Brad’s Search : Part 12

The group with Sharon and Gina arrive at Mount Rainier. Sharon and Gina go to the gondola while everyone else gathers their skiing and snowboarding equipment and head to the lift.

Sharon and Gina pay the admission and wait for the gondola to arrive. Gina fiddles with her camera while Sharon reads some nearby information about Mount Rainier. A family with a small boy and girl join them. When the gondola arrives, they all enter and choose seats. The gondola begins its ascent.

Gina snaps a few pictures. “Sharon, I wanted to ask you something about Brad.”

“Sure, dear; what would you like to know?”

“Has he always been gay?”

“Well, he has been for as long as I can remember.”

“How did you take it when he came out to you?”

“Oh, my. Well, I kind of already knew when he told me officially. Mother’s intuition. I could have told you he was gay years before he told me.”

“What made you think so?”

“My, my. I remember it like it was yesterday. He had just turned five years old, and he wanted to dance with one of his buddies at his birthday party. That was my first hint. I would’ve been just fine with it - he was five - but one of his other friends laid down the law and said ‘boys don’t dance with other boys,’ like it was her party and not Brad’s.”

“She actually said that?”

“Well, you have to remember that this was over twenty years ago, and Brad and I were living in Colorado at the time.”

“That’s right; that’s right.”

“You know, dear, I’m happy to tell you about my personal life, but I’m curious; why do you ask?”

“Well, how long have you known Kelly?”

“Hardly a day - Brad never mentioned her before I planned to come up here.”

“So don’t you find it a bit interesting when he called her his girlfriend?”

“Not really. I mean, gay men have their girlfriends like I have my girlfriends.”

Sharon and Gina look at each other for a moment.

“Wait, you mean you’re telling me you think Brad and Kelly are dating?”

Gina nods.

“Oh Gina, you can’t be serious.”

“They have said some things to each other, and it really does seem like they are together.”

“Come on, that’s absurd.”

Gina breaks eye contact and takes a few more pictures of the beautiful scene outside. There are a few more seconds of tense silence. Sharon continues, “Gina, I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to offend you, but I’ve known my baby boy so long, and I think being with a woman is the last thing he’d want.”

Sharon looks over at the other family. The boy and girl are unfearfully peering out of the glass at the ground hundreds of feet below. Sharon turns back to Gina. “Has Gary mentioned anything about Kelly?”

“No, and I haven’t told him, either. You’re the only person I’ve told my suspicions to.”

“Well, no offense to you, but I’m sure the truth will become apparent soon.”

“I hope it does, too. And no offense taken.”

The gondola gets to the top and everyone disembarks.

“Sharon, would you mind being in some of my pictures? I don’t get to do portraits or headshots often, and would love to get in some practice.”

“Oh, I’d be delighted, dear!”

Gina takes a few pictures of Sharon, getting her and the mountain at various angles. They then head inside the restaurant for a hot chocolate.

“Sharon, I’m glad I finally got to meet you. Gary talks about the trip he and Harry made to go see you. He always had such glowing things to say about you.”

“I’m so happy to hear that. Gary is a great guy. You hold on tight and don’t let go. Men like him don’t come around often. I should know - I found a great one myself and lost him way too early.”

“I’m sorry, Sharon.”

“Don’t be; things happen and we all have to move on. I’ll see him again in heaven someday.”

They share comforting smiles.

“So when are you and Gary getting married?”

Gina’s cheeks turn bright red. “Oh, he hasn’t asked me yet, but we have been dating for two years. What’s taking him so long?”

Sharon places her hand on Gina’s shoulder. “It’ll happen when the time is right. Just be patient.”

Gina nods. Sharon takes her hand away. “Of course, he might be thinking, ‘Fuck chivalry,’ and is waiting for you to ask him. What do you think?”

Gina smiles and shrugs, and then the ground shakes beneath them.

They look at each other with very frightened expressions. Sharon then looks upward and says, “I promise I’ll never say ‘fuck’ again.”