"Why didn't you tell me before, Mum!"
"I was afraid you would not accept him..."
"But you accepted me, right? How could you then be afraid that..."
"You know... to you he is a stranger, and in some way he would have taken your poor dad's place, and..."
"Does he love you? Is he a good man?"
"Yes. And he wants also to marry me..."
"Mum! What are you waiting for, then?"
"I didn't want to leave you, Jacques, but I didn't want to impose his presence on you..."
"Well, now I am not alone anymore, right? I'd like if we could meet? Or are you ashamed of me, that I'm gay?"
"Don't be a dumb ass! He knows. I will never be ashamed of you, you had to know that, don't you?"
"And he? How did he react?"
"Well, differently I would never forgive him." the woman determinedly answered.
"Does he know also about Alain and me?"
"Sure, I tell him everything."
"He asked me: 'are they in love?' 'And how!', I answered. So he asked 'Are you happy?'. 'Sure, a lot.' I said. Then he said to me: 'Therefore you love also the boyfriend of your boy.' 'Sure.' I said. And he says: 'Very good. If you are happy, then I too am.' So, you see, there is absolutely no problem."
"OK, let's meet your man. What's his name? What does he do? How old is he? I want to know everything..."
"I'll invite him for lunch, if you like. His name is Gilbert, he is a plumber, he's my age. He's a widower, but has no children. He's Martine's brother."
"Ah, now I see why you were going so often and so willingly to meet her!" Jacques exclaimed with a slightly cunning tone.
His mother lightly blushed, but smiled, and the young man had the amused thought that it almost seemed that he was her father and she was a daughter caught red handed.
When Alain was back home, they told him about his father's visit and the colloquy he had with Jacques's mother, and then also about the mother's man. They talked all three, right like any family, and decided that they will spend the following Sunday all four together, so they could became acquainted with Gilbert.
Two days later, Alain received by mail a letter from his father.
I thoroughly considered your situation. I must admit I had a somewhat too impulsive reaction, the last time we met. If you are as you are, it is stupid and useless for me not to accept it, even if, as you can understand, it is not easy for me - because of my education, habits, culture. But I don't want to justify myself, as I don't ask you to justify yourself. You are an adult, now, you are twenty one years old, you have the right to do, and to defend, your choices. And I have the duty to respect them. If you decide to come back here, this is always your home, but if you prefer to live with Jacques, you are right to do it, and I wish you to be happy. Anyway, I would like you not to break it off with me and your family. And if, as I really hope, you will agree, I would entrust you with the organisation of the handicapped section in our gyms. I was thinking, if you agree, to a regular work, for you and Jacques, with a regular contract for both, and a monthly pay. Besides, of course, the payment of all your expenses to the day of your graduation. I hope you will accept this project, and that you are not still upset for my first reaction. All the family sends you their best wishes. We all hope to see you soon, you both, of course, and to have you sometimes here also for a meal. Please give my best regards to Madame Moiret, who I esteem and respect very much.
Alain was moved. He couldn't expect more from his father, this was almost an apologising letter and he was handing him the palm of peace. Alain knew he owed a big part of that letter to Jacques's mother. Differently from his father, Alain decided not to write an answer but to go home to meet his family and to directly talk with his father. When he arrived, met Didier that welcomed him with real joy.
"How's Jacques?" was Didier first question, and that pleased very much Alain.
"Fine, thank you, and sends you his greetings. And you? And the others?"
"I'm fine. And also the others. Dad, the other day during the meal, told us about you. He was so funny..."
"Funny? And why?" Alain curiously asked.
"He never said the word gay or anything like it, he turned around it with a skill that was almost unbelievable. 'You see,' he told us, 'Alain possibly decided to stay at his friend's home and to continue to care about him. Therefore I thought that both together they could attend to the rehabilitation programs of our gyms. If Alain wanted to come back here, he would of course be welcome, differently, if they come to see us, well, this is Alain's home, therefore also Jacques will always be welcome here. Did you understand me?' and so on, and so on..."
"Yes, it's really his style. Also the letter he sent me is more or less on the same tune. I came to tell him that I prefer to stay with Jacques, but that we accept his work offer."
"You must be happy, at last, to be able to stay with him, isn't it? All's well that ends well..."
"And... that problem about what you told me?"
"With Jean? All like before. We continue to dream about girls and... to do it between us. But now I don't make of it a problem any more. I stopped looking for labels. Then, there is one girl, a schoolmate, who possibly... I don't yet know, but I feel she might like me." the boy said quietly.
While they were waiting for the rest of the family, the two brothers talked about other subjects. His mother and his sister treated him as always, as if nothing happened, like Alain foresaw. His father, exactly as Didier said: the man talked about him and Jacques, avoiding absolutely to name their relationship, their love. 'Well, better than nothing!' Alain thought, but he was happy since he was no longer living at home. He went to his room to collect some of his belongings, said good bye and went back to "his home".
