Winging It

by Pee Jay


It had taken me five years to earn a four-year degree from State; I was more than happy to graduate and move on. I occasionally dreamt that I would never finish college. The mornings following those dreams were more nightmarish than dreamlike. I had spent eighteen years of my life going to school; my formal training was definitely over, done, fini, c’est tout… I’m outta here. There was no way in hell I was going to consider graduate school, no way.

While I was elated to have school behind me; now, there was a different drummer to march to. It was an obligation that consumed the hours of the day between nine and five, that’s right, a job. I was okay with that; though it made the eighteen-year ordeal seem anti-climactic. I found myself with too much spare time and a lack of interests to keep myself occupied. I had morphed into a boring person with a mundane life. I wasn’t quite sure which was worse; school or the life of a working stiff.

The money was beginning to pile up in my checking account and I had no idea what to do with it. I had an apartment, a new pickup truck, new furniture, everything I needed; and worst of all, I was still bored. I wasn’t interested in girls like most of the other guys; and I hated going to bars. I was too self-conscious and reserved for that. I needed some excitement, a spark, some kind of thrill that would stimulate a functional mind and beating heart.

My thoughts went back to childhood. When I was a kid, Dad bought me a multi-band radio. I would tune it to air traffic control and listen to it for hours on end. I envisioned myself as captain of a commercial jet with a cabin full of passengers communicating with air traffic control. A kid’s imagination can be strikingly vivid.

“Hello Chicago approach, this is United 1265 heavy,” I would mouth. Yeah, that was cool; I was captain of a wide body jet! I conjured an image of myself in the cockpit, reading the instrument panel with my headset and my captains’ uniform. I was important. I had responsibility and stature. I was pilot in command. I was THE man!

On school nights Mom would turn the radio off, tuck me in, and kiss me goodnight. When she left the room, I would plug-in the earpiece and turn the radio on again. Often times, I would fall asleep only to awaken in the middle of the night with the thing blaring air traffic directives in my ear.

When I got a older, I would ride my bike to the airport with my radio. I would watch the airplanes land and depart as I monitored the control tower. All the while wishing and hoping that one day I could be a pilot.

With those recollections in mind, it came to me that I should take flying lessons. Why not? It was a dream I had nurtured since childhood. I could afford it and there was a certain allure beyond a simple fascination; it was my dream. It would be stimulating and venturesome. At the very least it would be different, it was Saturday so I took a drive to the airport.

Capitol City Airport was a controlled field without IFR restrictions. In other words, it wasn’t a TCA (terminal control area) where pilots are required to be instrument rated to enter the airspace. It facilitated learning since VFR (visual flight rules) were allowed.

I drove up to one of the fixed-base-operators (FBO) at the airport; an enterprise where you could learn to fly, charter or rent an airplane or send something via airfreight if need be. It was Hughes Aviation. It was smaller than the other FBO’s; and, I hoped more personal. It also spoke to me in part because of the name.

It was reminiscent of Howard Hughes and the mystique that surrounded his legacy. I had a mental image of him with a scarf around his neck, a leather helmet and jacket with goggles sitting in an open-air cockpit, barnstorming. Maybe I over romanticized it a bit but I was gay, after all, and entitled to some degree of embellishment.

I parked my pickup, locked it and went inside to explore my future in aviation.

Behind the counter was a desk with someone seated and hiding behind a newspaper, feet resting on the desk. I dinged the bell on the counter as loud as I could thereby making my presence known.

The newspaper shook before it was lowered. I’d startled the guy behind the paper. I smiled; it fed the sadistic side of me. He folded the paper, placed it on the desk and smiled back as he looked at me.

He was nice looking with light brown hair, deep brown eyes about my size and age; 5’-10”, twenty-two with an average build. He had a handsome, boyish look about him. We’d make a nice couple I thought to myself. Me with my brunette hair, blue eyes and pale skin contrasting nicely against his tanned complexion.

He asked what he could do for me as he rose and approached the counter.

 I wondered if that was a loaded question. After all, he was very attractive with stunning looks and I had to admit I was into guys.

I thought it best to play it straight. I told him I wanted to learn to fly. That made him smile; and a nice smile at that. I couldn’t resist a grin too; his smile was attractive and infectious. There was something about him.

He introduced himself as Adam and offered his hand. I shook it and introduced myself as John. I couldn’t stop smiling though; I was infatuated with the guy.

“Well,” he said, “Have you ever been in an airplane before?”

“Only as a passenger.”

“When do you want to start?”

“I can start now. I have my checkbook with me.”

Then an elderly man walked through the front door and made his way around the counter. Adam introduced him as Mr. Hughes, he told him that they had a new student.

I didn’t like the sound of student very much. I just spent five years getting a four-year degree and the thought of more school was downright ugly. But if Adam was instructing, I would most definitely get into it.

“Let’s get started now,” Adam said, eyeing me up and down.

Awesome, Adam was going to be my instructor! I couldn’t help but check him out, making little effort to conceal my roving eyes. When my attention wandered back to his face, he smiled and said, “Let’s get going.”

He brushed against me as he rounded the counter and a burst of static electricity passed between us. Hmm, I thought to myself, electricity!

He didn’t bother to phone the tower for NOTAM’S (notice’s to airmen announcing closed runways, construction etc.) since he’d already been flying that day.

We exited the FBO and walked out on the tarmac. There were four planes parked in a row; two Cessna 152’s and two Cessna 172’s. There was a Piper Aztec parked a short distance away. That’s what I wanted to fly. It was a twin engine, low wing, turbo-charged plane with variable pitch props; it was sexy. Adam explained the ninety-dollar rate was based on the 152 and the first hour was free.

He said standard procedure began with a pre-flight check of the aircraft. I followed him around the plane as he explained what he was doing. I was conducting my own pre-flight check. I eyed him intently and missed a few of his comments in the process, I was fixated on him. We checked the ailerons, flaps, prop, tires and tail of the airplane. Everything looked fine... including, of course, the instructor.

There were only two seats in the cabin and a small cargo area in the rear. He told me to get in on the left side; that’s the pilot-in-command seat. It was a tight fit in the narrow cockpit as we sat shoulder to shoulder. That suited me just fine.

The 152 was primarily intended for training purposes, and not terribly expensive to operate; like all aircraft, it had dual controls. We chose the newer of the two trainers. It was a few dollars per hour more than the older one. I didn’t mind, the new one looked shiny and nice; I couldn’t force this hot guy to fly an old rattletrap. And a rattletrap it was, as I would come to find out later.

He started the engine and held the plane in place with the foot brake. After checking ATIS (airport terminal information service) for wind direction, visibility, ceiling, barometric pressure, etc., he adjusted the altimeter and called the tower.

