Fearing an End
Gene sighed as he walked into the bedroom of their house. This was it. The last room in the house he had to check. And Emmitt wasn’t here. He was supposed to be home. But he wasn’t.
He rubbed his free hand over his eyes. Gene shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, this wasn’t the first time in the last two months Emmitt wasn’t home when he should have been. If tonight was like the last few times, Emmitt would walk through the door in about an hour with a smile on his face and a take-out dinner bag in his hand. (Gene was useless in the kitchen, so Emmitt was always responsible for dinner.)
Emmitt always had a relatively good excuse for being late from work. A last minute dental emergency, a meeting with a vendor that he forgot to mention, traffic. And at first, Gene didn’t question anything. After all, everyone hits traffic every once in a while.
But lately, the excuses had become flimsier and Gene started to doubt. Doubt that Emmitt was being truthful. But that wasn’t even the worst part. No, the worst part was what Gene suspected Emmitt was doing.
Gene couldn’t believe he was even thinking about that. They had been together for five years. They bought this house together. Built a life together. Gene loved Emmitt with all his heart. He didn’t want to live without him.
But as Gene stared at the pictures on their bureau, he knew he couldn’t deny it for any longer. Looking at Emmitt’s smiling face from their last vacation in California was what really gave him pause. Emmitt never smiled at Gene like that anymore. He didn’t touch him or hold him without being asked. And even then it was a struggle. In fact, the only time Emmitt willingly smiled was when he was late coming home from work.
And then there was all of the secrecy. Emmitt used to be an open book, telling him everyone who called and e-mailed him. Almost to an obnoxious degree. But now Gene didn’t know anyone who Emmitt talked to. He password-protected his laptop and cell phone. They didn’t talk anymore.
Breaking his gaze on the picture, Gene finished getting changed, throwing a pair of grey sweatpants over his thin hips and worn orange T-shirt over his head. It wasn’t normally what he wore. He usually only wore sweatpants in he was sick. But he needed a little extra comfort right now.
Gene needed to confront Emmitt. He knew that. But it wasn’t that easy. Was he ready to give up everything that he had built with Emmitt for the last five years? Not really. But he couldn’t go on living like this. He had to know the truth. And Emmitt was going to give it to him.
“Gene. I’m home.”