Tuesday, August 4, 2015


    The sun was just setting as Jake and Eduardo stepped onto the dock for an after-dinner walk along Northport Harbor. The sky was painted with breathtaking shades of red and magenta, and the very air seemed to be suffused with a warm pink glow.
     Jake marveled at how easily the conversation had flowed over dinner; any nervousness about going on a date with such a significantly younger man as Eduardo had evaporated as they shared stories and jokes and laughter. Even the dinner itself had been surprisingly delicious. Why couldn't any of the blind dates that Richard had set him up with have gone this smoothly?
    Only now, as they walked along the water, a certain quiet settled over them. Perhaps both felt some apprehension about what was to come next. Jake searched his mind for something to chat about, some subject they hadn't covered over dinner.
    "So, Nick and Dave are thinking about setting their wedding date for next Spring," he offered, confident in the fact that Eduardo would share his interest in their mutual friends nuptials.
    Eduardo frowned. "Wonder if they'll even invite me, " he said, scowling.
    "Why wouldn't they?" Jake asked, surprised at the notion that Eduardo would be left off the guest list.
    "Nick and I aren't speaking lately," Eduardo said, looking down. "We had a little difference of opinion."
    "About what?" Jake asked.
    "About you, actually."
    "Me?" Jake said incredulously. "What about me?" He couldn't fathom what there could possibly be about him that would cause Nick and Eduardo to stop speaking.
    Eduardo looked off across the harbor as a warm breeze played with his short, spiky black hair. "Nick thinks I have, like... Daddy issues. Or something."
    Jake felt a slight sinking feeling in his stomach. "Do you? Have 'Daddy issues' ?"
    "I'm not even sure what that means," Eduardo said, rolling his eyes. "Nick brought up the same crap when me and him were...um..."
    "You and Nick were dating?!"
    "Almost," Eduardo hesitated, searching for the right description. "It didn't really...get off the ground."
    "Man. I need a scorecard to keep track of all these B&B relationships, " Jake said, adjusting the brim of his Chicago Cubs cap.
    Eduardo stopped walking and fixed his gaze directly into Jake's eyes. "Look, Jake... I like you. But it's got nothing to do with your age... or about any of this 'Daddy' stuff. So can we forget about that... and just enjoy our date?"
    "Fine with me," Jake answered, relaxing his shoulders a bit. Whatever the trouble was between Eduardo and Nick, well... that was between Eduardo and Nick. And, frankly... it sounded to Jake like Eduardo was the more rational one. Still, while they were on the subject, perhaps now Jake could ask the question that had been in the back of his mind ever since he and Eduardo had began their... whatever it was they were doing together.
    "Can I ask you, though, " Jake inquired, as they resumed walking along the dock. "How old is your father?"
    Eduardo cocked his head to the side and thought for a moment."Um...55, I think."
    Jake breathed a heavy sigh of relief. "Ah, good... at least I'm younger than your father... even if it is only by a couple of years." For some reason, this had been weighing on his mind. The thought of dating a man whose father he was older than, well... it just didn't sit right with him.
    "You look older than him," Eduardo said, his words hitting Jake like a bucket of ice.
    "Okay, we can change the subject now," Jake said, frowning.
    "Maybe 'cause you're heavier," Eduardo continued.
    "Or bald," said Eduardo, chuckling lightly.
    "So glad I brought this up," Jake said, finding it hard to avoid chuckling along in spite of himself.

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