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About a Boy

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You can see tension in Brian’s shoulders from across the room. You put down the book you’d been planning to read and cross to the computer, lightly leaning into the back of the chair, sinking massaging fingers into the skin at the base of your husband’s neck.

He sighs, dropping his head forward, letting you catch a glimpse of what’s on the computer screen. “Fucking alma mater.”

Penn State scandal. Sandusky. At least eight victims.

Not the first you’ve heard of it, but it keeps getting worse. “Fucking piece of shit.”

“Well said.” His eyes narrow at the screen. “I hate-”

“I know.”

You both hate that sick fucks like this… who couldn’t have less to do with you, your life, your community… are the reason there are people who think gays are all child molesters.

“Some of these kids were younger than Gus,” he grinds out, softly, but words vibrating with disgust, and even more sadness.

Gus is eleven, good at sports, and Brian feels like he still doesn’t see him nearly often enough, even with the Marcus-Peterson brood two years back in Pittsburgh.

“It’s not right. Kids… Even when they pretend they know what they’re doing, they don’t. They need- Especially when they don’t trust anyone else, they-”

You slide your hands to his arms and squeeze lightly.

You know there was more to the story of Brian’s first time with his gym teacher. Before the shower scene, after. Even as is, you’d decided long ago it was more creepy than cool, despite Brian’s bravado in telling.

“It’s not right,” you agree into his hair. “Even if they were all of fourteen.”

He braces, then relaxes against you.

Mostly, it’s about Brian being a dad, why this burns so.

And a little about Brian having been a boy.