I have a new father-son story, that as a sign of appreciation I have exclusively made available to those who have signed up to receive email updates about my stories. It will not be uploaded on Nifty or anywhere else.
The narrator of Dad's Best Buds is teenage Owen (from My Brother and His Husband) who gets a chance to spend some quality time with his dad and his dad's best buddies. Here is a preview of Chapter 1: "The Cabin."
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My mom and dad had an arrangement. Every year, each of them got to spend a long weekend away with their friends, while the other one stayed at home to take care of the house and kids. It'd become a tradition in their friend circles and they took it pretty seriously.
Sometimes they'd stay at hotels, other times they rented beach houses. Once, Dad rented a boat for him and his buddies. Mom usually organized her reunions in the spring, and Dad normally did his in the summer.
The year I turned 16 my dad turned 40, and he'd planned a special get-together with his buddies. He was always enthusiastic about planning their trips, but this year he seemed extra excited, giddy even. He'd rented a cabin right by a secluded lake, and was looking forward to it for weeks.
"Can I come with?" I asked out of nowhere at the breakfast table one day, taking Mom and Dad by surprise.
"Owen, you know our trips are for us and our friends only," Mom said. "No one brings their spouses or kids."
"Why would you wanna go anyway?" Dad asked. "There's not gonna be anyone your age."
I stayed silent for a second before answering his question.
"Well, it's just that I've seen how excited about this trip you are. Honestly, I don't remember the last time I saw you that way about anything. So I thought, anything that makes my dad so happy... I'd like to check it out."
Mom and Dad looked at each other in the eyes, and I knew right then the answer would be yes.
"Okay, there are some rules concerning our trips," Dad said from behind the wheel, with me in the passenger seat, on our way to the woods. "Most importantly: whatever we talk about there stays confidential, it doesn't get back to anyone."
"What happens at the cabin, stays in the cabin," I said. "Got it."
"Precisely. Especially with this being your first time. You might hear a lot of stories, my buddies and I go all the way back to college. Second rule: no email or cell phones, unless there's an emergency, which hasn't happened. We're there to bond."
"Okay." I already knew that one. Neither Mom nor Dad ever called home when they were away at their reunions.
"Three: we go in as best buds and we leave as best buds. There's no fighting or judging allowed."
"Number four, and this applies just to you. There's lots of drinking, and smoking, and general debauchery happening there. Now, have you ever had a drink?"
I contemplated whether to lie for a couple of seconds.
"Yes, Sir," I told the truth. "I've had beer with my friends."
"Okay. There'll be a lot more of that. For these three days only, you're allowed to drink, or smoke, or swear as much as you want. Anything goes in the cabin."
"Awesome," I said with a huge smile on my face.
"I let you come cuz you're 16, which is about the time I started doing all that stuff. But I don't want you picking up any habits you can't control. If I find out you've been causing shit when we get back home, I'll whoop your ass."
"Yes, Sir," I said, still smiling.
"Now, have you ever had sex with a girl?" he asked out of the blue.
"No." My smile faded and I looked out the window on my right.
"I ask that cuz there might be a lot of talk about sex. We're all grown men there, as are you, almost. So there's no need to blush."
"Dad, I'm in high school. There's no way you can possibly talk about sex more than my friends."
Dad laughed and ruffled my hair while holding the wheel with one hand.
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