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To the readers: I’m asking for a great deal of forgiveness on this one. My openoffice program seems to crash every time I run spell check now so if things slip by, my apologies.
Gabe stepped off the train onto the Dobbs Ferry platform and stood for a minute as if not sure what came next. A crowd of people rushed around him and disappeared into the night, heading to their cars or home or both. He sighed and pulled his bags after him as he made his way toward the parking lot. A voice caught his attention and he saw Darren waiting for him just up ahead. Darren rushed up and pulled him into a bear hug when he got closer.
“How are you doing?” He asked.
“I watched the man I love get married to a woman today.” Gabe said, returning the embrace. “I don’t think I’m doing so well.”
“Let’s get you home. We’ll have a nice cup of tea and bitch about men. Tomorrow we’ll get you all settled.” Darren said, leading Gabe toward his Honda.
“I know it’s a little late in asking, but you’re sure Phil’s ok with all of this?” Gabe asked.
“He’s totally ok with this. He’s got a huge list of people looking for accountants and he’s even marked those he thinks you should work for with little stars.” Darren laughed.
“That’s nice of him.” Gabe said. “He seems like a great guy.”
“He is.” Darren said and couldn’t help the stars in his eyes. “The best.”
“I’m happy for you.” Gabe smiled weakly.
“No, you’re not sweetie. You’re hurting and in pain and want to kick my teeth in for having a relationship that you think you’ll never have.” Darren reached out and took Gabe’s hand.
“I don’t!” Gabe tried to deny it.
“Trust me, I’ve been there. I know how it feels, especially when you see two people in love and you get that nasty feeling in your stomach. But you will find a good man, one who loves you like you deserve to be loved.”
“I don’t know, Darren. I think I just want to be done with the whole thing.”
“I know. You’re feeling sorry for yourself and a little bitter. Not that you don’t have a reason to, but let it go as soon as you can. You won’t move on till you do.”
Darren and Gabe rode in silence and finally pulled up in front of a beautiful Victorian house just outside of town. Though it was dark Gabe could see enough by the street lights to be impressed.
“What did you say Phil does for a living?” Gabe asked as he took in the house. Darren laughed.
“It’s gorgeous, right? I loved it the moment I saw it. He’s an Investment Banker. He takes money from people, makes them more money. Luckily for me, cause I don’t make nearly enough on my salary to keep us here. If I were supporting us we’d be living in an apartment or back upstate, God forbid.”
Darren led the way into the house and called out to Phil that they were home. A group of dogs came to greet them, yapping and barking. They were a mixed and matched set of dogs who at best could only be described as mutts. Darren bent and rubbed each one’s head.
“Wow.” Gabe said. “You’ve got dogs.”
“Yeah.” Darren said, laughing. “We rescued each from the pound before they were put to sleep. We couldn’t just leave them there. We went looking for one dog and landed up bringing home three. Then we kept thinking of the other ones just waiting to die and went back for more. Phil finally put his foot down after ten. We’ve got a big yard so it’s not so bad.”
“That’s cool.” Gabe said and looked up as Phil came into the room.
“Hey baby.” He said and kissed Darren’s cheek. “Hey Gabe. Welcome.”
“Phil, I don’t know what to say. You’re so great to do this for me and let me invade your home. I’ll be out as soon as I can.”
“Gabe, it’s not a problem. Don’t worry about it. Stay as long as you need to and don’t rush. Really. My home is your home.” Phil said and took Gabe’s bag from him. “Honey, why don’t you show Gabe around and I’ll put his bag in his room.”
“Thanks, babe.” Darren said and pulled Gabe along for a tour.
The inside of the house was just as beautiful as the outside and Gabe was awe struck as he followed Darren around. When they finally came to the room he’d be staying in, Gabe felt humbled by the generosity of his friends. He felt like his entire apartment could have fit inside the room, not mentioning the private bath.
“We’ve eaten already but if you’re hungry I can make you something.”
“Thanks Darren, I ate before I got on the train.” It was a lie but Gabe didn’t feel very hungry at the moment.
“Well, if you get hungry what ever’s downstairs is fair game, except the Cracker Jacks. Phil has an addiction and we’re working on it.”
“Got it. You know, you guys seem great together.” Gabe said, as he started unpacking.
“We are.” Darren admitted, honestly. “I sometimes can’t believe I found him.”
“How long have you guys been together?”
“It’s been six years, no, seven years this July.”
“Wow. That’s amazing. That’s what I want.”
