"I want you to Leave Lee alone, I want you to stay away from MY BOYFRIEND.
You think you can brainwash him just like those AA people, they acted like they cared about him got him to think all kinds of crazy things too.
Oh I know what your up to even if he doesn't see it yet!"
Ben Bennett Looked confused "What am I up to?"
"Brainwashing him into thinking he has feelings for You! Making him think He's some kind of FAG like you ! Well he's NOT!
So your little plan isn't gonna work, I'm gonna see to that!"
7 Months Earlier
"What are you gonna do?"
Cathy was having a heated argument with Lee, her boyfriend about him moving out of the house!
"I gave you a home when you didn't have one, you drop out of college, I convinced your job to let you stay for another month on a trial period, you've only been clean for 1 week, What are you gonna do Lee?
How are you going to make sure you don't start drinking again? You don't have any family who cares or friends, where are you going to live Lee?
Hmm where will you be living? And if they find out you don't have a home then they'll definitely not let you stay at the factory."
"They don't care about that, I was working there before I moved in with you."
"Well they sure as hell cared about you drinking! How are you gonna convince them that your not going to drink again when they find out you don't have a home?
Have you thought about that? Lee!"
"I need to go!"
"That's right walk away when it gets hard, I'll bet you'll be drinking again in no time when I'm not around!"
Standing on a dry spot under a tree in the rain 7 minutes after he had walked out on Cathy.
Looking aimlessly on the closed church doors,
this church was the place Lee had been going every AA meeting on Mondays and Fridays.
Brother Marcus had been graciously hosting all the AA meetings in the back of his church.
Lee had been sure the church was still open but it wasn't.
He needed so badly to talk to brother Marcus.
Cathy had once again made him unsure of his resolve to move out of her house.
He had never loved her but had started dating her out of convenience both so his working buddies would stop asking him out on beer runs looking for women to hook up with,
but also because he really did need a place to stay.
He'd been broke ever since his mom had swindled him out of his savings.
He really had thought she had changed, that she really wanted to be with him.
She'd been the last connection to his family that hadn't abandoned him,
after his dad walked out on them when he was 10.
His father had found a new boyfriend and just left him in her car and never looked back.
Leaving him alone in the car for hours before anyone had come looking for him!
Lee's dad was gay, they all knew before that day,
but Lee's mother had never thought he'd walk out on her and Lee.
Lee had two older sisters, they both married rich moved out of town years before his father did, never looked back.
So it had just been him and his mom for a while, untill she also walked out on him.
He'd been so happy seeing her back in his life after years without any word from her,
that he'd cared less on "the why" behind her return,
then getting to catch up on their mutual lost time, that was the only concern Lee was thinking of at the time.
But as soon as she'd found out he'd been keeping money in his house, she was gone and so was his money.
Cathy hadn't been a good girlfriend either, she'd been saying hurtful things and sometimes he'd believe her
"You're nothing, your dad was a fag and still he couldn't love you".
Marcus had told him he wasn't nothing, that he could be something and that it wasn't his fault his dad walked out on his mother and him.
But it was so hard to really believe it, when even his mother had felt it was his fault!
"Why did you just sit there in the car? Why didn't you stop him?"
Had she told his son one day.
"I'm sorry I didn't mean it"
Had she said a minute later, but if she didn't mean it why would she even have said it?
And it didn't help that sometimes, just sometimes, he'd even think that he might, just might be a fag too!
"Well that's strange the church is already closed!"
A young attractive blond man was standing next to him under an umbrella looking disappointed at the church door.
"I was hoping to get a ride back to my Cabin North of Whitesup Mountain Range"
Lee looked confused back at the stranger.
"Oh I'm sorry my name is Chuck Bingley, I'm a friend of brother Marcus, I couldn't help but notice you've been standing here for over half an hour, I was wondering if I could help you with something? I have his number, if you want to call him?"
"And you've been watching me for half an hour? That's a bit weird!"
"Oh nothing like that I was having a meeting with some people over at that café over there."
He was pointing over at the other side of the street, "La fleur" was written in red, over an expensive looking café.
"Want me to call him?"
"No! I'll just come back here another day."
Lee was looking down, still deep in thought. "Should I just let you stay here for a while or...?"
"Oh! No, I'm just going home."
Realising he'd been spacing out he gave the stranger named Chuck a smile so fake looking anyone would have been concern, in an attempt to reassure Chuck that he was fine, but he wasn't fine not even close. "Here take my umbrella, I'm staying at a friend's house nearby."
