"Yes, why, and don't prevaricate."

"Prevaricate. Big word."

"But apt."

The kettle reached boiling point and switched off. Neither of us got up to make the coffee. We just sat glowering at each other.

"'till death do you part," Sharon muttered. I winced, then stood up suddenly needing to move. I picked the kettle up, added water to the mugs, and opened the fridge. I was holding the milk jug and about to pour as her arms snaked around my waist and grabbed my cock. I got hard, which belied the truth - though I could feel her triumph.

"I knew it. You're protecting Sam," she said as she gently squeezed. I twitched, I couldn't help it. Though blaming our son was a way out, it was far too late. Besides, I couldn't lie any longer, I didn't have the nerve. I squeezed my eyes shut and took a deep breath.

"Sam isn't to blame here, Sharon. It's my laptop, they're my letters, he's my ... lover."

"But you're hard." Her voice was toneless which was a bad sign.

"Yes I am," I said, "and I love you, truly I do. But I ... I'm ...." I paused as her hands fell away. I poured the milk, stirred, and passed her her mug.

"Thank you. You're ...?"

"Gay," I said openly and for the first time. "Or bisexual, or something." I followed her back to the table and sat down. "But as I said, I truly love you. It's just that ... I need to ...."

"Fuck other men?" Again, her voice was toneless. I blinked.

"Yes. If you put it like that, yes."

"It's disgusting!"

"No," I said, "it's not. Actually, it's rather wonderful." Her eyes looked as if they might pop out of her head.

"Get out!"


“No?” I shook my head.

“Susanne Penhaligon.” I said, and watched as she crumbled. I drank some coffee and made a mental note to buy a quieter kitchen clock.

“How long have you known?”

“Ages. You left a letter and her photo on the dresser.”

“Oh.” She blushed. “It's not the same, David.”

“Yes, it is.”

We were back to glaring at each other in a could-have-cut-it-with-a-knife silence, when Sam bounded through the door glowing with joy. Normally he was a sensitive soul, but this time he missed all the signals.

“Mum! Dad!” He started, then stopped and looked back over his shoulder. There was a shadowy figure standing in the dark of the hall. “Come in, they'll be fine. I promise.”

“Fine with what, for God's sake,” Sharon muttered. I found I was smiling. If it was what I thought it was, I wasn't at all surprised. Sam had talked to me in confidence ever since he'd crawled through puberty, and, I mused, it was probably those talks that had helped me with my own breakthrough.

The shadow seemed to retreat. Sam huffed, strode out, and there was a whispered confab. Sharon and I rolled our eyes, by unspoken agreement, our own problems on hold.

Finally there was a squeal of laughter, and Sam dragged a red faced, good looking, tow haired boy through the door. “Mum, Dad, this is Ryan,” Sam said proudly, his face glowing with joy. “He's my boyfriend!”

Hand in hand and more than bemused Sam and Ryan watched as Sharon and I fell into each other's arms, laughing hysterically.


"You know, it's odd," Sharon murmured, putting her book down and resting her hand on my knee. I sighed inwardly, put the Grisham on the bedside table and smiled at her.

"What is, sweetheart?"

"Sam ... and you."

"Me?" If I sounded confused it was because I was. I could understand her thinking Sam was odd because he was a teenager, and all teenagers are, de facto, odd. But me?

"Yes." She sounded matter-of-fact. "I can't imagine what it is you see in men."

"Oh, umm, that."

Earlier in the day she'd found out both her son and husband were gay, and she'd been brooding, which was fair enough. After all, some of the friends we had would have been in therapy for years before stepping into the same room together, let alone bed.

I'd been expecting her to say something, though what that something was going to be I really had no idea. When she'd found out we'd both ended up laughing hysterically. And the elephant that had, as far as I was concerned, always been there, seemed to have vanished. Now, for at the least a conversation and at the worst a flaming row, the elephant was back, and its wrinkled skin and trunk were flaming pink to boot.

I, in what I like to think was my inimitable style, managed to stop my jaw dropping to the floor and instead blinked nervously and tugged at my lower lip.

"Men, hmm. Well, probably the same as you," I said after a moment. It was a bit of a feeble riposte, but then I was mildly nonplussed as I hadn't been expecting the event to kick off so soon.

Sharon sat up and plumped her pillow, then scooched backwards so she was sitting up against the headboard. "Well?" she said, raising her eyebrows.