Finally on Sunday they met Gilbert. They found him really likeable. He was a simple, quiet man, and also somewhat handsome, and it was evident that he and Jacques mother loved each other. In front of Alain and Jacques, Gilbert asked Madeleine to marry him, now that there were no more obstacles.
"You can come live at my place, and leave this apartment to the boys. Don't you think it would be a good idea? You will make me happy, and them too, I think. Do you agree, Madeleine?"
"Yes, Gilbert. And thank you to have been so patient with me to now. You really are a dear man..."
"Well, when there is love, patience comes naturally, right boys? And, by the way, will you two be our best men for the marriage?" Gilbert cheerfully said.
"Willingly. Will you marry at the church?" Alain asked.
"What a question! Of course!" the mother answered.
"Lucky couple, as you can do it." Jacques said with a slightly sad smile.
"Well, boys, what's important is to love each other, isn't it?" Gilbert understandingly answered.
"You have just, during our ceremony, when your mother and I will say our yes, you have just to say your yes as well..." Gilbert suggested.
"But inside yourselves, not aloud!" the woman exclaimed with an air half serious half facetious, and everybody burst out in laughter.
The couple married two months later. It was a simple, intimate ceremony, and the two boys, at the moment of the 'yes', looked intensely in each other eyes - the both knew that the other was saying his 'yes' in his heart. After the ceremony all four went with the close relatives of the newly married couple, to eat in a restaurant. At the main table sat the married couple and, at the right of them, side by side, Jacques and Alain.
Babette's mother, aunt Nicole, at a certain point asked: "But the best men, have not to sit one at the right and the other at he left of the married couple, Madeleine? Isn't that a bit strange?"
"Yes, but... this is a slightly different marriage, you see, Nicole. So we decided the places in this way. I didn't want to divide my boys right in this occasion..." the mother serenely answered, and Gilbert winked to the two young men.
Then aunt Nicole replied: "Oh yes, I see..." but with the air of who really didn't understand at all.
After the party, Gilbert and Madeleine left for Lille for their honeymoon. And the two boys had the apartment all for themselves. Alain wanted to refresh and refurbish it. In the mother's room they made their room with a king size bed, and in Jacques room a studio and Alain took from his parents' house his last belongings. They also changed the living room - kitchen. Alain's father wanted to foot the bill for the refurbishing of the small apartment that the mother had put under Jacques's name.
Didier, to whom Alain told about their secret 'yes', said with a merry tone: "Then the new furniture is the marriage gift from dad, even if he does suspect nothing! But, I would have loved to be there in the church, that day..."
The two young men started to work in the chain of gyms, where several applications from handicapped boys began to come.
Alain had attached to his bike a sidecar, especially conceived for Jacques's wheelchair, so the two could easily move together without any problem.
The scandal that the father had feared didn't happen. Just a couple of journalists looked for the boys for some more articles, and when they made it clear that they were available only if the subject was just the handicapped people problem, the journalists accepted without great difficulty not to treat in their articles about their relationship. All proceeded well.
One day Alain told Jacques: "There's a journalist from Gay Pied who asked to interview us. What do you want we answer?"
"O my God, another one?" Jacques said jokingly, "Don't you think I've more than enough!"
"I hope so! So, what have we to do? Shall we arrange a meeting or not?"
"Yes, let him come here. Especially if he is young and handsome."
"Hey, didn't you say that I was more than enough? What's up, are you getting tired of me?"
"No. No, Alain. I will never get tired of you. Come here, that I will give you the proof." Jacques said in a provocative tone.
"What do you want to do to me?" Alain asked pretending to be worried but nearing him.
Jacques pulled his lover to him, starting to open Alain's trousers, one button after the other. "I want just to check if all in there is in order."
"Just as you left it. Nobody put their hand there."
"I hope so! Hey, did I ever tell you that you have a really fine tool, here?"
"Never as fine as yours. Oh, Jacques!" Alain murmured while his lover was starting to take care of it with great pleasure, "Hey, why don't we go to bed?"
"No, let me do this in my way, now. You never let me savour it in peace. As soon as it becomes hard, you at once hide it in my love channel!"
"Don't you like it?"
"And how! Sure I like it in there, you perfectly well know it. But I like it very much in this way also, and I want to sip at it in good peace. My little ass, if you want, you can have tonight. And with real pleasure. But now... Come on, Alain, now I want to make you enjoy in this way."
"But I? How can I make you enjoy, so?"
"As you want, later. Now that we are alone at home, we can also grant ourselves some little extra pleasure, isn't it?" Jacques asked him with a cunning smile.
"Certainly, my love." Alain answered with a warm smile and happily abandoned himself to his lover's caresses.