“You’ll have it. You just have to find the man that’s right for you.” Darren sat on the edge of the bed. “Do you want to talk casino oyna about it?”
“What’s to talk about? I fell in love with someone who was experimenting with his homosexuality and when his parents said that he’d better marry or he wouldn’t get the company, he chose a woman and the company over me.”
“He’s a scumbag.”
“Well, that scumbag got married today.”
“I take that back.” Darren said. “He’s an asshole scumbag who should be shot and tortured.”
“I really don’t care. I just need to pick up the pieces of my life and move on. We were only together for a little while. I don’t know why I’m getting so upset over it.”
“Honey, love just comes. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, you can’t measure it. If you were in love then your heart was involved and that’s never easy.” Darren stood and gave Gabe a big hug. “You’ll get through this. Till then, I’m here for you whenever you need me and you stay for as long as you like. I’m really excited having the company.”
“Thanks, Darren. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this.”
“Then don’t. It’ll only irritate me.” Darren headed toward the door but turned around before leaving. “Oh and when you’re ready we have some really nice guys we’d like you to meet.”
Gabe started work on his life the next day. Phil had left the list he made of companies looking for an accountant on the kitchen table and Gabe scanned through it over his morning coffee. He had copies of his resume and sent them out to almost everyone on the list. He prayed that he would soon have a job and be able to give Darren and Phil back their peace and quiet, though he did do his best to be an appreciative guest and help out when he could. Not having a car, Gabe would take long walks around the area, and despite the fact that there were quite a few parks, preferred sitting on the benches down by the Hudson River. He was there one day, staring out over the calm water, enjoying the warm early summer day when an elderly black woman came over.
“Do you mind?” She asked.
“Do you mind if I sit?”
“Oh, no. By all means.” Gabe said and scooted over a little to make room.
“Thank you. You looked like you had something on your mind. I didn’t want to disturb you by sitting on your bench.”
“That’s all right. They’re city benches. They’re for everyone.”
“They are,” She said, nodding. “But you get awfully proprietorial about them. Don’t you, Gabriel?”
“I’m sorry, have we met?” Gabe asked.
“Of course we have. It hasn’t been so long since we’ve talked that you could forget me so easily.” She said and Gabe felt a shimmer of recognition crawl up his back.
“I’m new to the area and I don’t know anyone around here. I’m sorry, ma’am but I don’t know you.” He said, stubbornly.
“You don’t recognize me because the last time we spoke I was a man, but you know me.”
“No, I really don’t.” Gabe stood and started to walk away.
“Gabe, people talk to God everyday. Are you really going to pass up another chance to hear him talk back simply because I don’t look like I used to?”
“No!” Gabe said, spinning around. “This is a trick. You and the other guy got together and are punking me or something. You’re just actors.”
“No one is punking you. I’m simply trying to make you see a larger truth.” She said.
“Why are you doing this to me? If you really are God, why me?”
“Because out of everyone in this world, you’re the one who needs it most. Besides, you’re not the only one I speak to like this. Not everyone who says they see and talk to God are crazy.”
“If you’re God, what was the last thing I said to you?”
“Are you asking me to prove myself to you? Again?” She said with a smirk.
“Well, that would clinch it, right? That would make me a believer.”
“I seem to remember telling you that I’m not here to impress you.”
“Yeah, the other guy would have said something pretty similar. I have to admit, you have your schtick down pat but I don’t really have time for whatever kind of joke you’re playing. Good bye.” Gabe turned to leave again.
“The last thing you said to me was `well, still. I’m sorry’.” God watched Gabe turn and slowly walk back toward her.
“Why did I say that?” Gabe asked in a whisper.
“You were apologizing for throwing me out of your apartment building. I told you it was all right, that I understood.” Gabe sat down next to her.
“Let’s say I’m going to go along with this, simply for morbid curiosity’s sake. What now?”
“What comes next?” Gabe clarified.
“Oh. Well, a question, I think.”
“What are you going to do now?” God asked.
“Don’t you know?” Gabe asked and God sighed.
“Yes, I do. I know every choice you’ve ever made and everyone you ever will.”
“Then what’s the point?”
“Because you don’t. You don’t know what choice you’ll make.”
“So you’re here to help me find out what choice I’ll make?”
“I’m here talking to you. I’m here for you so why do you find it so hard to believe I’m here to help canlı casino you?”