“Tower, this is Cessna 9382 uniform with information November, taxing for take-off,” Adam said.

“Cessna 82u, cleared to taxi, runway two-seven, hold short, squawk 1357.”

“Roger,” was all Adam said and replaced the mic.

Adam turned the transponder on and set it to 1357, nudged the throttle and the plane began to roll. I tried to steer with the yoke and Adam started laughing.

“What’s so funny?” I asked. I wanted him to like me, not laugh at me, I felt a pang of embarrassment. It was the kind that makes you feel like an idiot.

“You steer with your feet when the plane’s on the ground,” he said with a broad grin on his face as he demonstrated the action with both feet, the rudder responded accordingly. “When you need to execute a tight turn, you brake the wheel on the side of the plane in the direction you intend to turn and increase the rpm’s with the throttle.”

His comment made me feel very un-cool and I drew a long face. I got over it; after all, I reasoned, I was a student.

I had to laugh, it must have looked funny to someone who knew the difference. There I was turning the yoke like a kid behind the wheel of a parked car and nothing was happening. I felt like one of the three stooges. I was humbled.

I looked at him as we sat touching each other at the shoulder. He was very captivating and I felt lil’ John take note. It was a nice day and getting better all the time!

When we reached runway two-seven we held short, did an engine run-up to check the planes systems and called the tower.

“Tower, Cessna 9382 uniform holding short for two-seven.”

“Cessna 82u, your traffic is arriving DC-9, taxi into position and hold, caution wake turbulence.”

Adam said “82u,” acknowledging the tower’s instructions.

We watched the DC-9 flare and settle into ground effect as it touched-down beyond the chevrons. It looked majestic and virile; it wasn’t a wide body but it was breath taking to a novice just the same. We taxied onto the runway, turned west (270° or runway two-seven), deployed ten degrees of flaps and held our position.

“Cessna 9382 uniform, cleared to go,” came over the radio from the tower.

Adam keyed the mic to acknowledge the tower, pushed the throttle in and we commenced our ground roll. As the plane approached rotation-speed he instructed me to ease the yoke back and we became air-borne. The ground fell away below us as we triumphed over gravity.

My senses were satiated. It was an exhilarating feeling. Although the ‘G force’ of the small plane was negligible, it felt like a jet fighter to a beginner. Every nerve synapse in my body was sparking.

“Cessna 9382 uniform, contact departure on 123.7. Have a good day.”

“G’day,” Adam responded; then he tuned the radio to the departure frequency. He advised departure we would be in the practice area.

The designated practice area was fifteen miles from the airport over farmland. We climbed to an altitude of three thousand feet to begin training.

We could see rows of crops and livestock grazing below us. The cattle looked like small, stationary plastic toys. The term ‘patchwork quilt’ took on a whole new meaning. It was an amazing world where everything became a first time experience.

Adam would demonstrate a maneuver and have me duplicate it. We did basic stuff; slips, chandelles and the like. Every so often, there would be physical contact in the cramped cockpit. It enhanced the experience.

After a while, I looked at Adam. He had a devious grin come across his face and redirected his gaze out the windshield. He pulled the yoke full out and pointed the nose of the plane nearly straight up. As the angle of attack became too steep to maintain, the airplane began to shudder, shake and buffet in the air. A few seconds longer and I panicked as the airplane stalled.

The left wing gave way first as it dropped and pointed to the ground. Then, the nose of the plane followed pointing earthward in an instant. All I could see was the ground directly ahead as we spiraled downward, toward certain death. I was confident that judgment day was at hand. I thought we were goners.

“Whoooa!” I yelled as I released the yoke. I pressed my body into the seatback as I stiffened my legs. My arms spread out against the window on the left and across Adams’ chest on my right. I could feel the color leave my face, I must have been whiter than a ghost and was frozen in place as I stared at our impending demise.

I had an instantaneous vision of Mom, Dad, Sis, home, and my bedroom came into view, my mind wasn’t seeing what my eyes were witnessing. I was looking at the airplane from above as it dove to Earth.  Those were my last thoughts... almost.

Adam eased the yoke back and applied right rudder; slowly drawing the plane out of its death plunge; mindful of pulling too many G’s and causing the wings to fold up. I could feel the blood leaving my brain as the G-force increased. It was a combination of mild vertigo and light-headedness; the picture in the windshield was beginning to change.

As we resumed straight and level flight, I looked at Adam. He had a wicked grin on his face, full of self-pride that he had scared the shit out of me. As far as I was concerned; I had been given a second chance at life, that’s how close it was in my mind!

“You bastard!” I yelled, and he began to laugh.


He couldn’t contain himself; he was laughing uncontrollably.

“What do you mean, WHAT?” I hollered. “I damn near died there, that’s what!”

I was trying my best to be emphatic.

 “Oh horseshit, you were no nearer death than driving a car.” He was still unable to control himself.

“It’s my heart dufus. It almost stopped beating; actually, I think it did for a minute. I had an out-of-body experience to boot,” I was unable to suppress my grinning.

He patted me on the thigh. “You still want to continue lessons?”

“How much business do you scare away like that?” I said, trying my darnedest to be assertive and authoritative. “Do you always do that with first-timers?”

“No, I have never done that on the first lesson,” he said rather sheepishly. “I knew you could handle it though. You’re not mad are you?” he queried in a diminutive voice.

“I’ll think about it and let you know when I come back for my next lesson. Be advised, you have one coming and pay-backs are a bitch.” I looked him in the eye to punctuate my intentions. I couldn’t get mad at him; he was too cute and sexy. Besides, it was fun, even if I did very nearly die.

When the hour was about spent, we banked in the direction of the airport. Time had escaped us. It seemed like we had just started and it was nearly over. I was disappointed on two fronts; flying time was all but over and I would have to leave Adam’s company soon. On the bright side, my instruction was just beginning and I would have many opportunities to be in his company.

We parked the airplane, gassed it up, and went inside the FBO. I couldn’t contain myself and my excitement. I was chattering away like a school-girl on the first day of class. Adam was grinning at me as I rambled on. Having verbally exhausted myself, we took a seat on the couch in the reception room.

I sat quietly and became pensive as I drew a bead on my instructor. He rose to remove some books from the display case; I monitored his every move, he had a cute, pert butt. I wanted to look away but I couldn’t. He was decisively easy on the eyes; he was my type. At the very least, someone I wanted to know.

He returned to the couch with some aviation textbooks. I scooted next to him when he sat down. As he was highlighting things for me to read before my next lesson, I managed to touch his arm and hand a few times, as he flipped the pages. It was sheer delight.

