Brett, the Divorced Dad, Part 1
submitted January 2, 2017
I looked around my apartment and made sure everything was in place for Erik. He only deserves the best of the best, so when I moved I had to take so many things into account. I ended up outside of the town center, but it was a brand new apartment, he had his own room and bathroom, and the balcony on the fifth floor was more than safe. Confident that everything was in order and ready for us to spend the weekend, I walked out and got to my car.
I turned left onto the Northeast Union Hill Road and immediately passed a Gold’s Gym. That was a perk for me more than anyone else. The road had some of the newest buildings in Redmond, Washington, including my own apartment building. It passes the Microsoft Millennium Campus on the left, before quite suddenly becoming a narrower road that leads you past Arthur Johnson Park and then takes you into the hills. The trees still looked a lovely green in September and at 71 degrees (22 Celsius) it felt like a lovely day. The road took me into King County and the first traffic lights I encountered, reminded me to go right. Then soon enough, on my left hand, I could see Dickinson Preschool and Elementary appear.
I drove onto the parking lot, parked and got out. I saw some other parents waiting around, chatting to each other. I didn’t know anyone, so I leaned back against my car, scrolling through my phone, waiting for Erik to appear. I was early, I noticed, it had only been a 5 minute drive.
“Hey, aren’t you Erik’s Dad?” The truck that had just pulled up a few spaces from mine had a tall man exiting. He had dirty blond hair and a scruffy beard that had some grey spots in it. He wore a white V-neck T-shirt that strained across his chest, khaki Dockers and sneakers. His smile was incredibly sexy. “Yeah, that’s me”, I said. “I’m Ryan’s Dad, Erik had a play-date with him before the summer?” “Oh yeah, I remember a Ryan”, I said. “David Neill”, the man introduced himself. “Sergey”. “Sergey…?” I laughed. “Sergey Dmitrievich. Good luck with that one.” I winked at him. He laughed. “Should not have been curious”, he said, “Sergey I can handle”. I noticed I could see his nipples through his T-shirt and I then tried to look anywhere else. “So the rumor is you and your wife are separated?” I shrugged. “Yeah, it’s true.” “Apparently three couples split up over the summer who have a kid in this pre-school. Me and my wife are another one”. “I’m sorry to hear that”, I said. “Right back at ya, buddy”, he replied as he looked toward the school.
A white Volvo rolled up close to where we were standing. “And there’s the third new divorced Dad”, David said. A man got out of the car that took my breath away. I estimated him just under 6 feet, he had perfectly styled short salt and pepper hair and absolutely rocked a light brown mustache with some light scruff. He wore a blue button down-shirt and black slacks. He had just as broad a frame as David. I felt like his blue eyes looked right into my soul, like with one look he knew me inside and out. His picture could be in the dictionary next to DILF. “Hey Brett! I found our third member!” The man smiled and had dimples in his cheeks when he did. He walked right over to me and introduced himself. “Brett Johnson”, his soothing voice told me. I could barely speak and managed to softly say my first name. “Don’t ask for the last name”, David joked. They both laughed, which snapped me out of it. I could have been staring with my mouth open for at least a few seconds. “So, do you guys wanna get some beers and wings next Friday?”, David proposed. “Unless anyone has the kids for that weekend?” “ I’m game”, Brett said as he had his hands on his hips and looked like he could be at the end of a runway. “Just let me know when and where”, I said.
I had always been a little vain and I took care of my appearance, maybe a bit too much. But in present company I felt short, first of all, and also the least attractive. Honestly, not a feeling I often have. The irony was that I was also quite clearly the youngest of the three. We exchanged numbers and soon enough kids started to come out of the school buildings. A girl who was clearly too old for pre-school ran up to David. “Hey Jo! Are you ready for a weekend with Dad?”, he said as he hugged her. The girl seemed very excited to see her Dad and said “Heck yeah! Can I sit in the front?” “Well, all right then!” Next Erik slowly walked onto the parking lot, talking to a boy who turned out to be Ryan. Once Erik realized it was me picking him up, he jumped up and ran toward me to give me a big hug. He waved at Ryan, who got into David’s truck. David waved at me as I strapped little Erik in and then drove off. As I sat down in the driver’s seat I saw Brett finally hugging his daughter. He did not pay attention to me, obviously. I signaled my lights at him and waved. He smiled and waved back. “Do you know that girl?” I asked Erik. “Yeah, that’s Debra. She’s really nice. She cries a lot.”
It was so great to spend the weekend with Erik. Every now and then my mind drifted to Brett. He had barely spoken four words to me, but yet I found myself daydreaming every now and then. It was Monday by now and I was back at work. It was a slow day so there was all this time to let my mind wander. I had only mustered up the courage to come out to my soon to be ex-wife, Audra, a few months ago. She had been understanding considering the circumstances and said she had had her suspicions. She had been sad for a while though. I had explained to our son Erik that Daddy preferred to fall in love with boys and he had even understood well. Everything had gone so much more smoothly than the nightmare scenarios I had in my mind beforehand. My parents back in Moscow in Russia would be the next step but I had been procrastinating. They might not be as understanding. At the same time I was beating myself up for still not having come out to my parents at the age of 33.
