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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2. Prom

A small town was easily distracted by small things, such a school dance. A school dance provided the community with fun, something to look forward to as well as money flowing from excited young girls to find the prettiest dress. With such a small town, there was a lot of buzz between parents about who would take who to the dance. It was that buzz that would nearly ruin the two. Looking back on it, James had many regrets. It seemed at the time such an important event to fight for. Now, it seemed so greatly unimportant in their lives. Prom is one of the biggest events in a teenagers life and is said it's a night that will live forever in your memory. It was true for James and Hunter, but not in a positive way.

 

The two had been seeing one another in secret for a few months before Prom was announced. The two had met at coffee shops outside of town, a janitors closet at school in between classes and back yard meets on either side of the fence. Their parents had told the two of them that they were not allowed to see one another in that capacity, however, the two made sure they could without their parents knowledge. At school, they would give one another tell all looks in the halls, and unfortunately, the other students were starting to pick up on them. James would get picked on more so than usual, being called a gay freak, a pussy, a wuss, a pretty boy among some of the least unfortunate terms thrown at him. Hunter as well was punished in the locker room, the word fag scrawled across his locker after one of his practices. As much discussion as they had, they both came to terms that this wouldn't be easy, and it would be well worth the pain in the end. Neither had a clue how bad it would get.

 

James' parents were equally concerned when James would return home from school in a foul mood. His grades were dropping drastically and he seemed to withdraw even further from his family. They had decided to bring him into counseling, which was the last thing James wanted in the world. His therapy sessions consisted of him sitting there with his hands folded in his lap, his thumbs flicking each other. He barely spoke a word and made no eye contact with the therapist. After a few months of this,  his parents finally gave up and withdrew him from therapy all together. It wasn't working, and it was a complete waste of money since James wouldn't comply. Hunter, of course, found this funny. Hunter at least had the parents who would rather yell at him and chain him to a chair, rather than take him to a therapist. Hunter also had the ability to keep his head above water in spite of all the harassment at school. 

 

When Prom was announced, Hunter and James had thought about not going at all. Hunter had a different idea on the matter however. He was always the one to make a stir for a point, and James was always the one to sit back and be silent. This time, James wouldn't have the opportunity to do so. The night of the announcement, James set off to his back yard with a blanket at the time he always did to discuss things with Hunter along the fence. It was a chilly night in spring, a crisp freshness to the air with the new buds growing on the trees and the snow finally melted on the ground. James laid the blanket down and laid on it, bringing his jacket in closer to him as he did. He was already shivering, but it didn't really matter to him much. Hunter was already present and spoke up pretty much as he as saw James lie down on the blanket.

 

"So, are you wearin' the dress to prom, or am I?" he said, a chortled laugh attached. James' eyes widened and he couldn't imagine Hunter was being serious about this. They hadn't come out at school, even with the rumor mill spinning rampantly around them. James looked over and laughed. "You. You're much prettier in pink than me." Hunter put his hands behind his head and shrugged a little, getting comfortable on the quilt he was laying on. Hunter was being serious though, and despite the laughing, he reached over and slipped one of the prom tickets under the fence. James looked at it momentarily, considering it. He wasn't sure how this would go over at school. Sighing a bit, he reached over and took the ticket, looking it over. He'd never thought he would go to prom and certainly never thought he'd go with Hunter. The moment that things started to go wrong with this plan was the moment James internally asked the question of what could possibly go wrong.

 

A few weeks had passed and James and Hunter both purchased their tuxes. When either of their parents had asked who they were taking, each lied and chose a girl. The fact was, the boys went to pick up the girls. They knew their parents wouldn't find out so what was the harm? At school, Hunter and James when putting their names on the official prom list put that they were going stag. Somehow, both knew and understood the ramifications of putting their names down as a couple this early. There was so much to go into hiding themselves that when the night finally came, it was almost a relief to not have to be so dishonest with everyone anymore. Hunter was feeling all right with everything, while James was silently freaking out. 

