Prompts: "It’s always the quiet ones" and
The Good Neighbor
Ben and Tom lived in a nice small development sitting in the middle of bucolic Lancaster County PA.
There were about twenty-four houses lining their street. The neighbors were friendly and now that the summer was here everyone spent more time outside mowing the lawn, washing their cars and BBQing Tom had been dubbed the ‘grill master’ since he seemed to live for grilling. Ben was only too happy to watch his man do the thing he seemed to love most. The neighborhood came alive during the summer, Memorial day and 4th of July and not to mention all the block parties. The neighbors all got together and decided on who was going to do what food wise. Tom was still the man of the grill. He relished in it.
Ben noticed there was one neighbor that was barely seen. Scott McKinley, he was a nice enough guy. Said hello when you saw him, but he pretty much kept to himself.
Tom and Ben always invited him to their parties, but he’d politely refused.
“He’s a loner,” Tom told Ben while they were planning another BBQ for that evening.
“Or lonely,” Ben pointed out. “Think about it, we never see anyone come to visit and we barely see him. Maybe he’s shy and just needs someone to encourage him.”
“Ben did you ever think that maybe he wants to be alone?”
“Just doesn’t seem natural. I’m going over there and invite him again.”
“I think you’re making a mistake, Ben.” Tom warned him.
Ben got to the door, turned around and said “Well, are you coming with me or not?”
Tom rolled his eyes and joined his partner on, what he thought, was a lost cause.
When they got to their mysterious neighbor’s front door. Ben seemed to get cold fest.
“Are you going to knock?” Tom asked Ben.
“Maybe you’re right, maybe this isn’t a good idea.”
“Oh for crying out loud.” Tom pulled back on the door knocker and tapped on the red wooden door.”
It took a few moments before they heard an “I’ll be right there Andy.” Coming from behind the door.
The two men stood on the porch for a few minutes and were suddenly jolted to attention when the door finally opened. Their mouths dropped open and their eyes bugged out.
“Scott?” Ben was the first one to find his voice. He couldn’t believe the vision standing before him, instead of the mild-mannered shy man they’d come to know. Scott was dressed head to toe like a drag queen.
Scott stood there mortified, he tried to shut the door, but Tom wouldn’t let him.
“Oh my gawd.” Scott turned and ran towards the back of the house; Ben and Tom were hot on his heels.
“It’s okay, Scott.” Ben tried to soothe the quivering man, who was standing in his living room.
Tom and Ben managed to get him to calm down and they all sat on the couch.
“I didn’t want anyone to know.” Scott pushed back the long blonde wig and threw it onto the coffee table.
“You like to dress in drag?” Ben asked.
“Sometimes, I mainly do it for my job at the Cooky club.”
Ben and Tom gave him the deer in the headlights look.
“It’s a gay club in downtown Lancaster. It’s pretty down low. There’s no sign outside, but all the ‘crowds’ know about it.” Scott flexed his index and middle fingers at the word crowds to emphasize what kind of crowd he was talking about.
“So you’re a drag queen?” Tom said as he shook his head. “Who’d have thunk it.”
“You can’t tell anyone, please!” Scott implored them.
“Easy, Scott. We won’t tell anyone. It’s no one’s business how you make your living or how you choose to dress. We certainly don’t care.”
“You’re talking to two proud and out gays.” Ben said.
“Damn straight.” Tom nodded his head then noticed the look Ben and Scott gave him and they all laughed. “You know what I mean.”
“Why did you guys come over here?”
“We wanted to invite you to our BBQ tonight, but I guess you’re working.” Tom told him.
“Actually it’s my night off. I thought you guys were my date, Andy. He was coming to pick me up. He asked me to dress like this.”
“Well we won’t keep you, then.” Ben said as he, then Tom, got up from the sofa and stared to walk towards the door.
“Just want you to know you have an open invitation to join our parties anytime you want. And you can bring a date too.” Tom told him.
“Thanks, guys, I might take you up on it.”
“You’re welcome, have fun.’ Ben and Tom walked out the door and down the walk back to their house.
“It’s always the quiet ones.” Tom shook his head.
“I think he looks cute. It’s not many guys who can pull off wearing a dress like Scott can.” Ben mentioned to him.
“Should I be jealous?” Tom pouted as he asked his partner.
“Nope, he’s not my type. I like my man to look like a man. Handsome and all muscles.” Ben turned to Tom when they’d reached their front door and ran his hands up and down Tom’s muscular bare arms and leaned forward and kissed him.
“Mm, how about you show me what kind of man you like?’ Tom asked seductively.
Ben pulled him inside their house and into their bedroom and the afternoon was spent showing each some major loving.
That night the BBQ was going strong, Tom did the main course and the assorted neighbors each brought their own dishes to the party. They were shocked to see Scott, sans the drag queen look, and Andy show up.
"I see you decided to come." Ben said as he greeted Scott and his date.
"I decided to be a good neighbor and leave the prison of my aloneness and join in the fun."
"Well help yourself to some food, make the grillmaster happy." Ben indicated his man who was busy flipping burgers and hot dogs on the big gas grill they'd moved to the street for the block party. The other neighbors had contributed to the feast too. There were fold-out tables set up in the street with tableclothes and assorted food.
They ended the evening with some fireworks and all the couples were kissing in the dark, the only light were the flashes from the explosions going off overhead.
my fellow flashers for this week
Ryssa Edwards m/m
Lindsay Klug m/f
Pender Mackie m/m
Heather Lin m/f