Coming Forward | A Short Story

Stephan knocked on the door of his father’s office.

“Come in.”

He turned the knob and entered. The room wasn’t very large but because it was so sparsely furnished, it felt airy, open. Welcoming even. His father had people install coffee brown hardwood flooring to replace the old carpet. Off to one side sat a long but modest enough desk with a computer on one end and some files on the other.

“Stephan?” The older man stood up.

“Dad, you don’t have to stand.” Stephan strode across the room and pulled out a chair on wheels.

He smiled, the corners of his mouth curled upwards. “I know. Force of habit. Sit.”

“I was waiting for you to sit first.”

“Okay son.”

Stephan studied his dad, gazed into blue eyes tbat people often mistake for green. To be fair, he could see why. There were green flecks in his dad’s dark blue eyes. Whenever Stephan looked into the mirror, he couldn’t help but feel as though his dad was looking right back at him.

“I have something to tell you.” Stephan laced his hands together and tucked them under his lap to keep them from trembling.

“Go on then.”

Stephan bit down on his lower lip. “I know this isn’t what you want to hear but—”

He was interrupted by the ring of his dad’s phone. Stephan expected his dad to pick up, but he turned his cell over to silence the ring and send the call to voicemail.

“Are you sure you don’t want to answer it?” Stephan cringed the second the last word came out of his mouth. He knew his dad didn’t like people questioning him.

A reassuring smile. “Yes, Stephan. I’m sure.”

Silence fell on them. His dad was expecting him to speak.

“Dad I’m—”

“You’re what?”

Stephan inhaled and held his breath. “I’m not okay.”

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