End of Love

This story follows the love of two men, who found each other and fell in love. Tragedy strikes and the main character looks back on the love they had, the fights, the hard time they had being together because they were gay. The story is set in a fictional small town in the Midwest. The love the two have, the troubles they face, prove that love conquers all.

James, the main character, goes back through each chapter to look back on the relationship he had with Hunter. He tries to look at the worth of all the heartbreak of being gay in a small town, and having the love they shared over so quickly.

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1. Fortunate Son

     A tie seemed simple enough to pick out. For normal people, a tie seemed simple enough, but not today for James. He stared into the unlit closet, peering in where the sun hit just a few of the ties that lined the back. The sunlight peeking

through brightly shone on two ties in particular; a red tie and blue. These two ties were the first two he had ever worn on

his dates. The tiniest smile creeped onto his pale and solemn face as he shakily reached forward, rubbing both ties

between his fingers. If spirits existed, he wouldn't put it past Hunter to bend sunlight, picking out a simple tie for him. It's

what he did. James hadn't been the type to wear a tie, but either was Hunter. The difference was, as much of a manly

man as Hunter could be, somehow he had better fashion sense than James. Where James was comfortable in a tee

shirt and jeans, Hunter wanted to look casual, but still sophisticated. He certainly didn't want to try too hard. 

 

     Those thoughts crossed James' mind as he decided on the blue tie, slowly picking it out of the closet and putting it

loosely around his neck. He then noticed the sweat and sighed, grabbing a tissue out of the box on the oak dresser

. Wiping the sweat away, he closed the closet door with his foot and peered into full length mirror. He looked old, like he

aged 30 years from yesterday. His eyes were red and puffy, he looked pale and tired. The man honestly hadn't had more

then 4 hours of sleep over the last two days. Messing with his hair, he tried to at least appear acceptable. Right now, that

seemed an impossible task. Just as he had gotten his hair where he wanted it, a breeze came through the window

messing with his previous work. James simply shook his head and put it back in place again. He then noticed a tear fall

down his right cheek and onto his crisp white shirt, as his mind started to wander back.

 

1999

     "Ya hair looks like it's gon' scrub some pots and pans. Y'know that, right?" Hunter said, browsing through some

baseball caps. "No hat's gon' make that fact disappear." James simply shook his head and laughed, browsing through

some sports logo caps a few feet away from Hunter, placing one on to see how it looked. "You're just jealous of my frock,

country boy." Hunter was originally from Texas, and even though he'd lived in Brocksville, Iowa for more than half his life,

that drawl never left, nor did the country boy ideals. James moved some of his thick blonde curls into the hat and looked

over at Hunter, who was of course checking out a stereotypical cowboy hat. Hunter placed a dark brown hat with a small

blue and grey feather on the front on his head, and looked back to James. "If I had that hair in Texas, I'd be called a sissy

pretty boy. Ain't jealous in the least, man." 

 

     The two of them had been friends since middle school. When Hunter had moved in next door, it was great for James.

There weren't a lot of kids in the neighborhood for him to chum with. They met when Hunter was playing in the back yard

and kicked a soccer ball over the fence into James' yard. When James brought it back over, the two started to talk and

that was it.  The two rarely spent time apart. Since they lived in such a small town, they always had the same classes.

That was, up until high school. Remington High was comprised of three different small towns in one school, smack dab

in the middle of the all the towns. It was the first time James and Hunter had started to make new friends. After a while, it

became a rarity for them to hang out at each other's places, except for the occasional help with homework, or to catch

each other laying on a blanket out in their yards, staring at the stars in the middle of the night.

 

 

     It wasn't until around Junior year that things started to change. The two, themselves, started to change. Each was

figuring out that they weren't the same as all the other guys. Neither really had interest in girls and neither were insanely

interested in sports. Hunter tried wrestling and baseball, but he did it so he could fit in. Whereas James, he studied and

was a mathlete. Somehow, the two realized how much an outsider each were, and that' when everything started to

change for the two of them. They became utterly inseparable once again. It was different this time though. Everything felt

a little more clear, a little less stable, and more confusing than ever. It was something, at first, neither could figure out,

until much later.