“Because you never seem to help me. You always give me vague riddles and tiny clues and I’m sick of it. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t have a job, I’m living off the kindness of friends, and I’m alone. I don’t know what the fuck to do next.” God nodded.
“Which one bothers you the most?”
“Your vague riddles and tiny clues.” Gabe answered, petulantly which made God laugh.
“That’s just my way, though. I can’t give you the answers. It’d be cheating. I can only suggest a direction and if your heart feels it’s right to go that way, then you’ll follow it. Now really, which of your complaints bothers you the most?”
“I guess being dependent on Darren and Phil.”
“Darren and Phil offered to take you in and help you get started in a new place, didn’t they?”
“They’re not poor by any means, are they?”
“They’ve told you not to worry and to stay as long as you’d like?”
“Then that’s just pride talking. You’re not used to depending on others and you feel it makes you less in other people’s eyes. Everyone needs help from time to time, Gabe. Take them at their world and let them help you for now. You’ll get your opportunity to pay them back. Let’s see what you said, `you never seem to help me’. Do you believe that?” God asked.
“No. You kinda help.”
“Well, despite your enthusiasm, I’ll take that as you didn’t mean it. I’ll over look my `vague riddles and tiny clues’, that’s just how I roll, as you young kids say. What’s left?”
Gabe thought over what he had said and felt a blush creep up his face. In someway he prayed that she was God because to confess this to a total stranger playing a trick on him would be mortifying.
“That I’m alone.”
“Yes. Does that really bother you?”
“Yes. I want someone to be with. I’ve been alone for a long time now.”
“You were with Ethan.”
“Ethan left me for a woman! I was at their wedding! I watched them take vows promising to love and cherish and forsake all others till death do them part! I don’t really think Ethan was `with’ me.”
“I was there too. It was a beautiful ceremony.”
“Did he mean it?”
“Did he mean his vows?”
“Yes.” Gabe asked, hating himself for his need to know. “Did he?”
“You know I can’t answer. That’s between he and I.”
“See? What good are you? You’re supposed to know everything and you can’t even tell me if the man I love meant his wedding vows.”
“Imagine if the position was reversed and Ethan sat where you do now asking if you meant the vows. Would you want me to answer?”
“I guess not.” Gabe sighed. “He was what I wanted and I thought he wanted me.”
“What do you want now, Gabe?”
“I want to be happy. I want to be complete.”
“And the only way you’ll be complete is with another man?”
“I know I’m supposed to say no, but that’s how I feel. That I need someone to love who loves me.”
“You’re not supposed to say anything but the truth and if that’s your truth than it’s a good one.”
“But all the psychobabble out there says that we’re supposed to be complete by ourselves and then find love.”
“To be complete one simply has no desires, wants or needs left in this world. They have no need for money or material things. They have no desire for anyone. Their love comes from within, not without. It is a beautiful state of being which takes lifetimes to achieve. You’re not quite there yet. There is nothing wrong with imaging yourself with a special person, sharing your lives together.”
“Will I have that?”
“If you want it and work for it.” God stood and picked her purse up from the bench.
“You’re leaving already?”
“I am. I have some things to attend to and you have a message to receive. But we’ll talk again.”
Gabe watched her walk off and then headed back to the house. Darren was in the kitchen cooking when he walked in the door.
“Hey, how was your day?” Gabe asked.
“Great. How was yours?”
“Could have been better. I haven’t heard from anyone I sent applications to yet.”
“You will.” Darren said. “Oh, I have news. I realized that you didn’t have a car so we got you one.”
“It’s just a loaner. Our friend was going to put it out for sale and we thought you could use it for a little while till you get something for yourself. It’s for sale, so if you like it you can even buy it. Just think of it as test driving.”
“You guys are too much.” Gabe said. “Taking me in and getting me a car to use.”
“Well, we didn’t buy it for you.”
“But you would if I need you to, right?”
“Thank you for doing it and no, I don’t need you to help buy me a car. As soon as I get a job, I should be able to afford car payments and a place to live.”
“I know, I know, I can stay here as long as I need to but I don’t want to take advantage of you guys.”
“You’re not taking advantage. We have this whole house. kaçak casino Besides, you’ve only been here two weeks.”
“I know and I feel like a loafer. You should stop your cleaning service till I leave and I’ll clean the house for you guys.”
“Again, stop with the trying to help out and shit. You want to do something nice, cook dinner one night. That’ll be enough.” The phone rang just then and Darren stopped chopping peppers to answer it.
“Hello?….Yes, one moment please.” Darren turned to Gabe. “It’s for you.”