After some time, we grew tired of the textbook aspect of flying, so he closed the book, folded the map and said, “You feel like getting a beer?”

“Yeah Okay, I’m not sure where to go around here.”

“I’ll lock up and you can follow me.”

“I’ll wait out front for you,” I said and exited the building. As I waited, I mulled over different scenarios with Adam and hopefully me. I decided not to get ahead of myself. I would go slow and easy; I reminded myself that I was lonely and the fact that he may not be gay was a very real possibility.

I followed him for a couple of miles and we turned into the parking lot of a bar called “The Red Baron Saloon.” It was on the backside of the airport. The bar was full of flying memorabilia and was rather old and dirty with peanut shells on the floor. Aviation pictures hung from the walls and replicas dangled from the ceiling; it had character. I liked the overall feel; there was a certain charm to it.

We took two stools at the far end of the bar where it returned to the wall facing the door. I noticed we were the only customers. Adam held up two fingers and the bartender brought us two drafts. The beer was icy cold and delicious. I drank half of the glass in one swig.

Adam looked at me. “So, what’s your story?”

Great, I hate talking about myself, I thought. What was I supposed to say? Tell him I was attracted to him? Ask him to get naked? Maybe I should tell him I’m boring; after all, it would be the truth.

“What do you mean, my story? There’s nothing to tell. I was bored that’s why I decided to take flying lessons. What’s your story?”

I thought I would throw it back at him and see how he felt talking about himself. I wouldn’t mind knowing more about this guy that intrigued me. I liked his spontaneity; it was refreshing and unpredictable.

“I meant like are you in school? Are you from around here? That kind of thing.”

“Oh. I graduated last year from State and moved back to Chicago. When I got a job, I was transferred back here. I like living in a college town. Besides, I already know my way around from the five years I spent here in school.”

“What do you do for fun?”

Great again, now comes the part where I have to admit I’m a boring stick-in-the-mud. What is this anyway, twenty questions? I sure as hell am not going to admit to being an accountant. That’s bound to be a non-starter.

“To tell the truth, not much; I wanted to fly since I was a kid so I thought flying lessons would be fun,” I said with a hint of meekness and a little embarrassment. I thought my explanation sounded a bit coy.

Adam held up two fingers to the bartender.

 After the bartender served us, I could feel him staring at me. I was uncomfortable but stayed tuned in to him. The guy was sexy and I was quite taken with him. I was relatively sure he was checking me out. I watched him out of the corner of my eye as I sipped my beer. I cracked a few peanuts and ate them even though I wasn’t crazy about peanuts. I was confused. I didn’t know how to read him. I wasn’t getting it.

Enough of this wishful thinking I said silently. I’m going to take a leak and get out of here. I should go before I make an ass out of myself. I was sure I was forcing myself to see something that wasn’t there.

“I’m going to the restroom then head for home. I’ll be out in a minute,” I said and I rose to head for the can.

Inside the bathroom, I rearranged myself. No way was I going to empty my bladder; I’d be pissing in my face in my condition. I splashed water on my face and took a paper towel to dry off.

I looked at the person in the mirror and realized how utterly desperate my existence was. Aha, that’s what I had; an existence, not a life. My destiny was going to be one of a spinster, I was doomed to misery and loneliness. Go to work, go home, get up and do it again for the next fifty years or whatever. Die and go wherever, who gives a shit? Nobody.

The door swung open and in walked Adam. He approached me, stopped directly in front of me, and stared me in the eye. I stood there returning his gaze. He leaned forward, put a hand behind my head and drew my lips to his.

I stood there like a wet noodle as my head played catch-up. The scenario began to impact me, he was everything I always thought I would want in a boyfriend; cute, sexy, witty, handsome… the whole thing; and he was a fly-boy! My pulse was beating a mile a minute.

 I pushed him back and stood there with my hands on his hips. Here we were in a public bathroom kissing; two guys kissing in a public bathroom! Not good. I was nowhere near comfortable with public displays of affection. It made me nervous as hell; and two guys? Definitely a problem for me in public.

 “What’s wrong?” he said. Then he kissed me on the neck. That was one of my hot spots; it made me weak with pleasure.

I couldn’t help myself, my animal instincts were calling the shots. I pulled him close. “Come here” I said as I smothered him with a passionate kiss.

 “You’re so hot,” Adam said. “I want to be with you. We don’t have to do anything. I just want to be with you.”

“Do you treat all your students like this?” and I planted a good long one on his mouth.

When I relinquished control of his mouth he said,“Just the hot ones,” with a half-ass grin. “Actually, I never hit on a student before. You’re the first one.”

“It didn’t take you long. Let’s go sit down before someone walks in.” I reluctantly followed him as we took our places at the bar. I was relieved and fearful of having someone witness our rendezvous.

We were still the only customers, thankfully. He wrapped one of his legs behind mine and stroked my thigh. I was disarmed; I was at his mercy and loving it. When the bartender turned his back, he grasped my hand on top of the bar.

I panicked and pulled it away and said, “What are you trying to do? Get our asses kicked?” I said, somewhat surprised at myself.

He laughed and motioned to the bartender and said, “Rusty knows I’m gay; he’s gay too. He’s been trying to seduce me as long as I’ve known him.”

Adam leaned into me pressing his lips and torso forcefully against mine. I was caught off-guard and fell backward as I lost my balance. I caught myself by gripping his stool with my legs. He wasn’t easing up so I pulled myself upright with one hand on the bar. With the other hand, I pushed him back on his stool. Even though he turned me on, I was nervous and edgy about making out in public.

“Damn,” I said. “You almost broke my neck there dude. Easy does it, okay?”

“Yeah, I’m sorry, I had to have it though. You’re too fucking hot, John.”

“So are you. I’m sorry, I have a hard time being intimate with other people around. I guess it’s a personality defect or quirk or something” I said apologetically.

I looked at the bartender, he was watching and laughing. I was embarrassed and felt my face warming up. I hated public displays; aside from being risky, it was something I wasn’t at all comfortable with.

The bartender walked to our end of the bar and introduced himself and we shook hands. He was a few years older, nice looking and in good shape. We made small talk for a few minutes.

“Where did you find this fine specimen?” Rusty asked Adam.

“He’s a student of mine as of today.”

“Didn’t take you long to orchestrate things,” Rusty said, smiling.

“I’m just curious,” I said. “What made you so sure I was gay? That was a pretty big risk you took by making that assumption.”

“I could tell by the way you were checking me out. Then you were making every effort to touch me while we were reading, it was a dead giveaway.”

I just grinned. “Yeah, I couldn’t help myself.” We all had a chuckle.

