Vignette:My Home

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My Home
57 Paseo Blumentritt, Cagayan City, Confederal Republic of the Cagayan
March 18th, 2017

aúl was silent. He had known that his father was planning to ship him overseas, but he had thought that it was for education or something more mundane. But now, it was obvious that he had been caught in the act all this time, and he was hiding him because he was seen kissing another boy.

“Now tell me, son. What were you doing here?” His father pushed a picture on the table towards him. It was him and León, holding hands in the café yesterday. He thought he was safe there, and evidently, his father knew. “You thought you could hide this from me? I have eyes, boy. I had to keep my eyes on you, after all.”

“You smile with him in a way you never do around anyone else. Now if you were with a woman, of course, I would be delighted, but...” Raúl knew what was coming next. He had feared a certain set of events and a certain subset of words, but now it was all coming forward before him the way he thought it would. He simply sighed.

“You are my son, boy, for God’s sake! I can’t let you debase yourself like this.” And there it was.

“What do you mean?”

“Men are meant for women, boy, have you forgotten? This is unnatural! You disgust and dishonour me by being like this.”

Now Raúl was weighing his options. He could play dumb and insist that they were simply friends, but he knew that wouldn’t fly. But he chose to give up fighting.

“If I disgust you, then I could just leave.”

“No, you will not. As your father, you will do as I say. You will become normal again.”

“Well, fuck you, I won’t!”

“You will throw everything away, for a man-lover?”

“Damn right, I will. He’s my boyfriend.” His father fell silent, but Raúl knew he was simply simmering.

“Leave. You are no longer my son, and I can still make another one to replace you. You will not come back.”

“I fucking hope he turns gay too. Whatever.”

Raúl was now free of his father. But in the process, he lost essentially everything he owned through him, except for whatever was in his backpack, which was basically just his pens, a notebook, a phone, a laptop, the chargers, and a water bottle. He walked out of what was now another man’s house, dejected, as he saw León, with his car parked, on the side.

“It didn’t go well, I take it?” He greeted him with a concerned face, and Raúl gently replied, “No shit, Capitán Ojos.”

“Are you alright, though?”

“Yeah. He’s disowned me and kicked me out, so I was wondering if I could... stay...” Raúl didn’t manage to finish before the tears started their run on his face. And without a word, León embraced him. “I’m sorry. This is all my fault.”

Surprised, Raúl broke away. “Wait, what do you mean, your fault?”

“I should have been more careful, I should have—”

“Don’t be a fucking martyr now. Do you think that would have changed anything?” Raúl was now angry at him. “He didn’t like what happened precisely because you’re a boy. Nothing would have changed.”

“B-but your things, your future—”

“Are you fucking serious?”

“You’ve lost your home!”

You are my home, idiot! You! Raúl had enough, but it felt good to finally get it out. “Look, I know this is hard for you, but please. Even if we did change anything, you are what makes everything normal and tolerable. Besides the smokes.”

“The fucking smokes?” They both broke out in laughter in the car.

“But please.” Raúl now put his hands on León’s cheeks. “Please be selfish. For me. I can’t keep fighting for us alone. You’re not a martyr, and you don’t need to keep sacrificing yourself for my future or whatever bullshit. I’m like this because I chose to.”

And León put his hands on Raúl’s. “Alright. I’ll be selfish.”

“Also, we’re banning the word ‘sorry’ for your sake.”

“Wait, no—”

“Yes. Now, let’s go home?”


And soon after, they were on their way to León’s home. He had already decided that when they arrived, he would teach Raúl how to cook for himself.

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