Either way, I had not expected to develop a crush on someone so quickly after letting myself. David had also been majorly attractive, don’t get me wrong. But there was something about Brett. I could not wait to spend Friday night with these two hunks. “Beef chunks?” “Excuse me?” I said as I snapped out of it. “I am looking for the beef chunks. Dog treats.” “Ah. If they’re not on the shelf, I have some more back here. Just a second.” When I met Audra, I was studying to be a veterinarian in Moscow. She was a journalist for the newspaper she now edits for. We fell in love and lived together in Moscow for a few years. When she was promoted to editor and was going to be stationed in Seattle, I promised to follow her as soon as I finished my studies. However, when she had been back in the US for only a week, she told me she was pregnant. In a decision I to this day don’t regret, I stopped my studies and followed her to Seattle. We bought a lovely home in Redmond, and I found work in the pet store I now manage. And the rest is history. “How many packets of beef liver chunks would you like, Ma’am?” “Tofu and Pongo both really love them! I’ll have three, please!” “Anything else I can get you?” “That is all.”
I was added to a group text that same Monday, Brett and David pretty much decided we would go to Daman’s Tavern, where I had never been. I agreed in the text and stupidly only later looked up where it was. All the way in the Southwest point of Redmond, practically Bellevue. 12 minute drive. I wasn’t counting on driving at all, so I decided on Ubering. Also because I knew I would have to get some beers in me to not get nervous around Brett. I had possibly been obsessing about him a little bit.
On Friday evening, I was mostly obsessing about what to wear. It was a sports bar, and my going out stuff was probably a bit too fancy. I found a grey T-shirt that brought out my pecs and arms and a pair of light blue jeans, that hung low on my hips. I’ll be honest, that Gold’s Gym saw lots of me in the past week. I was trying to impress without looking like I was. I didn’t put too much product in my hair but it still looked good. When I was finally satisfied with the way I looked, I ordered an Uber.
Millie, who I estimated in her 50s, was quite a talkative driver. Usually I don’t really like those, but I have to say she was pretty cool. As she drove away from my apartment building, she asked me who I was meeting. “So, it’s like a divorced Dads club? That sounds like somewhere I should be invited to!” I laughed. “If they all look like you, I bet I could find someone crazy enough to come home with me”, she laughed at herself as she went onto the 520. “Aww, that’s nice of you to say”, I said. “Are you not married yourself?” “I have been divorced for about twelve years, and it was the best thing I could have done”, she decisively stated. “Should never have married that bastard in the first place!” Traffic was all right, and when the 520 turned from two lanes to four, it opened up enough for Millie to put her foot down on the pedal. She didn’t seem to notice she was going over the limit as she talked about her cheating and abusive ex-husband. Normally I would hate an Uber driver like this, but it helped me relax about tonight for some reason. The obsessing had made me kind of nervous, like I was a school girl. One could argue this was my first ever crush, so in a way it made sense.
Millie said she had two kids from that marriage, Raymond and Carmen, and she told me all about them. I was starting to wonder if tonight was just going to be three men talking about their divorces. Because I had noticed that nearly all of my friends in the US had obviously been friends I had known through Audra, causing me to now spend more time alone than I was used to. My co-worker Marie was the only one I would consider a friend that I had made here on my own. So whatever the sort of night, maybe I should just hold on to Brett and David as friends either way. If they liked me at all. I was starting to get nervous again. I realized soon enough that Millie was about to miss the exit, so I interrupted her. “Millie?” “Huh? Oh, right”, she immediately realized as she swerved to the right. “So Raymond is studying in Pennsylvania right now, getting his degree…”
Once we had taken the exit, it was only five more minutes till we turned right onto Northeast 24th Street. A massive Safeway passed by on my right. Other stores and a restaurant surrounded the same large parking lot. Millie made a right, just before a Bank of America. She went all the way to the back of the lot, passing Bai Tong restaurant, and eventually parking in front of Daman’s Tavern. Millie had just finished talking about Carmen’s new boyfriend. I thanked her and gave her a generous tip.
I walked into a half-full sports bar. On the right side were leather seats in booth-style. A row of small wooden tables in the middle and a bar with stools on the left. TV screens were showing baseball. I didn’t see Brett or David. I checked my watch. I was a bit early. A waitress caught my eye and gestured I could sit anywhere I liked. I sat down in the last booth that was available. “Good evening, darling, how are you doing?” After five years I still had the instinctive response to actually tell someone how my day had been, but this American tradition had slowly become normal to me. “Great, how are you?” “I am doing awesome, sweetheart. My name is Misty, I will be your waitress this evening. Is there anything I can get you?” “I’ll have a beer please.” “Absolutely, coming right up!” I estimated Misty to be in her early forties. Somehow in her face you could tell she had been working here her entire life.