"If you're staying at a friend's house, why would you need Marcus to drive you back to the Mountains?"
"That's a good question... I guess I just missed the freeze air, maybe going hiking when the rain stops."
"Hiking! That sounds nice, I was hiking a lot back a year and change ago."
"Oh really what happened?"
"Life happened!" Lee shrugged absent minded.
"Besides I didn't have the right gear anyway."
"Wanna go grab a bite to eat? There's this great Chinese fast food place not far from here."
Lee looked for a moment at this strange guy, he seemed friendly enough but you'd never know.
"Sure why not, I don't have anything else to do."
4 Minutes later they were already sitting at a table chatting about trees and birds, and rocks.
"You know we should go hiking together, I know we just meet but I don't have any friends who like hiking around here."
"I don't know."
It really was weird being asked out hiking with a complete stranger, but it really was tempting somehow.
"I have a pair of hiking boots you could borrow."
"Maybe I could go.... but it would have to be at a time that I'm not working at Eastgate machine shop, as a welder!"
Chuck looked like a fairly rich guy owning a cabin in the woods, at a lake, beautiful view and all,
he'd probably make some excuse about time or something and he wouldn't hear from him or him hiking with Lee ever again.
"Sure what's your number?"
They had been friends for nearly two weeks now and they had even been hiking 3 times already,
he had all but forgotten about moving out of Cathy's house,
ones in awhile he'd mention in parsing to Chuck how unhappy he was with Cathy but he hadn't gone into details.
"Could you hand me another worm? I think this one has been dead for awhile"
"Sure, just have to get my line back up first."
Lee and Chuck had been fishing for half an hour already.
"You know, you could live here temporarily... What do you think Lee? Just untill you find someplace else."
"Life here! In your run-down cabin? Wouldn't that be a bit weird? You barely know me! I could be a serial killer!"
"Doubt it, but seriously it could be fun, I already drive to the city every day so you wouldn't be late for work... What do you say?"
Lee hesitated while Chuck handed him the worm,
Chuck had been the best friend a guy could ever ask for and he wouldn't wanna ruin it by moving in with him.
"I'll think about it." said Lee, unconvinced about the idea.
Lee threw his fishing line into the lake with the newly penned worm, while Chuck continued.
"Remember that guy I was staying at when we meet?"
Lee hummed in response, pretending to be more preoccupied on fishing but really Lee was deep in thoughts about the strange invitation Chuck had given him. "He knows this great guy in Atlanta maybe I could pull some strings and get you a job there? It'll take some time though."
Lee's face changed to shock and amazement almost immediately, while he still managed his best at holding the line with one arm!
"Chuck! That's amazing!"
Chuck laughed hysterically at Lee, when Lee fall off the pier in an attempt to reel his fish in!
"It's not funny!" said Lee climbing back up completely soaked, trying but failing miserably at keeping a stone face at Chuck,
1 minute in and Lee was cracking a smile and shaking his head at the still laughing Chuck, "Your a moron you know that!"
Was the last thing he said before walking over to the cabin for a change of clothes.
"You can't be serious Lee! You've only known him for less then two weeks and now you wanna move in with him?"
"Cathy listen it's not that simple, we're not working out, this isn't working out. We're just too different."
"That can't be it, I thought we'd gone past this, you need me."
"I don't need you Cathy and you might think you need me but really you don't"
"Listen Lee I might be hard on you sometimes but you know I love you."
"But I don't Cathy!"
"It's him isn't it, this Chuck guy! Are you in love with him?"
"Don't be ridiculous."
"It's THAT, isn't it? Have you even told him about your dad? Or about your guy in college?"
"What does my dad or college have to do with anything?"
"Oh you poor little thing! What do you think will happen when he finds out about THAT!
Do you think he'll keep being your friend when he finds out about your little gay crush in college?
And do you really think you'll be okay alone in the forest everyday with a guy like your little pretty boy Chuck?"
"I need to go!"
"That's right go along like you always do and come back when you've gotten wiser! You need me!"
Lee was already out the door.
"I'm the only one who really loves you Lee!"
At the deem lighting of the old city lamps, stood Lee like a kicked puppy, just standing for 2 minutes straight, before going inside the convenience store
walking like his legs knew where, while his brain stopped thinking.
"Would you like a bag sir."
He walked over to his truck,
where a young man his age, was leaning on his own truck and staring ominously at him with a cigarette in his right hand,
making him think about his dad!
He opened his first beer in a month and closed his eyes.