Late at night when Julian walked home with swaying his hips after candling eggs in Tita Polly’s poultry farm. He grew up in the bottom of the sordid squatter living with his family and an only child. Far from their house he could hear his mother Annie crying in too much pain and his father named Bartolome screaming groggy voice. Frequently, Bartolome went home drunk and asked money for his deadly vices or perhaps, uncontrolled to his emotion for misconception and jealous to his wife. Julian fell bad to see this hideous scenery and frightened him.
Young Julian hurriedly stepped on to their house and unknowingly thrown his satchel on the floor to protect his mother from his father’s injustice acts. Bartolome stood above them, his strong legs shaking, hold him tight and depriving him to be rebellious. He was right. His father needs money to gamble and Annie couldn’t give anything form her laundry service. His heart beat faster, then faster. He feared that might his father will get his money he earned in candling eggs. He struggled back but just one stroke of Bartolome’s arm could sweep off their feet because of his strong and big muscles. They left unease comforting each other and calm down.
Julian was a lanky twelve-year old gay that his unforgiving father open dislike him. He had black hair, thick and smooth, fair skin highly suffused with rose and dark eyes with heavy lids. He was quite tall and strong, however, these characteristics overshadowed his feminine emotion.
As gray of dawn grew into day Julian helped his mother in the market to sell fish before he went to school. He was reluctantly they were their gossips because of the bruises they have got. He could by now vividly picture out the intriguing stares of their neighborhood and the distance spoken deep in their hostile eyes. For when something like happened there were still people concern to them because of their kindness they bestowed. Especially, Julian was so respectful to his elders. And in as much as he was only young gay right there in their village he made sure not to make trouble to avoid his father more hate him.
In time he was in school to attend English class. He was quite curious looking to the crowd in the bulletin board. He joined them as he saw an announcement to a contest in their village. There were sports, music competition and he excitedly read below the gay beauty pageant that he shown of interest aside of the great prizes for the winners and he could buy a birthday present to his father. He ran to his classmates telling hem about the competition. Suddenly, Rupert came in with his set of friends intruding Julian’s delightful imagination. Hence, Rupert open dislikes to him as his father do but because of his eyes and square face and heavy black hair and because Rupert was angular and rounded at the angles, and could, at will, assume coercive stare, he was among Julian’s favorites.
“Gay beauty pageant is right for you pretty Julian but why don’t you join boxing and make a match in my strong muscles?”, Rupert suggested with his sarcasm laughter.
Julian ignored him the message was so clear.
The next day was the pageant night and he was confident to win the competition. And before the day after yesterday was his father’s birthday. He always hoped at having been forgiven because being a gay is not a sin, he said to himself.
For the time being, it seemed the night was meant for him. He stood up on the stage too dignified and honored for his performance with his glittering crown on his head, long beady gown and a charming face like a real woman in his age deserving to be entitled Miss Gay at that night. He painted a smile on his face because finally he could buy the polo he wished to buy for his father that he constantly saw in the boutique every time he passed by there from school.
Hereafter, in their house, his father sitting on beside the window, guzzled down the beer and lighted the cigarette. At first, he was reluctant to approach his father for the fear he might be scolded yet he think positive, strong and brave, whatever happens. So he handed to his father the wrapped gift upon greeting him a happy birthday.
“Happy birthday, Pa.”, Julian greeted his father while offering his present. Far from behind was her mother Annie watching them holding a lighted candle cake for Bartolome. “I hope you’ll like my birthday present.”
With that, Bartolome responded a hateful stare to Julian with an indicting look that gave as new stab into a yet unhealed wound of humiliation. Bartolome refused his gift as he stood up and slap the truth to his face sarcastically being gay. “You can’t fool me with your rubbish birthday present Julian. I don’t have a son like you.” He walked fiendish and left them.
Julian drew tears in his eyes. He had failed to his good intention, his great hope that his father will accept him just once. “Perhaps, father was right that I could be an anonymously famous as a man and precisely, we will live peaceful building a good relationship as a father and son.”, he moaned to his mother Annie trying to comfort him.
“But why…why this happen to me?’, he was bewildered. “Am I a prodigal son? I don’t ask it from God. It is my nature, without discipline from any natural accord of features,” he cried lavishly.
He went down the narrow tilting road; he passed his father drinking hard liquor with other hard drinkers outside the store in an outdoor table and benches for customers. They were laughing and drinking too much. Julian was afraid that might his father will see him passed by. He walked fast a s he could as if he don’t see anything familiar yet his father noticed him. His chest was so uncontrolled and opted to step back when Bartolome called him.
He was surprised when he looked back his father was smiling unto him and put his arms to his thin shoulders. Ah, he was just drunk! Bartolome caught all the attention of their neighborhood.