We decided to get something to eat. During dinner, Adam asked if we could spend the night together. I hesitated for a moment. I found his personality quite appealing and the physical aspect was certainly there, but I was unsure of myself. I wanted to be with him; at the same time, I didn’t want it to be a one night stand. I liked him and was afraid it would end in a quick ‘pas de deux’; there were the flying lessons to consider as well.

I had a thousand dollars in my account at the FBO; and I would have to see him every time I took a lesson. In the end, I decided to take the long view and go home alone. It was a tough decision and I hoped he wouldn’t lose interest as a result. I had every intention of pursuing our mutual feelings. I just couldn’t get past my conservative nature.

I told him we could use the flying time to become better acquainted. He thought that was a good idea but frustrating, and we laughed. Before parting company, we exchanged numbers and a goodbye smooch.

I woke up early Sunday morning. It was the same time I awoke for the humdrum and monotony known as work; you can’t tame the internal clock for one day.

I lay in bed for a while lost in thought. I turned, rolled, tossed and tried to go back to sleep. After a half hour, I gave up and resigned myself to greet the new day.

I was thinking about Adam as I made coffee and a bagel. What did I know about him? Not much. I could care less about the usual faults; I had mine to be sure. I didn’t want to be a notch on his bedpost either. I was hoping for something more. If things somehow went awry, I had flying lessons and money on deposit to think about.

I wanted to call my sister and talk it over with her. She was a good confidant with a level head and aware of my sexuality. The problem was the time zone; she was two hours behind. She would likely put a contract out on me if I called her now.

It was times like these that I wished I had a gay best friend. My best friend, Jerry, was straight. He didn’t care that I was gay but there were certain things he really didn’t want to know or delve into, so I discharged that notion.

My caffeine level was too high and my stomach stopped growling so I started my morning routine in the bathroom.

As I went through the motions, I couldn’t get Adam out of my mind. He seemed to be somewhat spontaneous and impulsive. The way he stalled the plane and came onto me the first time we met. I was attracted to him and wanted to know more about him. We hadn’t talked much about ourselves during dinner; it was mostly idle conversation.

I wanted to know about his family; that told a lot about a person. He hadn’t mentioned any goals or expectations that he was working toward. Neither did I, for that matter. After showering and primping, I decided to call him and see if he had plans for the day.

Three rings later, a voice said, “Hello?”

It wasn’t Adams’ voice so I said, “Hi, this is John. Is Adam there?”

“Oh, hi John, nice to meet you; I’m Jim. Adam told me all about you. Hang on, I’ll go get him” and I heard the receiver come to rest on a hard surface.

Shit, how could he tell him all about me? He doesn’t know anything about me. We didn’t discuss family or any of those personal issues. I decided it was a good sign. He wouldn’t talk about me if he wasn’t interested. I satisfied myself with that line of deductive reasoning.

“Hi John,” Adams’ voice came through the earpiece. “What you up to?”

I perked up with sound of his voice. “Uh, that’s the reason I was calling. I’m not up to anything. I was wondering if you had plans for today?”

“Jim and I were just trying to come up with something. Do you want to come over and we’ll put our heads together?”

I couldn’t help but think ‘who the hell is Jim?’ Does he have a significant other?

“Who’s Jim anyway?” I asked.

“We’re roommates and friends. Nothing to worry about.”

“Oh, okay. Yeah, that sounds good. I’m showered and everything; is it all right if I head over now?” I said feeling relieved with the clarification.

“Yeah sure, see you when you get here.”

We said our goodbyes and hung up.

I was pleased that someone else would be with us. He would have to be himself in the company of a friend or get called on it. That was a good thing.

When I arrived at their address I was somewhat taken back with the premises. They lived in a gated, luxury condominium complex with a guardhouse at the entrance. The guard made a call then hung up and gave me directions to their unit. I waited for the gate to rise then proceeded to the Condo.

I rang the bell and the door swung open almost immediately to a smiling Adam. He grabbed my hand, pulled me inside and shoved the door closed. He embraced me and gave me a big kiss. I put my arms around him and pulled him close to complete the picture.

When we broke for air, Adam turned and introduced me to Jim, whom I hadn’t noticed. Jim was grinning big time and extended his hand. I could feel my cheeks glowing from our brief exchange. I wasn’t sure how I missed Jim standing there, it made me nervous.

“Hi, nice to meet you,” Jim said and he extended his hand.

“Nice to meet you too” I replied, feeling very much on display while shaking his hand.

Jim turned to Adam. “So this is the dude you couldn’t coax into bed on the first date huh?”

“This is him. What do you think?”

“I’ll take him if you don’t want him,” Jim said, bearing down on me with his eyes.

“Over my dead body!” Adam countered and placed his arm around my shoulders. He was sporting a huge grin.  That was comforting, it made me feel a bit more welcome and a little less vulnerable.

I didn’t know Jim, and here he was discussing going to bed. To top it off, I didn’t like showing affection in front of a stranger or being the center of attention. Wallflower was my preferred mode. I wanted to take refuge in the nearest niche.

“I think you could do a hell of a lot worse. He’s hot,” Jim said. Then, he wet his finger on his tongue and touched me as he made a searing noise.

That did it. That was too over the top for me.

“Okay, that’s enough if you guys don’t mind” I said seriously and trembling a bit from the morning coffee. My insecurities were roiling on the inside.

They both laughed but I didn’t think it was funny. I was embarrassed and wanted to hide.

Adam said, “Cool it Jim,” as they escorted me to the kitchen. He sensed my inner turmoil and I was grateful for that.

I sat on a stool at the island and began fidgeting with a spoon and napkin. As I surveyed the room, I surmised that this was what one called a ‘gourmet kitchen’ though I wasn’t sure, never having seen one. The kitchen was bigger than our living room at home and grand in every sense of the word.

I wanted to hold Adam like a security blanket but I suppressed the urge. I felt spot-lighted with the bantering he and Jim did earlier and I wanted some reassurance.

“Can I get you something John?” Adam asked.

“I’m okay, thanks. So have you guys come up with something to do today?”

Jim said, “Adam wants to take a drive in the country.”

I quickly responded, “That’s a great idea. Let’s do it. I was praying they would like the idea. I loved drives in the country. I knew a few places that I was sure they hadn’t seen.

“Let me know what you decide, I’m going to take a shower,” Jim said as he left the room.

“Is Jim into flying?” I asked.

“No he hates when I talk about it. He thinks it’s boring and changes the subject. He especially hates small planes. He’s afraid of them.”

“I guess going to the airport or flying is out of the question then.”

“Yeah, pretty much if Jim comes with us.”

