangements. But for after I’m gone,” Randy said matter of factly.
“Oh,” was my only response. I felt Jo stiffen next to me but I didn’t look at him.
“But in the meantime, this little guy gets all of me,” he said and tickled his son into a fit of giggles.
We made other small talk when I heard Mary ask Jo, “So how is church?”
“It’s good, Ma,” Jo answered with a straight face.
“I’m so glad to hear that. I was worried you wouldn’t find a church home out there but I’m glad you’re getting the Word in.”
“Uh-hmm,” he responded.
Okay, I’m not the brightest bulb in the socket but I’m pretty sure Jo has not stepped into a church since he moved to Haverford, probably not the entire time he was in DC. I’m pretty sure the only thing he recognizes as “church” is Crunch Fitness where he is every Sunday morning, religiously. Which means he’s been straight up lying to his own mother.
I avoided blowing his cover but I did slowly turn to look at him with the most stoic face I could muster. I said one word quietly, “Church.” He gave me back the same unreadable expression.
“Jo said you joined the praise dance team recently, Micah,” Mary addressed me. “That sounds wonderful.”
Oh hell no, hell to the no am I lying to his mama!! The only dancing I’ve been doing on Sunday mornings is at Zumba. I exhaled and gave her a simple, “Uh-hmm.” Then I turned back to him, narrowing my eyes slightly. The corners of his mouth turned up very subtly.
Thank God for Randy who said, “Okay, where are we going for Black Friday? Harrisburg Mall or Tanger Outlets?”
Jo scoffed. “You know I hate that shit..stuff. Sorry, mom.” He corrected himself before his mother could.
“That’s okay because Micah is going with me, and together we’ll spend your money,” he asserted as he put his arm around my neck.
“I’m down. Starting at midnight?” I asked.
“That’s the only way to get the best deals,” Randy said happily.
Jerry touched his arm gently. “Rand. It’s been a long and exciting day. Maybe you should just stay home and rest.”
He turned to his husband and said simply, “No.” They stared at each other in a silent argument, similar to the one Jo and I just had. I made eye contact with Ollie and gave him a goofy smile, and he scooted over to my arms which made me gleeful.
“Okay,” Jerry relented. “I’ll go with you. Two hours tops, then we come home and you do nothing else for the rest of the day. Okay?”
“Okay,” Randy agreed. He turned back to me and winked. “So where do you want to go?”
Randy, Jerry and I ended up at Tanger Outlets, mostly buying clothes. I snagged a sheepskin dark brown leather bomber jacket that was $989 but on sale for $289, happy that I did not have to spend any of Jo’s emergency card money. But Jerry was right, about an hour and 30 minutes of going back and forth from stores, we could see the fatigue on Randy’s face.
So I said first, “I’m beat. Let’s head back to the house if that’s okay.”
Jerry looked at me grateful as Randy agreed. We got back in Jerry’s Toyota Highlander and Randy settled into the passenger seat, then he pulled the seat all the way down to where his head was practically next to me in the back. He closed his eyes.
“Miiiiikey,” he sang apparently his nickname for me. I looked over at him. “You’re sticking around, right?”
I was sure he wasn’t just talking about Thanksgiving weekend. “Yeah. That’s what I want,” I told him.
“Good. Because Jojo is going to need someone when I’m gone. He’s going to need a best friend, so you be that for him and then some, okay?”
“Okay,” I said softly.
“He really likes you,” he said dreamily, as if he was drifting off to sleep. “He loves you, but he really likes you. That’s important for him. I really like you too, because you make him happy. When he told me he was falling in love with a man, I said, ‘Finally! What the fuck took you so long?'” I giggled and Jerry laughed as well.
“And he told us that you fell for him too, literally,” Jerry chimed in.
“Gaaaawd, that was so embarrassing,” I said covering my eyes with my hands.
“Well he found it amusing and endearing,” Randy said. “But if you ever get the security cam from that faceplant, just pass that along to us, please.” He was quiet for a while. I reached over and touched his soft curls. “Hmmm… keep doing that, Mikey.”
I giggled. “No one has ever called me Mikey. Mic sometimes, but not Mikey.”
“Yeah well, you’ll always be Mikey to me. Deal with it.” He was quiet, then said, “Your hands are soft. Like magic.”
Jerry glanced over and I thought he was going to be upset with me touching his husband but he smiled in amusement and looked back at the road. I continued to run my hands softly through his hair and asked him, “How long do you have?”
“Less than a year now,” he admitted. “I just want to make it to my birthday, July 4th. Going out on an odd number just doesn’t sit right with me. I just want to make it to 34.” Jerry shifted in his seat but stayed silent and stared at the road as Randy talked. “I haven’t told him yet. I will before he leaves this weekend.”
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