"What are you doing?" It was the strangest thing that Gage had ever seen.
No, it wasn't kissing Holden. He erased the thought, completely.
His Dad was in Ren's frigid, throwing things into the trash.
"What?" His Dad looked over the door of the fridge. "You've never seen a grown man clean out a refrigerator?"
Gage swelled a frown. He wasn't sure if he liked having him here.
His father chunk something in the trash as he went on with the chore. Gage hugged himself.
"Gage, what is it?"
He said his name, like it was true. Why couldn't Gage call him Dad?
His father shut the fridge and pulled at the bag of garbage, but it was so heavy. It took both of them to get it to the trash cans out back and lift into the place it needed to be. His Dad made sure the lid was on tight.
"Look, I..I always had a feeling about you." He stared at Gage, but Gage could hardly look at him. "I really wanted things to work with your mother. There was a month there, I really thought ..she'd changed. But she hadn't, and then I couldn't last being with her. We were not good for each other. We weren't. I didn't figure that out ..until it was too late. And there was nothing I could do about it. Cause I was stuck in prison, and she was long gone."
Gage felt numb, listening to him. It didn't matter. At least Gage kept telling himself it didn't.
"What about now?" Gage felt as if pools of sweat rimmed his eyelids. It couldn't be tears. It couldn't be. "What are you doing ..." He couldn't even finish the sentence.
"Oh, Gage." His Dad shook his head. He wrapped his arms around him. "You've so much to learn. Its not so much about the sex that's attractive. Its what you've got to talk about. And I'm in love with her. And she's so good to you. And me."
The rage inside of Gage swelled and churned like it might be a storm he might find himself drowning in. Maybe even taking down the man in one punch, but something inside him settled, because this guy was not letting go.
"We could be so happy, but...you, have to let go of the anger. You, have to let it go." He made it sound as if it were easy as floating in the sea.
When Gage looked up into his father's eyes, he saw a good man. He wanted to be like his father.