Adam came around the island and wrapped his arms around me from behind and kissed the top of my head. It felt real good; I closed my eyes, turned in his arms and kissed him on the lips. We held it for a few moments and I stood up and pulled him in. I buried my head between his head and shoulders. I inhaled him, rubbed his back and relished his nearness.

I released him with a peck on the cheek and sat down. I knew I had to slow down somewhat. I reminded myself that I was lonely and, if I was honest, insecure to a fault so take it easy, ‘Keep it on an even keel’ I told myself. We made small talk until Jim returned.

After his shower, Jim came down the hall into the kitchen.

“What did I miss?” He said. “I didn’t hear anything while I was dressing.”

“Nothing to report” Adam said. He stood up and walked to the other side of the island behind Jim.

“So what are we doing today?” Jim asked.


“We?” Adam said, and he winked at me. He was taunting Jim. “You want to crash our first date?” Adam said with a devilish grin on his face. I couldn’t help but smile; he had a way of keeping the ball in the air.

We decided to go for a drive in the country and had a great time.  The colors were close to peaking and the afternoon sun seemed to embolden natures’ palette. We stopped at a cider mill and bought some fresh cider and a bag of apples that we divided among ourselves.  We went to the dam that held the city’s water supply and walked the length of it. Jim popped for lunch at a roadside diner and we ordered burgers and fries. I sat next to Adam and did the touchy-feely thing as much as I dared and he returned the favor. It didn’t go unnoticed. We kidded each other a lot and the two of them made me feel like I was an old friend.

I learned that Jim came from a well to do family. His parents bought the Condo for him to live in while he attended school. After he graduated, he found a job in his field in town so he decided to stay.  He said he had recently dated a guy a few times but stopped calling since it wasn’t going anywhere. Jim was tall with dark hair and eyes tending on the handsome side with a medium build. I didn’t think he would have much trouble attracting another suitor.

After we talked it became evident that Jim was a nice person with admirable qualities.  He was genuine, sincere, and un-spoiled by his privileged upbringing. I thought he was a good guy and a worthwhile person. He was a lot like the rest of us, just trying to make his way in the world.

Adam turned out to be six months older which put him a year ahead in school. He had graduated from the aviation program at State a year ahead of me and wanted to be a corporate pilot.  He was currently building hours in his logbook and still receiving financial help from home to make ends meet, although Jim wasn’t charging him rent. Since he was an only child, I surmised that it wasn’t terribly burdensome for his parents. I found out that he had a boyfriend for a few months in college but it ended when they graduated and the guy moved away.  Adam indicated it was hard for a while but he had managed to get over it.

I set my inhibitions aside and kissed Adam a few times in front of Jim. It was hard to keep my hands off him, he was liking it. When got back to the Condo, we kissed goodbye and I found it difficult to leave; we had a great time together.

As I reflected on the day that night in bed; I realized I was more or less stuck on Adam. All things considered, I couldn’t find much that I didn’t like about him.  He was smart and witty with a kind streak as wide and deep as the ocean. Those brown eyes and hair coupled with his personality made me want to hold him and not let go. I placed him squarely in my sights. I hugged my pillow wishing it were Adam and went to sleep.


*   *   *   *   *    *


A few months into the relationship Adam and John had steadily escalated things to significant other status, though their relationship hadn’t been consummated as yet thanks to Johns cautious, reserved nature. John told Adam that he thought they should wait until they moved in together to go all the way. Adam was wanting to live together and applying steady pressure to that end. John was holding out and not quite sure why; he had a pretty good idea where things were going. In his mind, when he acquiesced it would be a betrothal of a sort and therefore needed serious scrutiny.

It was rare that one of them was seen without the other. John was with Adam every minute he wasn’t working. He caught himself daydreaming about Adam at his desk and having trouble concentrating on his work. John had acquired some deep seated feelings for Adam and finding it harder and harder to abstain from a full commitment. If John were honest with himself, he would admit that he loved all that was Adam, wholly and fully. And that he surely did, his thoughts could attest to it.

Adam, for his part, with all his impulsiveness and spontaneity was beyond infatuation; he didn’t recognize the depth and extent of his own feelings.  Quite simply, he had taken the plunge; he had been snagged hook, line and sinker. Adam wasn’t aware of it but he was out of circulation, he was hopelessly committed. He was stuck in a rut called John and happy as a Lark to be there.

Adam was the perfect match for John.  Whereas John was the quintessential worrywart and prone to over analyzing things; Adam spiced the relationship with verve and a certain ‘joie de vivre’.  He provided the spark that John needed and craved; together they achieved harmony, they were in balance… they were in love.

John went directly to the airport after work every day.  There were many times he co-piloted the Aztec when Adam was shuttling  VIP’s or delivering airfreight.  He logged those hours and enjoyed it immensely, if only for Adams company.

If Adam was out for a lesson or on a charter when John arrived, Mr. Hughes would leave and John would hold the fort down until Adam returned and locked up.

John could hardly contain his anticipation when Adam was gone. He would alternately sit and pace the FBO floor and monitor the tower for the first hint of Adams voice, all the while glancing at the end of the runway. He knew full well that he would hear Adam on the radio before he saw him but he couldn’t help himself. When Adam returned they would lock up and spend the night at the Condo.

 One night after Adam locked up and the two were at Jims place, Adam broached the subject for what seemed to him the umpteenth time.

“John, what’s the problem with you and me living together? We both know it’s right. Why are you doing this to us?” Adam looked like a little kid pouting. John thought he was cute as hell, but Adam had ache in his heart, he was lovesick.

Facing away from Adam, John smiled. He knew Adam wanted to make love, “You have a one track mind and it’s in the gutter most of the time. Did I hit the nail on the head horndog?”

“Well yeah, but that’s not all of it. John…” Adam stopped in mid-sentence. He approached John from behind and put his arms around Johns waist as he rested his head on the back of Johns shoulder. In a soft voice he said, “I love you” and he swallowed hard.

That was a big one for Adam. He had never said that to anyone outside his family and he had just bared his soul to John. Even though Adam wore his heart on his sleeve, he wasn’t accustomed to voicing his innermost feelings.

The gravity of the moment hit John like a ton of bricks. He turned in Adams arms to face the inevitable. He hugged Adam tightly as he rubbed his back and pulled his head in, cupping it with his hand. He stroked Adams soft fine hair. Without further thought, John said softly, “I love you too” and trembled slightly.

It was a first for John as well. If it was a big deal for Adam it was next to impossible for John to impart his intimate feelings. He felt like he had released a handful of helium filled balloons; it was liberating. He had done it and loved the sound of the words and the young man he was holding.

They stood in silence embracing each other for a few minutes neither one willing to let go of the interlude. At that place in time, they were as one in body, mind and soul; dictated by emotions beyond their control.

