Weeks after the attack, Diante’ and his dad made full recovery, however, Mister Morillo had more of a stay in the hospital. That gave Diante’s mom a chance to move, get a lawyer, and serve divorce papers. Promptly, she filed a restraining order against him for Diante’ and herself and moved back in with her mom who lived closer to the Mexican border.
Diante’ moved in with Jared immediately, taking the only spare bedroom he had. The three of them decided they would begin looking for a 3 bedroom apartment since Jared’s lease was up. The lady he’d been dating agreed to pay for half the rent as long as the 3 could provide the rest which made all pretty happy. Since they had no more room, Vince stayed at his house but served notice to his stepmother and father, he’d be moving out as soon as they found a bigger place.
The down low relationship, named the “whatchamacallit” by Vince, continued to blossom. He couldn’t bring himself around to saying he was fully gay but did spend a lot of time at Diante’s side out of sight of his peers. When they were at school, if Diante’ was teased, Vince and Jared were still jumping to his defense, but because Vince didn’t think he’d be able to handle someone calling him gay, he remained in the closet.
To a certain extent, Diante’ did as well, thinking it was no use saying anything because they were due to graduate in a couple months and since all three were rebels, they didn’t attend the senior prom, instead, Jared asked Vince to come by his place and hang for the evening for booze and weed which Vince immediately accepted. Not to mention, it would give him an excuse to spend the night with Diante’, something he hadn’t done since they were younger.
Vince had his stepmom buy some rum for the occasion since she offered to make his prom night happy. “Why would you guys want to spend prom night with each other instead of gettin' girls,” she told him when she dropped him off.
“Who said we weren’t?” He knew it wasn’t all the way true. Jared was having his lady over for some fun while he and Diante’ would have more fun once Jared took his girl into the bedroom. Vince really looked forward to this night and had been for a while. It started to occur to him that he liked Diante’ a little more than girls at this point.
Once he got there, Diante’ and the girl were sitting on the couch talking while Jared was on the phone. He gave Diante’ a kiss before plopping down right next to him. He noticed the girl was a little shocked at the exchange.
“What, you never seen two guys kiss?” His eyes narrowed. Vince looked at her like she had 3 heads.
“Not like that! It was kinda hot!” The older lady named Tiffany tugged at her skirt. “So are you guys out?”
“Naw, I can’t handle anyone callin’ me that, plus I still like pussy every once in a while.”
Vince glanced from the corner of his eye, noticing Diante’ squirming a little in his space on the sofa. Quickly, he grabbed his hand. “But, I really care for Diante’ and …hell if it were easier to come out then I would. Damn assholes! I got a quick temper. They mess with my boy or me, I may end up in jail!”
Diante’ gave him a wry smile. “Look, stop that okay. I’m alright with the fact you go both ways. You’re the closest thing to a boyfriend I have right now. You’ve made me feel special.”
Vince nodded, “I’m tryin’, amigo. You been through so much man. I…I just need to grow up and stop givin’ a flyin’ fuck what people think.”
Tiffany took a swig from the bottle. “Don’t beat yourself up, Vince. We all need to stop worrying about that. For the longest time, it bothered me that people thought I was overweight or too bitchy, etc. now, I don’t care. They can kiss my ass!”
Diante’ laughed as did Vince as they all picked up the bottles on the table, clanking them together. Once the boys took a swig, Vince planted a big wet one on Diante’s lips, making his own trousers tighter than before.
“Oohh…I wanna watch you guys do it!” Tiffany turned towards them, taking another toke off her joint.
Vince shook his head. “We ain’t done nothin’ yet! Just a lot of groping, kissing…”
“Sucking,” Diante’ added. “All of it has been fun but, I admit…I kinda wanna be um…”
“Fucked?” Tiffany finished.
“Yeah, I do…I’m scared as shit but, I know that eventually when Vince and I know it’s time, it’ll happen.”
Vince took Diante’s hand. “I think I might be ready tonight, amigo. We’ll see. Not while I’m drunk though. I wanna actually feel some shit…I wanna…”
“What! OHMIGOD!” The sound of Jared’s blaring voice came from the kitchen. He ran in, grabbing his coat. “Fuck, Vince. I was just on the phone with my friend who works at the pizza parlor. He says there’s a fire on your block dude. We need to go check on your folks.”
“What, oh shit…” Vince started fumbling with the bottle as did Diante’. All of them along with Tiffany ran out of Jared’s apartment, quickly running to Tiffany’s car.
Since Vince only lived 10 minutes away, they were there in no time but couldn’t get through due to the roadblocks. Vince got out, running away from the car up to the police and fire department lines and watched in horror as he saw his house in flames.
“OHMIGOD!!! LET ME IN! That’s my house, oh shit! Where’s my dad, where…” He began sweating, crying. Diante’ held on to him tightly as did Jared. Vince was hopping up and down, trying to see over the mass of people. He began pushing his way through the crowd, repeating, “That’s my place, move!”
The other 3 travelled with him, till he got to the front. Once he did, he pulled on an officer’s coat. “What happened, that’s my house.”
“Yeah? Sorry son, it was out of control when we got here. They’re still looking for people in there right now. If there was anyone in there, they may be goners. I’m so sorry!”
That last statement hit Vince like a ton of bricks. He fell to his knees, with Diante’ cradling him in his arms while Jared looked on, holding Tiffany’s shoulders.
Vince continued to wail, thinking what could’ve gone wrong. What could have caused the fire. Even though he didn’t have the best of relationships with his dad and stepmom, he didn’t want something like this to occur.
“Please God…please don’t let them be gone…I…” Vince held onto his friend and lover as if he were a life raft. What would he do without his folks? He had a place to live but, still, the reality that he may have lost them in this blaze was settling in quickly.