 

The plan for the night was to go to Marcelle's for a nice dinner, paid for by Hunter. What they didn't count on, so early in the evening, was the fact that pretty much every other prom goer also had reservations to eat at Marcelles. The moment they both walked into the restaurant, without a girl on their arms, people started to stare and snicker. Truth be told, James didn't want to stay. All of this excessive attention was taking away from the night and it had barely started. Hunter was adamant that they stay and not allow the looks to ruin the evening as planned. He used the excuse that they would have to spend the evening together at prom, how is this any different? Nervously, James agreed and sat down with Hunter at a table set for two, trying desperately to ignore the attention the two were getting. The whispers, the looks, the hushed laughs, somehow when he looked at Hunter, none of that mattered. They were together, on prom night. It could still be perfect.

 

After the eventful dinner, they headed to Prom with anxious excitement. It would be a night of dancing, having fun with one another and able to do it without hiding who they were. This would be the first time they would be able to be themselves out in public. The hope was that if they had any trouble with anyone, there were enough teachers present as well as the principals. They had no idea when they walked in with proud smiles on their faces, this would not be the case. Hunter and James showed their tickets to the students at the table as they held hands, and the students made no move to take the tickets at all. Hunter shook his in their face and still, they wouldn't take it. "I'm sorry..." said Bridgett, the pep club president. "I can't let you guys in as a couple...". Her face showed genuine disappointment and in spite of that, Hunter angrily revolted. "Why then, did y'sell us the tickets? That's discrimination. Y'can't keep us from goin' in! The hell's wrong with you!?" James sighed and gave his hand a squeeze, leaning over to him to speak. "Hunter...let's just....cut the loss and go home." Hunter growled and turned to James, shaking his head. "Hell no! I paid for these damn things and we're gon' enjoy the prom like everyone else here." It wasn't long before the principal came into the mix, standing behind the two girls at the ticket table. He had a stern look upon his aged face, gray hair slicked back as he stood straight and with confidence. "For your safety, for the integrity of the school, we can't allow you to come to prom as a couple." Both Hunter and James stared at him with disbelief. How could the leader of the school be so closed minded, so judgmental and cruel? Weren't the people of the administration supposed to show the students what tolerance was and all that jibberish? Apparently not. James kept trying to pull Hunter from the table, but Hunter stood his ground. "F'my safety? Y'realize that most of y'students are drunk and drivin' home tonight? How many sets of keys have y'taken from those kids for 'their' safety? Y'handin' out condoms to the hetero couples plannin' on losin' their virginity t'night as well? For our safety......that's BULLSHIT!" he yelled. At this point the principal asked the girls to move to the other table across the lobby. James again pulled at Hunter's hand, but this time, Hunter completely pulled his hand from James' grip, pointing at the principal as he kept on yelling.

 

James knew this was bad, and it would be worse if the police were called, and eventually their parents. They weren't allowed to see each other as friends. How in hell would their parents react to the fact the two of them were trying to go to prom as a couple? James literally grabbed Hunter by the tux sleeve and dragged with all of his might to get him out of there. He was successful and once outside, James looked at Hunter as sternly as the principal had. "We'll have our own prom somewhere, okay? Just....if they call our parents....". Hunter gave James a look that was asking what the hell James was thinking, but when he felt James' hand trembling around his wrist, he backed down, giving a little nod followed with a frustrated and defeated sigh. "Okay.....fine...but this ain't done. This is bullshit."

 

As much as James completely agreed with it, this wasn't the night to pick the battle. It was obvious this whole coming out situation was going to be harder than they anticipated. Giving a small and quick kiss to Hunter's cheek, he gave a smile and squeezes his wrist. "Let's grab the car and go to the lake, turn the radio up, we can have our own spotlight dance with no one seeing how beautiful it is. Their loss." Hunter just smirked and shook his head, putting an arm around James' shoulders, leading them to the car.

 

The boys got their spotlight dance. They both danced slow, in each others arms underneath the moonlight. As lame as the situation, they couldn't have asked for a better night. The stars twinkled above them as a cool breeze went through their shirts, bringing them closer and closer for warmth. The water lightly lapped against the shoreline and the zagging reflection of the moonlight created the perfect back drop.

 

This would be the first time Hunter and James would say the three words every couple wants to be said. 

"I love you", Hunter whispered into James ear. 

"I love you too..." James responded, landing a precious kiss onto Hunter's lips.

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