Adam raised his chin and kissed John on the side of the head and lowered his head, “How ‘bout it babe? You still haven’t answered the question.”

John thought to himself, ‘You have to hand it to the guy, he’s persistent’. John decided, what Adam wants Adam gets, and he wasn’t going to torment his lover boy or himself any longer.

“Yes, the answer has always been yes in my mind.” John winced as he allowed his inner self to overtake his being and could only imagine how Adam must be feeling.

“It took you long enough to get there. Still, all in all, I’m happy. When?” Adam said as he tightened the screws on John.

“As soon as we can work it out hon. I have to find out when my lease expires. My place is too small for two; we’ll need more room.”

“John, you were supposed to do that two weeks ago. What the hell?” Adam was hoping this wasn’t another one of Johns’ ploys, he was getting frustrated with the whole thing.

“I know, I know; I’m really gonna do it now, absolutely, I promise.”

Before Adam could respond John said, “You know what?”

“What?” Adam said as he drew his head back to look John in the eye.

“I don’t care when the lease is up. There’s only one months’ rent at stake. Screw it, let’s start looking now, okay?”

Adam was grinning madly and put a lip lock on John. The two kissed passionately as if to shake on the deal. When they finished, Adam took John by the hand and led him to his bedroom.

One Friday in late October, the managing partner of John’s office was going to be out of the office for the day and the news spread quickly.  The company was on flextime and John was able to stay late or come in early provided the company wasn’t closing the quarter or fiscal year so he began to formulate a plan.

John was approaching the forty-hour mark and still hadn’t taken his long solo cross country. That meant a minimum of three touch and go’s; or crash and dash as the case may be, at three different airports and the total distance had to be 150 nautical miles with one leg at least 50 nautical miles long. He would ask Adam to go, which he wasn’t supposed to do, but John knew he’d go along with his request.

John planned to reserve the 152 for the last slot Friday afternoon and first two slots on Saturday morning to make the trip. They would leave late Friday afternoon to arrive before dusk since John wasn’t night certified.  John designated the first destination as Manchester, which was an uncontrolled field at 60.55 nautical miles from the airport. 

It was a romantic lake resort town frequented by tourists and nestled in the mountains with assorted restaurants, a boardwalk, and an abundance of quaint Victorian inns. He wanted to make dinner reservations at one of the better eating establishments so he could wine and dine Adam. John was planning to go all the way with Adam that night.

They had already professed their love for each other and began to search for a place to live. John reasoned, why prolong the agony? And he loved Adam like no one he had ever known. So he set out to square it away with Adam.

“Adam, will you go with me on my long solo cross country?”

“Yeah, why do you ask. You know I will” and he gave John a look as if to say ‘duh’.

“Well it’s supposed to be solo but if you don’t say anything it’ll be the same as me doing it alone.”

“I’ll sign you off now if you want. You’re an excellent pilot and we’ve taken longer trips than that already.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence. I was hoping we could spend Friday night in Manchester and complete the trip Saturday morning. What do you think?”

Adam smiled at John and hugged him firmly. He was going to spend the night with John out of town; and in Manchester! What more could he ask for?  He was enamored with the thought. They were in Adams bedroom and held on for some time. Adam leaned back and said, “Of course I’ll go” and kissed John.

John smiled and put his head on Adams shoulder and said, “Good, I made reservations at an inn and restaurant. I thought if we left at four we would arrive a little after five and still have some daylight to walk around before dinner. You know, walk through some galleries and shops, touristy stuff. It can be our first special night together.”

Adam couldn’t believe what he was hearing, “Did Father John just say what I thought he said?” Adam teased exuding delight.

“There’s no priest here so you must be hearing things. Apparently you’ve been breathing thin air too long. And your eyes are bugging out too, yup definitely thin air syndrome.” John was grinning.

“For someone that has their head in the clouds all the time, you should know” Adam shot back and clipped John on the back of the head with an open palm.

John pushed Adam backwards onto the bed and jumped on him. After a quick kiss he began to tickle Adam relentlessly. Adam was near tears and begging for relief when John let him up gasping for air, only because Adam was going to ‘wet his pants’.

John hurried out of the bedroom not wanting to be on the receiving end of Adams backlash and made a dash for the kitchen which was neutral ground.

As soon as Adam was able to gather himself, he sauntered into the kitchen. John was sitting at the island drinking a beer and Adam clipped him on the back of the head on his way to the fridge.

“Hey, abuse will get you nowhere. Do it again and your dead meat. It’ll be death by laughter.”

John was hoping that was the extent of Adams redress and his feigned protest was enough to even the score.

“I haven’t begun to exact my revenge. You’re a marked man in deep doodoo. I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes.”

“These are awfully big shoes to fill. Maybe you can grow into them” John said on a condescending note and laughed.

“Very funny Mr. Gaboris. I feel a headache coming on. I think it’ll be here Friday night.”

“You wouldn’t” John said. He looked at Adam who was grinning from ear to ear with a glint in his eye. “You would wouldn’t you? I wouldn’t put it past you.”

“We’ll see.” Was all Adam said and ignored John as he walked by.

John grabbed him and pulled him into his lap and locked his arms around Adam so he couldn’t move. Adam was bouncing and squirming as he tried to free himself to no avail. John was laughing loud and not sure how much longer he could maintain his hold on his boy.

“Now who’s in deep doodoo?” John said laughing.

“Let me go Gaboris” Adam demanded.

That made John laugh all the harder. It was more than he could stand. Adam in distress, it was too funny.

“I’m going to let you go for now but you better behave” and John released him; he couldn’t hold him any longer if he wanted to.

Jim came out of his bedroom to see what the buzz was about.

“Hi John, what’s going on here? Are you guys fighting?” Jim said with a knowing smirk on his face as he focused on Adam. He wanted to witness the antics.

“Yeah, it’s a to death thing” Adam said, and John did a double take on Adam. Man, this guy keeps getting better all the time; to death rang a bell in Johns head. He’s incredible, John thought.

“Adam was receiving some overdue discipline. I think he’s all the better for it.” John said.

“You’re pathetic. I don’t think I like you anymore” Adam said and took a beer from the fridge.

“Get over here boy. And I shouldn’t have to tell you twice” John said as he and Jim laughed.

“I’m waiting!”

“Don’t hold your breath Mr. Gaboris” Adam said defiantly.

“Son, you’re fighting me” John said in his best parental voice.

Adam laughed and said, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

They chatted idly for a few minutes. Jim went back to his bedroom. Adam, with John in tow, returned to Adams bedroom.

As they stripped to their underwear, John said, “So we’re going to make the trip then? It will be nice and romantic, just the two of us.”

