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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3. Two Roads Diverged

There's much to be said about homophobia. There's much to be said about a world of people who cannot accept something as radiant and beautiful as love. James and Hunter after prom, were thrown into a tornado of hatred. Whether it came from the quiet student who gave a look of disdain in the hallway, to the loud jock who makes it known he doesn't accept the team "fag". It comes from a mother who cannot accept their child as they are, to a grandfather who tells the grandson he is a disgusting human in need of the Lord. Only few in the little town, didn't join the leaders of the hate. Those select few, in the eyes of James and Hunter, were angels. They didn't need to hear that they were supported. All it took of knowing was someone giving them a small secret smile, or not joining in the jeers.

Hunter's reign on the team had come to a close. The coach did his best to protect the team's integrity as well as the team from ridicule. Hunter however was not protected. The moment that all became clear was the day his uniform no longer sat in his locker in the gym. He sat there for quite a while, peering inside and wondering if it had just been stolen. Making his way into the gym however, he realized that wasn't the case. The coach as well as the entire team turned their heads to look at Hunter as he entered the gym, like he was interrupting rather than part of the practice. Even Hunter, as strong as he'd been in all of this, realized what a mistake they had made. This was no longer a fight for their love, this was a losing battle that they were never going to win.

James too had problems.His popularity soared, but to a dangerous level and not for a positive reason. The looks in the hallway became shoves into the lockers, the mere laughs became full of anger jeers directed at his sexuality. He was tripped down stairs, shoved into walls, ignored. The only person that seemed to be on his side was the drama teacher, who James could only assume too was gay. The drama club treated him fine as well, as long as it was behind doors. In the halls and in public, if you were on the side of the coined gay couple, you were basically no better than the subject of the hatred. It was a sad, depressing and lonely realization for the two, even with the love they shared.

Their parents had conducted meetings between the two to figure out which would move so it wouldn't happen again. Hunter's parents were the most vocal about wanting to wash Hunter's stained reputation, the ones who had decided the situation was unacceptable enough for them to move. Hunter was good enough at his sport to be able to get sports scholarships. Since he wasn't allowed on the team any longer, he would not receive any. That meant no college for Hunter. He'd have to earn his own way through by working at his father's mechanics shop. 

James' parents again wanted to try counselling, but somewhere in all this mess, his mother realized that this wasn't just a choice for James, it was something he couldn't help. She'd caught him cutting a few times, and James' depression about it all was getting out of control. His grades were near the point of being un-fixable and James had nothing. He never was as strong as Hunter, and full well tried to tell him so. There was a part of James that wanted to give up completely on the whole matter. He'd always be looked at as the gay kid, never be respected, taunted. Hunter tried to talk to him, tried to tell him that things would get better. To James however, nothing ever would. The world seemed more cruel, more intolerant than he'd ever seen it. Where homosexuality was being accepted, he lived in an old school small town that couldn't be accepting of any certain change. It seemed, at least here, that tradition was the most important piece of their town's history. James and Hunter would never be tradition.

 

The parents, as well, were getting their own taunts and jeers. The mechanic's shop that Hunter's father owned was going broke. No one wanted to send their cars to be fixed by the "gay kid's" dad. This fueled the decision to move. Hunter was, of course, devastated. As it were, at least, they'd had school to pass a note in the hallway or meet in the bathroom. Those moments were becoming hard to come by, but there were still moments there. They loved each other, and despite the hate they received by other students and teachers for being what they were, underneath they loved one another deeply and were completely determined not to allow hatred to break them apart. That only lasted so long. As the year finally came to end, after planning ways to see one another over the summer months, the proverbial bomb dropped. After moving across town, with the mechanics shop going under, Hunter's father told them they were moving out of the state completely, to the other side of the country. There would be no summer plans, there would be no secret kisses. There would be nothing. Hunter asked for only one thing; to see James one last time to say goodbye. His parents were undoubtedly against the idea, but they figured after this, Hunter and James wouldn't speak again. 

 

They chose a spot a town over to meet in a wooded area, so they knew they would be alone. The sun set over the spot they met as Hunter nervously paced waiting for James to come. He didn't know the right way to tell him, nor did he know how to keep James on the up, knowing how depressed he'd been. He could only hope, only pray, that if he left, James would be okay and be less tortured. Hunter waited hours and hours, pacing, sitting, pacing again and finally, 10 minutes before his curfew was to end, he got into his car and left. Why hadn't he come? Taking the scenic route home, it was about twenty minutes into the drive that he saw the police lights. Slowing, he started looking around to see the accident. There wasn't a car, there wasn't anything. All he saw was a bicycle and a pool of blood. It wasn't just a regular bike, it was James'. Screeching to a halt, Hunter got out of the car and ran over to the police officers who were just finishing up. "HEY!" he called, running up to the sheriff. "That's James' b-bike" he stuttered. 

 

The sheriff sighed and looked over at him, giving a small nod. "He was found by a car passing by. I don't know who yet, but someone attacked him with what I can only imagine was a baseball bat." The sheriff pointed to the bike and you could see that there were dings on the metal, as well as a broken piece of wood off what looked to be a baseball bat next to the blood. 

 

Hunter could barely breathe. He saw the blood and started trembling. This was his fault. He was the one who had insisted on prom. None of this would have happened if he'd have just listened to James. Wiping a hand down his face, he turned away from the sheriff and his face started to quiver, tears starting to well up. "Is....h-h-he....-", he said, voice shaking. "Is h-he d-dead....." he inquired, turning towards the sheriff again. Hunter almost didn't want to hear the answer. No answer, alive or dead, would ever fix what was done. His heart sank into his stomach at the thought of James getting his head bashed in, and he was angry. He wanted to kill. 

 

The sheriff shook his head and closed is notepad, motioning for the other officers scattered about to finish up. He then made his way over to Hunter and sighed. "No, which is a miracle. He's at St. Bernadette's. He had some pretty bad head trauma, they bashed in his ribs pretty bad. Depending on how bad the head injury is....well, that'll determine the most."

 

Without a word, Hunter spun on his feet and ran back to his car, and he just drove. He thought of everything they'd been through, realizing it was his crime. He realized that tomorrow, they would be moving, and he'd never see James again until they were eighteen. Even if James was conscious, how could he tell him after all of this, that he had to leave? His jaw ticked as he realized he'd be leaving without being able to say goodbye. He couldn't see him, not like this. He didn't want to remember James in this way. He wanted to remember his smile, his cologne, his laugh and the most beautiful eyes he'd ever seen in his life. It was the hardest decision he'd ever make, to drive past the hospital with tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat, to his driveway. 

 

That night, he sat down with a piece of paper and a pen, and wrote a letter to James. With his parents at the hospital, he drove to their house and slipped inside. He wasn't sure that he ever wanted James to read it, but he just wanted to make sure there was a chance. He lifted up a board under James' bed that James kept his letters from Hunter. He made sure that a tiny little piece of the letter stuck through the board. 

 

When the moving truck pulled away the next morning, a tear fell down his face. He wasn't sure if he and James would find each other again. He knew he'd wait for him, he'd wait for fate to say that yes, they were supposed to be together. Until then, he'd wait patiently. He'd always wait for his James.

 

 

 

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