“This is Julian, my gay son.”, Bartolome raised Julian’s right arm into the air. On other hand, Julian was so glad to hear his father claiming him as his son. “Julian, why don’t show to them your natural accord? Pull off your pants!”, he asked fiendishly.
“No, I won’t.”, Julian was startled and so frightened. He protested and tried to escape from his father’s arms but the other men helped him to put off his clothes. He begged for a helped yet people just watched him to be uncovered.
Julian covered his body in his arms with grim embarrassment, a sense of injustice welling up inside him, he cried in indignation, he felt red, rotten tomatoes crush on his face, amid the din of his neighborhood’s humiliation.
“You acclaimed that you’re a girl but what’s that hanging on your front?”, Bartolome laughed out loud and so to the people around them. There was malice and fiendish sarcasm in his laughter.
He ran off to the river bank after he hastily wore his clothes. He felt uncertain, pity, anger and revenge that played in his mind but he couldn’t, it was still his father, even though. He still hoped his acceptance. He sobbed that he couldn’t understand what’s on him inside. Eventually, form a distant he heard a cry, a cry of a young boy blaming himself. He was surprised when he looked up and he saw Rupert behind the rock throwing a stone into the water. With his curiosity, he went over to Rupert and asked his misfortune. Rupert freaked out confessing to him because he felt awkward to Julian. Seeing him crying was a sign of his weakness but he admitted. He lost the game in boxing that made his father disappointed.
“I don’t know what exactly happened but my body give up.”, Rupert cried while looking his self in the water.
Julian gave a bedimpled smile. “There’s always another chance. Maybe, you need to practice more and work harder. Who knows?”
“Somehow, I love to shout, cry out loud that I’m a gay.”, He moaned to Rupert. ”I am a gay!”, he shouted as it was echoed and they laughed together.
Julian and Rupert had unlocked the meaning behind the glint of their eyes and expressing to each other’s misfortune was a good help and they became good friends.
In the meantime, it was night, and gradually before the break of day, the news frightened Julian that his father stabbed near his chest and he was in critical condition brought of drunkenness. He was tongue-tied and motionless. It was unexplainable; he was worried that he doesn’t know.
Shortly after, down to the hospital, he’s father needed of blood donation to sustain the volume of blood he lost or perhaps, he would die. Without hesitation, he voluntarily donated his blood since they have the same blood type. He didn’t think of any reason as long as his father would be saved.
Meanwhile, Bartolome recovered faster. He knew that Julian donated his blood to save him but he still mean to him. By then he couldn’t go out in the hospital for their unpaid bills. Annie was just a laundry woman and her earnings weren’t enough, too, even do it Quadra folds. And so Julian looked for a way. He asked the hospital to serve them until they could pay to the exact amount of their credit.
From then on, Julian would miss candling eggs in Tita Polly’s poultry farm every after school. Instead, he went directly to the hospital for his new ample works. He mopped the floor, cleaned dirty comfort rooms, helped in the kitchen to cook rations for the patient and various works until midnight and do it everyday even during Sundays. There was a time his body almost gave up in adjusting his daily routine. He could sometimes sleep during their class or failed to their exams that he wasn’t able to review his lessons. But he’s happy and bubbly gay though he was tired which the community love him so. He made the patients laughed because of his jokes.
In preceding years, Julian had accomplished his obligations in paying their credits in the hospital and it took two years for him of his suffering because of his unforgiving father. He didn’t even say thank you for the goodness and he was still rough but it didn’t matter anyway because he could give her mother a free medicine for her tuberculosis. Hence, he asked the hospital to let him stay and work for them part time so he could sustain his studies. Luckily, at this time, he received monthly salary plus a free medicine to his mother. He was so hardworking and affectionate that her mother love him but he felt pity to him every time his father hurt him. But Julian didn’t think it was a threat to deprive him to his dream as a doctor as he often met inside in the hospital. He tried to learn their profession so his ready whenever he goes to college.
One afternoon as he silently mopped down the aisle, a man came unto him.
“Why so silent?,” the man called through supple voice and English accent. “Are you tired of cleaning everyday in the hospital?”
It was long after Dr. Craft came back from Singapore for training in his profession. Julian was grateful to him for curing his father when he was confined before. He was someone he was glad he was his favorite doctor. He was tall and thin and friendly, slow-moving and awkward, conscious of his clean white robe, on his beige collared shirt with his black leather shoes shown sophisticated humane. In fact, he was like him, born to be a gay and he belongs. He arranged his self one of the seats along the passageway and he handed Julian his much loved imported dark chocolates coated with peanuts on top. Dr. Craft was good to him, they were became friends and he shared his food to him oftentimes until now.
