Here’s chapter 18 of the new book, “Dangerous Roommate.” Enjoy reading. Let me know your thoughts about this chapter in the comment section below.
Hours after returning home from work, not knowing that the idiot had already arrived, Frank left his room and headed downstairs. Just in case, Stefan was there. Before he took the first step, his feet slowed when he saw him sitting on the couch. He was silent as he kept staring into the distance. It looked as if he was in a deep thought.
Wordlessly, he walked silently behind him. Yet, even with his slip-on screeching the floor a few times, it wasn’t enough for him to notice he was around. That defeating silence prompted his curiosity to sprout out of nowhere. He suddenly wanted to know what went on in his head, what he was feeling, why he was frowning like that.
“Hey, did you eat?” Frank asked after a minute of collecting the courage to speak to him. To his surprise, Stefan didn’t budge, not a single movement from his position. What’s going on with him? “By the way, I have already eaten with my colleagues. So, take care of your own dinner then.”
Stefan remained stationary. His hands threaded with his face down. While Frank kept his eyes on him, his curiosity grew bigger as he headed near and tapped his shoulders. “Hey.”
Stefan flinched. He looked at him with a blank look on his face.
“What’s going on?”
He shook his head. “Nothing.” Though he did say it was all fine, his face said otherwise.
When Frank couldn’t handle the silence, he went on. “It’s not what your face is telling me.”
“What’s this?” Stefan announced with pieces of underwear and lingerie straps hanging in his hand. “Hmm? What’s this?” He repeated with more power in his voice, dipping another hand into the shopping bag and taking out a few more stuff in it.
Frank’s eyes popped as the familiar sense of panic swelled his throat. His eyebrows twitched, his chest tightened, and his breathing labored. Feeling impatience overrode his rationale, he dared to walk closer to him, gesturing. “How did you—Why—”
“I said, what’s this?” Stefan repeated. But this time, his voice was louder and scissor-sharp.
Startled, Frank stepped back, slowly turning to stone before him. His eyes narrowed in suspicion.
Stefan clucked and rose from his seat. “If you think I’m being suspicious, stop. I should be suspicious of you instead.” He paused and gave him a long look. “I thought you were giving them to your ex-wife.” When Frank refused to speak a word, he continued with a dubious look in his eyes. “I hate lies. So, tell me. They aren’t for your wife, are they?”
Frank lowered his head. He clenched his fists until his knuckles grew white, then expelled a soft sigh from his chest. Though it took him a minute of silence, Stefan was patient enough to wait for it. “No,” he said.
“Why did you throw them away?”
“Because I want to.”
Stefan cocked an eyebrow. “Really?”
“Yeah. Because I want to.”
“Stop bullshitting me, Frank. If it isn’t for her, why did you buy them in the first place?”
“Why would you care?” Frank’s voice became loud and sharp. Though he had his mood swings before, he never thought he would raise his voice just as he did now. Despite his attempts to restrain, he also knew he was a kettle ready to blow. And now, he blew up.
But Stefan didn’t want to back down. “I understand your privacy concerns, but this is still my place. So, I should know what’s going on.” He paused, studying his face. To say Frank was worried was an understatement, as he guessed. Definitely at war with himself. “Are you gay?”
“No, I’m not gay.” Frank paused, prompting a prolonged awkward silence. “It’s a disorder. Transvestic disorder, as they call it.”
That was quite a plot twist. He didn’t expect to hear such a confession, nor was he ready to receive the news. “I’m sorry. I’ve never heard about it. What is it?”
Frank crossed his arms, hugging himself, as he looked away. “There’s not that much information about it. The doctors said the causes remained unknown. I was just born with it. It wasn’t my choice to wear women’s clothes when distressed or extremely stressed. It’s a feeling, an urge, and the more it gets to me, the crazier it will be.”
Stefan looked away and bit his lower lip. He dropped his hand but tightened his grip on the stash of lace women’s underwear and lingerie straps. He looked at them before tossing a glance at the man. Whatever he saw in his eyes made him feel something, something like compassion or empathy.
Or maybe, something else.
“For how long have you been hiding this?”
“Should I say every day? All day, all night? Lifetime?” Frank answered nonchalantly as if his defenses were down.
“Did your wife know about this?”
