Family Reunion

My short story, “Family Reunion,” as seen in The Elixir.

Aunt Marian turns toward him, reaching for his cheeks, which, to their credit, are really no longer pinchable, but that does not deter jolly old Aunt Marian; then he finally escapes her re-fingered clutches only to fall victim to Great Grandpa George as he corners him and regales him with racist and homophobic comments, making him acutely uncomfortable, his lips pursing in resistance to a barrage of retorts, but the secret of his black boyfriend keeps him silent; then his mother,visually and physically overjoyed to see him back from college for the weekend, forces a cup of chicken tortilla soup the size of a soccer ball on him– her speciality and, as she well knows, his favorite; then his phone buzzes and, checking it discreetly under the table, sees that his boyfriend is calling him and, with great guilt, declines the call, but immediately composed a text message explaining that he can’t have a conversation in mixed company like his family; then, spurred by the sudden quiet in a room of roughly a hundred or so people, he looks up to see a scene of tension: his Uncle Ron, on his mother’s side, is poised with a leg on top of the chair in front of his Uncle Jeremy- who married in -the latter of which started to open his mouth with a “smartass remark,” something the former had expressly warned against, when suddenly Ron mounted the chair and then the table and promptly kicked Jeremy in square in the mouth with his boot-clad foot; then there is a hush and a quick flurry of movement as the other men attempt to restrain Ron and Jeremy’s wife alone goes to his aid and he is reminded why he chose to keep his relationship a tightly bound secret lodged in the back of his throat where they will never find it–hopefully.


via Family Reunion

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