“What's wrong?” Luis asked. He adjusted his black tie, and then turned to brush a small piece of lint off Jase's black tuxedo jacket. “You look like you're ready to vomit.”
“I wish it were dark outside,” he said. “It would be easier in the dark.”
“It's June; this is Alaska,” Luis said.
“I can't believe I'm actually going to my twenty-fifth high school reunion,” he said. “It seems like just yesterday I graduated. Where the hell did twenty-five years go?”
Luis knew this was partly Jase's mid-life crisis speaking, and partly his usual apprehension about going to large public events like this. He reached over, grabbed Jase's crotch, and rubbed it. “I can't believe how fast the time has gone by since I met you. I guess it's just the way life works. You go around thinking you're really living, thinking you have all this extra time, and then you find your real life, the life you were meant to have all along, and everything starts to move so fast you can't stop it no matter how hard you try.”
Jase put his arms around Luis. He spread his legs so Luis could play with his balls. “That's exactly how I feel. It's like things moved so slowly until I met you. And now, as if it happened over night, I can't seem to stop the time anymore. And it's moving faster and faster and I'm spinning right along with it.”
“We're here now,” Luis said. He bent down and kissed Jase's crotch. “We should go in. You'll regret it if we don't. There's no way to control time. If there were, we would all go back in time and redo a lot of our mistakes.” This is what the main character in the science fiction novel he was reading had done.
“Why don't you suck me off and we can go home.”
“Stop worrying. It will be fine. Before we left Cider Mill Farm I had the Reverend von Klingensmith do a reading for me. He said everything at the reunion would be wonderful. He said there was nothing to worry about.” Luis wasn't religious, but he believed in all things spiritual. The Reverend von Klingensmith, a light-hearted older gay man with white hair and a large belly, was his neighbor in Bucks County, PA. He was also Luis's own personal spiritual advisor and psychic. Luis knew Jase didn't believe in psychics or spiritual guides. But this didn't bother Luis. If there was a ghost seer, a palm reader, or a crystal ball reader in sight, Luis was always game to experience it.
Jase rolled his eyes. “You know I love von Klingensmith, but I think he's a loon sometimes with all the spiritual, psychic crap. I'd rather you suck me off and then we leave.” He spread his legs and bucked his hips.
Luis sat up. He gave Jase a playful shove and said, “I'll suck your dick later. Right now we have to go into that big ugly building and smile.”
“Maybe this really was a mistake,” Jase said. “Maybe we should go home and forget about it. Now that I'm here, I'm not so sure I want to see all these people again. I've managed to live the last twenty-five years without them, I'm sure I can live the next twenty-five without them .
Luis rolled his eyes; he was losing patience. “We're already here,” he said. “Buck up, Jase. We may as well go inside and check it out.” Luis was starting to get curious about Jase's past, and about what he'd been like in high school. He'd heard Jase's mother and grandmother talking about how popular Jase had been back then. Luis also wanted Jase's old classmates to see Jase was happily married now, and to a man, not a woman. Luis knew this was a little devious on his part. But he was proud of his life with Jase and he wanted everyone in Jase's past to know it.
Jase took a quick breath. “Are you sure?” He grabbed his crotch and said, “Wouldn't you rather suck my dick instead.”
Luis leaned over and kissed him. It was times like this when he'd learned to be both strong and gentle with Jase. “C'mon, let's go. If you want to leave early, I don't mind. We can go out to the back of the school and I'll suck you off in the bleachers.”
“Is that what you used to do to the guys in your high school?” Jase asked.
Luis knew Jase wasn't asking this because he was jealous. Jase was asking this because he loved to hear stories about Luis doing other men. It was another slight kink Jase had Luis didn't mind. But the truth was Luis hadn't sucked many guys off in high school. Only a few. He opened the door and unfolded from the truck. “C'mon. We're going inside.”
On the way into the high school, they met a straight couple standing on the concrete steps beneath the portico. They were both about the same age as Jase, and Luis assumed they'd been in his graduating class. The man had dark hair and a slight paunch; the woman had a tight frizzy perm and a big puffy hairstyle from the l980's. She wore a plastic corsage that had yellowed around the edges. When they saw Jase and Luis approach, the man lifted his arms, ran toward them, and said, “It's The Virgin Billionaire, Jase Nicholas.”
Jase gulped and he flung Luis a glance. He clearly hadn't expected anyone to lunge at him.
Luis looked down and covered his smile with two fingers.
The man reached for Jase's hand and shook it hard. “I heard you might be here tonight. I can't believe it's been twenty-five years since we last saw each other, buddy.”
Luis loved the way these straight guys called each other buddy all the time.
Jase stood there, shaking the man's hand, nodding with a Forrest Gump smile. Luis knew Jase didn't have a clue who this man was, so Luis stepped in and said, “I'm Luis, Jase's husband.”
When the woman heard Luis say he was Jase's husband, she clutched a fake pearl necklace to her beige polyester dress and made a circle with her bright red lips.
The man shook Luis's hand and said, “I'm Lance Harding, and this is my wife, Lori Harding.”
“It's nice to meet you,” Luis said. “Jase talks about his high school days all the time. He can't stop talking about them, especially Lance and Lori.” This was a lie. Jase never spoke about high school. But Luis was having too much fun to care. He turned to Lori Harding and said, “I love your hair, honey.”
Lori Harding blinked and shook Luis's hand.
Jase poked Luis in the ribs with his elbow and said, “It's good to see you, Lance, Lori. We're going inside to get situated now. We'll see you later.”
And before Luis had a chance to say another word to Lance or Lori Harding, Jase reached for his elbow and whisked him into the building.
When they were inside, Luis laughed and said, “Did you see the look on her face when I said I was your husband? I thought she might fall down.”
“You know I never talk about them,” Jase said. “And there's a reason. While Lance thought Lori was his girlfriend back in high school, Lori was bopping half the guys in the senior class. I still have trouble looking him in the eye.”