Frank glared as he released a rueful laugh. “For sure. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here squeezing my life into you.” He paused, trying to gather enough energy before he continued. But his eyes were too impatient, pumping tears like a bottomless pit. “Don’t you get it? I disliked them, so I tossed them away, and now you’re taking them back!”
Stefan stared at him and felt more helpless than he ever had in his life. “Well, I thought….” He didn’t finish the sentence when he saw Frank cry and his face sour. “If they’re important to you, why did you throw them away? If these give you the comfort you need—”
“‘Cause Eunice hated it. I lost her, my family, and my house because of this. To be myself, to be me, it wasn’t an option. So, you can’t blame me for hating it. I feel bad for wasting someone’s life because she loved me as she was supposed to. We’re both victims. But she wouldn’t be a victim if it weren’t for me. I didn’t get married to have a wife and children just to get divorced. Do you understand what it feels like to deny it while it’s eating you inside?”
Stefan froze. Damn. He had never seen Frank this outraged. And, oh yeah, he was a crier, too, and he, without a doubt, hated it. He hated watching people cry, and he hated it more to watch himself doing it, too.
But this one was different, as Frank’s tears were spontaneous. He wasn’t turning them on for the sake. He was crying because he had gone through hell since he had met him.
Frank needed an outlet. And it was clear in his mind. If he were honest with himself, he knew he wasn’t sure if he could even complain. Frank had been so strong when strength was called for. He had been trying his best, his everything to the event. Stefan thought he earned his respect for that.
Although he wasn’t expecting some kind of solace—watching Frank in tears and having an emotional breakdown—reminded him of every lonely moment he’d had in his own life.
“I dated girls, got married. Though I have never prayed most of my life, I can’t tell you how many times praying to God to remove these feelings from me. I went to the doc and intentionally medicated to deny what was inside. I spent most of my life suppressing it. Do you understand how miserable my life is?”
Stefan looked at him without blinking. He just stared at him, revealing his amber eyes. He felt like he ought to do something. But for the life of him, he didn’t know what to say, and even if he did know, he would never dare to say anything he thought he wouldn’t dare swear it. Frank was clearly hurt, yet he was no healer. As much as he wanted to restrain from bluffing, he couldn’t hold it in.
Only after he had said it he realized what he had done. A short regretful, embarrassed sound escaped his mouth with his hand rubbing his face. He looked away, thinking it was the best way to ease himself from the loud pounding of his chest. He wanted relief, only to no avail. So, he ended up tucking both hands in his back pockets while his eyes remained on him.
“Why would I wear it?” Frank stuttered, demanding him in an edgy voice. His voice hung in the silence for a minute and then dropped, leaving nothing but the deafening silence permeating between them.
After several minutes, Stefan breathed out a small sigh. “Because I want you to.”
“What?” Frank sputtered.
“If you plan to give me a home anyway, I want to know the real Frank.”
Defeated, Frank turned and was about to leave, but then he stopped when Stefan continued.
“And don’t forget to bring the camera with you.”
Thank you so much for spending time reading this chapter. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did when I wrote this part months ago. This chapter, in particular, reminded me of those times when I sat before my desk, seemingly prepared to type in words, but I struggled to keep it up.
It took an external motivation to get it through, and, at that time, the NaNoWriMo event was upcoming. At that time, I thought, “This could be a great opportunity to try and give this a shot one more time. You’d done an excellent job with ‘The Rival,’ so you could do it, Mecyll.”
You know, it’s easier said than done because writing a chapter with a clear intent to finish it requires more than just a skill. Since I started writing fiction, I realized how much this work demands my ability to be naked and the guarantees to answer whether I was mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared to face my fears, conscious or unconscious.
So, being able to write this down meant I managed despite the countless times dancing around with depression and enjoying the roller coaster rides my anxiety provided me.
This is why I don’t know how to thank you for your support, regardless of the scale or contribution size, from sharing my work with others or buying my books. It doesn’t matter because, for me, every small act you show is appreciated.
Again, thank you, and have a great day!
If you like to support my writing life, here’s what you can do:
- Get a copy of “The Rival” Uncensored Gay Romance Novel.
- Read “Dr. Clay” (Cult of Eros #1)
- Check out my latest book, “Non-Native Speakers Only.”
- Find more writing tips on my website (i.e., content writing, freelance writing, copywriting, self-publishing, novel writing, and many more!)
- Subscribe to my Substack newsletter.