David walked in. I was reminded how massive he was. Probably over 6’ tall, but his broad shoulders and bulging pecs and biceps were hard to miss in the blue T-shirt he wore. Underneath he wore grey jeans. He quickly found me, smiled and walked up to me. I stood up to shake his hand, but he went in for the full chest-to-chest hug. He patted my back twice and said “Good to see ya, buddy!” That was probably the most physical I had ever been with a man that is not my father or Santa Claus. I quickly sat back down as I felt my cock thickening. “So have you ever been here before?” “I have not. I live on the East side of the centre, so anything there would be closer. But it’s a nice place.” “Smart place to live when it comes to the school though, right?” “Yep, 5 minute drive”, I smiled. “I live right downtown. Brett lives near Sportsman Park.” “In one of those cul-de-sac type houses?” “Yeah, he got to keep the house. His wife moved straight in with her tennis instructor.” “Ouch.” “Yeah.” “And where did you say you lived?” “Do you know that weird Hobby Town in the center?” “Cleveland Street?” “Across from there. Above a men’s salon.” “Wow. Cool place to live, man.” “On the block we also have this burger bar called Tipsy Cow. We should totally meet there next time. If we get too drunk, you guys can always crash. But tonight I wanted to keep an eye on the game.” He looked away from me, to a screen. Baseball had not really been my thing, ever. I liked the outfits though. “Well, well, this is turning into a good-looking table”, Misty said as she handed me a beer. “What can I get you, Sir?” “Same as he’s having would be great. And could we have a plate of chicken wings?” “Absolutely!” Misty walked off with a spring in her step. “Brett tends to be a little late to things since the divorce, he’s still a little devastated. But I’m sure he’ll show.” David said without looking away from the screen.
A stunning sight then walked in. Brett wore a long-sleeve T-shirt, white with thin, blue, horizontal stripes. His chest looked absolutely massive in it. The shirt had a split neck with two opened buttons. He wore black slacks underneath. My mouth may have been gaping open. Brett didn’t see us straight away, and David was still looking at the baseball. I waved and got up. Brett smiled and walked my way. He, too, gave me a big hug. “Nice to see you again”, he said. David then also got up and those two gave each other a big hug as well. David scooted over and Brett went to sit next to him. I could have acted faster and gotten him to sit next to me, but in a way I had the best view in the room. “You doing OK?”, David asked. “Oh yeah! It’s the weekend!” Brett said, smiling. “Yowza!”, I heard. It was Misty standing there with a beer. “Are you all models?” We all laughed and said no. “This is for you, darling.” She put the beer down in front of David. “Anything for you, sweetheart?” “Beer sounds great”, Brett replied. “Coming up! You are officially my favorite table tonight. Wings are on their way!”
After Misty had left, I wondered, “What do you guys do for a living?” “I’m in real estate”, Brett said. “I’m with a company, but I’m getting most of my clients through my website BrettTheBroker.com”, he said. His smile when he talked about his work seemed more genuine than before. “I’m a jazz singer.”, David then said. “No way!”, I replied. “I immediately recognized him when I first saw him outside of the school”, Brett said when he looked at David. “I don’t really listen to jazz”, I admitted. “But I would love to see you perform!” “I’m writing and recording some things now, but I‘ll let you know if we’re performing near here again”, he smiled. “You can Google me if you like, David Neill, double L.” After a pause, he went “What about you?” After that I felt a bit embarrassed about my job. “I manage the All The Best pet shop. It’s next to Chipotle.” “Do you have puppies in the store?” That was the most excited I had seen Brett. “No.” “Oh.” “I know, I have the lamest job.” “Can’t have been easy coming here from a foreign country”, Brett said. I told them the story of how I met Audra and how I ended up in the job. I kept spotting David sneaking glances at the TV screen. “You should totally go to night school”, Brett said. “And here are your wings, gentlemen!” Misty presented us with a lovely plate of Buffalo wings. “Enjoy!”
In the Uber back I was driven by a girl in her early twenties named Estelle. She was mainly quiet, so I could reflect on the night. These guys were amazing, I was so glad I had met them. As the beers and more chicken wings (and later, mozzarella sticks) kept coming, at the end of the night we had decided to go to the gym together tomorrow. I hadn’t used any of my guest passes so I had invited them to come to Gold’s. As I looked out of the window of the car, I was very pleased with how tonight had gone. Brett had been so dreamy and we had clicked so well. He had seemed a bit down when he walked in, but all three of us laughed so much. Our divorces hadn’t even come up.
I then realized I had not told them I was gay. How does that even come up in conversation anyway? This was all new to me. I am sure at one point we would ask each other why we had separated from our wives. In Brett’s case I already knew most of it, thanks to David. But still. Until that time there was no need to awkwardly bring it up. Right?
To be continued…