Zac’s Story 7
Read part 6 in order to understand this part
“How’s he doin?” Susan asked.
“He hasn’t left the apartment in 2 months except to see his grief counselor but that’s clearly not helping.” Nate said, exhaustedly. He sighed and looked down the hall to Zac’s room. “All he does is lie in bed. I have to tell him to shower and make him eat.” Nate shook his head in sadness, “I don’t know what else to do for him.”
“There’s nothing more you can do. You’ve done more than enough. You’ve stayed strong through this and I know he appreciates that.”
Nate sniffled and wiped a tear from his face, “I just feel like I could be doing more.”
“Nate, let me take you to lunch. He’ll be fine here. You need to get out and give yourself a little space from this and then we can come back and try to get Zac to do the same.” Susan put her hand on Nate’s shoulder and guided him to the door.
Nate saw the look in her eyes. She gets that look only when she means business and there’s no going against her then. Nate shrugged off, “Let me just go let him know we’re going out.”
Nate jogged to Zac’s room and came back out a moment later. “Just for an hour, ok?”
“Fine.” Susan agreed and they headed out.
Nate wasn’t hungry but Susan brought him out to a nearby park for a walk. The fresh air helped Nate calm down some. The fresh air was good for him and he took several deep breaths.
“So how are you doing?” Susan asked.
“I’m doin the best I can. I just don’t know what else I can do.”
“Are you talking about you or Zac? I want t oknow how you are feeling. You need to think about yourself a little right now.”
“No I can’t. Zac needs me. Logan was all he had here and he’s gone. I can’t let him down.”
Susan wanted to interject but saw Nate opening up so she let him talk.
Nate took a deep breath, “The man he loves is gone Susan. I was there that night. I saw the look in his face. It was like I was looking at a ghost. All the life, the happiness, the will to live was gone from him. It broke my heart to see him like that.”
Susan turned her head and looked at Nate. She put her hand on his back and guided him to sit on a bench.
“It hurts to see him everyday without any hope. He wakes up in the morning and cries. I check on him everyday and make him shower just to get him out of bed. I only get him to the couch a few hours a day and he goes back to bed and just stares at the emptiness. I can’t help Susan. I’m doing everything I can and I wish with all my heart I could, but I’m just not good enough.” Nate wiped tears from his eyes and leaned on his knees taking few deep breaths trying to keep composure, it was no use.
Susan looked at him and tried to make sense of Nate’s emotions. Then it hit her. Nate didn’t think he was good enough. Why? What was he trying to be good enough for? “Nate, are you-“ she paused and reassessed her question. “Are you in love with Zac?”
“No” Nate sniffled and turned his head toward the park.
“Nate, look at me,” Susan’s eyes got wide as she demanded and he turned his head to her, “Are you in love with him?”
Nate sighed and lowered his head.
“Oh my god, Nathan.” She pulled him in a hug. She looked up and all around. She looked all around to find some sense in all of this. She searched for something to say. Susan tried to make this mess have some cohesion, to make this crisis make sense and fix this broken man in her arms and the broken man in his empty apartment.
“Ok,” Susan took a deep breath and finally spoke while holding her brother in her arms. “Nathan, you have to help me understand this. I want to help you and I will help you, but I need to know exactly what’s going on with you. Are you gay?”
Nate shook his head no in her arms. The sight was odd to onlookers. This small woman holding a large crying man in her arms.
“But you are in love with Zac?”
Nate nodded his head.
“I’m going to need you to explain this to me Nathan. I can’t guess my way through this.”
Nate sat up and took a few deep breaths as Susan rubbed his back gently. “I don’t know what I am. I have always loved women but I’ve always been attracted to men too. I thought it was normal because it was just physical and I only ever was interested in being with a woman. I never been emotionally attracted to a man. I’ve been that way with women and-“ Nate wiped more tears away and tried to find the words he needed, “Fuck.”
“It’s ok, keep going.” Susan whispered.
“I have only been in relationships with women and only looked at certain men. Then Logan and Zac moved into their flat. I wasn’t attracted to Zac. I really wasn’t. He was just my brother’s boyfriend. Then I spent a lot of time with Zac. He didn’t know anyone here so I showed him around whenever Logan couldn’t. We spent a lot of time together and then after awhile I started seeing my friends less and less and was spending more and more time with Zac. Nothing bad, just spending time with him. Then I wasn’t going out or seeing any girls and stopped dating and mum died and I just didn’t do anything else but go to class and hang out with Zac and Logan.” Nate spilled his guts while Susan put all the pieces together. “I fell in love with Zac and thought maybe I was gay. Maybe, I needed to find a man to date.” He took a deep breath, “I went out to a gay club and saw a guy I recognized from school and went over to talk to him. He was cool and so I went home with him.”
Susan’s head shot back in shock.
Nate noticed her shock and ended her assumptions, “We didn’t do anything. I couldn’t. I wanted to but I couldn’t. We talked some and I went home. We met a few more times and he introduced me to a couple other guys. I went to their flat, they came home with me, but we never did more than hug and kiss some. I was attracted to them, but I didn’t have feelings for any of them. I just couldn’t go any further with them and each of them gave up one by one.” Nate looked up at Susan, “I’ve loved women and I am still attracted to women. I am attracted to men, but I’ve only ever had feelings for one.” Nate slowed down his speech saying one word at a time and asked Susan, “What-the-hell-is-wrong-with-me?”
“Nate, there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re bisexual hon. You may have loved women in the past but you’ve always had the ability to love a man too and now you’ve fallen in love with Zac. The mess we’re in now is that He just lost the man he loves and you lost your brotha and haven’t grieved. Zac will be alright. He’s grieving and will recover, but you can’t ignore the loss of you brotha.” Susan sighed. “How about you let me take care of Zac for awhile and you focus on you.”
Nate composed himself and they headed back to see Zac. When they walked in, Zac was standing in the hall.
“I’m going home.” Zac said stoically.
“What are talking about?” Nate asked.
“I’m going back to the States. I need to get away from here for a while. I already told work that I wouldn’t be back. You can stay living here Nate, it’s paid for and all taken care of. There’s plenty of money left from what was promised to Logan and myself from the team. I just need to get away and see my family.” Zac turned around and went into his room to pack.
Nate started walking toward him but Susan grabbed his shoulder, “Let him go Nate. He needs this and so do you.”
Zac didn’t waste time as he booked a flight home for the next day and left quickly. Nate went home to an empty apartment. He sat on the couch, took a deep breath and began to cry. This time he did not cry for Zac, he did not cry over his sexuality, he did not cry over confusion, he did not cry over loneliness. This time, Nate cried for his brother. This time, Nate grieved for Logan and the realization that he will never see his big brother again.
Upon landing, Zac saw the one person who could truly help him. Zac saw the one man who knew just how to get him through. Randy stood by his car with a somber look on his face. Zac walked straight too him, dropped his bags and fell into his arms.
Randy squeezed his best friend and put him in the car before loading his luggage and driving him home.