Julie had been sitting at her computer for an hour. She had taken out her electricity bill and hung it on the wall behind her desk as motivation for finishing the Mama Rosa Pizza job. It was working and Julie was making progress, until 20 minutes ago when Logan’s phone had rang.
It was Michael. She had tried not to listen as they argued but when Michael began apologizing, she couldn’t ignore it any longer. She knew how this went. They would argue, Logan would apologize and then he would leave. Next weekend, she would be picking him up from Michael’s house or a bar. He would be drunk, probably covered in vomit, and he would likely have a new bruise or busted lip or nose. It was like clockwork.
The familiarity of it didn’t make it any easier for Julie to swallow. She tried to focus on her work. As she was trying to decide whether she should give the smiling pizza a mustache, she listened. She could hear Logan confessing his love for Michael.
She recognized this as the final act in the Logan/Michael drama. She knew that pretty soon, he would walk into the room, kiss her on the cheek and be gone. She would fight the urge to beg him not to go back; to tell him that he deserved better. She would bite back on her fears that one day it would go too far. She wouldn’t tell him that she was afraid that, instead of a drunken call on a Saturday night, she would receive a very different call. It would be a call that would be Logan’s last.
So instead, she sat quietly and worked on her logo. She hadn’t made much progress when Logan walked into the room, kissed her on the cheek and then turned to walk away. Before he reached the front door, he turned around, paused and then began to speak.
“Hey, thanks for everything.” He said.
Logan looked down. “About you going home…”
“I don’t want to talk about it, Logan.” Julie protested.
“No…I mean, I know…” He sighed. “I’ll go with you, if you want.”
Julie smiled at him. “Yeah”
“Yeah?” His surprise was apparent. “Hells, yeah. Road trip, babe!” He added, walking toward Julie, kissing her on the forehead and then walked out the front door.
Julie felt reinvigorated. Everything that had been dark in her head had been turned to light by Logan’s visit. She finished Mama Rosa’s pizza logo, submitted it and collected payment within the hour after he walked out the door. As she worked, she thought about Logan and his impact on her life.
When she moved to the city, he was her roommate and her first friend. They had spent so many nights going out and then staying in bed all the next day, talking about life, philosophy and art. Logan was the most beautiful person she had ever met and during those early years, he made a home within her heart that she knew would never be occupied by anyone else.
She had come out to him 2 years before she had told her parents and when she met Tawny, he was the first to meet her. He was her biggest support system and she was glad he would be with her as she faced her parents.
Even more, she knew that it would be an emotional trip for Logan, as well. She knew that his own coming out was disastrous. His father had caught him chatting with guys on AOL when he was 17, beat the shit out of him and kicked him out of the house. He hadn’t talked to anybody in his family since that day.
He had lost everything and then moved to the city alone, when he was barely an adult but he had made a life for himself. He had worked hard to finish high school and then he put himself through college. He used his degree in psychology to work with at risk youth and volunteered at a shelter where he counseled homeless LGBT youth.
WIth the exception of his tumultuous relationship with Michael, Logan’s life was pretty amazing. There were times, however, when he would become an emotional wreck and Julie was kind of afraid that the trip back home might stir the beast inside.
She picked up her cell phone, opened the text messages and typed:
About that trip home with me, don’t worry about it. I think I need to go alone.
Her hand hovered above the “send” button as she tried to imagine Logan’s response. Would he be angry? Would he feel hurt? Worst of all, would he agree?
She sighed, erased the message, and threw her phone on the couch.
“No” She thought. He would see right through her and insist on going anyway. She knew that once Logan had set his mind to something, there was no way to deter him. So, as always, she would indulge his whim and suffer with the worry of his well being in silence.