I stood there, at our kitchen counter as I prepared dinner when I looked out the bay window and saw our adopted 16 year old son, Luke, sitting in the back yard on the swing with his new boyfriend, Matthew.
Well new meaning about two months now, and in High School, two months is almost a lifetime. Mind you, neither Rick nor I in any way tried to influence him toward any sexual orientation, our boy came out to us about a year ago.
The two of them look so much in love, looking at them my mind began to drift off back 20 years when Rick and I first met. We were both 16, same age as Luke and Matt, I wasn’t out yet. Hell, I had barely accepted the fact that I was gay myself.
I was sitting on a bench in our local park on a beautiful, warm, sunny Saturday afternoon. Alone in my thoughts, enjoying the sounds of children playing off in the distance, the occasional bird chirping, a dog barking off in the distance. It was a place I could go when I needed to think. Then, my reverie was broken by someone speaking to me…
“Excuse me, but do you mind if I sit with you?”
When I looked up I saw another boy. He looked to be about my age, and he was probably the most handsome person I had ever laid eyes on. I stared at him for probably a moment or two too long before finding my voice, shakily I replied, “Sure, please do.”
“I’m sorry for intruding but you looked so peaceful sitting here, and this is going to sound a bit weird, but I was drawn to you. It was like some unseen force was pulling me toward you. I’m Rick.”
He reached out his hand to shake mine and I looked into his eyes. He had the most amazing blue eyes you could ever imagine. Again after a moment too long, I finally extended my hand to him, his touch was magical. “I’m Marc have we ever met before?”
“I don’t think we’ve actually met, but I’ve seen you at school. Before I allow our meeting to get off on the wrong foot, I must admit I came here on purpose, to meet you.”
I will admit I was a little freaked out at this point. “But, how would you know I would be here? I’ve never told anyone about coming here before.”
He pointed across the park to a housing development on the far side. “I live over there, I’ve been coming to this park pretty much my entire life and I’ve noticed you here a few times over the past month or so. I would watch you from afar and wonder who you were, what you would be thinking about when you came here. Then, when I saw you at school, I knew I had to meet you, maybe get to know you, and become friends.”
I laughed nervously, but deep down I was flattered. We talked for about half an hour about school, our families, hopes and dreams. Just typical stuff, talking to him just felt so natural. That is until he kind of dropped a bomb on me.
“I guess there’s no easy way to say this so I guess I should get it out of the way before too much time goes by, I wouldn’t want you to think I was hiding something this important from you so early in our friendship.” He was looking a bit nervous as he looked me directly in they eye and said, “Marc, I hope this doesn’t end this friendship before it has a chance to begin, but… I’m gay.”
I looked at him for a long moment. I looked into his eyes and saw such pleading, such loneliness, compassion, and even a little of what I now know to be lust. The decision actually came easily to me, but even though I had only accepted it myself, I looked him in the eye and with a bit of hesitation, softly, almost in a whisper, replied, “I think I am too.”
Nearly a month had gone by, Rick and I had talked, had a couple of ‘dates’, things like going to get something to eat, go to a movie, even just walking through the park and getting to know one another. Slowly and deliberately we were drawn together, never once did he try to force me to do anything. It was actually kind of sweet. He was giving me the space to come to grips with my own sexuality without trying to force me into some mold he had in his mind.
In my reverie, I tried to think about what it was about him that turned the tide in my heart from thinking of him as a friend to thinking him of a boyfriend, and I think I’ve finally realized that I’d known all along.
On one of our days out, we were walking through the same park we’d met in, hand in hand. It was late afternoon and we were almost alone in the park. We stopped walking and he turned me to face him, I saw nothing but love in his eyes.
Breathlessly he whispered to me, “Marc, I am developing a very deep feeling for you and I don’t want you to feel in any way pressured, but, may I kiss you?”
My first kiss.
People say that first kisses are the most magical and they will stay with you for the rest of your life. Well, Rick’s kiss was all that… and more, where before there was confusion, afterward there was clarity. Where before there was fear, after there was confidence.
I could feel his love entering me through our mouths, prodded into me by his tongue as it gently and carefully entered my own, and it was there In his kiss that I knew, I would spend the rest of my life with him.
I came to realize that the song was right. As I came out of my reverie I happened to notice a song starting on the radio, it was an old one, but it was so true to Rick and I.
I could only hope our son could have as magical a life as we have these past 20 years.
With tears streaming down my face at the memory, I sang along with the radio.
Does he love me? I want to know.
How can I tell if he loves me so?
(Is it in his eyes?)
Oh no, you’ll be deceived
(Is it in his eyes?)
Oh no, he’ll make believe
If you want to know
(Shoop, shoop, shoop, shoop)
If he loves you so
(Shoop, shoop, shoop, shoop)
It’s in his kiss
(Thats where it is)
(It’s In His Kiss, Copyright 1964, Words by Rudy Clark)
As the song ended, Rick came into the kitchen. He saw me standing there crying and immediately came to me, wrapped me in his arms and kissed me.
After all this time, it’s still… In His Kiss.