My Kind of Town
>> Bishop SquareThe amplified voice of an unseen speaker was saying that their battle was still not won. The governor still had to sign the hate crimes bill into law now that it had been passed by the Legislature.
But the big issue for Lance Ah Sun was finding Greg in the crowd. By now Greg would be thinking that Lance had chosen not to join him. So already in his own mind Greg was thinking of Lance in the past tense.
The voice on the loudspeaker said it was time to start their march down Hotel Street toward the Capitol.
Lance knew what he must do. He skirted the crowd, ran down King Street, and left at Richards. He'd stand at the corner of Hotel and Richards and let everyone walk past, and either he would see Greg or Greg would see him, and they'd be together and everything would be the way it was supposed to be.
Lance arrived at the edge of the Capitol grounds just ahead of the demonstrators marching up Hotel Street. And suddenly they were all around him, surging past him, too many faces to check each one. But there, coming, through the crowd, Lance caught a glimpse of Greg carrying a placard on a stick, "Hate Sucks." Lance started moving toward Greg, calling his name.
That's when the chant arose, "Just say no to hate, just say no to hate," and drowned out Lance.
Again he caught a glimpse of his lover through the bodies.
Lance was frantic. At last he broke through and came face-to-face with Greg. Well almost face to face. At that moment, although his feet were carrying him forward, Greg's face was lip-to-lip with another man.
"Oh my God, Greg! No!"
It was hard to tell which of them was more surprised. Or maybe it was Ralph, the guy on Greg's arm.
"Is this why you wanted me to come to the rally, to see this?!"
"Oh, Lance, I'm sorry! I thought you weren't coming. I thought you didn't care. I'd given up."
Lance turned to run away and felt Greg's hands reaching out to slow him. As hurt and angry as he was, Greg let himself be slowed. Then it was just the way he'd imagined, Greg welcoming him with open arms.
"Sweetheart, you came," Greg was saying. "You care enough to be here!"
"Yes, for you!"
Greg kissed Lance with a passion he'd never felt before, and the world melted away.
That's when Skinhead appeared. "I hate you f------ queers!"
Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin.
He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org