I just ran and ran as tears ran down my face. The cold wind was like having somebody smack my face repeatedly. I couldn’t believe James was a gay. I mean I have nothing against homosexuals. I was mainly angry at him for not telling me this little secret of his. We told each other everything, like how he hated playing football. He only joined the team because that’s the only way he could get father’s attention. I was furious with mother. She was cheating on dad again and now with Mr. Quinn. If the neighbors ever got a whiff of my brother’s and mother’s secret it would be the end of us. What a tragedy? When I got home, Clarisse, our nanny, was waiting for me in the living room. She was so angry that I had left without telling her where I was going.
“Where you’ve been?!” Clarisse screamed at me.
“Out for a run…I needed some air,” I said.
“I was so scared. You should have told me you were going out.” Clarisse responded
“I’m sorry,” I mumbled as I ran up the stairs to my bedroom. I was having a panic attack. My life would be over if the word got out that my brother was a gay and my mother was a home-wrecker. Our family would be shamed and we would lose our place and status. I couldn’t let that happen. I just couldn’t. I had to keep us safe; I had to keep my family’s secrets safe. No one could ever know. Suddenly, I heard a noise coming from outside my window. I went to see what all the ruckus was about. As I peered out my window I saw a tall muscular figure trying to get into the basement. I poked my head out to see better and I saw that it was a woman. Well, it looked like a woman. She had long reddish brown hair and was wearing a red sequin dress and black stiletto heels. She had some huge feet, I thought. Then, I put my hand over my mouth in shock when I saw her face. It was not a she but a he; and that he was my father! He climbed into the left backside window that leads into the basement. I don’t think he saw me, though. I backed into my room again and threw myself on my queen sized bed.
“Oh my God!” I screamed. My father is a drag queen! This day couldn’t get any weirder. I bet those were my mother’s shoes. Those must have been her new Manolo Blahniks. He was eying them when she brought them from the store last week. I thought it was weird but didn’t really pay any mind to it. We all have big feet. My mother and father have the same shoe size 12. I couldn’t believe what I had seen tonight. I felt like I was in a twilight zone episode or in a circus.
“Please let this be all a bad dream,” I said to no one in particular.
“Hey, honey,” I heard someone say and I turned to see my father standing by the door with a big smile on his face. He still had some red lipstick on his lips which he failed to completely wipe off. I wondered as I looked at him; how could a guy like him be a drag queen? He drives motorcycles for God’s sake! I still couldn’t believe I just saw my father dressed like a girl.
“Hi, dad,” I smiled.
“What have you been up to dear?” he said.
“Nothing much; just went out for a run.” I responded.
“Good girl,” he smiled. “Well, I’m beat sweetie. Rough night at the clinic, you know. I’m off to bed. Have a good night, honey.”
“Night, dad,” I said. I heard him walk to his room and close the door. A few minutes’ later mom and James came home. Mom went straight to bed and yelled goodnight to James and I. James came into my room while I was eating my pain by way of a bowl of cookie dough vanilla ice cream drowned in whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
“What’s up?” James asked me. I didn’t even look at him. I just kept stuffing my face with ice cream.
“Hey Lisa, What’s going on?” he questioned.
“I saw you. I saw you with that man.” I responded in a harsh whisper. His eyes shot wide like he had just seen a ghost. Abruptly, he drew closer to me and lowered his face close to mine.
“You can’t tell anybody,” he whispered. He was so scared. I felt so bad for him because if kids at school found out he was a gay his life would be over. They will beat him up or worse.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked James.
“I was going to tell you but I needed to be sure….” His voice wandered off. He then told me how he had been dating the man I saw him with for five years now and that he thought he was the one.
“Five years, James, Five?!” I screamed. “Where did you meet this guy?” I asked. James went on to tell me that they met at this gay club downtown when he was 14 years old.
“His name is Mark,” James said to me. “I love him, Lisa. Dad can never know about this. He will freak especially when he finds out that I’m dating his protégé.”
“Mark!” I screamed. “You’re dating Mark Beyer?!” Mark Beyer was our father’s main man at the clinic. Mark was father’s assistant. There would be blood if dad found at Mark was sticking it to his son. James and I didn’t speak for a while. We just sat there on my bed. Then out of nowhere James grabbed my arm and said, “We’re getting married, Lisa.” I fainted.