Arthur took a big breath, his chest expanding then deflating. Heat began to fog Arthur’s mind. His heart beat rapidly in his chest as he waited for his father to return to the living room. He felt as if the pristine couch would swallow him up as a whole. The anxiety was creeping in when he heard the loud thumps echo down the hall.
Arthur put his elbows on his knees and fiddled with the silver cross around his neck. The position he was in made him feel more intimating than the vulnerable position he was in before. Arthur watched his father emerge from the hallways and throw his journal down in front of him. The leather bound book flopped open to have several words highlighted, “Gay,” “Queer,” Faggot.“ Despite the silence, the words seemed to be ringing through the air, filling the room with tense air.
"What the fuck is this? I go into your room, to find my bible. Only to find that shit stain there instead? What is this, read it out!” Arthur’s father bellowed, his voice ringing with the high ceiling. Arthur stayed stoic, picking up the journal and looking up to his father. “Well which page would you like me to start on?” Arthur asked with a bemused smirk on his face.
A large slap rung through the air, Arthur was doubled over on the coffee table with the book laying flat on the ground. “Let’s start out with the one that says you are a fucking poofter!?” Arthur’s father yelled, picking up the book and throwing it at him. Arthur caught the book and stood up with a hard frown on his face, replacing the smug look he had on his face before.
“I am writing this in this book because I come to the realization that I am gay. A full bred homosexual, I know that if my father ever finds this it will be the ends of my days in this home.” Arthur read out effortlessly, moving behind the couch so his father couldn’t put another hand on him. “Now what are you going to do!? Kick me out? Just like Allistor!?” Arthur yelled at his father, throwing his journal straight back at him.
“I can’t lose another one of my son’s to this fucking virus. The only way to help you is to find some way to tear the gay right out of you!” Arthur’s father yelled right back at him. “You’re a minor, I can’t kick you out. I love you, I want you to be happy, but this disease has plagued your mind. This isn’t you, Arthur. Can’t you see that! Those faggot friends you have been hanging around has infected your ruddy mind!” Arthur’s father told him, looking sincere by the end of it. “Luckily I went down to church as soon as I saw this rubbish. I showed Father George this shit and luckily he didn’t throw us out… He showed us a way, Arthur, to get rid of that shit out of you!” Arthur’s father told him softer and showed him the pamphlet. “It’s all in the name.” Arthur’s father said coming around to clap his shoulder.
Arthur backed away from him, crumbing the paper and throwing it at him. “Pray away the gay!? Are you bloody fucking serious! It’s not a infection, Da! It’s who I am! It’s not the black plague!” Arthur yelled at his father beginning to walk out of the room. Arthur was soon on the hard tile floor with his father stepping on his chest.
“Until you get that disease out of you, you are not my son. You’re going to that camp whether you want to or not. I already signed you up and paid the cash on the spot. ” Arthur’s father told him calmly, his voice quiet yet firm.
“You will beg Christ for forgiveness and wash away the sins you are made up of. None of your frilly shit will be allowed in the house.” Arthur’s father told him, stepping off of him and kicking him to the side. Arthur coughed and glared up at his father. He shakily got on his knees, the wind was easily knocked out of him by his father.
He looked at the pamphlet and grabbed it, smoothed the paper and reading it. “Time to do some research.” Arthur mumbled, getting up and storming to the room, ending their rut with the slam of his door.