Here’s chapter 46 of the new book, Dr. Clay, I’ve been writing since NaNoWriMo 2022. Enjoy reading. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Clay sat outside by the pool and stared into the distance. His mind wandered somewhere else, trying to keep himself emotionally intact. But he returned to his senses when he heard someone walking in his direction. He swiveled his head and saw Rafael sitting beside him. He took the can of an ice-cold beer his brother handed him. “Thank you… for allowing me to come here.”
“I’m glad you came by. I didn’t expect you to come here, actually,” Rafael said, watching Clay sip the beer. “Are you okay?”
Clay looked at him. “If you’re here to add more insults, I think you should go away and leave me alone.”
“It’s hard to fall in with the wrong person, right?” Rafael asked.
Clay narrowed his eyes as he glanced at him before he opened the car and took a sip. “Why are you asking me that?”
“Because I did.”
He nodded. “Oh, really? I didn’t know you could be with someone.”
“Why? Do I look impotent to you?” Rafael sputtered, teasing him.
Rafael scoffed and laughed. “Hadn’t you asked yourself why I remained single all these years? I’m over forty years old. Turning fifty this year. God. I don’t know why I wasn’t hitched, though I don’t look bad. Do I?”
Clay was unconcerned. “I don’t care.”
“I had once. But our relationship didn’t work.” Rafael paused and released a loud sigh. “It wasn’t right from the beginning. Besides, I’m the first-born son. So, there’s no way it could work no matter how much we try to.”
Shit happens. “I see. I guess that’s how every relationship is,” Clay replied with disinterest.
“Because he was a man,” Rafael paused as he looked away, sighing. But when he turned his head and looked at Clay, he couldn’t help but chuckle. “Oh? You looked surprised?” He paused and sighed. “I know I wasn’t a great brother to you. I could have been. But I was too angry to care. Dad had a lot of expectations from his eldest son. I was in a difficult position to decide on my own.”
“Why did you decide to tell me now?” Clay asked.
“Because now I know you would understand me. So, I wouldn’t mind telling you I’m gay.”
“How did you know?” His voice sharpened.
Rafael flashed a grin, ignoring his inquiry. “What was his name? Was it Val—Valon?”
“Yeah. Valon De Lara.”
“I learned he’s Albert’s son. He looks great. Where did you find him?”
Rafael let out an awkward laugh. “My boyfriend and I tried to remain as happy and carefree as possible. Like you and your man.” Rafael paused. “The thing is, I was the one who left him out of fear.”
“Did you regret it?”
Rafael looked at him. “Of course. Big time. Until now, I have never stopped regretting it. It’s been over ten years, but I never stopped thinking I should have fought for us, our love, and our relationship. As much as I wanted to, I wasn’t strong enough to face dad and tell him, ‘Hey, your eldest son is fucking gay. I don’t care what you think of me. I’ll do what I want,’ unlike you. The stakes were high.”
Rafael sighed and lowered his head. “I wasn’t willing to let go of St. Luke’s. I couldn’t. I don’t think I could ever do that. So, when I learned what happened to you and Liz, I couldn’t stop feeling impressed by what you did. I thought, ‘Wow. Clay did that.’ I wish I could have done the same thing for my man.” He choked and was on the verge of tearing up.
“It’s unusual to hear you praising me like that.”
“I know.” Rafael looked at him. “Don’t get used to it. I don’t think I would like to have this conversation again.”
“Why not? Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to talk to? Someone who could understand you?”
“I know. But I think you hate me too much after all I did to you.”
Clay was silent, thinking Rafael was right. He hated himself for being his brother. However, in hindsight, he also thought Rafael remained true to his feelings. He was angry. All his life was about bringing the Elizondos up as expected from a first-born son. He didn’t try to be friendly because he wasn’t feeling the same inside. Now as an adult, Clay finally understood Rafael’s mind. At least a bit.
“It doesn’t look good for you these days. But what’s your plan?”
“If I were you, you wouldn’t want to let go of this man. No matter what. If you let this man go as I did, I swear, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life,” Rafael said as he rose.
“Do I look interested in asking for your advice?” Clay asked sarcastically.
Rafael clucked. “Although I never liked you as my brother, I wouldn’t want to see you suffering because of that. No matter what I do to keep hating you because of everything, you’re always my brother.” He paused and looked into his eyes. “All I’m saying is if you can fight for it, do it when it’s still there. Because once you lose him, it’s game over.”
Clay rose and looked at him in his eye view. When his eyes landed on Rafael’s face, it felt like it was the first time. He had never looked at him with concern and empathy. All he knew about Rafael was hate. Since he set foot at the Elizondos, he always had a sour face whenever they were together and had never seen his face soften. He grew up as a child wanting Rafael’s acceptance until he gave up on that idea in grade school. In his mind, he was a bully he hated. A bully who didn’t deserve an apology.
However, after everything that happened recently, Rafael became his ally. The only person he could talk to. The only person who could genuinely understand his situation with Valon. Although it was easy for Clay to continue hating him, he appreciated Rafael’s effort to rekindle their lost time. Perhaps, it was time for him to consider challenging his beliefs and ill feelings toward his brother. He thought he could be friends with him. He was open to that.
“It’s rare to find someone who could love you like that as a gay man. Not here. Not in this family,” Rafael paused. He pressed his hand on Clay’s shoulder. “I’m proud of you. I’m happy to have a brother like you, Clay. Your heart knows what it wants. Just keep going.”
Clay burst into tears. His mind was loud that he barely noticed Rafael leaving. He looked down at the can in his hand. He raised his arm and sipped the liquid before he turned his head to look at his brother heading back until he disappeared. He sighed and looked into the distance.
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 three 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.
- Check out my upcoming 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!)