“The real choice is between living life in the shadows or walking proudly in the light. The real choice is between a slow death and an honest life.”
– Tony Ferrante and Paulette Jacobson, Letters from the Closet
The Hanger (Brian)
IT WAS HALF PAST TEN WHEN BRIAN WOKE UP FROM A NIGHTMARE, it had happened the day before – at the same time, in the same place, and with the same dream. He opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling for a moment, wandering. Sweat formed in his forehead and his skin felt oddly cold, the air-conditioner was off. He rose from the bed and headed straight for the bathroom. He stood in front of the mirror and examined himself for a while. His eyes were groggy and circles had formed around it. He hadn’t sleep well for the past few days. His lips were dry. His skin was pale. It was as if all blood was drained out of his system.
He turned the faucet and the sound of running water brought him sudden peace. He closed his eyes and listened for a while. The phone rang from the other room and startled him. He washed his face with cold water to bring him to his senses. He pulled a towel from the shelf on his far left and pat himself dry. The phone kept ringing but the sound seemed to move away until only a faint reverberation can be heard.
He had a way of blocking things around him, noises, people, a telephone ring or anything that could cause him distraction. He would focus on one thing and concentrate on it much like what monks do. A discipline his father had taught him when he was just a kid. And a skill which he often used every time his parents fought.
Once more, Brian stared at his face in front of the mirror, this time he failed to recognize the man in front of him.
Brian is a 24 year old entrepreneur who graduated at one of the universities along Taft. He grew up in the US and his family migrated here when he was just ten. He’s from a well-known family, fairly rich and perhaps controversial by showbiz standards. The controversy surrounding his family was something he could not elaborate.
Some things are highly sensitive and very private that he couldn’t openly talk about it to anyone, even to his closest friends. Though news of it had been the topic of showbiz gossip programs, blind items on tabloids and internet forums for the past year , the issue slowly died down. He never clarified nor denied anything.
Brian is a handsome man who’s sometimes mistaken for one of the Gutierrez’s brothers. He stands at 6 ft. tall, fair-skinned and physically fit. With dark brown eyes, high-bridged nose, pursed red lips, platinum black hair and prominent jaw line, his strong features are comparable to Hollywood celebrities.
He’s the youngest of four siblings, two girls and two boys, and the only one who’s not yet married. His parents had been pushing him to finally settle down. “We’re old,” they’d say, “and we want to see our grandchildren while we’re still alive.” They would set him up on blind dates or introduce her to daughters of family friends, of course, the rich dates only the rich and their circle is fairly small.
“Money wasn’t an issue, it never was,” He said coldly, “they want me to get married, that’s the bottom-line,” he continued.
But that’s the only thing he couldn’t do.
Part 1 of In The Closet