“It’s a go babe. There’s nothing scheduled for Friday afternoon; when I get to work in the morning I’ll reserve the time slots for us. Now come to bed” Adam said as he pulled John into the sack. They rolled around and struggled for a few minutes trying to get the upper hand on each other then gave up and drifted off.

John may as well have called in sick Friday morning. He was on cloud nine all day and didn’t accomplish much of anything. John had committed himself and was ecstatic with his admonition. He stared at the monitor on his desk but all he saw was Adam beside him, in front of him, on top of him, underneath him… Adam was all over the place in his thoughts.

“What’s wrong, John?” a voice behind him said.

John pivoted in his chair and regarded the figure behind him. His boss was standing tall and inquisitive as John straightened up in his chair.

John said, “Nothing Will, why do you ask. I’m fine.”

In a low voice Will said, “Your work has been lacking lately, to say the least, and you’re one of my top producers.  Join me in my office” and Will walked toward his office.

Oh shit, was all John could think. Here we are looking for a new, more expensive place to live and I’m in trouble at work; Adams income is modest at best.

The only thing that came to mind was the commitment they had made to additional expenses. Damn, why the hell did I agree to that? I love him, that I know. I will go to any length to be with him, of that I’m certain. What will it cost? The possibilities spun in Johns mind.

In Will’s office with the door closed, John sat uncomfortably.

“What’s wrong, John?”

John sat in place rigid and mute. He sensed that life as he knew it was about to change forever. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling.

“If you have a problem, maybe I can help, or at least offer some advice.” Will was making every effort to nudge John as gently as he could.

Will was a large, middle aged African American man with a deep voice,  paternal in his management style. John liked him in a big way and respected the man. He had always been forthright and upfront with him. John had been to his house for dinner on a few occasions and got on famously with his family.

“No you can’t but it’s nice of you to offer. Oh, and by the way I don’t have a problem.” John was doing his best to avoid eye contact and more than cognizant of his imploding situation.

“John, is it a woman?” Will pressed on. “We can talk. I know you well enough to see there’s something wrong.” Will bored into John with his eyes as if to say he wasn’t leaving until this was resolved.

John saw the intent in Wills eyes and decided to come clean and let the chips fall where they may. He wasn’t out to his parents or anyone else at work but he didn’t feel like hiding from Will any longer. He wanted to get it off his chest and Will was the fatherly type and more friend-like than boss.

John exhaled with a sigh, looked up and said, “It’s not a woman Will, and yes it’s love. I can’t think straight. I am so...” He was going to say ‘in love’ but changed his mind. “I’m so embarrassed.”

John started tearing up and couldn’t stop himself. He began crying tears of joy, tears of happiness, tears of relief and tears of regret for what may come; he let it all hang out for the first time in his life. He put his hands to his face as he sobbed. He wished Adam were there in the worst way.

“It’s okay John, take your time.” Will was silent for a few moments. “ What’s his name?” Will said in a warm, assuring tone, devoid of judgment.

John looked up with tears streaming down and said, “His name is Adam and I love him. He’s all I care about” and the dam burst as he hid his face in his hands. He was for sure that his career was over.

“It’s okay John.” Will came around his desk and sat next to him. He put one arm around John and encouraged him to get it out of his system. John sat there and sobbed, his body shook with every whimper that escaped him.

A few minutes passed before John was able to regain control of himself; he dried his face and blew his nose with some tissue from Wills desk. John looked at Will to see he was smiling but wasn’t sure what to say. He stared at the top of Wills desk and waited for Will to speak. He was ready to clean his desk out.

“That wasn’t so bad was it?” Will asked.

“That depends on what’s coming next” John said sullenly, still gazing at Wills desk. John had already resigned himself to joblessness. He had money in the bank; not a heck of a lot, he was trying to play it out in his head. How long could he hold out before he was on the street; or worse, had to move home.

“John, your job is secure if that’s what you’re thinking, all minorities have to stick together,” and Will laughed as he tried to lighten the mood. John looked at him with a weak grin. The man certainly had charisma. He wanted to hug Will but knew that was inappropriate; John thought of the dude as a class act and wished he could be like him.

Will sensed that John was feeling better so he withdrew his arm. “John, I don’t claim to understand it all but it’s perfectly fine with me. The company has a policy toward minorities and sexual orientation is part of it. So you see, neither one of us can be discharged for being who we are.”

John liked the sound of that and felt a new bond with his boss. He silently wished his father was like this man and wondered how Will had acquired such a cosmopolitan outlook. John surmised that Will must have experienced some degree of discrimination in his fifty years of living and felt compassion for him.

“Back to the reason we’re here” Will said as he reclaimed his chair at his desk. “You are one of my best employees John; your work has always held up to the auditors. In fact, I don’t recall ever having problems or questions arise on your behalf. Lately, your production has been significantly off and that’s the reason I called you in here.”

John was looking Will in the eyes as he spoke. When Will paused for emphasis, John took the opportunity to speak up, “I’m aware of it Will and I promise I’ll correct my performance. I’ve had a lot on my mind recently, so it’s been hard to concentrate. Will, we decided to live together; that’s what I’ve been struggling with.”

“Your personal life isn’t any of my business but I appreciate your candor. Professional people need to be able to separate domestic problems from job related issues. I want you to think about that, okay?” Will paused for a moment. “John, why don’t you take the rest of the day off. Think about what I’ve said over the weekend and give it a fresh start come Monday. I have faith in you.”

“Thanks Will. Thanks a lot. Man, if I was in Perkins’ section I’d be screwed now. You’re the best Will, I really mean it. If there’s anything you need at crunch time you can count on me.”

Will smiled, “Just bring your A-game Monday, okay kid?” as he stood up behind his desk and extended his hand.

John stood up, shook his hand and said, “You got it. And thanks again Will.”

John started for the door and Will said, “John?”

John turned to face him, “Yeah?”

“Maybe you could bring him to dinner sometime.”

John obviously liked what he heard; he was beaming “That would be great, Will. I’d like that; anytime, just say the word.” John headed for the door and entered the world renewed.

Will grinned as he watched John leave his office, smiles and all. For some reason he liked the kid, gay or straight he didn’t care. The kid was okay in his book. He sat down at his desk smiling and shaking his head, ‘Ahh, to be young and in love’.

John went to his apartment to change and pack for the overnight excursion. He was feeling good about his session with Will. He felt baptized or anointed or something; he didn’t know what it was, it was cathartic for sure.  As far as he was concerned, all was right with the world and he had a place in it.