Gabe took the phone. “Hello?”
“Gabriel Donovan?” A woman asked.
“Yes, this is he.”
“Mr. Donovan, my name is Tara Knox and I’m the director of Human Resources at Bartley, Fitch and Meade. Our company has received your resume and would like to speak to you about a position here.”
“Seriously?!” Gabe tried to calm himself. Bartley, Fitch and Meade was his first choice, though he had held no hope of hearing from them. “I’m sorry. Of course, I’m very interested and can meet with you at your convenience.”
“Excellent. How does tomorrow at one sound?”
“Tomorrow at one sounds perfect.”
“Fine. I’ll be expecting you then.”
“Thank you very much, Miss Knox.”
“Thank you, Mr. Donovan.” Gabe hung up the phone.
“I have an interview tomorrow.”
“See? Things are coming around.” Darren smiled. “Who with?”
“Bartley, Fitch and Meade.” Darren whistled.
“I’ve even heard of them and I’m not in accounting.”
Phil came home not much later and they all sat down to dinner. Darren cracked open a very nice bottle of wine in celebration. Gabe felt some of his loneliness leave him being with such good friends. The lost feeling he had felt since leaving his hometown eased with the hope of a new direction. Perhaps things would start going his way.
Gabe fought his nervousness the entire morning and changed several times before deciding on a plain black suit, which he hoped was professional enough. He was finishing up his tie as he made his way to the kitchen to pour some coffee when the door bell rang. He opened the door and looked expectantly at the handsome man he found on the door step.
“You must be Gabe.” The man asked.
“I am. You are?” Gabe tried not to feel irritated with the interruption.
“I’m Kyle.” The man said as if that were answer enough, but at Gabe’s blank look tried to clarify. “Phil and Darren’s friend?………I’m loaning you a car to use?”
“Oh! Yeah. I’m sorry, they didn’t mention a name or that you were stopping by today.”
“Sorry, that’s my fault. I was going to drop it off tomorrow but I had some free time today.”
“Great. I’m just finishing getting ready. You want to come in?”
“Sure.” Kyle said and followed Gabe into the kitchen.
“I’ve only had four cups this morning, so yeah. Coffee’d be great.”
Gabe poured a cup for himself, one for Kyle and set out cream and sugar.
“Not to be insensitive, but may I ask who died?”
“I’m sorry?” Gabe was confused.
“You look-…..Never mind.” Kyle looked down at his cup seemingly embarrassed. Gabe realized that he had mistaken the black suit for mourning attire.
“Fuck! Really? I look like I’m going to a funeral?”
“No. I’m sorry. It’s the black. I just-. I’m sorry.” Kyle fumbled through an explanation/apology.
“Damn it!” Gabe pulled off his tie and headed upstairs to change. When he came back down, Kyle was still there waiting. “How do I look now?”
“What are you dressing up for?”
“An interview.” Gabe said and watched as Kyle looked him up and down.
“Much better. The blue makes you look less formal but you still look professional.”
“I’d hire you.” Kyle smiled. “What do you do, anyway?”
“I’m an accountant.” Gabe said and saw a small nod of Kyle’s head. “I know. Not very exciting. But I like numbers and columns so it was either this or play a lot of bingo.”
Kyle laughed. “Hey, you gotta do what you love, right? Besides, accounting sounds like a better bet than bingo.”
“What do you do?” Gabe asked.
“I’m a mechanic. I’ve got a shop not too far away. When I asked Phil and Darren if they knew anyone looking for a car, they said that you were in need of one and we came up with the loaner deal. Use it for a while and if you like it we’ll talk about a price, if not, no hard feelings.”
“I really appreciate this, Kyle. This is beyond nice of you.”
“Ah, not really. I’m kinda hoping you’ll buy the car.” He smiled. Gabe thought he was an attractive man but when he smiled he was drop dead gorgeous. Gabe put a quash on that as quick as he could and took a look at his watch.
“I hate to do this but I’ve got an interview at one.”
“It’s only eleven.” Kyle said.
“I have to take the train for the first time and I want to leave myself enough time in case I get lost.”
“You do remember that I brought over a car for you to use? It’s outside, gassed up and ready to go.” Gabe grinned.
“Yeah, but I’ve never driven to the city before. Actually, I’ve only been to the city once when I was a kid. I’m actually terrified and there’s no way I could drive there, especially today.”
“Got it.” Kyle nodded. “Ok, fine. Where are we going?”
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