Julian kept the chocolates on his jeans and he continued mopping the floor just around the corner the Dr. Craft could still hear him. He talked too much about his father, mother. Then, to his surprised he heard his self talking that he dreamed to be a doctor like him. So Dr. Craft offered him a scholarship grant to the college he owned and in meantime work for him as a working student so he could finish college. Julian was overwhelmed for having invited to his school and he could imagine his self wearing a stethoscope on his neck and a white robe as Dr. Craft. Foremost, he could look over his sick mother Annie and hoping for the acceptance of his father.
From that time he left his mother with the promise to return with his dream profession after study in the city and he didn’t forget to send his mother a telegram. It’s good anyway he’s far from his father and he could live peacefully. He stayed in Dr. Craft’s house and he must abide the rules, strictly, no more boys upstairs. From school he then directly went home to straight the household chores and so he could give more time to review his lessons. He patiently learned the life in the city where most were liberated folks and he tried to adjust in his age. He’s getting freak out when he incidentally see kissing partners somewhere and worst experience to be expected.
When the Biology class was over he prepared his things to go home. He then combed his hair; put a face powder to his oily face and little spray of perfume which D. Craft gave him at the first day of school. Outside the parking, lot his friends waiting for him beside their cars. They were five and the same sexes, likes and figures, from cars to men; all came from an elite family in the society. He was awkward to come with them in his looks was out of place and he didn’t have a car to drive on.
There stood Michael or often known as Maui in their college department. He’s been a good friend to Julian since the first day high even he found another set of friends. Julian was thankful to Maui for riding on his car going home, pay for his lunch meal sometimes, going with him shopping in the mall or even meeting a guy in a Chinese restaurant that it his first time to eat using chopstick. It’s funny yet he was glad he met Maui as his friend and showing the world of existence.
“Come over here, Julia!” Maui called him. He had straight long hair half to his waist, perfectly fit in his skinny jeans and sleeves with his artificial eyelids and hazel eyes and a touch of make up could fool a boy to sleep with.
“Hello. You all pretty,” he dropped by to compliment his friends.
“Gracias, Julia. We’re beautiful ever since,” he heard a voice on Spanish accent inside the car. It was Angela as he knew. He came from a broken family. He had a Spanish race. His mother was a full-blooded Filipina that he left his father because he was a gay as he does. “Are coming with us?”
“But…where are we going?”
“Simply. Just hanging around at the bathhouse.”
“Are you all crazy?” Julian protested and refused to come. He heard countless stories about bathhouses, some of them he heard from Dr. Craft shared to him when he was in Singapore and admitted it was his first time and clueless what he would do surrounded with people only do not walk around wearing nothing but a worn towel and kinky smile played his thoughts.
“Julia, if you’re worried your daddy, Dr. Craft, come on! Here’s my phone and call him.”
“And say you’re invited to a party one of your friends. Isn’t it a great idea?”
“Hey, you are already twenty Julia. Don’t preserve your virginity to idiots,” they laughed fiendishly.
They were right. He was not already minor and inexperienced. He aspired to be a doctor at least he could try to be wild just once. He could see from where he sat outside the tinted window, were all men going in and out. The place was quite and many parked cars. He admired the ambience, cool and clean with the rhythm of dim light. He didn’t now what would be his reaction until they get inside in the changing area. He felt tremendous amount of nervousness yet he was excited to get naughty. He would enjoy his gay life for the first time without having a second thought to do a hideous crime. In that time, there he looked for a partner but before the separate roads Maui gave him some tips in the place of borrowed affection and faceless, nameless strangers, you must never wear your heart on your sleeves.
“Don’t ask for the guy’s digits or even give your name. You leave your identity at the door, together with everything else. You should not feel insulted. You get up, move on, and look for someone else.” Maui reminded him as he quietly listened. “Enjoy your night girl!”
Not long after, they frequently went to the bathhouses and move to another. Julia felt complete, armed with his experienced. And there was a night he came along with Dr. Craft after he confessed it all about, the fun and excitement at the bathhouse.
But one terrible night, they were startled as they heard a shoot out when they’re heading to the parking lot going out from the bathhouse. The city was alarmed with men in bonnets who were responsible for bank robbery. He was panicked. Out of the blue, as he moved to another car to hide and save himself. He noticed it was his father and was wounded.
“Father?” Bartolome turned back his head and he saw him from behind. But suddenly, he felt numb after a blast coming from behind and fell down without balance.
“Julian!” Dr. Craft cried.
“Julian, my son.” As he pulled off his bonnet.
“Father?,” as Julian chasing his breath. “Why you’re here?”
“I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” with his teary eyes.
“I already for..forgive you father.”, tears fell from his eyes. “I know it was you behind the bonnet. Please save yourself.”
“I love you all.” He cried deeply as his blood rapidly flowing from his chest. There was stunned silence.