 

     "Come here..." Hunter said, motioning for James to come by him. James of course listened and started over, stopping

about a foot away from him. Hunter hesitantly reached up and started to gently tuck the hair into James' cap, his breath

hitting James' cheek, neck and chin. This was the moment, the important moment, that James first realized this

relationship was no longer a friendship. This relationship was heeding homosexual feelings for his best friends. In a

church town where the older women wore hats and Sunday church dresses, this wasn't all right. "What the fuck are you

doing?" James reacted, swatting Hunter's hand. Not only were they in a store, there were other people in the store,

looking in their direction. Hunter just had a horrified look on his face, like he was just caught masturbating by his mother

walking into his bedroom unannounced. "I was fixin' that dang frock so y'don't look like a fricken woman. Chill it." Hunter

walked away and went back to browsing, but James couldn't forget that look on his face. He was half wondering if while

doing that, Hunter had felt what he had. In all respects, Hunter had much more to lose personally, than James if he were

gay. Not that it made anything easier. 

 

     Later that evening, James and Hunter were both watching the starts out in their back yards after dinner. James could

faintly hear whistling on the other side of the fence, which told him Hunter was there. The air was clear, crisp and there

was a slight breeze in the air. The stars were so beautiful, it looked as though God himself had hung them all perfectly

and artistically in the sky, just for this one night. The whistling suddenly stopped as Hunter cleared his throat. His voice

carried over to James on the other side of the fence. "I know y'felt it too." There was a substantial amount of silence

between the statement and the answer, as James stared up at the stars, almost afraid to answer back. He was fully

aware of what Hunter meant, but he was afraid. "Wh-what." he said, quietly, not looking over to the gaps in between the

fencing. There was another significant pause before another throat clear sounded. "Neither of us ever took out a girl. As

far as I can tell, neither of us were ever that interested in doing that at all." James finally looked over and peered through

the gaps, catching a small glimpse of Hunter's face. The moonlight was hitting just right, as a glint of something slid

down Hunter's face. Furrowing his brows, James crawled a little closer to the fence, sitting down and staring at it.

"Maybe.....maybe I just don't have time with all the studying..." A huff and a laugh sounded from the other side as Hunter

sat up and shook his head. "Oh come on, man. Y'got all pissed off at the store because I was touchin' your face, and

y'realized that y'liked it". 

 

     James sat there for quite some time, staring at a bent blade of grass in the lawn. They both sat there in silence for

quite some time, neither wanting to break it for what was going to be the most awkward talk of their life. Not that it wasn't

already awkward, it just wasn't at a prime level of awkwardness it was most definitely going to become if either opened

their mouth to speak. James never was the kind to know these social cues or know when to shut up. He stood up and

put his hands along the top of the fence and peeked over the top, peering down at Hunter. "What if I did...." he started,

taking a deep breath. "like it....that is...". Hunter slowly looked up at James with a surprised look on his face, almost one

of complete surprise that what he said was right. "I'd tell you....I liked touching you."

 

 

Present day

 

     The voice of his mother's heels clanking against the wooden stairs were heard as he fumbled with trying to tie his tie.

Shortly after, he heard a knock sound at the door, and a gentle squeak of it opening. "James....?" a quiet voice said,

peeking through the door. "It's almost time to go.". The woman came in, without invite, wearing a black dress with a lace

collared shirt. Her salt and pepper gray hair was pulled perfectly back in a bun as gold earrings dangled gently against

her neck. James looked over, eyes puffy, looking aged, and his lips quivered a little. "I c-c-can't......I can't tie my tie.....I

need to wear a tie....". His mother came over and offered a warm smile, grabbing the ends of the tie and tying them

together. "You know...your father didn't know how to tie one of these either." She gently finished it and patted the knot with her hand after giving a deep breath. "There you go. You look nice, James...". 

 

 

      As James glanced in the mirror, for a moment, he thought he saw Hunter behind him, staring back at him. It took his

breath away and he looked over his shoulder. There was no one there, of course, except for his mother. She looked at

him with concern. She wasn't always accepting of this relationship, not until the past few months to be honest. It wasn't

until James started talking of marriage, of moving away from the town to get away from the unacceptance of his friends,

family and townspeople, that she finally realized how serious the two were. They had a long conversation with one

another where she offered James and Hunter her blessing. It was one of the best days of James' life. He looked over at

her and she put her arms out, offering her son a hug he looked like he so desperately needed. "He would think you look

handsome, James.....and he loved you...." James looked back at her, a tear rolling down his face, realizing how blessed

he had turned out be. Despite the hard road it took to get to this place, he was here. He knew more than anything, Hunter

would be proud of this moment.

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