It was early afternoon and John decided to hit the drive-thru at Burger King and pick up lunch for himself and Adam. When he arrived at the FBO, Adam was behind the desk reading the newspaper, feet on the desktop as per usual. John had the idea to ding the bell and startle the hell out of Adam but the smell of burgers and fries beat him to it.

“Hey babe.” Adam said lowering the paper.

“Hi yah sexy, where’s Señor Hughes?”

“He went to lunch. Whachya got in the bag?”


“Bullshit, did you bring me lunch?” Adam felt hunger pains as he inhaled the aroma.

“No I thought you would be gone. It’s for that cute air traffic controller in the tower.”

Adam bounded out of his chair around the counter at John with an evil twinkle in his eye, and John took off running for the door. He threw the door open to the tarmac and ran to the front of the Aztec skipping intermittently and laughing. Adam abandoned the chase and went back inside to eat his lunch, locking the door behind him.

When John tried the door it was secure. He pounded on the glass and yelled that he had decided to take his long cross country alone so it was okay that he was locked out. John started to walk around the building to the parking lot as though he was going to leave; he was grinning on the inside.

Adam unlocked the door and took off in hot pursuit of John,  jumped on his back wrapping his arms around Johns neck and legs around his thighs, “You’re not going anywhere without me, you hear?”

John bent forward under Adams weight laughing, unable to straighten up in his weakened state. “Get off me before I call the cops. This is assault. I’ll have you locked up. Get off me damn it.” John was laughing so hard he fell forward on the ground with Adam clinging to his back; pleased that his boy was so predictable and he could evoke the response he was looking for.

Adam kissed his neck and held him down for a moment before he let John get up. As Adam climbed to his feet, John noticed one of the A&P (airframe and power plant) mechanics watching from the tarmac in front of the adjacent hangar. He pretended not to notice.

Adam extended his hand assisting John to his feet. John accepted and once on his feet, they noticed Mr. Hughes in the parking lot watching them from his car. They made their way inside and Adam went back to his now cold burger and fries. The air in the FBO was somber.

‘What the hell else can go wrong today?’ was the only thought on Johns mind.

Mr. Hughes came in the front door with a stolid look on his face and sat at his desk behind the counter. Adam was eating the balance of his lunch on the sofa in the reception area.

Eyes were darting back and forth and no one spoke.

John walked over and sat next to Adam and said softly, “I love you in case you forgot. We are going to be lovers before the night is over. Don’t let the old man spoil it.”

 “That’s nice but now my boss knows about us. Did you see him in the parking lot?” Adam said with trepidation.

“Yes, I saw him and felt him glaring at us when we stood up. Did you see the guy at the hangar watching?”

“You’re shitting? One of the mechanics saw us?”

“Yeah, I don’t know his name but I definitely know his face. We’ve been in there enough times that I know who he is” John said.

“You know what John? I don’t care anymore it’s too damn difficult to hide. I would rather be unemployed with you than sneak around. If I’m with you I can be happy anywhere and I do mean anywhere. I’m over it.”

“I don’t care anymore either Adam. I had a tête à tête with my boss today. I thought I was going to be fired but it worked out okay. He wants to meet you and I want you to meet him; I know you’ll like him. I feel closer to him than my own father. He’s a great guy and he knows all about us.”

“That’s cool, but Mr. Hughes is sitting over there, c’mon let’s do this.”

The two of them walked around the counter toward the desk Hughes was occupying. Adam sat on the corner of the desk and stared Hughes in the eye not saying a word. He was ready to tell the old man to shove it and John was there to back him up and take him home.

They sat there staring each other down; neither one making an effort to speak. It was, perhaps, two minutes but the deafening silence and tension in the room made it seem like an hour.

John was awed at the stamina Adam exhibited. ‘Where did he learn that?’ John wondered. It was a kind of brinkmanship; a push and shove type thing without words or deeds.

Finally, Adam chose to break the silence and Hughes looked away.

“Mr. Hughes, we’re taking the 152 this afternoon and not coming back until mid-morning.  The reservation is in the book. It’s paid for in advance. We’ll be leaving soon.”

“Adam, can we talk?” the old man asked shifting his gaze out the window.

“Yeah, shoot. What’s on your mind?” Adam was primed and pumped; he was ready for battle. If the old man wanted conflict, Adam was geared up.

“Adam” the tired pilot said. “I’m and old man. I flew in WWII, the Korean conflict and downed a lot of enemy aircraft. I’m lucky to be here and not entirely proud of what I did. I’m not an intelligent person, and I don’t claim to be. What I do know; I know for sure. I saw you and John a few minutes ago on the lawn. I’ve suspected something like this for awhile now. I’ve always liked you, in fact, I’ve never trusted an employee more than you.”

The old man cleared his throat and went silent; still avoiding eye contact. He appeared to be gathering his thoughts.

“I’ve been wanting to talk to the two of you for some time now. I’m not sure of myself at this point and would like to reserve my thoughts until next week. Do you have any students tomorrow?” the old man asked Adam.

“No, and unless someone calls in the next few minutes, there are no lessons scheduled for tomorrow” Adam stated.

“Mr. Hughes” Adam said. “Do you have a problem with us?”

There’s that persistence again, John thought. He was proud to be with Adam and wanted to hold him then and there.

“I guess not or maybe I do. I don’t know. What the hell do I know?” the old man said. “My wife and family are gone. To grow old is to change a lot, and things have changed. We’ll talk next week. I’m not mad or looking to fire you. There’s a proposition I’ve been mulling over.”

Adam went on the uptake, “Mr. Hughes, you and all the people of your generation deserve the credit for the quality of life we enjoy today. Without your effort, our generation couldn’t live our lives freely and openly. We all owe your generation big time. But, you’re right. Things have changed.”

“Thanks, have a nice weekend and don’t forget to lock up” was all Mr. Hughes said as he rose and excused himself to go home.

Adam came to the front of the desk, wrapped his arms around John and kissed him with great affection and conviction. Now more than ever, he was convinced that John was all he needed. All John could do was embrace his love and admire all that was Adam, he had a deeper appreciation for him after the ordeal, the guy was truly amazing.

The duo retrieved their overnight bags from their vehicles and tossed them in the cargo area of the 152.

Seated in the cockpit, John had pre-flighted the aircraft and waited for the most important person in his life. He recalled everything that had happened and realized how it made him love Adam all the more; with Adam, anything was possible. He didn’t want to consider going forward without him. To John, they were unsinkable.

As Adam closed the office, he was pondering his future with John and where it may lead them. There were no guarantees but if he were with John, he could face anything. He climbed in the aircraft and kissed his other half. He was ready to commence their sojourn into life. Nobody said it was going to be easy.



Thanks to Colin Kelly and my Canadian friend Michel for their help.