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No real choice

"They beat up Mandy...ah...Andy today!" Sally exclaimed as she burst through the door.

Her father Sam, sat up a little straighter. He had been reading the paper, having a short beer with the radio on some driveling news report...actually he was just trying to let the workday escape. IT ended at 3 o'clock, which was nice because he could be home for Sally while still doing a little work via computer."What? I thought all that crap was behind us, what happened honey?"

She crumbled into her beanbag chair, the sound of the Styrofoam innards crushed away by her sobbing words, "They had to take him to the hospital..." Her words trailed off, replaced by  muted tears filled with anguish.

"We need to go to the hospital, honey. Do you know where they took him?"

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During the ride up to the hospital, Sam heard his daughter sobbing. He tried to get her to talk, but she was having nothing of it. They finally got to the ER and found out that Andy was going to be OK. He had scratches and a broken rib. His nose had been bent the wrong way and both of his eyes were severely bruised, but the doctor said in time the boy would be OK. 

Sitting and waiting for the boy to be discharged Ed began to wonder what really happened. He hoped that kids in high school did not just attack each other randomly. It was not like that when he was  in school. He did remember the knife fight on the school lawn...was it about drugs, or a busted relationship? He could not remember. 

"What's this about honey?"

"I don't know Daddy, it's complicated," was Sally's reply.

Sam knew when is daughter was not telling the whole truth. He kept looking into her eyes, trying to pull the whole truth from her.

Sally's eyes shifted from her father's as Kammie walked into the family lounge. The two girls sobbed into each others  arms. They worried over it all, whimpering and moaning, tears flying. Sam watched as the two talked out their fears and feelings.

Sam's mind began to wander while he waited and watched. Sally had told him a while ago that she did not like boys, that she was gay. When she had said that Sam had swallowed deeply and tried to accept it, but he knew, deep inside that he did not want to believe it, that she was merely trying to get a reaction from him. This is what he wanted to believe. Yet he knew, that her words were really how she felt, they were the person she really was. He also knew that in time he could embrace them,
He tried to accept this, yet in truth it was harder than he thought it should be. He kept reminding himself that it was not about the "traditional" relationship that mattered, but how one felt with the person they loved. That conclusion always stopped his thinking right there.

When Sam was younger, maybe 12 or so, he remembered going to his sisters high school and catching a girl and boy making out, being the fool, he asked her what they were doing and were they really going to do IT. He remembered she got flustered, but answered honestly that they were making out, but not doing IT.

Sam asked his older sister if they were in love. He remembered that she looked back at him laughing a little and said, "Teenagers don't fall in love, they just make time together."

This was one of those incidents which stuck with Sam throughout his life. Even now, during this crisis at the hospital, he thought of that conversation. He wondered why. He knew that mind wondering, or daydreaming was a coping mechanism for when times got rough, so he let it happen. 


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