Small town closet
Write a story focusing on an aspect of society that matters to you/your story.
This phone call was getting awkard.
"I feel kind of weird just leaving her alone. Though Peg will be here, as usual. But people expect..."John paused.
Carl laughed. "Since when do you care about what people in North Platte expect? Oh, that's right. Since puberty. Nice cushy closet you've built for yourself, buddy. No one would suspect --"
"That's enough. You wouldn't know what that's like. North Platte isn't Denver."
"No, and Denver isn't Sunderland", Carl replied, gently. He'd come out to selected friends in high school, to his brother and sister in college, and to his parents a few years later. Being gay in a small, conservative town required a delicate touch, and a willingness to take risks.
"And I am not you", John said firmly.
"Just as well", he heard Carl say, and he could imagine his smile. "So here's a thought: why don't I come there?"
John hesitated, and Carl added, "We've done it before. Your old college buddy, Carl. No holding hands, just two old straight dudes watching the Huskers over wings and beer."
"And I could help out. She's bound to need some physical therapy after being immobile for so long. Let's at least try. And I miss you."
John relaxed and nodded, cradling the phone in both hands. "I miss you, too. Come on, as soon as you can get away. We'll just have to be careful around her."
Carl chucked. "Sure. But who knows what she's overheard the other times I've been there? People in comas aren't completely unconscious --"
"Jesus, Carl! Don't remind me!"
"See you on Friday."
This part takes place later; I have not written the stuff in between.
Anna peered at them and shook her head. They had the buddy routine down to a science, but she wasn't fooled. Would she just come out and say it, or have some fun. Have some fun it was.
"You married, Carl?"
"Nope. Carefree bachelor, just like John".
"Well, John's a special case, isn't he? He's got me, all these years. I'm a lucky girl."
Carl fidgeted a bit, but quickly reverted to his cheery self. John looked away, nervously.
"Yep", Anna continued, "I'm truly blessed. A veritable Sleeping Beauty, opening her eyes to see her old Prince Charming waiting faithfully for her. So blessed." She gave John her best goo-goo eyes, enjoying his obvious discomfort.
"And now it appears the whole town is waiting for the engagement announcement. Right, John?"
John wet his lips and opened his mouth, but nothing came out.
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