I sighed dramatically and made myself more comfortable. Resting my elbow on the pillow, I cupped my chin in my hand and looked at her. She was beautiful. I'd always thought so, from the moment I'd seen her at the beach party where I'd spent most of my time fantasising about the content of other guys' swimming trunks.

I cleared my throat. "Are we being honest, here?"

"It's about time, don't you think?"

"Mmm, probably. Yes." I nibbled at my bottom lip as I tried to put my thoughts into some sort of logical and cogent order. "But then if I spill the beans you'll have to tell me what you saw in Susanne Penhaligon."

Sharon chuckled. "It's a deal." I groaned, realising that she'd given in far too easily and wondering what I'd let myself in for. Absent-mindedly I picked up the book she'd put on the bed and saw it was Germaine Greer's 'The Female Eunuch'. I groaned again, and this time she laughed.

"So, Susanne Penhaligon?" I prodded. Sharon nodded sagely.

"Yes, David. Well, Susan and I were both on a bit of a personal ... erm ... exploration." She paused and tried to hide a smile by looking up at the ceiling rose. "It happened once, at her place, and it wasn't quite what I'd expected."

"Oh?" I slid up next to her, "Do tell." She'd had a shower before coming to bed and her hair smelt shampoo fresh and wonderful. I reached up and ran my fingers through it to encourage her. "What wasn't what you'd expected?"

"Her bedroom," Sharon's voice fell away to a whisper. "Ghastly. Chintz, china and stuffed bears everywhere. I'd never have thought it of her."

I grinned and, reluctantly removing my hand from her hair, clapped. "Nice try, but it wasn't her bedroom decor I really wanted described."

"Oh, Dear," she said, pouting.

"Yes, 'Oh dear,'" I said, trying not to laugh. "So, what really wasn't what you expected?" She blinked and took a deep soulful breath.

"Cunnilingus," she whispered, blushing. "And that's all you'll get from me until you spill some of your beans. Go on, it's your turn."

"Why I like men?"


"Well, I always have, which doesn't mean I don't love you, Sharon. I do, and I always have, it's just that I ... I like men too."


"Alright, pedant." We grinned at each other. "Maybe 'fancy' would be a better choice of words. I fancy men. I get turned on by them. More than by women, certainly."

"More than?" she frowned.

"Exclusively, then. You're the only woman I've ever ...." I petered off.

"Fucked." She said matter-of-factly, trying to keep a straight face. She couldn't hold back a giggle.

I rolled my eyes and tutted. "Yes, fucked, if you want to be crude."

"I do, I do. It's old English, and better than screwed, knobbed, poked, rogered or had, anyway."

"I was thinking more of 'loved', 'cause I do love you, you know. I really do." And I did. I wasn't lying. Soul deep, I loved her. Tentatively I leant across, and gently, with feeling, we kissed.

It lasted a goodly while.

"So?" She wasn't about to be put off.

"It's difficult to quantify. I guess the easiest way to put it is that men understand each other better. We know what we want, instinctively ...." I trailed off and crossed my ankles. The sound of an owl drifted through the bedroom window and interrupted the natural pause.

"And ...?"


"When did you first ... you know?"

"I was twelve," I said, closing my eyes and thinking back to that summer by the lake. "Twelve and so naïve you wouldn't believe it. We were on holiday. He was fourteen and staying in the cottage next door. He was ... well, beautiful. And wonderful! And he taught me, I guess." There was a rather pregnant pause. "How about you? Who was your first?"


"Me? Me!" I was completely shocked. "You're kidding, sweetheart."

"Uh, no David, I'm not," she said, her expression hard to define.

"No doctors and nurses?"

She shook her head and I could see a tear roll down her cheek. She sniffed. "You were all I ever wanted, David. You were ... are ... gorgeous. And then we got married and had Sam, and the world was just perfect ... and now both of you are ...."

"Gay." I said flatly, watching her closely. She took out a tissue, blew her nose and then gave me a mischievous look.

"Mmm," she said, "though I suppose, technically, you'd be bi." Faster than I could react she rolled over and dug her fingers into my ribs. I'd always been ticklish and she'd known it and played on it from day one.

"Technically?" I squealed. "I'll show you technically!"

And so, with care, and much love, I did.


'All Sorts' by Camy

With thanks to those who know who they are.
Any mistakes are mine, and mine alone.


Feedback would really be appreciated!
you can email me at: camy.sussex[at]gmail.com


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